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Premature graying of hair: Management and Prevention

This article explains various measures like using hair colors, shampoos, as well as conditioners which are rich in moisture, light texture cream to manage premature gray hair. Preventive measures described help to delay the onset of graying.


Graying that takes place at an advanced age is not premature graying. This is because it is very natural for melanin-producing cells known as melanocytes to undergo damage at an advanced age and thus graying that takes place at that age is considered to be very normal. It is an eventual process and the reality is that it cannot be reversed. However, if graying takes place early in life then it is considered to be graying prematurely. It exerts a powerful impact on confidence and appearance of an individual. It influences individual's self-esteem. Society very easily associates graying with aging and thus those who are suffering from it may find it difficult to get accepted in society.

Seek medical help

If an individual is pretty sure that premature graying is not due to hereditary factor then he needs to see a doctor to rule out any underlying disease present. There may be the presence of any medical condition or else it may be due to wrong lifestyle choices that an individual has made. To treat premature graying of hair, both topical and oral administering drugs are available. Topical ones include photo protectors and oral drugs used are I-cystine, I-methionine etc. Oxidative therapy is becoming popular now a day. Hydrogen peroxide baths used for a long-term restore the original color i.e., the shade of hair may move from gray or white towards its original color.

Manage premature graying with hair colors

Temporary hair colors can be used to cover the gray hair and give them different natural shades. Semi-permanent or demi-permanent colors last for a few weeks and are recommended if graying has just started and most hairs are in their natural shades. If almost 50% of hair has turned gray then permanent color can be used. If there is a need to blend the gray hair strands with rest of the hair then highlights can be done. Do not use chemical dyes which contain ammonia. Instead try to cover grays and whites with natural dyes and henna is the best natural dye one can use. Some individuals want to color their hair but do not want to dye. They can use certain products which are available in the market in the form of spray on hairbrush hair makeup. These kinds of products are not permanent and get rinsed after wash. For concealing gray or white hair, dyeing might not be the best option for men as they have short hair and roots become very visible in their case. Using the product, again and again, may cause adverse effects on the hair health. It is good if they use highlights or dyes which are light in color for concealing gray hair.

Care for gray hair

Gray hair is more coarse and dry in texture. Hair becomes more brittle when it goes through graying process. This is all because melanin carries moisture and thus is responsible to lock in that moisture content in hair. As melanin pigment decreases or gets exhausted, hair becomes drier and coarser. To help gray hair to absorb some moisture and look hydrated, use those shampoos and conditioners which are moisture rich. Daily washing of hair should be avoided. It is better not to blow dry them as well as not use all those electric hair stylist equipment on gray or white hair. A light texture cream can, however, be used for styling purposes.

Embrace the gray color

It is just a myth that gray or white hair makes an individual look old. Premature graying of hair is no way related to the aging of the body. An individual is going to remain as fit and as active as he was before going gray. If he accepts gray as another color choice then it will not bother him anymore. There are so many celebrities who have gone gray and still look stunning. It's all about confidence with which they carry it. Men can carry salt and pepper look in a very charming manner. Women can do the same but somehow they have been brainwashed that gray makes them look unattractive and less beautiful. Gray look is something they don't even want to dream of and they tend to worry a lot when it comes to aging. Either one can opt for home remedies and other methods which help gray to turn back into original shades or else they can embrace it as it is not at all unattractive or undesirable. Beauty is not at all dependent on the color of hair. No matter what color one embraces, the real beauty lies in the ability to enjoy every moment of life with grace.

Preventive measures for premature graying of hair

  • Reduce stress
    Stress may not directly influence graying of hair, but too much of stress can definitely affect overall health which may be damaging to hair health. Try to get rid of stress and tension and practice yoga, breathing exercises and meditation or simply go for a vacation.

  • Eat protein
    It is very important to eat a healthy diet which can fulfill all the requirements of our body on a daily basis. Make sure to incorporate lots of protein as our hair is made up of this nutrient. Try including lots of milk and dairy products, spinach, protein supplements etc. in a diet plan.

  • Increase vitamins and minerals intake
    Vitamins like A and B 12 and minerals like copper and zinc are essential to avoid damages caused to hair follicles and keep hair healthy. Deficient intake of these vitamins and minerals will catalyze graying of hair. Increase their intake either through diet or through supplements. Include fish, meat, nuts, raisins, legumes etc in the diet plan.

  • Quit smoking and substance abuse
    Smoking cigarettes are very injurious to health and as it contains carcinogens, it not only affects health but also causes damage to hair follicles. The more damage is caused, more chances of graying of hair increases. Same goes for any other substance abuse.

  • Make sure to include iodine
    Iodine is essential in the body as it has a great impact on the efficient working of the thyroid gland which again has a direct effect on graying. Make sure to fulfill daily iodine requirements of the body to prevent premature graying of hair. Iodine requirements can be fulfilled mainly by eating iodine-rich salt and iodine is also found in bananas, fish, and carrots.

  • Monitor thyroid levels
    Regularly get thyroid levels checked. This is because either under or overactive thyroid can result in premature graying of hair and thus early diagnosis can help us prevent it.

  • Carefully choose shampoos
    Shampoos and other hair care products which we choose should not contain very harsh chemicals. They can damage hair follicles and also cause damage to melanocytes. Thus, we need to choose the ones which are mild in nature or still better if we go for organic ones. Harsh ones are also responsible to cause hair fall and more the hair fall, more damage is caused to hair follicles. More damage to hair follicles mean chances of premature graying of hair increases.

  • Condition hair
    Conditioning hair does not only mean that we need to start using conditioners available in the market. Using conditioners after the shampoo is also a great way to condition hair but there are many other products which also serve the same purpose. Oil hair regularly as dry and dehydrated hair can accelerate graying. Using oil makes sure that moisture reaches the scalp. Do not use perfumed oils as they carry lots of harsh chemicals in them. Use only natural oils for hair. Henna, curd and many such home remedies can also be used for the same purpose. Visiting hair spas for reversing the damage is also good for hair health.

  • Adequate sunlight exposure
    Do not remain for long hours in sunlight as ultraviolet rays can cause the damage to hair follicles and at the same time do not avoid going out in the sunlight as our body as well as hair follicles need sufficient amount of vitamin D to keep working in an efficient manner.


Gray hair can either be embraced gracefully without associating it with aging process or else can be colored and styled if concealing is all what an individual desire for. Make sure to use ammonia free products to conceal them. There are many temporary as well as permanent hair products available in the market. Hair sprays are also available which get washed off after rinsing hair. Gray hair requires extra attention and extra care. Use moisture rich shampoos and conditioners for gray and white hair and avoid using of hair styling equipment. Preventive measures adopted will help an individual to delay premature graying of hair irrespective of whether it runs in family or not. Eat right and stay away from all sorts of substance abuse and smoking. Taking care of hair in the best possible manner is the key to prevent or delay premature graying of hair. Learn the Reasons for premature graying of hair and Home remedies to reverse it.

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