17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (2023)

While there is practically nothing you can do to prevent gray hairs from sprouting up on your head, there are certainly tell-tale signs to look for that will give you plenty of advanced warning that they're on the way.

Are you constantly stressed? Are you soaking up too much sun? Do you have any lingering thyroid issues?

If you answered yes to any of those, it's a good bet that there will be some salt-and-pepper in your future. So read on to learn all of the surprising warning signs that your hair, like the leaves in the fall, is destined to change its hue. And for some great tips on what to do with your newly gray locks, be sure to know the40 Things You're Doing That Will Make You Look Older.


You're a natural redhead.

17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (1)

Along with blondes, redheads are the most likely to gray (or, in reality, white) early on, since their hair already lacks the pigment.

However, unlike blondes with light hair that can easily disguise newly forming gray hairs, redheads have a harder time disguising their grays, as their hair pigmentation makes it more resistant to hair dye. And for more ways to maintain the perfect head of hair well into your golden years, check out these40 Ways to Have Your Best Hair After 40.


You're caucasian.

17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (2)

According to Health Magazine, your ethnicity is one of the biggest factors that contributes to the graying process of your hair. Research shows that caucasians develop gray hairs earlier than other races, while Asians are the second and African Americans are the third. For what it's worth, doctors are still unsure about why this pattern occurs.


You've had chemotherapy.

17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (3)

AsDr. Roopal Kundu, associate professor in dermatology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, told Good Housekeeping Magazine, receiving chemotherapy for any illness can trigger hair loss. But once people emerge from chemo treatments they're hair is far likely to return in shades of gray.

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You're constantly stressed.

17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (4)

Though stress itself hasn't yet been scientifically linked to graying, according to Dr. Kundu, the resulting condition from stress, called Telogen Effluvium, is a temporary disruption in the natural growth and rest cycle of your hair, causing your hair to shed excessively.

When you're constantly stressed or struggling with an anxiety disorder, you're more likely to find gray hairs before your more zen peers. Furthermore, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that stress is indeed related to the graying process. (See: Time's amazing lookinto the aging process of U.S. presidents.)


You smoke.

17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (5)

Not so surprisingly, smokers greatly increase the chances of premature graying with their nasty habit, says Marie Jhin, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and director of Premier Dermatology in San Francisco, in an interviewwith Health.

"If you look at smokers, you can see the wrinkles in their skin. You may not be able to see wrinkles on the scalp, but it's still affecting all the follicles," she said. In fact, according to a study published in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal, smokers are two-and-a-half times more prone to premature graying. And for more great coverage of hair, check out these15 Top Hair Tips from Top Hollywood Stylists.


You're missing key nutrients in your diet.

17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (6)

If you have a poor diet or are missing key nutrients in your current health regimen, then you might be missing a key vitamin—B12—that, according to Dr. Jihn, can help keep your hair healthy.

As it turns out, vegans and vegetarians are the most likely to be missing out on this key vitamin, as it is most plentiful in dairy products, fish, poultry, and meat. To avoid going gray prematurely, either try to maintain a more balanced diet, or, if you're a vegan or vegetarian, take a B12 supplement.


You have diabetes, pernicious anemia, or thyroid problems.

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17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (7)

Yes, your health condition could also be causing you to go gray. This is especially the case if you suffer from diabetes, pernicious anemia, or thyroid problems, as these illnesses are known for directly attacking your hair follicles, says a study conducted by the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru. In fact, hair follicle damage is shown to be one of the early markers for type 2 diabetes.


You're failing to care for your scalp.

17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (8)

In general, you should try to take care of your hair every day, making sure that it's hydrated and healthy. As trichologist Madeleine Preston told Cosmopolitan Magazine, shampooing and massaging your scalp on a daily basis can also bring "vital nutrients to the scalp via the blood supply and feeding our follicles." While failing to do this won't exactly result in a head full of gray hairs tomorrow, it can keep your follicles healthy, vibrant, and armed against the coming grays.


