Premature Graying of Hair: Stop Your Black Hair Turn White


It’s quite normal for your black hair to turn white as you get older. You may have had a full head of black/brown hair, but you may notice your hair changing its appearance from black to gray or white with age. However, hair changing its colour and turning white can happen at any stage of your life. Even a teenager or someone in their 20s can have white hair. It is known as premature graying of hair. Let’s discuss it in detail. 

What is Premature Graying of Hair?

As the name suggests, it’s graying of hair before the usual time or too early. Typically, Asians start noticing white hair in their late thirties (1). Though, that’s not the case always as some people notice white hair way earlier than that. 

What Causes Premature Graying?

Sometimes, it’s not just your age that turns your black hair into white; there can be various reasons causing it.

Vitamin Deficiency

When your body lacks vitamin B-6, B-12, biotin, vitamin D, or vitamin E, your hair starts turning white much sooner. Apart from this, even nutritional deficiencies affect pigmentation.


If your parents had it, you’re likely to get it too because of your genes. Those of you who notice white hair at a young age, probably your parents or grandparents, also had graying or white hair at an early age. You can’t change genetics. Luckily, you can always colour your hair!


Stress leads your stem cells in the hair follicles to get depleted, resulting in hair loss and premature graying. Since the research studies share conflicting opinions, it would be hard to claim anything. However, there are chances that it could play a role in the premature graying of your hair. 

Medical Conditions

Research shows a connection between hair abnormalities and medical conditions. For instance, those with autoimmune diseases could be at higher risk of facing early graying of hair. It’s also pretty common to have white hair in alopecia areata (3), which is a skin condition that leads to hair loss on the scalp, face and different parts of the body. 

Thyroid Disorder

Thyroid problem causes hormonal changes such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism which may cause premature graying. As it controls the metabolism, it influences the colour of your hair too.

An overactive or underactive thyroid can cause your body to produce less melanin that aids in giving pigment to your hair. A 2008 research also showcases a connection between thyroid dysfunction and hair issues (2). 


smoking can cause premature graying of hair

The long-term effects of smoking go beyond the heart and lungs and even affect your hair. It constricts blood vessels, reducing blood flow to hair follicles, causing hair loss. Additionally, toxins in cigarettes damage your hair follicles, causing early white hair.

Hair Dyes

There are plenty of hair dyes available in the market; many of these contribute to premature graying and may cause allergic and adverse reactions.

How to Prevent Black Hair from Turning White?

To prevent it, you need to identify the cause! Sadly, if the cause of your white hair is genetics, there isn’t much you can do about it. It’s always better to consult a doctor to see if an underlying health condition is responsible for white hair. If you treat the underlying health problem, pigmentation may return.

Some Common Ways to Prevent Premature Graying of Hair

Eat More Antioxidants

Your diet plays an integral part in preventing white hairs. A diet rich in antioxidants can help reduce graying of hair. You can include fresh fruits and vegetables, green tea, olive oil and fish in your diet. 

Intake Enough Vitamins

Consume food items that consist of vitamins you’re deficient at. You can also include vitamin supplements but only after consulting with your doctor.  

Quit Smoking

As mentioned above, smoking can affect your hair as well as overall health. Hence, try to give up this habit to keep your hair colour intact and stay healthy. 

Natural Remedies for Premature Graying of Hair

Curry leaves

The medicinal use of curry leaves goes back centuries. It is known to help slow down premature graying and make your hair turn black again. You can combine it with hair oil or create a hair mask using the leaves and apply it to your scalp.

Indian gooseberry or Amla

It is rich in antioxidants and possesses anti-ageing properties. You can mix amla powder with coconut oil and apply it directly to your scalp.

Ridge Gourd

It restores hair pigment and stimulates the roots of the hair. You can add the dried ridge gourd powder into oil and massage it regularly to prevent black hair from turning white. 

Black or Gray Hair – Don’t Bother if People Stare

We understand it may not be as simple as writing a heading. However, premature graying can occur due to several reasons that are beyond your control. Hence, avoid focusing on hurtful comments or people constantly staring at your hair. Instead, speak to a dermatologist who can analyse and get to the root cause. There is a possibility that you can retain your black hair colour. 


The natural remedies mentioned in the blog are the widely popular ones. It is in no way a substitute for medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Avoid using these if you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies. 

Before trying any natural remedy, always test a small quantity on your skin to check for any adverse reactions or allergy to any particular ingredient. In case of emergency or any reaction, immediately connect with a doctor who can offer the right treatment.


1. What is the best treatment for premature graying of hair?

The best treatment would depend on what’s causing it in the first place. After that, your doctor may suggest what could work in your favour. 

2. What to eat to prevent premature graying?

Your diet should have antioxidant and vitamin-rich food items. In simple terms, consume a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables available around you. 

3. Does coconut oil prevent gray hair?

Oiling your hair is considered to make your hair healthy and moisturised. However, there’s no evidence to prove that coconut oil can prevent gray hair. 

Worried about premature graying of hair?
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Picture of Dr Jisha Gomez

Dr Jisha Gomez

She is a highly skilled dermatology physician with strong expertise in improving skin & hair health through the development of corrective treatment combinations. She completed her Post-graduate Diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff, UK & Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine (FAM) from the Institute of Laser and Aesthetic Medicine, Delhi with over 5+ years experience treating skin patients. She has worked in Government hospitals in Trivandrum and Bangalore. She is actively involved in creating awareness for healthy skin, breaking the social stigma based on skin colour & stopping steroid abuse in our country.