Premature hair greying can have negative effects on appearance, confidence, self-esteem, and social reception of the affected individual. Hair is said to have greyed prematurely if it occurs before the age of 20 years in Europeans, before 25 years in Asians, and before 30 years in Africans.
Experts have not completely understood the cause of premature greying. It is a complex multi-factorial process. Mainly, it is a combination of nutritional, genetic and environmental factors. It also associates with nutritional deficiencies, for instance, vitamin B12 deficiency. Other factors that have been noted are low levels of ferritin, calcium and vitamin D3 in the blood.
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Physicians have noticed greying of hair with greater occurrence among certain families. This suggests a familial predisposition for the condition. Hair pigmentation is a result of complex interaction between various genetic factors. Therefore, greying could be due to exhaustion of melanocyte’s ability to produce hair pigmentation. Also, it may occur alone as an autosomal dominant condition. In other cases, it may be in association with various autoimmune or premature aging syndromes. For instance, down syndrome has characteristic features of accelerated aging including premature greying and deficient DNA repair.
Experts have also considered smoking to be related to this condition. Smoking results in generation of huge amount of reactive oxygen species leading to increased oxidative stress. Consequently, this stress culminates into damage to melanin producing cells, melanocytes. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays also initiate similar processes in hair follicles resulting in premature greying of hair.
Premature hair greying :Treatment
Topical antiaging compounds that are currently under examination include photoprotectors, that help protect skin and hair from sunlight. A dermatologist can prescribe these if the cause is from too much exposure to sunlight. It is healthy to use photoprotectors daily for best results.