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Here are some reasons why your hair could be aging prematurely

From stress and pollution, to hormones and genes; know what could be at play.

grey hair, premature greying, indian express, indian express news There could be many reasons for the noticeable changes in your hair texture, colour, volume, etc. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

Have you been spotting one too many silvery hair strands lately? Chances are it’s got nothing to do with your age, but external factors like stress and pollution are at play; along with some sneaky genes. Here are some of the reasons why your hair could be greying before time.

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It’s the genes

You can blame your mom and/or your dad for this. Your genes are partly responsible for the greying of hair, just like how they are for premature balding. According to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, one isolated gene variant is linked to greying. Researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing hair features of 6,000 Latin Americans.

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An autoimmune condition

Your doctor will be able to tell you if all the greying is a result of an autoimmune condition called alopecia areata wherein small, round, smooth patches develop on the scalp, as a result of hair loss. When the hair does grow back, it grows back white.


If you are super stressed about something, it could show in your tresses. And if you are genetically susceptible to premature greying, the process is likely to be faster, unless you make an effort to fight the stress.

air pollution, hair loss, greying of hair, Indian Express news The chemicals in the air damage the melanin production, studies say. (Express Archive)


If you are exposed to pollutants and toxins, you could grey faster. The chemicals in the air damage the melanin production, studies say. They generate free radicals, or oxidative stress, that speed the process of hair aging.

Smoking habits


Whether you are an active smoker or a passive, the cigarette smoke can affect the hair colour. According to a research published in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal, smokers have 2.5 times greater odds of early greying, mainly because of the free radicals generated by lighting up.

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If there’s one thing you can be sure of, it is that hormones can be temperamental and any kind of change could have an effect on your body. Over time, your hair can change its density, volume, texture and colour, courtesy of the hormones. It is always advisable to get it it checked with a doctor when you begin to notice visible changes.

First published on: 22-10-2019 at 12:40 IST
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