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What Causes White Hair at Early Age & Remedies for It?

The condition that results in white hair at early age is also known as “Premature Graying”.1 Premature graying become sociocultural issue in adolescent and young middle age of 25 to 40 years old. The individual suffering with white hair at early age or premature graying also has issues with self-esteem and justified chronological age. The cause of premature gray hair or white hair at early age is lack of melanocyte cells within the hair bulb.1 Most of the time young individual do not care about hair or appearance but later it become an issue when the premature graying become irreversible. The condition if ignored during early stage become permanent and progressive.

In this current article we will talk about some causes that lead to white hair at early age and also talk about some of the basic home remedies for the same.

What Causes White Hair at Early Age & Remedies for It?

What Causes White Hair or Premature Gray Hair at Early Age?

  1. Oxidative Stress2

    Sometime human body produces reactive oxygen. The free radicals produce by reactive oxygen are highly reactive molecules act against DNA and lipid as well as protein molecules. Such structural damage causes defective endocrine function and endogenous defensive mechanisms. The reactive molecule of oxygen also causes damage of melanocyte that is attached to hair follicle. Such problem can be corrected antioxidant therapy. White hair at early age or premature graying can be reversed if it is treated during early phase by consuming nutrients that contains high anti-oxidants or anti-oxidants pills.

  2. Hypo-Melanotic Hair 1, 3

    The round bottom of hair is known as hair bulbs. Hair bulb is embedded in to the dermis. The hair bulb contains melanocyte cells. Melanocyte cells produces pigment known as melanoma. Lots of melanoma pigment within hair turns the hair black. Melanoma dysfunction causes lack of production of melanoma pigment or less amount of pigment is produced. Melanoma malfunction is caused by stress, genetic abnormal melanocyte or nutritional deficiency of vitamin or antioxidant.

  3. Genetic Abnormalities 4

    Genetic elements influence the function of exogenous and endogenous cells that includes hormone and endocrine producing cells as well as pigment secreting cells. Genetic abnormalities create abnormal cellular molecular structure. Thus abnormal melanocyte causes abnormal function of melanocyte. Such genetic defects make melanoma unable to secrete pigments that creates the color of hair.

  4. Vitamin Deficiency 5

    Published data suggests white hair at early age or premature gray hair is caused by deficiency of vitamin B12, Vitamin D3 and Calcium. The function of melanocyte depends on supply of these vitamin and mineral. In most cases combination deficiency of all these 3 elements results in premature gray hair.

  5. Autoimmune Disease 6

    Hair color is color coding phenotype that exhibits black, brown, blonde, white and red hair. The published literature has suggested premature graying is associated with a few of the autoimmune disorders.

  6. Chronic Smoking7

    Chronic smoking over 20 cigarettes changes chronological aging. The cellular and molecular chronic hypoxic effect changes the function of melanocyte. The secretion of melanoma is less in individual who are chronic smoker.

  7. Higher Alcohol Consumption8

    White hair at early age or premature graying is frequently observed in individual consuming daily alcohol.

  8. Hypothyroidism 9

    Hypothyroidism is caused by decreased secretion of thyroid hormone. The condition affects function of melanocyte causes premature graying.

How to Prevent White Hair At Early Age or Premature Graying?

  1. Increase Fluid Intake:

    Hair surely needs much fluid for optimal growth. However, what you drink and how much you drink also has its impact on the hair. Taking more of coffee, tea, alcohol etc. can retard hair growth and cause white hair at an early age.

  2. Balanced Diet:

    An unbalanced diet can contribute to the early whitening of hair at times. So, it is essential for every individual to eat a well-balance diet that provides nutrition to the mind and body including skin and hair. Mineral, protein and vitamin should be part of daily diet. Vitamin B 12 and D 3 as well as calcium can be supplemented by pills. Vegetarians should increase cereal in their diet.

  3. Treat Endocrinal Diseases- Individual suffering with hypothyroidism or parathyroid disease should correct hormonal deficiency as soon as symptoms appear, so as to prevent permanent damage of the monocyte.

