Explained: what does early gray hair say about your health?

grey hair health

Find out why some people get gray earlier than others

Usually, people get their first gray hairs in their thirties. But sometimes those first gray hairs pop up earlier than expected. Some people’s hair turns completely gray when they get older while other people only get a few hairs and strands. Find out why some people get gray earlier than others and why you shouldn’t be worried when this happens to you.

Gray hair

The reason why some people turn gray before others do, has to do with melanin. That is the pigment that causes your hair to have a certain color. And when you have less melanin, your hair will get gray earlier than people who have a lot of it. Gray hair has a reduced amount of this pigment, white hair lacks melanin entirely. But why does the amount of melanin in your hair reduce? When you grow older, the amount of stem cells that turn into melanin cells will decline. And that means that your hair will slowly lose it’s melanin over time.

The amount of melanin in your hair, and the way your hair ages, is related to your genes. So, if your parents turned gray early on, chances are that you might too.

Other reasons

If you feel like you’re getting gray way too early, there might be some other causes at play. Smoking influences the aging process of your hair; if you smoke, you might get gray hair at a younger age. Other possible causes are environmental factors like UV-light or pollution. And even stress can actually cause your hair to get gray earlier. The good news? According to Health, researchers found that when the amount of stress is reduced, your hair could be restored to it’s normal color.

Very rarely premature aging is caused by some kind of medical issue. If you feel like you’re aging prematurely, you might want to check with a healthcare professional to see whether a medical issue is the cause of it.

Read more: Why does your hair get darker when you age?

Source: Health | Image: Unsplash, Phil S