Reason for White Hair: What Could Be They?

13 May, 2024 | Hair Loss | Author : Shveta Virmani

The scenario at present is that nearly three out of every ten young adults have partially white hair. Such a thing was not common even a few decades back. Premature white hair or greying has become a significant concern. Indeed, hair starts getting thinner in some areas and slowly turns white as a person ages. But, strands of white or grey hair in one’s youth are not at all normal.

Aside from genetics, underlying medical conditions and many other factors are responsible for white hair at a young age. Reading further will help you gain a profound knowledge of the main reasons. Hair follicles contain melanocytes that produce the pigment melanin, which gives the natural hair colour. The hair of a person starts turning white as follicles keep losing melanin.

There isn’t only one reason for white hair at a younger age. Many people start noticing a few strands of white hair in the initial phase of their 30s. Several factors cause many men and women between their 30s and 40s to experience white or grey hair issues.

When is it Natural to Expect White Hair?

Most men and women over 50 notice silver hair strands for the first time. However, the time it takes for the first greys to appear varies from one person to another. Hair greying is a part of the ageing process. Thus, it is common to expect individuals over 60 to have grey or white hair. 

Which Factors Lead to White Hair at an Early Age?

Strands of colourless hair can pop up at any age if hair follicles lose the capacity to produce melanocytes. Multiple factors adversely impact melanin production, leading to white or grey hair. Here are the cardinal causes of white hair at a younger age.


Do not feel bad if you experience premature greying because of genetics. Know that one of your parents and grandparents also had to deal with the same issue. You have no control over when follicles will begin losing the pigment if it’s solely a genetic reason in your case. 

Usually, genes regulate melanin-producing cells’ activities. Some genes cause these cells to shut down or slow down earlier. So, what you can do if you get white or grey hair at an early age is colour your hair. 


Managing stress is paramount if you do not want to experience premature hair greying. Chronic stress can adversely impact a person’s holistic health. The release of cortisol, which is the stress hormone, affects the cycle of melanocytes significantly. 

Because of the disruption, a reduction in melanin production happens. Eventually, the process of hair turning white at a younger age expedites. Stress is a major cause of early grey hair, which you should never forget. Practice deep breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation to keep cortisol levels low.

Thyroid-related Problems

Besides controlling hair growth and the production of hair colour pigment, the thyroid gland is instrumental in regulating other body functions. Premature hair greying is unavoidable when an underactive thyroid affects the activities of melanocytes. Hyperthyroidism also causes hair to turn white much earlier in some persons. 

Thyroid health influences an individual’s hair colour. It is a must to check your thyroid at frequent intervals. Consult your physician to learn what medication you should take to manage hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism better. Ultimately, you can slow down premature hair greying. Nearly 42 million Indian people suffer from one or the other thyroid problem.

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune disorders are responsible for the early onset of white hair. Healthy tissues sustain the attack by the immune system, which sometimes targets melanin-generating cells, such as melanocytes. Aside from causing alopecia (stop alopecia from spreading), autoimmune diseases cause vitiligo, a condition where some parts of the skin lose pigment. 

To keep your immune system in good condition, it is advisable to exercise daily, follow a nutritious diet, and lead a healthy lifestyle. Consult a skin care specialist if you want to diagnose and treat an autoimmune problem.

Deficiencies in Vitamin

Vitamin deficiency is one of the significant causes of white hair. Moreover, a lack of other essential nutrients leads to early hair greying and hair loss (Also Read: Difference between Hair Loss and Hair Thinning). Substantial deficiencies in Biotin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, zinc, copper and iron can quickly accelerate the process of premature hair greying.

Including seasonal vegetables and fruits, lean protein and whole grains in your regular diet is a must. You need essential minerals and vitamins to boost healthy hair growth and allow it to retain its actual colour. Consult your doctor before taking vitamin supplements to overcome deficiencies.


One possible reason for white hair is medication for certain conditions, such as high blood pressure and chemotherapy. The side effect of these medications is premature hair greying. You must consult your physician if you notice any changes in your hair colour.


Aside from damaging the lungs tremendously, smoking prevents the flow of blood to the scalp and other body parts. Because of the reduced blood circulation, all nutrients essential for hair follicles cannot reach them. Ultimately, premature hair greying begins, leading to extreme hair shedding. 

Therefore, avoid smoking if you do not want your hair to turn white before you turn 40. Aside from preventing your hair from greying early, quitting smoking can enable you to improve your holistic well-being.

Sudden Loss of Weight

Many lose substantial weight in a short period. However, this is not good for hair health. Hair growth and melanin production slow down when one does not have sufficient essential nutrients in the body. Sticking to sustainable weight loss methods is advisable. Rapid weight loss is the leading cause of early grey hair.

Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Gaurang Krishna

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Disclaimer:The content published on this website( is meant to spread awareness and educate the concerned patients regarding baldness and hair transplants as well as the treatment options available for baldness and hair transplant treatment in Delhi India. Any information on the website shall not be regarded as a prescription from a professional dermatologist. We recommend visiting a dermatologist in person for the right diagnosis and the treatment for any hair issues. We do not guarantee specific results as the treatments and the results vary from person to person.

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