Causes and Natural Prevention of White Hair


White hair, often perceived as a sign of aging, can be a concern for many individuals when it appears prematurely. Various factors contribute to the premature graying of hair, and understanding these causes is crucial for addressing the issue. This guide explores the reasons behind white hair and provides natural methods to prevent it, ensuring a holistic approach to hair health.

Causes of White Hair:


Genetics play a significant role in determining when and how your hair turns white. If your parents or grandparents experienced early graying, chances are you might too. This hereditary factor is largely beyond control, but understanding it can help manage expectations and focus on other preventable causes.

Oxidative Stress:

Oxidative stress occurs when there’s an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body. This imbalance can damage melanin-producing cells, leading to premature graying. Factors contributing to oxidative stress include pollution, UV radiation, and unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Nutritional Deficiencies:

Deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can lead to white hair. Key nutrients include:

  • Vitamin B12: Essential for healthy hair growth and pigmentation.
  • Iron: Important for carrying oxygen to hair cells.
  • Copper: Plays a role in melanin production.
  • Zinc: Supports various enzymatic functions critical for hair health.

Hormonal Changes:

Hormonal imbalances, particularly thyroid issues, can influence hair color. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can lead to premature graying. Addressing these underlying hormonal issues is crucial for maintaining hair health.

Lifestyle and Stress:

Chronic stress and unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking, can accelerate the graying process. Stress affects the body in numerous ways, including reducing the effectiveness of melanin production.


Studies have shown a strong correlation between smoking and early onset of white hair. The toxins in cigarettes can damage hair follicles and accelerate the aging process, leading to premature graying.

The article was professionally consulted with Specialist Doctor II Cao Thi Thanh – Pediatrician – Pediatrics – Neonatology – Vinmec Hai Phong International General Hospital.
Premature graying of hair occurs mainly due to genetic causes. However, in modern life, psychological causes and eating habits in children cannot be ruled out. Parents need to cooperate with the doctor for highly effective treatment.

Definition of premature graying of hair in children:

Premature gray hair is defined as the appearance of white hairs on the head with alternating black hairs, occurring before age 20 in Caucasians, before age 25 in Asians, and before age 30. in Africans.

Causes of premature graying of hair in children:
Genetics: Children born into families with parents with premature graying of hair have a higher risk of premature graying than other families. An autosomal dominant gene mutation often causes vitiligo, a tuberous fibroma that causes premature graying of hair. Metabolic diseases: Metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hyper/adrenal insufficiency, liver enzymes, high cholesterol levels, etc. Both increase the risk of premature graying of hair. Specifically, hyper/hypothyroidism disrupts hormone production, affects melanin production in hair follicles, and causes premature graying of hair. Mental life: Stress due to study, excessive video games, staying up late, psychological trauma, insomnia, etc. Both increase the risk of premature graying of hair. Unhealthy diet: A greasy diet, a preference for fast food, causes increased cholesterol secretion, weakens hair roots, disrupts hair growth, causes premature graying of hair. Lack of vitamins and micronutrients such as iron, copper, and zinc also increase the risk of premature graying of hair. Secondhand smoke: Passive smoking is also the cause of premature graying of hair in children. In the composition of tobacco has the function of oxidizing cells, reducing the ability to produce melanin, causing premature graying of hair. Shampoo and soap: Some shampoos and soaps contain harmful chemicals that damage the hair, making it dry and dull. Therefore, you should choose for children mild shampoos, with natural herbal extracts with added nutrients for children.

How to improve early gray hair in children?

It is very difficult to completely treat premature graying of hair. Instead, the doctor suggested providing nutrition to reduce the amount of gray hair on the head. Some nutrients need supplement, including:
Vitamin A : Vitamin A helps healthy scalp and shiny hair. This vitamin is found in green vegetables and yellow fruits. Vitamin B: Vitamin B regulates oil secretion, thereby helping to make hair stronger and softer. Vitamin B is found in yogurt, green vegetables, tomatoes, cauliflower, cereals, bananas and liver. Minerals: Some minerals such as iron, zinc, and copper have the effect of making hair strong and preventing the aging process. Zinc is abundant in chicken, red meat, and green vegetables. Iron is found in eggs, red meat, dried apricots, wheat, parsley, beef, sunflower seeds. Copper is abundant in whole grains, seafood, and egg yolks. Protein: Protein works to increase hair shine and improve hair texture. Get protein by adding a variety of grains, soy, and meat to your child’s diet. If the child is at risk of metabolic diseases, they should take the child to a full body examination, to check the endocrine, pituitary gland, and thyroid gland. Check for signs of vitiligo, tuberous fibroids.
Build a scientific diet, lots of green vegetables, fruits, especially dark green vegetables, cabbage, pears, apricots, raspberries. Do not put pressure on children in studying and taking exams.
Premature gray hair – A sign that cannot be ignored:
In many cases, early gray hair is not simply a gray hair condition, but a warning sign of more dangerous diseases. Specifically, gray hair in children is a suspected sign of cartilaginous sclerosis and vitiligo, the cause of hair loss. In addition, early gray hair in children is also a sign of seizures, tumors, thyroid disorders and other endocrine disorders. Therefore, parents need to take their children for early screening tests for the risk of diseases mentioned above.

