At some point in life, all men have to deal with gray hair. The latest, salt and pepper look sure looks great on most men but not all. So let’s start by understanding what causes gray hair for younger men under 30? If you are one of those men, and already found a couple of gray strands before your 30th birthday, don’t panic. Here in this article, we will be discussing the reasons behind premature graying and what to do about it.
Before we go into the reasons behind premature gray hair, let’s understand everything about ‘Premature Graying’. So keep reading.
Q. What Is ‘Premature Graying’ Of Hair?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, hair looks black because of a pigment called melanin, which is produced by hair follicles. Due to some reasons(which we will be discussing below) when the hair follicles make less melanin, it causes premature graying.
Typically, for different ethnicities, graying starts at different ages, which we will discuss as we go ahead. Most people have a significant amount of gray hair by the time they turn 50.
6 Reasons For Premature Graying Under 30 :
1. Genetics :
The main reason for premature graying is in your genes. In one word, if your parents or grandparents had this, you probably will too. Dr. Michael Eidelman, Medical Director of Chelsea Skin & Laser says, genetics not only play a vital role in the onset of gray hair, but also determine its progress, intensity, and color.
This is why some people experience gray at an early age, while others don’t see their first silver strand until they’re 50. (Source)
2. Ethnicity And Gender :
Ethnicity and gender play a role in premature graying. White people experience gray hair in their mid-30’s where Asians in their late 30’s and African Americans in their 40’s, according to a research analysis published in The Dermatologist in 2011.
Dr. Eidelman says, on average, 50 percent of the population will have 50% gray hair by the age of 50″. Gender also plays an important role as well. Men are most likely to start graying closer to 30, while women begin to notice gray hairs around 35. (Source)
3. Stress :
Although, there is no clear evidence that stress causes premature graying but anxiety does lead to a lot of hair issues. Hair fall is caused due to stress hormones is known as Telogen effluvium, which causes the hair to fall out and when hairs grow back, they’re often less pigmented than the original, and can even turn gray. (Source)
A study from New York University, reported in Nature Medicine, says that the cells that are responsible for hair color can be depleted when the human body is under stress. (Source)
4. Vitamin Deficiency :
It’s proven that deficiencies of vitamin B-6, B-12, biotin, vitamin D, or vitamin E is what causes gray hair. In 2015 one study finds that nutritional deficiencies affect pigmentation, and suggesting color can return with vitamin supplementation.
A 2016 study reported in the International Journal of Trichology finds factors related to premature graying in young Indians under 25 years of age. According to it, low levels of serum ferritin, which stores iron in the body, vitamin B-12, and the good cholesterol HDL-C were common in participants with premature hair graying. (Source)
5. Smoking :
Several studies reveal that smoking has a significant impact on premature graying of hair before age 30. According to a 2010 study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that smokers are 2 and 1/2 times more likely to develop premature gray hair than non-smokers.
Smoking is what causes gray hair, it is also linked to baldness. The chemicals you smoke can break down the hair cells and damage hair, according to The New York Times. (Source)
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6. Using Of Chemical Hair Dyes And Hair Products :
Chemical hair dyes and hair products contain harmful ingredients that decrease melanin in hair follicles, hence premature graying in hair. One of them is Hydrogen peroxide, which is in many hair dyes has bleaching property. So when you frequently use those products for a longer time your hair eventually turns white. (Source)
Q. Can We Reverse Gray Hair?
We can help you tackle premature gray hair before it starts, but to reverse it; unfortunately no. However, it can be slowed down by following a few natural home remedies. Dr, Eidelman says, there is no scientific evidence to show that tonics, lotions, potions, creams, scalp massage or vitamins prevent graying. He also adds, however, that your body can reverse premature graying if you have a rare case of an illness that triggered the gray.
“For example, sometimes people get a temporary hair loss condition called alopecia areata and when the hair grows in again, at first it may grow in white until the hair pigment cells catch up with the growth of the new hair.” (Source)
5 Home Remedies To Prevent Premature Graying Naturally :
There are plenty of other ways available to stop premature graying. So why would you go for such complicated and expensive treatments, where you can do it at home. Natural home remedies offer an alternative to slow down hair-whitening without harming your body or causing further hair pigment damage.
Once you know what causes gray hair, try these natural remedies before it starts.
1. Curry leaves :
From centuries curry leaves have been considered as an effective home remedy for graying of hair. They are rich in antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin E, iron, calcium, and copper, which can limit the graying process and help you achieve silky smooth hair.
How To Use It:
- Collect some fresh curry leaves.
- Start heating the leaves along with coconut oil.
- Continue heating until you see a black residue start to form.
- Keep it aside and let it cool for a while.
- Massage your hair with this oil properly, from the roots to the tips.
- Wait for an hour or two.
- Wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo.
- Repeat this process twice or thrice a week.
2. Henna :
Henna, also known as Mehandi is a flowering plant. It has been used as a natural dye since ancient times for hair. Using henna can make your hair look exquisite, it also works wonders against graying hair.
How To Use It:
- Take enough amount of henna powder in a bowl.
- Soak it in a bowl of water and let it stay overnight.
- Boil some black tea leaves and keep it aside to cool.
- Pour the henna paste over the black tea extract.
- Stir it until you get a smooth paste.
- Apply this mixture onto your hair thoroughly.
- Let this sit on your hair for about an hour.
- Rinse it off properly with lukewarm water.
- Repeat this process once a month.
3. Amla(Indian gooseberry) :
Amla is an herbal supplement for reversing premature graying by promoting pigmentation in hair follicles. Its effectiveness is believed to be because of the gooseberries are rich in antioxidants and anti-aging properties.
How To Use It:
- Take a decent amount of amla powder.
- Start off by heating Amla powder and add coconut oil to it.
- Stir the mixture well in a pan until the powder starts to char.
- Let this cooldown.
- Apply it on your scalp and gently massage. Also, spread it over the entire length of your hair.
- Leave it overnight on your hair.
- Rinse this off with lukewarm water.
4. Bhringaraj(Eclipta) :
If you haven’t heard of it yet, then let us tell you that, this false daisy or Bhringaraj darkens hair and keep it from becoming white early, according to some reports.
How To Use It:
- Take enough amount of Bhringaraj(comes in oil form).
- Start boiling it in coconut oil or sesame oil in a pan.
- Leave it aside to cool.
- Put the oil mixture on your hair.
- Massage into your hair thoroughly.
- Leave it for an hour or two.
- Then wash it off using a sulfate-free shampoo.
- Repeat it twice a week.
5. Coffee :
Undoubtedly, caffeine has a lot of benefits to the human body. Particularly black coffee can help you resolve the problem of premature graying.
How To Use It:
- Brew a strong pot of coffee.
- Let it cool down to avoid burning your scalp with it.
- Pour it onto your hair and gently massage with your fingers.
- Leave it for soaking in for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
- Rinse the coffee off with cold water.
- Ditch the shampoo afterward.
- For best results repeat this process about twice or thrice a week.
Q. Why Should You Embrace Gray Hair?
Most men wonder what causes gray hair, but forget to embrace it.
If you already have premature gray hair, then there is no reason to despair. Most confident men embrace their gray hair, and women actually find it sexy! In today’s day and age, most mature men and women are starting to own their gray hair. According to a study, eight in ten women find gray hair attractive on men.
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Some may say that Gray hair is associated with competence, security, and coolness. When you think “Gray hair makes you old”; it is just a myth. It’s all about the attitude you bring to it, if you think of it as just another hair color choice, you won’t be afraid of gray hair anymore! So stop concealing your gray hair and embrace it with style!
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