Your parents went gray early.

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Despite efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle, gray hair may soon be an inevitable part of your appearance if your parents or other relatives went gray early on in their lives.

According to Preston, "Grey hair is an inherited trait—if your parents went grey early there is a possibility that you will, too."

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers even found the primary gene involved with premature greying—IRF4. This gene is in charge of regulating and producing melanin. When your body starts producing less melanin, it causes your hair to turn gray.


You have vitiligo.

17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (10)

While the skin condition vitiligo is not life-threatening, it can greatly alter the appearance of your skin and hair, often causing premature graying in certain spots of your scalp. This is due to vitiligo's effects on the cells that produce melanin, that often causes them to die or stop functioning, according to the Mayo Clinic.


You have Alopecia areata.

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17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (11)

Unlike vitiligo, Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that actually attacks hair follicles, leaving sufferers of the illness with bald spots. Then, according to the Wimpole Clinic, regrowth of this lost hair on your scalp will most likely result in weaker hair follicles devoid of pigment—meaning that your new hair will be gray.


You shed hair often.

17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (12)

If you're over the age of 35 and you tend to shed your hair quite often, then there's a likely chance that the hair set to replace the old strands will most likely be gray. In fact, according to Women's Health, there are a number of factors that could damage your hair follicles and lead to prolonged excessive shedding, such as stress and using blow dryers, straighteners, and chemicals in the hair. In short, be kind to your hair and your hair will reward you with brighter strands. And for more great facts about your follicles,see the20 Surprising Reasons Your Hair is Thinning.


You have heart disease.

17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (13)

According to astudy presented at theEuropean Society of Cardiology's annual congress, the "hardening and narrowing of one's arteries, calledatherosclerosis, and the graying of hair both rely on similar mechanisms," which means that if you're at risk for developing a heart condition—or if you already have been diagnosed with one—your chances of developing gray hair are much greater. Additionally, the study pointed to the astonishing fact that graying hair could also signify a heart condition, as a large percentage of the 545 men tested with gray hair presented early signs of heart disease.


You're over the age of 50.

17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (14)

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To be fair, if you've already made it to 50 without a gray hair in sight, you should count yourself as lucky, since half of the population sees at least some graying up to this point, says Dr. Michael Eidelman,Medical Director ofChelsea Skin & Laserand Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

"On average, 50 percent of the population will have 50 percent gray hair by the age of 50," he said. He also pointed out that men tend to begin noticing gray hairs around age 30, while women won't typically show signs of graying until age 35.


Your hair is more coarse than before.

17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (15)

Due to their loss of pigmentation and the damaged nature of your hair follicles, the gray hair that assembles to replace the old, pigmented hair follicles tends to be more brittle and coarse. So, if you've begun to notice a change in the texture of your hair, this could be pointing to the impending doom of colored locks.


You've experienced trauma.

17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (16)

According to Scientific American, a traumatic event can affect your whole body—even damaging your hair follicles. Basically, an incredibly stressful event can generate a swarm of free radicals in your hair follicles, which travel along the hair shaft, destroying its pigment in a manner that appears similar to a bleaching effect.


You spend too much time in the sun.

17 Surprising Signs Your Hair Will Go Gray (17)

Fact: UV rays affectyour hair follicles. In short, it's a bleaching effect on your hair that's incredibly damaging, leaving your follicles brittle and prone to breakage, resulting in the replacement of your healthy strands with gray ones.

So, be careful in the sun and use a hair cream like this one, by Drybar, that will protect your hair from UVA/UVB exposure. And remember: If you're going gray, don't sweat it! Simply check outthe 6 Keys for Nailing Perfect Silver Fox Hair.

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What is the average age your hair turns grey? ›

Typically, white people start going gray in their mid-30s, Asians in their late 30s, and Blacks in their mid-40s. Half of all people have a significant amount of gray hair by the time they turn 50.