Some safe hair care measures for children:

5.1 Mixture of coconut oil – curry leaves Ingredients: Prepare a handful of curry leaves and 100ml of coconut oil. Procedure: Put coconut oil in a pot, bring to a boil. Place the curry leaves in the heated oil. Wait for the mixture to cool and then pour it into a bottle. Apply oil to the child’s hair every day and gently massage for 10-15 minutes, then incubate the hair. Do it for 3 months for best results. 5.2 Mixture of coconut oil – dried melon Ingredient: Prepare half a cup of dried melon, a cup of coconut oil Process: Chopped melon, dried in the shade until dry. Then, soak in coconut oil for 3-4 days. Place the mixture in a saucepan, and simmer until the oil turns black. Filter out the loofah, put the oil mixture into a glass bottle to use gradually. Use this mixture to massage your baby’s scalp twice a week.

Sesame oil – carrot mixture Ingredients:

Prepare 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, 1 cup of sesame oil, 1 cup of carrot juice. Process: Mix fenugreek seeds, sesame oil and carrot juice together, put in a jar, dry in the sun for 21-25 days. Then, use this mixture to apply to the baby’s scalp, gently massage for 3 months to achieve results. 5.4 Lemon Juice & Almond Oil Ingredients: 1 cup almond oil, 1⁄4 cups lemon juice Procedure: Mix almond oil with lemon juice, then massage gently onto baby’s scalp. Leave overnight, then wash your hair with shampoo. 5.5 Black Tea Ingredients: Prepare 1 teaspoon of black tea leaves, 1 cup of water. Process: Cook tea leaves in hot water and filter out the leaves. Apply black tea juice to oily skin and incubate hair for 1 hour. Then wash the baby with cold water without shampoo.

Pureed guava leaves Ingredients:

Prepare 1 handful of guava leaves Process: Puree guava leaves. Apply the crushed leaves to the baby’s scalp. Incubate your hair for half an hour and rinse with cold water. Use this method 2 times a week. Currently, at Vinmec International General Hospital, there are general health checkup packages for babies. In the health checkup package, your baby will receive a comprehensive examination, from eyes, teeth, blood pressure, weight to necessary tests, combined with imaging diagnosis and assessment of muscle function. liver, kidney, blood sugar, nutritional status and hepatitis B virus. The examination package helps you check your baby’s overall health, screen for symptoms for early detection and treatment if needed.

Natural Ways to Prevent White Hair:

Balanced Diet:

Eating a diet rich in essential nutrients is fundamental for preventing white hair. Focus on foods high in:

  • Vitamins B12 and E: Found in eggs, dairy products, nuts, and leafy greens.
  • Iron: Present in lean meats, beans, and spinach.
  • Copper: Abundant in seafood, nuts, and seeds.
  • Antioxidants: Found in fruits, vegetables, and green tea.

Herbal Remedies:

Several herbs are known to support hair pigmentation and overall health:

  • Amla (Indian Gooseberry): Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, amla can help maintain natural hair color.
  • Henna: Known for its natural dyeing properties, henna can also strengthen hair.
  • Curry Leaves: Regular consumption or application of curry leaf oil can prevent premature graying.

Essential Oils:

Certain essential oils can promote hair health and prevent graying:

  • Rosemary Oil: Enhances circulation to the scalp and stimulates hair growth.
  • Peppermint Oil: Known for its invigorating properties, it can help maintain scalp health.
  • Lavender Oil: Helps reduce stress and promotes overall hair health.

Stress Management:

Managing stress is crucial for preventing white hair. Techniques such as yoga, meditation, and regular physical activity can help maintain mental and physical well-being, reducing the impact of stress on your hair.

Avoiding Harsh Chemicals:

Minimize the use of harsh chemical treatments on your hair. Opt for natural hair care products that are free from sulfates, parabens, and artificial dyes. These chemicals can damage hair follicles and strip away natural oils, accelerating the graying process.

Regular Scalp Massage:

Massaging your scalp regularly with warm oil can enhance blood circulation, nourish hair follicles, and promote melanin production. Oils such as coconut, almond, and olive oil are beneficial for scalp health.


While genetics and certain unavoidable factors play a role in the onset of white hair, many causes can be managed through lifestyle choices and natural remedies. By maintaining a balanced diet, managing stress, and incorporating beneficial herbs and oils into your routine, you can help prevent and possibly reverse the premature graying of hair. Embrace these natural methods to ensure your hair remains healthy and vibrant for years to come.

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