What Causes Gray Hair?

Are you someone who recently spotted their first gray hair?

Are you terrified of gray hair slowly replacing your healthy locks?

Do you feel you’re not ready to go through this natural aging process yet?

Well then, continue reading to find out everything you must know.

Gray hair is a normal part of aging. Like wrinkles, gray hair is something that comes with age. It is nothing to be afraid of and can be carried very gracefully.

However, whenever someone young notices their first gray hair, they are always shocked. This happens due to genetics. Sometimes, stress may play a role in expediting this process.

What is Gray Hair?

Gray hair is when your natural hair starts to lose its original color and starts to look gray. The original color of your hair fades and it gets replaced by silver/ white-gray color.

What Makes Your Grays Different From Your Other Hair?

The color is what makes your grays different from your other hair. Whether you have blonde, brown or dark black hair, gray hair will look different than your natural hair color. This gray hair is often easy to spot as it stands out from the rest of your hair due to its lighter color.

What Causes Gray Hair?

The human body produces thousands of hair follicles with pigment cells that contain melanin. These pigment cells give the natural color to your hair and your hair appears to be a vibrant healthy color.

As you grow older, your body stops producing melanin and your hair starts to turn gray or white. According to doctors, it is considered normal for gray hair to appear in men and women at any age from 34 to 44.

Oxidative stress can also cause signs of early aging. Oxidative stress results in a lower production of antioxidants in the human body.

When there are not enough antioxidants in the body, then you are at a higher risk of diseases like vitiligo. Vitiligo causes white hair in patients as melanin cell production lowers.

There is also another way stress can cause gray hair. Stress doesn’t turn your existing hair strands gray but it can make your hair shed faster. Often, the hair that grows back is gray instead of its original color. This is usually the case with middle-aged people who start noticing graying hair.

However, if people under the age of 20 experience the growth of gray hair, then this can be due to genetics. According to a report in 2013, premature graying of any person’s hair is connected to their genes.

Hair can turn gray also due to vitamin deficiencies. Levels of vitamin B-6, biotin, vitamin D, and vitamin E largely contribute to our hair color.

According to a study in 2016, nutritional deficiencies can negatively impact the pigmentation of our hair. It also claims that your hair original color can return if you take vitamin supplements.

Gray Hair In Young Children

Usually, the cause of gray hair in kids is genetic. In other cases, it could also be caused by a deficiency of vitamins. Some kids are very choosy about the food they eat and this negatively impacts their health. Make sure you consult a doctor if you have noticed the appearance of gray hair on your child’s scalp.

Gray Hair In Teenagers

A teenager can get gray hair for several reasons. Sometimes, gray hair is simply caused by genetics or vitamin deficiency.

Other times, it may be due to other reasons such as stress or even smoking. Teenagers often face a lot of anxiety when growing up due to academic pressures or bullying. This results in unnecessary stress which causes gray hair.

According to a study in 2015 smoking can be a cause for premature graying of hair in young men.

Another probable cause of gray hair in the teenage years can be chemical hair dyes and harmful products. Everyone goes through the rebellious stage of puberty. Many teenagers dye their hair with harmful chemicals to get blue or red hair. This involves the use of damaging ingredients like hydrogen peroxide which can cause it to turn gray.

How Can I Prevent Gray Hair?

You can take certain measures to reduce prematurely gray hair when it happens due to vitamin deficiencies. This will help you lower the chances of getting gray hair at an early age.

The first thing to do to prevent hair from turning gray is to eat more antioxidant-rich foods. This means incorporating healthy foods into your diet. Foods that are rich in antioxidants are fresh fruits and vegetable, green tea, and olive oil.

Another thing you can add to your diet is fish as it is also rich in antioxidants. You can always buy over-the-counter supplements to treat vitamin deficiencies.

The next important step to prevent gray hair is to control your vitamin deficiencies.

ou can consult a doctor and have them conduct blood tests to find out exactly which vitamin deficiencies you have. After that, you can try to fix the problem by eating foods that are rich in that specific vitamin.

Moreover, if you are someone who smokes regularly, then it might be time for you to quit. As mentioned earlier, smoking has been connected to premature graying of hair. So, if you want to prevent your hair from turning gray, then try to quit smoking.

What Foods Can Help Prevent Gray Hair?

Fresh fruits, vegetables, green tea, fish, and olive oil are foods that are loaded with antioxidants. Consuming these foods will help you prevent gray hair in the long run.

Moreover, if you have vitamin B-12 deficiency then seafood, eggs, and meat are your new favorite foods. If you are diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency then try to consume more milk, salmon, and cheese as these are natural sources of vitamin D.

Can You Reverse Gray Hair?

When genetics or aging are the reasons behind your hair turning gray, then you can’t do much to reverse that from happening.

However, if your gray hair appears due to a medical condition or vitamin deficiencies then treatment will help your case.

Can My Diet Help Reverse Gray Hair?

Your diet plays a huge role in your overall health. It can definitely reverse grey hair if the cause of your gray hair is a vitamin deficiency. You can try to incorporate the healthy foods that are rich in antioxidants. A healthy diet will surely help to improve the condition and reduce gray hair.

How Do You Prevent Gray Hair?

As discussed earlier, you cannot prevent gray hair if you have it due to aging or genetics. However, you can prevent gray if it is due to vitamin deficiencies. You can do this consuming a healthy diet full of antioxidants, taking supplements, and by quitting smoking.

How to Care for Your Gray Hair

Gray hair can often be finer and have a dryer texture. Therefore caring for it requires special attention. Try to choose products that add volume and moisture into your gray hair. This will give your hair an overall healthier look and they will appear to be thicker.

As gray hair is often dry in texture, try to use a conditioner every time you wash it. This will help to restore the moisture levels in it and give it a smooth look.

Gray Hair Tips

The most important tip we can give you regarding gray hair is don’t pluck it. Let’s admit it, we all have the urge to pluck out our gray hair in hopes of it never coming back. However, in reality, this never actually happens.

The next tip for gray hair is you should consider getting highlights. This can help you avoid constant root touches as the white or gray hair might blend in with the lighter hair and look less obvious.

Lastly, another useful tip for grey hair is to spot treat it. Don’t go for a full head dye every time you want to get rid of white hair. The excess use of chemicals on your hair can actually do more harm to it than good. So, only get parts with a lot of white hair dyed to a darker color.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Low Vitamin D Cause Gray Hair?

Yes, vitamin D deficiency can cause gray hair to grow.

What Should I Eat to Prevent Gray Hair?

You can eat fresh fruits and vegetables to prevent gray hair. You should also try to include fish, olive oil and green tea into your diet as they are rich in antioxidants.

Is White Hair the Same as Gray Hair?

No, gray hair is different from white hair. White hair is when there is a complete absence of any darkness in the hair. Grey hair has a hint of black or natural color appearing in it. Hair often turns gray before it turns completely white.

How Do You Increase Melanin in Hair?

Melanin production can be improved by increasing the intake of antioxidant-rich foods and vitamin A in your diet. Taking supplements for vitamins A, C, and E may also prove to be helpful in this.


Now that you know more about the causes of gray hair, you should try to maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent or slow gray hair production. That being said, gray hair is normal and nothing to be ashamed of.