What happens before your hair turns grey? ›

As we get older, the pigment cells in our hair follicles gradually die. When there are fewer pigment cells in a hair follicle, that strand of hair will no longer contain as much melanin and will become a more transparent color — like gray, silver, or white — as it grows.

Does B12 reverse grey hair? ›

Premature graying may be reversed with vitamin B12 supplementation only if vitamin B12 deficiency is the cause. If you are graying due to other factors, such as genetics, zinc deficiency, and medications, your gray hair cannot be reversed.

What foods stop grey hair? ›

Certain superfoods can help reduce premature greying of hair.
  • 8 superfoods that slowdown premature greying:
  • Green leafy vegetables. Green leafy vegetables refer to the cruciferous vegetable group. ...
  • Dark chocolate. ...
  • Dairy products. ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Soybeans. ...
  • Lentils. ...
  • Mushrooms.
Jul 6, 2022

At what age does pubic hair turn white? ›

Some people start to have white hair in their 30s or 40s. But others have it as early as their teens or 20s.

What race gets gray hair first? ›

Race also plays a role in how early your hair turns gray. For instance, gray hair tends to occur earlier in Caucasians but later in Asians. African Americans may go gray later, too, with the average gray strand appearing around 43 years old.

What vitamin Am I lacking if my hair is turning grey? ›

Vitamin B-12 deficiency is one of the most common causes of prematurely graying hair. Researchers have noted that vitamin B-12 deficiencies are often concurrent with folic acid and biotin deficiencies in people whose hair has started to turn gray early.

What vitamin stops your hair from turning gray? ›

Para-Amino benzoic Acid (PABA) and Pantothenic Acid are part of the family of B-complex vitamins. Both of these vitamins are available at health food stores and pharmacies. Use them to postpone the onset of graying.

Is too much B12 bad for hair? ›

Yes, overdoing vitamins and nutritional supplements can cause hair loss.

Do bananas help GREY hair? ›

It is also important to include Vitamin B-rich food sources such as curd, paneer, banana, carrots or even a vegetable juice of your choice will help reduce premature grey hair.

Can GREY hair turn black again? ›

Graying reversal won't work for everyone

If strands are about to go gray anyway — perhaps near middle age — a stressful event might push hair cells past that threshold earlier, the study noted. Then when the stress ends and the hair is just above the threshold, it could revert back to dark.

Which fruit is best for GREY hair? ›

Indian gooseberry popularly known as Amla, which helps in reversing the effect of premature graying by promoting pigmentation. The antioxidants and anti-aging properties in amla promote hair growth, not only in terms of consumption, but also in context of topical application.

Does grey hair come from mom or dad? ›

Dr. Jennifer Chwalek: The process of hair changing from darker color to white or gray with age is mainly due to genetics. It can be inherited from either parent. The color of our hair is determined by the form of hair pigment that we have.

Why does some people's hair not go grey? ›

Grey hair and genetics

The average age for grey hair varies greatly, and one of the main causes of grey hair in your 20s is genetics. The age at which a person's hair turns grey is influenced by the IRF4 gene, and one specific variant (rs12203592) is a marker for premature greying.

How long does it take to go fully grey? ›

Aside from the time investment of a salon session, there's how long it takes to fully transition to gray hair, which is anywhere from six months to a year, Ferrara says.

What age does pubic hair disappear? ›

Both men and women tend to tame their fields less or not at all as they get older, with peak pube patrol occurring from adolescence to mid-30s. Of course, the decline in grooming activity in later years could have something to do with having fewer pubes to pluck.

What age does pubic hair stop? ›

Pubic hair may extend out to their thighs, and some boys may have a line of hair up to their belly button. Most boys finish growing by age 17, but some may continue growing through their early 20s.

What is the white stuff on pubes? ›

Lice eggs (nits) are often easier to see than live lice. They look like tiny yellow or white dots attached to the pubic hair, close to the skin. Nits can look like dandruff.

What nationality goes gray early? ›

Blame Your Genes

Your amount and rate of graying age are related to your ethnicity (Caucasians tend to go gray earlier than Asians and African-Americans), as well as your family history. Good information is when your parents and grandparents noticed their first grays.

