You must have accepted the fact that the hair on your head will turn gray one day. You are prepared to spot a gray strand on your head and going with the look. But what about one down there? Just like the hair on your head, your pubic hair also turns gray, for the same reasons. However, there is nothing to worry and certainly no need to dye them or pluck them out! But if you find graying pubic hair in your 20s or 30s, you may want to look into your lifestyle and diet and make amends.
Here are 5 reasons why your pubic hair may be turning gray.
The genetic factor is the most common cause of premature graying of hair, be it the ones on your head or pubic hair. If your mother or father developed gray hair at an early age, there are chances that you will too.1 Genetics is known to be the primary cause of premature hair graying, which cannot be reversed.
Each hair follicle contains a chemical called melanin that gives hair its color. These pigment cells gradually die with age or due to your genes, reducing the amount of melanin in the hair and making it look gray. Pollution and chemicals can also affect the production of melanin, resulting in gray pubic hair.
2. Health Problems
Medical conditions such as vitiligo, vitamin B12 deficiency, anemia, and thyroid disorders have been linked to premature hair graying. Vitiligo is a condition in which the melanocytes that make melanin are destroyed. This can make your pubic hair white, in addition to your skin and hair.
Not getting enough vitamin B12 from your diet can lead to a melanin deficiency. Although graying hair is not a primary symptom of this deficiency, one may experience it.2 Have more of milk and dairy products, cheese, eggs, fish, and poultry for vitamin B12.3 However, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, taking supplements could be a good way to prevent vitamin B12.
Insufficient or excess thyroid hormone may affect directly affect hair follicles and, in turn, the hair color. Further evidence is required to prove the mechanism behind this.4
With work pressure and responsibilities, stress is inevitable. This stress is not just the source of your health issues but also graying pubic hair, even if you are young. While there’s no direct link between the two, a possible reason could be the increase in cortisol levels due to stress, which increases free oxygen radicals in the body. These free radicals can damage hair follicles and the pigment cells (melanocytes), resulting in graying.
Yoga and meditation can help you reduce stress while improving your health at the same time. Exercise is also known to reduce stress as it promotes the release of endorphins or the “feel good” hormones.5
There is not one good reason for you to smoke. If you need more reasons to quit, know that cigarette smoking is also associated with premature graying of hair. According to a study, there’s a significant connection between graying of hair before the age of 30 and smoking.6 Although the mechanism behind this remains unclear, it may be due to the development of free radicals in the body, which cause oxidative stress and thereby cause gray hair.
Vitamins and minerals are important for the normal functioning of your body. They also play a major role in the nourishment of your hair and its color, especially vitamin B12, copper, and zinc.
A 2016 study found that, in addition to vitamin B12, a deficiency in vitamin D3 and calcium may also be associated with the hair turning gray at an early age.7 Eating foods like broccoli, cranberry, blueberry, and strawberry, which are rich in antioxidants, helps you prevent early graying of hair.
Diet does not necessarily mean veggies and fruits. Prevent graying hair with a little bit of dark chocolate as it contains copper that promotes melanin production. Unless genetic factors are the root cause, following a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle will prevent graying pubic hair.
|↑1||Bhat, Ramesh M., Rashmi Sharma, Anita C. Pinto, Sukumar Dandekeri, and Jacintha Martis. “Epidemiological and investigative study of premature graying of hair in higher secondary and pre-university school children.” International journal of trichology 5, no. 1 (2013): 17.|
|↑2||Noppakun, Nopadon, and Daratana Swasdikul. “Reversible hyperpigmentation of skin and nails with white hair due to vitamin B12 deficiency.” Archives of dermatology 122, no. 8 (1986): 896-899.|
|↑3||Food Sources of Vitamin B12. Dietitians of Canada.|
|↑4||van Beek, Nina, Eniko Bodo, Arno Kromminga, Erzsébet Gáspár, Katja Meyer, Michal A. Zmijewski, Andrzej Slominski, Bjorn E. Wenzel, and Ralf Paus. “Thyroid hormones directly alter human hair follicle functions: anagen prolongation and stimulation of both hair matrix keratinocyte proliferation and hair pigmentation.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 93, no. 11 (2008): 4381-4388.|
|↑5||Harber, Victoria J., and John R. Sutton. “Endorphins and exercise.” Sports Medicine 1, no. 2 (1984): 154-171.|
|↑6||Zayed, Ayman A., Awni D. Shahait, Musa N. Ayoub, and Al-Motassem Yousef. “Smokers’ hair: Does smoking cause premature hair graying?.” Indian dermatology online journal 4, no. 2 (2013): 90.|
|↑7||Chakrabarty, Swagata, Prafulla G. Krishnappa, Dinesh G. Gowda, and Jyothi Hiremath. “Factors associated with premature hair graying in a young Indian population.” International journal of trichology 8, no. 1 (2016): 11.|