4 Solutions To Delay Premature Graying Of Your Hair

While most of us start to experience noticeable graying as they near middle age, some people are panic-stricken as they start seeing more white strands in the mirror as early as their 20s.

But this supposedly "dreaded" sign of aging has evolved and rebranded itself, turning into a widespread trend in recent years. Younger people, including celebrities, are opting for faux gray hair while those who experience natural graying are complimented and referred to as "silver foxes." 

It is understandable if some people still prefer their natural hair color. Largely decided by your genes and factors such as race and gender, graying is not something that can be avoided. But for the ones who are keen, here are a few steps that could delay the process. 

1. Make sure you're getting enough nutrients

Certain nutritional deficiencies have been associated with speeding up the process of hair graying. Experts often note low levels of vitamin B12, copper, and zinc as possible causes.

“I normally recommend Vitamin B complex as a supplement to my clients, particularly with higher amounts of vitamin B12 as a lack of this vitamin has been associated with premature graying,” explained Edward James, a celebrity hairstylist and founder of Edward James Salons and Spas.

2. Try not to stress out

If you spend a lot of time and energy worrying, you are likely to lose hair. But are you also likely to develop early grays? Scientific research has not yet found a direct link but many experts do suspect that stress plays a role. 

"We've seen that people who are stressed [for] two to three years report that they turn gray sooner," said Dr. Tyler Cymet, head of family medicine at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. While graying is "genetically outlined" for the most, Dr. Cymet suggests that stress and lifestyle can provide "a variation of plus or minus five to 10 years."

3. Quit or reduce smoking

Smoking has been known to accelerate aging in various parts of the body, and this includes your hair. Research has linked a long history of smoking with the loss of hair pigmentation. A study from 2013 found an association between the onset of gray hair before the age of 30 and cigarette smoking. Here are some of the best, research-backed ways to overcome a smoking addiction or dependence.

4. Get your thyroid tested

An untreated dysfunction of your thyroid gland may lead to an acceleration in graying as well as weakening the hair. According to a study, this is because thyroid hormones directly alter human hair follicle functions. Patients who suffer from hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) have hair shafts that "show substantially reduced tensile strength" while patients of hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) may experience "dry, brittle, and dull hair shafts."

Those who suspect that they may be experiencing premature graying should get tested and receive treatment if needed. Administration of thyroid hormone (TH) is said to help for some patients.