Greying of hair is a natural age-related process, in which the hair follicles age and hair production reduces. However, the process differs with race and ethnicity. The phenomenon is termed as Premature Hair Greying (PHG) when it occurs before the age of 20 years in whites, 25 years in Asians, and 30 years in Africans.
The genetic factors are the primary cause of PHG. Additionally, other causative factors include hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and trace element deficiency like Vitamin B12, iron, Vitamin D3. These factors are especially crucial with respect to India, where PHG is prominent among the young population. Apart from that, young people have become prone to mental stress which leads to extraordinary tension in the scalp skin. This interferes with the nutrition supply essential for good hair health. Presently moderate PHG patterns prevail, which can rise to severe levels. The careless attitude of young people often results in poor scalp conditioning. Further, the abuse of hair by electric dryers and concentrated hair dyes also leads to PHG. The habit of smoking, besides increasing sedentary lifestyle, continues to be a prevalent cause of PHG.
Therefore, a balanced healthy diet, appropriate hair and scalp hygiene and de-stressing activities are essential to prevent PHG among Indian youth.