Hair Care

Premature Graying of Hair: Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Written by
Dr. Suvash Sahu
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Jan 09, 2018 and last reviewed on Jul 19, 2019   -  2 min read



Due to stress and pollution, many young adults suffer from premature graying of hair. Find out ways to prevent and treat this condition.

Premature Graying of Hair: Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Graying of hair is a normal process as the age progresses, but if it occurs early in life it makes the person appear much older than his or her age causing poor self-esteem and personality issues.

The main cause of this graying is a reduction in melanin synthesis by pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes. These cells are present in the roots of hairs called as the hair follicle. The point when hair turns gray is not only decided by age (usually average age of graying is late 30’s to 40’s depending on the race), but it also depends on certain other factors like genetics and hereditary factors.

Causes for Premature Graying

The following are the main causes of drastic change in figures of the reported cases of gray hair in teenage.

1. Change in lifestyle:

  • Smoking - both active and passive.
  • Stress.
  • Excessive use of hair dryer.

2. Dietary habits:

  • Excessive intake of carbohydrates and sugary foods.
  • Nutritional deficiency like iron, iodine, vitamin, and proteins.

3. Pollutants:

  • Toxins in the atmosphere.
  • Chemicals present in the water that is being used to wash the hair.

4. Medical conditions like:

  • Thyroid disease.
  • Vitiligo.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency.

5. Certain drugs like:

  • Chloroquine.
  • Triparanol.
  • Dixyrazine.

How to Prevent Premature Graying

If other members of the family have experienced the same problem in their childhood that means you will have it in your genes too. There is nothing you can do as it is a natural process which may worsen with age. If premature graying of hair is not in your family, lack of proper nutrients is probably the main cause.

General measures to follow -

  • Provide your children with food rich in iron, vitamin B12, and protein like fresh green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, juices, white meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy products.
  • Avoid excessive intake of soda, cakes, candies, chocolates, and other foods that include refined sugar.
  • Avoid soaps and shampoos that are loaded with chemicals.
  • Apart from providing a healthy diet, it is also very important to check whether your children are suffering from any kind of disease like hypo or hyperthyroidism, pernicious anemia, vitiligo, etc.


Oral Calcium pantothenate 200 mg/day or para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) 100 mg three times a day for two to four months may show variable responses ranging from 70 to 80 % depending on the case.

For more information consult a hair disorders specialist online -->

Last reviewed at:
19 Jul 2019  -  2 min read


Ask a QueryAsk a Query Consult by PhoneConsult by Phone Video ChatVideo Chat


Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

Routine Hair Care and Common Hair Problems

Article Overview: This article will tell you about proper hair care. And answer questions like, how much hair is lost daily? Will dandruff lead to hair loss? How to oil your hair? How should conditioner be used? What causes split ends? Will shortening the hair reduce hair loss? Read Article

Dr. Uzzaif U Mansuri

Just as crops require proper nutrition in the form of water, sunlight, pesticides, etc. regularly, so does the hair. It needs vitamins, conditioner, and nourishment. We can provide nutrition to the hair in the form of dietary supplements like food rich in vitamins like green leafy vegetables, s...  Read Article

Kindly suggest medicine to turn white hair to black.

Query: Hello doctor, Most of my hair has turned white. I also have a white beard and white hairs in my mustache. Please prescribe best medicines to make all my hair totally black. I do not want to dye them as dye contains peroxide which will cause hair loss. So, please prescribe the best medicine to turn m...  Read Full »

What can be the reason for gray hair in children?

Query: Hello doctor, What can be the reason for hair turning white in kids? Is there any solution to this problem? I read on the internet that hair can turn white even when vitamins or iron levels are low. If supplements are taken, can this problem be reduced? What kind of diet would help?  Read Full »

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Graying Of Hair or White Hair?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.
Enter Your Health Query
You can upload files and images in the next step.



Disclaimer: All health articles published on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek the advice from your physician or other qualified health-care providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.