Do you find yourself discovering gray hairs, despite being relatively young? It could be that you are experiencing premature graying.

Why Does Hair Turn Gray with Age?

Premature Graying of Hair Can Indicate an Underlying Health ProblemThe body's hair follicles naturally produce less color as you get older. This means that when the hair strands go through the normal cycle of dying and regenerating, they are more likely to come back as gray rather than the original color. A lack of melanin in the hair follicles as you age takes the blame for hair that grows back gray. This transition starts with hair that begins to appear gray as the melanin level decreases. White hair lacks melanin entirely.

For most people, this loss of melanin in the hair begins to happen at about age 35. However, some individuals notice gray hairs popping up significantly earlier than this time, coining the term "premature graying."

Common Reasons for Premature Graying

There are a number of reasons that may explain why you may be finding gray hairs at an early age. Here are a few of the most common explanations of early graying.


Your family genetic history is a significant influence on when you may notice those first gray hairs pop up. There is a good chance that you will experience early graying if your parents also went through this.

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress can also impact how quickly your hair turns gray. Scientists have recently discovered that stress triggers the nerves that engage the fight-or-flight response, damaging the cells that are in charge of pigment regeneration.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Early graying could also be a sign that your body is experiencing nutritional deficiencies. Not getting the right amount of crucial vitamins and minerals can reduce the supply of blood to the hair follicles, triggering gray hair to grow in earlier and at a faster clip. Some of the most important vitamins and minerals crucial to melanin production include vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, copper, zinc and iron.

For example, zinc has been shown to boost the production of hair follicle cells while adequate intake of copper supports the natural colors of the hair and skin. Because iron is the primary component of hemoglobin, it is necessary to carry oxygen to the hair follicles, supporting this function. A lack of vitamin B12 has also been shown to trigger gray hair.

This means that it is important to practice healthy eating habits while avoiding poor lifestyle choices such as excessive drinking and smoking. When you are diligent about these lifestyle modifications, your physical appearance may benefit along with your health.

Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress has also been shown to increase the odds that you experience premature gray hair. Examples of oxidative stress include environmental pollution and too much exposure to the sun. Repeated exposure to harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde can also accelerate the greying process.

Diseases and Medical Conditions

There are also a group of diseases and medical conditions that have been shown to trigger premature gray hair. One of the most common culprits is thyroid disease. This autoimmune disease can cause hair loss, premature graying and various other abnormalities related to the hair follicles. Other possible medical explanations include Grave's disease, premature hypogonadism, vitiligo, Werner's syndrome, Addison's disease and neurofibromatosis.

In most cases, early graying is not a sign of a serious medical condition. However, it is always a good idea to stay on top of your preventative medical care. Your healthcare provider can order a variety of medical tests to help to determine if your early graying is a result of a specific medical condition or vitamin deficiency.

Role of Vitamins and Supplements in Mitigating Premature Graying

Premature Graying of Hair Can Indicate an Underlying Health Problem 1Research has pointed to the importance of getting sufficient vitamins and minerals into your diet to prevent premature graying. Taking a specialized supplement such as Vitachron can go a long way in providing an extra layer of insurance for your nutritional needs. This chronobiological multi-vitamin is formulated for the specific needs of men and women. The supplement is packed full of the vitamins and supplements that your body needs for ultimate health, all delivered at the most ideal times of the day. This includes adequate amounts of iron, zinc, copper and vitamin B12, nutrients that may be instrumental in mitigating the process of early graying.

Although the primary culprit of early graying is simply bad luck with genetics, being mindful about nourishing your body may slow the process. While you cannot change your family history of premature graying, making the necessary lifestyle changes can slow down this process. It never hurts to make sure that your body is being fed the right amount of vitamins and minerals. As a bonus, you may enjoy your natural hair color longer than you expect.

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