logo for Health Supplements Nutritional Guide what causes grey hair page
LEFT for Nutritional Supplements Health what causes grey hair page
premature grey hair

What Causes Grey Hair

Home » Health Conditions » What Causes Grey Hair

Symptom :

premature grey hair

Other Terms :

Nutrition-related Causes of Grey Hair

Hair colour or pigment, called melanin, is produced by pigment cells within hair follicles called melanocytes.  When melanin production is reduced or stops, the hair becomes colorless or white, which, mixed with surrounding darker hair, results in a 'grey hair' effect.

So a drop in melanin production is what causes grey hair.  Causes of melanin reduction include aging.  As we age, melanocytes become less active, so less pigment is produced.  Graying is generally a part of aging.

However, when more than half our hair is white by the age of 40, we are considered to have premature grey hair.  Premature grey hair can be due to genetics, which causes some people to grey earlier than others.

What causes grey hair can also be factors such as stress and smoking. In addition while there is no scientific evidence that any herb, supplement or product can reverse grey hair or stop grey hair forming, some nutritional deficiencies can cause conditions that result in premature gray hair.

Scientists have found that grey hair follicles have far fewer hair-repair enzymes, which in turn drives down production of melanin, and is what causes grey hair.  Addressing these underlying conditions may help stop grey hair or reverse grey hair formation.

What nutrient deficiencies can lead to premature grey hair :
Folic Acid   |   More on Folic Acid
Deficiency of folic acid is what causes grey hair in some instances. Folic acid promotes healthy hair, skin and nails due to its role in synthesis of protein and cell growth, and lack of folic acid can lead to premature grey hair.

Other symptoms that may indicate deficiency of Folic Acid :
FA.01 Deficiency symptoms for Folic-Acid-hair-color-loss megaloblastic macrocytic anemia characterized by breathlessness, heart palpitation, insomnia, irritability, forgetfulness, lethargy, stomach disorders, pallor and sensitivity to cold
FA.02 Deficiency symptoms for Folic-Acid-hair-color-loss chronic muscular fatigue or general weakness
FA.03 Deficiency symptoms for Folic-Acid-hair-color-loss affects production of neurotransmitters, leading to symptoms of irritability, hostility, non-senile dementia, confusion, insomnia, mental fatigue, depression, and restless leg syndrome
FA.04 Deficiency symptoms for Folic-Acid-hair-color-loss skin disorders like seborrheic dermatitis and vitiligo (loss of pigment leading to white patches on the skin)
FA.05 Deficiency symptoms for Folic-Acid-hair-color-loss gastrointestinal tract problems like periodontal disease, gingivitis, mouth and peptic ulcers, and digestive upsets
FA.06 Deficiency symptoms for Folic-Acid-hair-color-loss swollen or sore or smooth red tongue (glossitis)
FA.07 Deficiency symptoms for Folic-Acid-hair-color-loss cervical dysplasia, leading to greater risk of cervical cancer from factors such as smoking and HPV infection
FA.09 Deficiency symptoms for Folic-Acid-hair-color-loss higher blood levels of homocysteine and risk of heart disease
FA.10 Deficiency symptoms for Folic-Acid-hair-color-loss deficiency can slow overall growth rate of infants and children
FA.11 Deficiency symptoms for Folic-Acid-hair-color-loss low birth weight or premature infants, and neural tube defects resulting in severe brain or neurological damage of the fetus

High folic acid foods that may help in preventing grey hair or reverse grey hair causes include · organ meat like animal liver or kidney · legumes (peas and dried beans such as adzuki beans, black beans, cranberry beans, chickpeas or garbanzo beans, dal, kidney beans, lentils, mung beans, navy beans, pinto beans) · dark-green leafy vegetables including asparagus, beets, broccoli, collard greens, cauliflower, mustard greens, parsley, romaine lettuce, spinach, turnip greens.

PABA   |   More on PABA
Deficiency of PABA may be what causes grey hair in certain cases. PABA helps in the utilization of pantothenic acid and is important for healthy hair pigment. A lack of PABA is one of the possible causes of grey hair.

