Premature greying of hair: Is it Genetic?

Premature greying of hair - Sriramakrishnahospital

We think of getting older when our hair turns grey. So it’s easy to see why seeing a few silver strands in your 20s would make you feel a little crazy. The colour of your hair comes from melanin, a natural pigment found in hair follicles. When your body stops making it, your hair turns grey. As we get older, this happens to most people. 

By the time they are in their mid-30s, most people have salt-and-pepper hair. But some people start to feel it in different ways pretty early on in life. Greying before you should, especially in your 20s, can make you feel anxious, lack confidence, and be embarrassed. Here, we’ll talk about the reasons for premature grey hair, if you should be worried, and what you can do to stop it.

But what makes the hair go grey?

The pigment melanin gives natural hair its colour. The colour of a person’s hair is based on the type and amount of melanin in their hair. Melanocyte cells are what make melanin. These cells are in the skin’s basal layer, the deepest layer. They are right above the hair papilla (the bottom part of the hair follicle).

Melanin comes in two different forms. Eumelanin is a dark colour that gives brown and black hair its colour. Pheomelanin is a reddish pigment that gives ginger and strawberry blond hair their colours. When melanocytes don’t make enough eumelanin, hair turns blond.

Melanocytes add melanin to the hair shaft, which gives the hair its colour. As the body ages, there are fewer melanocytes, and less melanin is made. This leads to young adults with gray hair. When air bubbles replace melanin in the hair shaft, the hair turns silver-grey. The pubic hair also turns silver-grey.

The connection of genes with premature greying:

The average age when hair starts to turn grey varies a lot, and genes are one of the main reasons people start to get grey hair in their 20s. For example, the IRF4 gene affects how old a person is when their hair turns grey, and one variant is a marker for greying hair that starts too early.

The IFR4 gene controls how the TYR gene works. The TYR gene codes for an enzyme that is needed to make melanin. Some people think that the  variant changes how melanocyte precursor cells work, but it still needs to be clarified if this is true.

Though genes play a major role in premature greying in most young people, premature greying may also be due to various reasons:

The food you intake:

An unhealthy diet can hasten the greying of hair. Those who consume processed foods, cold beverages, and a great deal of salt and sugar increase their risk of free radical production, which can cause their hair to become grey. Ensure you take a balanced diet to prevent grey hair and preserve the health of your hair.

The high levels of stress:

Long-term exposure to chronic stress increases the likelihood of experiencing premature greying of hair. Regardless of how hectic your family life is or how exhausted and stressed you are, stress will accelerate the greying of your hair. In addition, stress has been connected to stem cell depletion in the hair follicles; hence, if you frequently resent yourself, you are more likely to get white hair.

Several medical conditions:

Several medical disorders have been related to premature greying of the hair; therefore, we must consider them as potential contributors. Thyroid conditions and autoimmune diseases can cause grey hair. An autoimmune illness causes the body to be inflamed, which may impact hair pigmentation.

Can grey hair be reversed?

Once a hair follicle ceases to produce melanin, it is believed that it cannot restore its natural colour.

Recent research suggests, however, that it may be able to reverse grey hair temporarily.

In this study, researchers were able to determine how individual hair shafts evolved throughout time. In addition, they demonstrated that stress is associated with greying hair and that when it is eliminated, some of the hair’s colour returns. Reach out to a skincare hospital if you are dealing with premature greying issues.

Treatment for premature greying:

There is no direct grey hair treatment for reversing the condition, yet following a healthy lifestyle, consuming a nutrient-rich diet, and avoiding high stress can help reduce premature greying.

The myths that are associated with premature greying:

There are numerous other grey hair misconceptions that you may have heard. Here are some popular myths that are false:

  • Colouring your hair causes it to lose its colour more quickly.
  • The plucking of grey hair results in many grey hairs regrowing.
  • The use of laser hair removal helps eliminate grey hairs.
  • Greying hair is caused by bleaching.

Home remedies that can help in reversing premature greying:

Black sesame seeds:

Sesame seeds, particularly black sesame seeds, are known to darken hair. Consequently, they can be used on white hair. In addition, the consumption of black sesame seeds twice a week may slow or even reverse the greying of hair.

Curry leaves:

Curry leaves are an age-old remedy for white hair that helps to slow down the process and also helps reverse premature greying in most people.

Prognosis of the condition:

Greying hair is a typical component of the ageing process, and it occurs at different ages for different people. Though premature greying can occur due to genetic issues, certain health and lifestyle factors (such as smoking and stress) may contribute to greying. Unfortunately, there are currently no direct premature grey hair treatments. However, new research indicates that grey hair may be partially reversible.




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