  4. Quit Smoking- You need to quit smoking to prevent getting white hair at early age.

  5. Quit Drinking Alcohol- You should eliminate alcohol drinking in order to prevent hair turning white at an early age.

  6. Avoid Stress- Stress causes early graying of hair. Stress is diverted or decreased in intensity by participating in daily yoga therapy, exercise and meditation.

  7. Avoid Cosmetic And Hair Products- Cosmetics and hair product contain chemicals that affect endogenous activity of melanocyte. The harmful effect on melanocyte causes decreased secretion of melanoma.

Remedies for White Hair at Early Age!

Remedies for White Hair at Early Age:

Here below we will mention some of the remedies for getting rid of white hair at early age:

  1. Increase Intake of Vitamin B12 to Treat White Hair at Early Age:

    Increasing vitamin B12 intake helps in reinfusion of hair with pigment. Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to a condition that loses your hair pigments and leads to white hair at early age. Taking adequate amount of vitamin B12 can help in reversing the condition. Taking foods rich in Vitamin B12 like milk, cheese and egg is an excellent remedy to get rid of white hair at early age.

  2. Curry Leaves to Treat White Hair at Early Age:

    Traditionally, curry leaves are known to be an excellent remedy to prevent hair whitening at an early age. All you need is one cup of coconut oil and 3 tablespoon of curry leaves. Heat the coconut oil first; and then add the curry leaves to the heated oil. Let the leaves temper for about 10 minutes and then remove from flame and allow cooling before straining and storing. Use this curry leaves oil to massage your hair once or as often as possible in a week. Curry leaves aids in stimulating hair follicles so as to produce melanin and this gives hair its natural color.

  3. Henna to Treat White Hair at Early Age:

    Henna is known to be one of the most effective remedies for hair problems. It is completely natural and help you fight white hair at an early age without causing any harm. Adding coffee to henna powder can help you get brown colored hair. You need to boil the water and add instant coffee to it. Then place henna powder in a bowl and add the coffee to it while stirring continuously so as to avoid lumps. You can apply the paste on your hair and wash your hair with warm water after 3-4 hours.

  4. Anti-Oxidant Diet: Effective Remedy for White Hair

    Adding anti-oxidant rich foods to diet can be an effective remedy to prevent white hair at an early age. Foods like berries, green leafy vegetables, grapes and green tea contains anti-oxidant, which can be helpful in preventing white hair at early age.

  5. Oil of Carrot Seed and Sesame to Treat White Hair:

    Carrot seed oil and sesame oil together can be helpful in treating white hair at early age naturally. You need to mix half teaspoon of carrot seed oil and 4 teaspoon sesame oil together and apply it to the hair roots and leave for 30 minutes. Then wash it with warm water. It works effectively as carrot oil provides nourishment to the hair while sesame oil has anti-aging effects on the hair which prevents it from turning white.

  6. Fenugreek Seeds: Effective Remedy for White Hair:

    Fenugreek seeds are believed to be a powerful remedy for white hair at early age. You can consume fenugreek sprouts regularly or can drink water extracted from soaked fenugreek or also apply its paste on scalp for treating premature or early whitening of hair. Being rich in Vitamin C, iron, lysine and potassium; Fenugreek seeds help in preventing white hair at early stage.

  7. Ridge Gourd Helps Treat White Hair

    One more effective natural remedy for premature whitening of hair is taking ridge gourd. Ridge gourd with coconut oil works as a tonic for the hair health and aids in providing it strength and prevents white hair at an early age. It works as it rejuvenates the hair and helps in restoring natural pigmentation of the hair. You need to soak the ridge gourd in coconut oil for 3-4 days and then boil the mixture till it becomes black in color. This is to be used for massaging your scalp, two times in a week.

  8. Onion Can Help Get Rid of White Hair Problems

    Onion is one effective remedy for hair loss as well as for white hair at an early age. Onion juice is required to be applied or massaged on the scalp so as to get rid of whitening or graying of hair. It can be used every night before bed and kept overnight for best results.