Which ethnicity has best hair? ›

Caucasian, Asian and Indian hair samples were put to the test for the World's Best Hair study. Their results put an end to any splitting of hairs over the issue: in terms of health, the Indian hair is the best, topping other ethnic groups on all four counts.

What race has the thinnest hair? ›

African Americans have the lowest hair density, averaging around 130 hairs per square centimeter and about 60,000 hair follicles on an adult scalp.

Can low iron cause GREY hair? ›

Iron deficiency can also lead to grey hair. Iron is a vital mineral that helps create haemoglobin – the substance found in RBCs. Lacking an adequate amount of iron means lesser blood cells, which leads to insufficient oxygen supply to your scalp. Naturally, this causes grey hair at a young age.

Can low vitamin D cause GREY hair? ›

Although the primary cause of premature hair graying (PHG) is considered to be genetic, certain environmental factors also play a role. Trace element deficiencies such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, and calcium may also be associated with PHG.

What does baking soda do to gray hair? ›

Since baking soda is a scrubbing agent, washing your hair with it can gradually strip the dye from your locks. Baking soda can lighten all hair colors, but it might take a few washes to get your hair to the desired color.

What does biotin do for gray hair? ›

Biotin has many benefits. It triggers hair growth, it treats hair loss related disorders, and it thickens and strengthens the hair. One of our favorite beneficial effects of Biotin is that is can reverse premature greying of hair.

Can zinc reverse GREY hair? ›

Some studies have demonstrated that grey and ageing hair can recover its original colour when nourished by diets rich in zinc and supplements formulated with this element. As an additional benefit, zinc also helps eliminate the dandruff present on the scalp.

How can I get B12 naturally? ›

Good sources of vitamin B12
  1. meat.
  2. fish.
  3. milk.
  4. cheese.
  5. eggs.
  6. some fortified breakfast cereals.

What are the symptoms of low B12? ›

Vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia can cause a wide range of symptoms. These usually develop gradually, but can worsen if the condition goes untreated.
  • rapid breathing or shortness of breath.
  • headaches.
  • indigestion.
  • loss of appetite.
  • palpitations.
  • problems with your vision.
  • feeling weak or tired.
  • diarrhoea.

Which fruit is rich in vitamin B12? ›

Bananas are a cheap, healthy, and nutrient-dense fruit that can easily become a part of every individual's diet. It is one of the best fruits rich in vitamin B12. Bananas also contain fibre and potassium. It helps manage blood pressure, reduce stress, and relieve constipation and ulcer problems.

What is the best vitamin for thinning hair? ›

“Vitamins are essential for healthy hair growth and may help in preventing hair shedding and thinning,” says Michele Green, M.D., a cosmetic dermatologist in New York. “The best vitamins for hair growth include B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, biotin and iron.

What stimulates GREY hair? ›

A new study shows that stress really can give you gray hair. Researchers found that the body's fight-or-flight response plays a key role in turning hair gray. Your hair color is determined by pigment-producing cells called melanocytes.

What food makes your hair darker? ›

Can certain foods boost melanin growth in hair?
  • dark chocolate.
  • blueberries.
  • leafy greens.
  • pecans.
  • beans.
  • artichokes.
Jul 23, 2020

Do almonds stop GREY hair? ›

Grey hair occurs due to the loss of hair pigments and the build-up of hydrogen peroxide in the hair follicle. Eating antioxidant-rich foods like almonds can prevent the build-up of hydrogen peroxide. Almonds contain an antioxidant called catalase that works wonders in preventing the onset of premature greying of hair.

Why does hair turn white instead of gray? ›

The pigment in our hair is caused by melanin— the same pigment that is also responsible for our skin color. Gray hair is caused by a loss in melanin, whereas white hair does not have any melanin at all. As you age, your hair produces less and less melanin that leads your hair to appear gray, and then eventually white.

