While the appearance of white hair is associated with aging, these hairs can also grow at an early age due to one’s heredity or lifestyle.
Hair color is determined by a pigment called melanin that is produced in the hair follicles (at the root), which allows the hair to grow. The capacity of hair follicles to produce melanin reduces naturally over time. This causes the appearance of gray hairs, which according to the webpage MedlinePlus, commonly appear after age 30.
Not all people get gray hair in the same way, however. Men tend to get gray hair before women, and those that are white or Asian are more likely to age with a full head of white hair. Having parents that got grey hair at an early age also increases the chances of developing these hairs.
Nutritional supplements, vitamins and other products do not stop or reduce how fast one begins to grow grey or white hairs. Those who are genetically programmed to do so, will simply get them. It is possible to prevent the process from accelerating, however, by practicing a healthy lifestyle:
- Avoid tobacco use, as is reduces the production of melanin.
- Lower the use of alcohol, which negatively affects the immune system.
- Maintain a balanced diet in order to ensure that your hair grows naturally and is not the result of disease.
- Be careful of how you treat your hair. Avoid using very hot water and do not overuse hairdryers.
Some conditions such as vitiligo, hypothyroidism and pernicious anemia cause grey hairs to develop because they lead to oxygenation problems in the hair follicles, to deficiencies of B complex vitamins and mineral deficiencies such as iron and zinc.