6 Common Causes of Early Graying of Hair in Young Adults

6 Common Causes of Early Graying of Hair in Young Adults
Can you spot the gray one?

One can never pin point the causes of early graying of hair in young adults but there can be several factors that can lead of premature graying.

It can be frustrating for teenagers, people in twenties and even school going kids.

Both sexes can have early graying of hair while young and it can do some damage to the self-esteem of many.

There has been a lot of research to find out the causes of early graying of hair in young adults, but there is no specific reason as to why this should happen.

It can be due to dietary deficiency or may be due to hereditary reasons and it may also be triggered due to exposure to environmental pollutants.

How hair graying occurs?

Let us first understand how the hair gets its color.

We can see people all over the world with variety of hair color like black, brown, blonde, red, etc.

But all of these hair with different colours ultimately turn gray progressing to white on ageing and even they can gray in early adulthood as well.

So definitely there is something which colors the hair from within.

Just as your skin has got melanin which defines the colour tone of your skin, the hair as well have got their own melanin.

The melanin is present along with the hair follicles that gives birth to new hair strand on losing the earlier one.

Each hair strand has a life cycle and upon completing it, the hair strand falls out.

So when the hair follicle is making a new hair strand, the melanin plays it part and colors the hair.

Once the melanin reduces, the hair doesn’t get enough pigmentation and hence it turns gray and when the melanin is completely lost then the hair turns white.


Melanin is present just under the skin surface from where the hair grows from the hair follicle. It is made up of specialized pigment cells called melanocytes.

6 basic causes of early graying of hair in young adults
Image Credits – MedlinePLus Encyclopedia, NIH

These melanocytes inject the pigment “melanin” into the cells. The cells contain keratin which is a protein that makes our hair.

So the keratin getting injected with pigment from melanocytes gives the hair its color.

Anything which disturbs this arrangement causes less to nil injection of pigment from melanocytes to keratin, which starts the gradual graying of hair.

So to understand the causes of early graying of hair in young adults, we need to understand what changes can happen in the body that can lead to the reduction of melanin in the hair follicles.

Causes of early graying of hair in young adults

1. Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 is an important factor which contributes to healthy hair growth and hair color as well.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be associated with low dietary intake or a condition know as pernicious anemia in which the body is unable to absorb enough of Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is required in the body for making of healthy red blood cells which carry oxygen to the cells in the body, including the cells responsible for hair growth and color.

2. Genetics

You inherit basic genetic make up from your parents. So it they had issues with early hair graying so can you.

This is something that cannot be changed and you will have to manage with it.

Consult a hair specialist for the same and check what can be done in your case to manage early graying of hair in a better way.

They can also recommend you hair coloring products which are safe and can help you in the long run.

3. Stress

Any form of stress can be bad for the hair. Not only graying of hair but issues related to hair loss can also be triggered by excessive stress.

Stress can lead to problems like rise in blood pressure, generation of free radicals in the body, ignorance of proper diet and sleep problems.

This can affect your overall hair health and can possibly be a cause of early graying of hair.

4. Smoking

Smoking can be a cause for early graying of hair in young adults.

As per a study done in 2013 it was found that smoking and premature graying of hair had a significant relation in young adults. Smokers had earlier onset of graying of hair as compared to non-smokers.

Smoking can cause many problems anyways, so its best to avoid smoking.

5. Pollutants

Harmful pollutants in the air can lead to increase in the free radicals in the body which in turn can damage hair follicles.

If you are living or working in a polluted environment its best to take precautionary measures like wearing an anti pollution mask and wearing an appropriate head cover to protect the hair from direct contact with the pollutants.

6. Hydrogen peroxide build up

As per a new study carried out, it was found that hair follicles produce small amounts hydrogen peroxide which gets built up on the hair shaft.

This can also be a reason due to which the hair gradually starts losing its color.

This study can possibly lead to new therapies that can lead to reversal of the causes of early graying of hair in young adults.

Hair are often the representation of your health status.

If there is increased hair fall or if there is hair thinning or graying of hair, it is mostly an indicator that something is wrong in the body and it needs attention.

It’s best to present yourself to a doctor who is expert in hair related problems.

The more fast you act on it, the faster you will be able to recognize the problem and deal with it effectively.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *