Which hormone deficiency causes hair to turn white at an early age? It’s not uncommon for your hair to change as you get older. As a younger person, maybe you had a full head of brown, black, red, or blonde hair. Now that you’re older, you may notice thinning in certain areas of your head, or your hair may change from its original color to gray or white. Here are common causes of premature white hair.
The biggest factor regarding premature whitening of hair is due to genetics. There are families where all the members’ hair turns white/grey early.
If you notice white hair at an early age, it’s likely that your parents or grandparents also had graying or white hair at an early age.
You can’t change genetics. But if you don’t like the way your gray/white hair looks, you can always color your hair.
Vitamin B12 deficiency, hypo-, and hyperthyroidism can play a role.
White hair at an early age can also indicate a vitamin B-12 deficiency. This vitamin plays an important role in your body. It gives you energy, plus it contributes to healthy hair growth and hair color.
A vitamin B-12 deficiency is associated with a condition called pernicious anemia, which is when your body can’t absorb enough of this vitamin. Your body needs vitamin B-12 for healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen to cells in your body, including hair cells. A deficiency can weaken hair cells and affect melanin production.
Stress and autoimmune diseases like alopecia and vitiligo can also be an underlying cause. Vitiligo – Symptoms and causes
Stress can also affect your hair. A study In 2013 found a connection between stress and depletion of stem cells in the hair follicles of mice. So if you’ve noticed a rise in your number of white strands, stress might be the culprit. This theory might also explain why some world leaders appear to age or gray faster while in office.
Smoking can cause premature whitening of one’s hair before the age of 30. Smokers’ hair: Does smoking cause premature hair graying?
It’s well-known that smoking cigarettes increase the risk for lung cancer and heart disease. The long-term effects, however, can go beyond the heart and lungs and affect hair. Smoking constricts blood vessels, which can reduce blood flow to hair follicles and cause hair loss. Additionally, toxins in cigarettes can damage parts of your body including your hair follicles, causing early white hair.