Other symptoms that may indicate deficiency of PABA :
PB.01 Deficiency symptoms for PABA-hair-color-loss constipation and other chronic gastro-intestinal disorders
PB.02 Deficiency symptoms for PABA-hair-color-loss nervousness
PB.03 Deficiency symptoms for PABA-hair-color-loss frequent headaches
PB.04 Deficiency symptoms for PABA-hair-color-loss general fatigue
PB.05 Deficiency symptoms for PABA-hair-color-loss depression
PB.06 Deficiency symptoms for PABA-hair-color-loss irritability
PB.07 Deficiency symptoms for PABA-hair-color-loss moist or weeping eczema (a form of dermatitis or skin inflammation)
PB.08 Deficiency symptoms for PABA-hair-color-loss premature wrinkling of skin

PABA-rich foods that may help reverse grey hair or stop grey hair causes include · brewer's yeast · molasses · organ meats like animal liver and kidney · wheat germ.

Copper   |   More on Copper
Copper deficiency may possibly be what causes grey hair in some cases. Copper is needed for production of melanin, the pigment that gives skin and hair its color. A lack of copper can result in loss of skin or hair color, leading to premature grey hair.

Other symptoms that may indicate deficiency of Copper :
Cu.01 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-hair-color-loss early symptoms are osteoporosis, osteopenia (lower bone mineral density than normal, but not as low as for osteoporosis) and joint problems
Cu.02 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-hair-color-loss retarded growth or abnormalities in bone development in infants and young children
Cu.03 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-hair-color-loss anemia that is characterized by lack of improvement with iron therapy alone
Cu.05 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-hair-color-loss impaired immune function that may lead to frequent infections
Cu.06 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-hair-color-loss impaired nerve function that may lead to taste insensitivity and lack of physical coordination
Cu.07 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-hair-color-loss inelastic blood vessels that rupture easily
Cu.08 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-hair-color-loss elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol levels
Cu.09 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-hair-color-loss irregular heart beat
Cu.10 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-hair-color-loss breathing difficulties
Cu.11 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-hair-color-loss skin sores
Cu.12 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-hair-color-loss hypothyroidism
Cu.13 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-hair-color-loss Menkes disease that occurs mostly in male infants, characterized by sparse greyish or colorless twisted hair, and floppy muscle tone

Copper-rich foods that may help in preventing grey hair, and reverse grey hair causes include · cashew nuts · dried beans like soybeans, adzuki beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), lentils, lima, navy beans · dried spirulina · crimini mushrooms · shiitake mushrooms · sesame seeds.

Manganese   |   More on Manganese
Manganese deficiency may also be one of the causes of grey hair, due to its importance in enzyme activation. Lack of manganese can adversely affect many bio-chemical processes in the body and lead to loss of hair colour and premature gray hair.

Other symptoms that may indicate deficiency of Manganese :
Mn.01 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-hair-color-loss nausea or dizziness
Mn.02 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-hair-color-loss vomiting
Mn.03 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-hair-color-loss skin rash
Mn.04 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-hair-color-loss hearing loss
Mn.05 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-hair-color-loss iron-deficiency anemia, due to manganese's role in iron utilization
Mn.06 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-hair-color-loss high blood sugar levels (impaired glucose tolerance)
Mn.07 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-hair-color-loss blood cholesterol levels that are too low
Mn.08 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-hair-color-loss impaired bone growth or skeletal abnormalities, especially in children
Mn.09 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-hair-color-loss excessive bone loss and weak hair and nails
Mn.11 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-hair-color-loss defective functioning of the reproductive system
Mn.12 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-hair-color-loss severe deficiency in infants can cause convulsions, and even paralysis, blindness and deafness

Foods rich in manganese that may help in preventing grey hair or to stop grey hair formation include · dark green leafy vegetables (broccoli, chard, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, spinach) · avocados · pineapple · raspberries · nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts).

Go to top of this page :: What Causes Grey Hair

« Back to Health Supplements Nutritional Guide Home page

footer for what causes grey hair