  9. Sage Leaves: Effective Remedy for White Hair

    Sage leaves, being natural hair color preservatives, can be used as a natural dye for getting rid of white hair at an early age. All you need to do is boil few sage leaves in water and let the mixture be cooled so that you can sprinkle it on your hair evenly and leave it for couple of hours and then wash it with a mild shampoo. They work excellently in restoring natural hair color.

  10. Indian Gooseberries or Amla:

    Indian gooseberry or Amla is probably the most effective remedy for treating white hair at early age. All you need is boil few dried gooseberries in a cup of coconut oil and prepare a solution to be massaged on your hair. Gooseberry can also be mixed with lemon and used. It works in repairing damaged hair and also acts as an anti-oxidant and provides anti-aging benefits by revitalizing the lost pigments of hair and treating white hairs effectively.

  11. Black Tea Remedy for White Hair

    Black tea is yet one more effective remedy for white hair. It replenishes the hair with anti-oxidants and helps in turning the hair black and shiny. You need to boil two tablespoons of black tea and apply on the scalp after cooling down.

  12. Castor Oil Remedy for White Hair

    Because of the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties; castor oil aids in curing white hair at early age. You can massage or apply the oil on your scalp for getting the best benefits. Using two times in a week can be effective in getting rid of white hair at early age.


White hair at early age or premature graying is not just a cosmetic or look issue but can be caused by illnesses. Thus, you must consult a dermatologist or endocrinologist to evaluate the cause of the graying at young age. The balanced diet that contains protein, lipid, vitamin, anti-oxidant and minerals are essential to prevent early graying. The treatment of endocrinal disorder can eliminate early gray hair. Premature graying caused by genetic and autoimmune disease is often difficult to treat.


  1. Premature graying of hair.

    Pandhi D1Khanna D., Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2013 Sep-Oct;79(5):641-53.

  2. Oxidative Stress in Ageing of Hair

    Ralph M Trüeb, Int J Trichology. 2009 Jan-Jun; 1(1): 6–14.

  3. Three Streams for the Mechanism of Hair Graying

    Seong Kyeong JoJi Yeon LeeYoung Lee,1 Chang Deok Kim,1 Jeung-Hoon Lee,1 and Young Ho Lee,, Ann Dermatol. 2018 Aug; 30(4): 397–401.

  4. Premature Graying of Hair: Review with Updates

    Anagha Bangalore KumarHuma Shamim,1 and Umashankar Nagaraju2, Int J Trichology. 2018 Sep-Oct; 10(5): 198–203.

  5. Factors Associated with Premature Hair Graying in a Young Indian Population

    Swagata ChakrabartyPrafulla G KrishnappaDinesh G Gowda, and Jyothi Hiremath, Int J Trichology. 2016 Jan-Mar; 8(1): 11–14.

  6. Epidemiological and Investigative Study of Premature Graying of Hair in Higher Secondary and Pre-University School Children

    Ramesh M BhatRashmi SharmaAnita C PintoSukumar Dandekeri, and Jacintha Martis, Int J Trichology. 2013 Jan-Mar; 5(1): 17–21.

  7. Smokers’ hair: Does smoking cause premature hair graying?

    Ayman A. ZayedAwni D. Shahait,1 Musa N. Ayoub,2 and Al-Motassem Yousef3, Indian Dermatol Online J. 2013 Apr-Jun; 4(2): 90–92.

  8. Risk Factors for Premature Hair Graying in Young Turkish Adults.

    Akin Belli A1Etgu F2Ozbas Gok S3Kara B4Dogan G5., , Pediatr Dermatol. 2016 Jul;33(4):438-42. doi: 10.1111/pde.12881. Epub 2016 Jun 13.

  9. Premature hair graying.

    McDonough PH1Schwartz RA., Cutis. 2012 Apr;89(4):161-5.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 11, 2019

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