What Gray Hair Says About Your Health

Premature graying of hair can indicate some health issues)

Unsightly strands of gray hair on your head are always unwelcome. They often indicate that you are getting older. But, what if they arrive prematurely in your 20s or early 30s? Premature graying of hair indicates more than just your biological age. You may be suffering from certain health issues, but you may not be aware of them. In certain instances, your body may try to warn you of these issues in the form of gray hair. One or two strands here and there may not be a cause for concern, but if you need to get your hair dyed often or if you need to try new hairstyles to cover up areas of gray hair, then you need to exercise caution. You need to take some time to assess why your hair may be graying prematurely. Here are some of the health issues gray hair may signal.

1. You May Have An Increased Risk Of Heart Disease

The amount of gray hair is directly linked to an increased risk of coronary artery disease)


According to a study published by the European Society of Cardiology, men with gray hair have an increased risk of heart disease.1 In the study 545 men were divided into 2 groups based on 2 factors, how much gray hair they had and whether or not they had coronary heart disease. They graded the amount of gray hair on each man’s head on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 indicated that the participant had almost no gray hair and 5 indicated that the participant’s head was purely white. The researcher also collected data on whether or not the men had diabetes, hypertension, smoking habits, and a family medical history of heart disease.

The results of the study showed that men with a hair score of 3 or more had an increased risk of coronary artery disease regardless of their chronological age. And, the participants who already had coronary artery disease had a significantly higher hair score than those who did not. The findings of the study can be used to establish a scoring system to evaluate the graying of hair as a predictor of coronary heart disease in future.

2. Your Hair Follicles May Be Suffering From Oxidative Stress

(A buildup of hydrogen peroxide bleaches hair)

Your hair follicles produce small quantities of hydrogen peroxide, which has the ability to bleach hair. Such minute quantities of hydrogen peroxide do not harm your hair, but if a build up occurs, it leads to the development of massive oxidative stress, which bleaches your hair from inside out. If oxidative stress is the reason for your gray hair, it can be remedied by topical treatments.

3. You May Have a Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamin B12 and D3 deficiency causes hair to gray

If you do not consume a balanced diet, then you may suffer from premature graying of hair. Deficiency of vitamin B12 is one of the major causes of loss of hair pigment. Even low levels of vitamin D3, serum calcium, and serum ferritin cause your hair to gray prematurely. You need to start including a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to ensure that you don’t miss out on important nutrients that help you retain the natural color of your hair.

4. You Are Or You May Have Been A Smoker

Smoking causes hair to gray prematurely

Smokers are two and a half times more likely to develop gray hair prematurely than those who do not smoke. Smoking also damages your hair follicles and can even lead to baldness.

5.  You May Have Gray In Your Genes

Your hair may gray prematurely because of your genes

In some cases, your hair may gray prematurely purely because of your genes. If your parents or your grandparents suffered from premature graying of hair then you may do too. It’s just that your body may produce less melanin, the pigment that gives color to hair, because of your genetic makeup. Though this is not much cause for concern, there is no harm in examining the health of your heart and checking for a vitamin deficiency.