White Hair: Causes and What to Do About It

It’s a lovely day today; you are up and getting ready for work. You look into the mirror and start to set your hair, a professional look that is sure to receive a few compliments! Suddenly, you notice something off, a strand of stark white hair. Your entire mood goes out the window, a white hair at such an early age! It can’t be! 

Fortunately, or more like unfortunately, it is entirely normal for your hair colour to change as you age. In fact, even teenagers and people in their 20s may get white hair! 

We have millions of hair follicles lining our skin, and these follicles generate hair and colour pigment cells that contain melanin. As time goes by, these hair follicles lose pigment cells, thus, resulting in white hair. There are a number of causes for white hair that aren't just because of age; let's take a look at 5 of the most common causes and hair care that you can follow to prevent them.

  • Genetics 
  • If you want to blame anyone for your white hair appearing, you can go ahead and turn to your mom and dad because genetics play a role in what causes white hair at an early age! Because white hair causes can be due to genetics, many people can find themselves getting white hair as early as 20 years of age. On top of this, race and ethnicity play important roles as well. For white people, premature greying can start around their 20s, while for Asians, it is when they are in their 25s and African-Americans in their 30s.

  • Stress
  • Honestly, stress seems to be a problem for almost everything! In this case, oxidative stress in the body can be a cause of premature greying. Free radicals are the name given to unstable molecules that damage cells, thus, contributing to ageing. Oxidative stress can cause imbalance when antioxidants are not good enough to counteract the damaging effects of free radicals. This can lead to the development of vitiligo, which can turn your hair white because of melanin cell death.


  • Smoking
  • If you were ever looking for a reason to call smoking quits, then here is a great one for you! Not only is smoking causing white hair at an early age, but smokers are 2 ½ times more likely to start finding grey hairs at an early age! While quitting smoking may not reverse the existing white hair, it will definitely stop premature grey hair from showing up.


  • Chemical Products
  • Many of you may already know that some hair products contain harmful ingredients that can contribute to your hair becoming worse in texture, but did you know that even some of the so-called “best hair products” can lead to white hair? Many of the hair care products you may be using can contain harmful chemicals that lead to a decrease in melanin, which causes premature greying. Hydrogen peroxide is found in many hair dyes; this harmful chemical can cause your hair to turn white if used in excessive amounts.


  • Vitamin Deficiency
  • Vitamin B-12 plays a vital role in your body; not only does it give you the energy you need for your day-to-day activities, but it contributes to healthy hair, hair growth, and hair colour! White hair at an early age can point to a vitamin B-12 deficiency. The deficiency is associated with the condition known as Pernicious Anaemia. This is when your body lacks the vitamin B-12 it needs for your red blood cells that carry oxygen to cells in your body, including hair cells. If you lack this vitamin, it can weaken your hair cells and vastly affect your melanin production.


    Now is the moment you have all been waiting for. Can white hair be prevented? This all depends on the cause; if the reason your hair turns white at an early age is due to genetics, then there is nothing that can be done to reverse the colour. On the other hand, if it is a health issue, you may treat it and help prevent further greying.

    Luckily, Alpecin has a product that can help maintain your dark shade AND prevent hair loss! A two-in-one combo that packs a punch; you can check it out here.