Why Do We Have Premature Gray Hair?

Gray hair is inevitable when you’re growing old. But for some people, there is a case where the gray hair appears way too early, making them look older than their actual age. There are several causes of premature gray hair:


Hair color is determined by melanocytes, a cell that produces pigment. Melanocytes are made from stem cells that live in the hair follicles. The stem will gradually disappear when we age. 

Study shows that stress can induce chemical compounds called norepinephrine into the follicle.

It causes melanocytes to turn into pigment cells. Furthermore, your follicle will run out of melanocytes early and cannot produce any more pigment. (https://mundonow.com)

Hereditary Factor

According to the professor from Langone Medical Center, genes play a major part in gray hair. Parents are a big factor in passing down their conditions. If your parents have their gray hair appear earlier, then it is possible for you to have one in the early stage of life.

Nature Communications also found a gen variant that is related to gray hair. Usually, premature gray hair that is passed down genetically appears at age 20-25

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Vitamin B Deficiency

Vitamin B Deficiency can also affect premature gray hair. The lack of vitamins B6, B12, E, and D plays a big role in affecting this. These vitamins are contributing to healthy hair growth and hair colors.

In some cases, Vitamin B-12 deficiency causes pernicious anemia. In this condition, your body can’t absorb enough vitamins. Vitamin B12 is needed for healthy red blood cells that will be carried to your body, especially your hair cells. 

The deficiency of this vitamin will weaken hair cells and melanin production. There are several healthy foods to maintain your hair. For example, you can start consuming salmon, yogurt, spinach, and eggs.


Smoking is already known for its negative effect on the human body, such as lung cancer and heart disease. Aside from that, Smoking can also affect hair conditions. Smoking can tighten blood vessels, which will reduce blood flow in hair follicles. 

In the long run, smoking will cause hair loss caused by tightening hair follicles. It will also affect the premature appearance of gray hair. This is caused by the toxins in cigars that damage hair follicles.

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