Why Do We Get Premature Grey Hair?


Is that small grey hair bothering you? Then, check out below all that you need to know about premature grey hair, including its causes, prevention, reversion and natural remedies.

premature grey hair


In this article:

What is Considered Premature Grey Hair?
Causes of White Hair
Prevention of Premature Grey Hair
Reversion of Premature Grey Hair
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A Guide for Premature Grey Hair

What is Considered Premature Grey Hair?

When the melanocytes (colour-producing cells) stop producing melanin pigment that gives the hair its colour, the black hair turns grey. If it happens at a premature age, it’s considered premature greying of hair (“premature canities”).


Premature grey hair occurs in Asians before 25 years, in Whites before 20 years, and in Africans before 30 years.

Causes of White Hair

Wondering what causes grey hair? Then, check out below the causes of premature grey hair.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Natural production of excess hydrogen peroxide by hair cells may bleach your hair and turn it grey.


Genetics is the main scientific cause of premature grey hair. You’ll inherit it from your parents if they did from theirs.


Lack of Vitamin B12

Hair cells require Vitamin B12 to continue producing melanin. Its deficiency or absence causes earlier and faster greying.


Insufficient Nutrition

A diet lacking in minerals and vitamins (especially Vitamin B) can cause premature greying of hair.

Certain Health Problems

Research also associates premature greying of hair with anaemia and thyroid disorders.


Premature greying in smokers is four times that of non-smokers. So, quit smoking.


Extreme stress causes hair-fall. The new hair is usually not as dark as before and it ultimately turns grey. Hence, stress is a contributing factor to premature greying.

Prevention of Premature Grey Hair

Eat Healthy Foods

Have plenty of proteins since the protein, Keratin is an essential component of hair and nails. Have spinach and dairy products like milk, butter, cheese, etc. or low-fat ice-cream or protein supplements.


Check Your Thyroid Levels

Since thyroid malfunctions can cause premature greying, check your thyroid levels.

Avoid Smoking

Carcinogens (cancer-causing elements) in cigarettes adversely affect hair follicles. So, stop smoking.

Reduce Stress

Manage your stress by relaxing or taking short vacations as stress makes raises your susceptibility to premature greying.

Oil Your Hair

Dehydration and dryness of hair often cause greying due to moisture loss. So, oil your hair regularly.

Avoid Perfumed Hair Oils

The perfumes in such hair oils may contain powerful chemicals. Go for natural oils to prevent greying.

Ditch Harsh Shampoos

Use mild shampoos or organic shampoos. The chemicals in harsh shampoos and conditioners damage hair cells, impairing hair pigmentation.


Reversion of Premature Grey Hair


Research says that less catalase production mainly causes greying. This enzyme also turns the naturally produced hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen. Try supplements that restore the catalase or consume more manganese, zinc, copper and selenium which produce more catalase.


Can premature grey hair be reversed naturally? Yes. Supplementing with the enzymes lipase, amylase and protease, and the antioxidant resveratrol may help.

Topical Solution

Some scientists from Germany and the Netherlands are trying to produce a topical solution (not yet available in the market) to reverse hair bleaching. It contains a sunlight-activated compound which deals with the modified pseudocatalase to stop greying.


Amla is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C which conditions your hair, removes the free radicals causing greying and strengthens hair follicles. So, it’s a natural hair dye.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains caprylic acids which are mini antioxidants and strong disinfectants that enter into your hair shafts. This can help reverse greying hair. Massaging the hair and scalp with coconut oil is highly effective.


Natural Remedies for Premature Grey Hair

Worried about how to fix premature grey hair? Check out these natural remedies.

Coconut Oil and Curry Leaves

Curry leaves, rich in vitamin B and Beta-Keratin, and coconut oil, a natural conditioner, can stop further greying.

  • Boil some curry leaves in coconut oil (1 cup) till darkened and cool.
  • Massage your scalp regularly with it.

Amla and Methi Seeds

Amla, rich in Vitamin C, and highly nutritious methi (fenugreek) seeds can together fight premature greying.

  • Boil 6-7 pieces of amla in oil (3 tbsps).
  • Add fenugreek powder (1 tbsp).
  • After cooling, apply on your scalp at night.
  • Wash off with a mild shampoo next morning.

Henna and Coffee

Henna, a colourant and natural conditioner, mixed with coffee, makes a brilliant hair-pack.

  • Boil coffee powder (1 tbsp) and cool.
  • Prepare its paste with henna powder.
  • Leave covered for some hours.
  • Mix in oil (1 tbsp).
  • Apply generously on your hair.
  • After one hour, wash off.

Ribbed Gourd and Oil

Ribbed gourd has enzymes that restore melanin in hair roots.

  • Cut the gourd into small pieces to dry them
  • Soak them for 3-4 days in olive oil.
  • Boil till dark black.
  • Massage the scalp with it twice a week.

Lemon Juice and Almond Oil

Lemon juice improves hair growth. Almond oil, rich in Vitamin E, prevents premature greying.

  • Mix lemon juice and almond oil in 3:2.
  • Massage on your hair and scalp.
  • After 30 minutes, wash off.

Onion and Lemon Juice

Onion increases catalase and, with lemon juice, darkens your hair.

  • Mix onion juice (2-3 tsps) and lemon juice (1 tsp).
  • Massage it on your scalp.
  • Let it rest for 30 minutes before washing off with a mild shampoo.

Black Tea Rinse

Black tea has caffeine, rich in anti-oxidants to benefit your hair.

  • Boil black tea (2 tbsps) and salt (1 tsp) in water (1 cup) and cool.
  • Apply liberally on washed hair.
  • Let it dry and wash off.
  • Repeat regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Greying of Hair Reversible?

Experts deny that greying is absolutely reversible. But some effective remedies can check exponential greying.

Can Grey Hair Turn Black?

Certain supplements and advanced dermatological treatments can somewhat turn grey hair black. But, it won’t look as naturally dark as before.


Is Premature Grey Hair Hereditary?

Experts strongly associate premature greying with genetics. However, heredity isn’t the only factor.


Greying is unavoidable but you can address the causes of premature grey hair with the above preventive measures and remedies. But remember, don’t let a puny grey hair affect your confidence.

Reference Links

Why Hair Turns Gray