Can grey hair ever go away? ›

While certain nutrient deficits and health conditions may spawn premature gray hairs, it's impossible to restore your natural hair color if your grays are genetic or due to natural aging. If you're looking to help stop the rate of graying hair, changes in nutrition may work, but only if deficiencies are the root cause.

Is apple cider vinegar good for grey hair? ›

2) Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse:

Another option is to mix a bit of apple cider vinegar into a dollop of shampoo. This clears build up from environmental toxins and hair products. It also seals the hair cuticle, making your grays silky, shiny and frizz-free.

What lemon does to grey hair? ›

It deeply nourishes the roots and prevents premature greying. Lemon juice not only adds shine and volume to hair but also promotes healthy hair growth. Almond oil and lemon juice are both easily-available ingredients that can help you get rid of grey hair naturally.

Is grey hair caused by stress? ›

A new study shows that stress really can give you gray hair. Researchers found that the body's fight-or-flight response plays a key role in turning hair gray. Your hair color is determined by pigment-producing cells called melanocytes.

Is it normal for a 30 year old to get grey hair? ›

It's most common for graying to begin in your 30s, though some people spot a few grays in their 20s. If you think you're going gray unusually early, there are a number of possible reasons why. Smoking, for one, has been linked to the early onset of gray hair.

Can you reverse grey hair? ›

There are no treatments that are proven to treat (or reverse) gray hair. As researchers learn more about how the graying process happens, they may develop effective medications and treatments for gray hair.

Is gray hair normal at 25? ›

It can be a shock to find your first gray hairs on your head, especially if you're only in your 20s. But women's expert Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones says a few gray hairs is perfectly normal, even for women in their late 20s and early 30s. However, stress, genetics and other factors can play a role.

Can a GREY hair turn black again? ›

Despite the claims made online and by product marketers, it's not possible to reverse white hair if the cause is genetic. Once your hair follicles lose melanin, they can't produce it on their own. As melanin production slows, your hair turns gray, and then white when melanin production has completely stopped.

Does lack of sleep cause GREY hair? ›

Does lack of sleep send my hair grey or white? Lack of sleep can have a negative effect on many aspects of the body, not only can it lead to tiredness and lack of concentration, but longer term effects such as your immune system and stress. Stress has been proven to cause grey hair as mentioned above.

How long does it take to go completely grey? ›

Be patient with the process.

Aside from the time investment of a salon session, there's how long it takes to fully transition to gray hair, which is anywhere from six months to a year, Ferrara says.

Why do some people's hair go grey early? ›

Chwalek: So when individuals gray early in life before the age of 20, it's called premature graying, and this is due to genes. And we know there's one gene, in particular, that's been targeted called interferon regulatory factor 4, which is important in regulating and producing melanin in the hair.

Does exercise reduce grey hair? ›

According to one study, endurance exercise may help tackle both hair loss and greying, and extend lifespan by years.

Why is my white hair turning dark again? ›

Why is my GREY hair going darker? Your hair is mostly getting darker due to aging, medications, medical conditions, or environmental factors. Darkening strands may be natural or a sign that you need to seek medical or professional attention.

Can vitamin D deficiency cause GREY hair? ›

Although the primary cause of premature hair graying (PHG) is considered to be genetic, certain environmental factors also play a role. Trace element deficiencies such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, and calcium may also be associated with PHG.

Should I pluck white hair? ›

Dr. Kraleti doesn't recommend plucking or pulling the hairs out. “If there is a gray hair you must get rid of, very carefully cut it off. Plucking can traumatize the hair follicle, and repeated trauma to any follicle can cause infection, scar formation or possibly lead to bald patches.”

How do I stop my hair from turning grey? ›

Lifestyle changes as a solution for gray hair
  1. Get enough vitamins. Vitamins that keep your hair healthy include:
  2. Get enough minerals. Minerals that can play a vital role in hair growth and repair include:
  3. Stop smoking. ...
  4. Protect your hair from the sun. ...
  5. Stop damaging your hair.
Aug 1, 2018


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