Grey Hair: A Mirror To Health

medical causes of grey hair

Contributed by- Saumya Shatakshi, Senior Nutritionist 

Looking in the mirror can sometimes be more than just a reflection of your outer appearance. It can echo a lot about your health too. This is especially true in case of grey hair.

Grey hair can tell you a lot about your health.

Even though grey hair is an inevitable part of aging, premature greying of hair can be an indicator of many latent medical conditions (that need immediate attention). “Statistically, 50% people have 50% grey hair by the time they reach the age of 50. Indians on an average start greying around mid 30’s and it becomes noticeable in their early 40’s. Though, hereditary factors result in premature greying of hair, there is much more to look into,” informs Saumya Shatakshi, Senior Nutritionist & Wellness Consultant, Healthians.

It is extremely common to colour your hair to hide the greys but have you ever wondered, what does grey hair say about your health?

Here is a list of health problems that your premature grey hair may be pointing out to:


Vitamin deficiency

Deficiency of vitamin B12 and biotin is one of the top reasons for that silver on your head. When the body is not able to absorb vitamin B12 properly, person can suffer from Pernicious Anaemia resulting in grey hair.


Zinc deficiency

A balanced nutritional diet plays a major role in bone, skin and scalp health. Deficiency in any mineral reflects on the body in varied ways. Grey hair is also an indicator of zinc deficiency.


Thyroid disorder

Early grey hair can be a sign of a problem with your pituitary or thyroid gland (more common in females). Thyroid disorders, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, can result in premature greying of hair.


Fungal infection

Fungal skin infection of  the scalp can also cause hair to grey before time. An unclean scalp is another reason for premature grey hair.



An anaemic person might also suffer from grey hair. Anaemia leads to reduced oxygen flow to the organs and can cause grey hair.


Autoimmune conditions 

Autoimmune conditions are those in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells. A person suffering from autoimmune disease can suffer from premature grey hair.


Excessive stress

Stress is a major reason of premature grey hair. People, who have undergone a difficult phase in  life or are over-worked can experience grey hair before its time.


Hormonal imbalance

Hormonal changes greatly contribute to the condition of your skin and hair. Any major hormonal changes or hormonal imbalance can cause premature greying of hair.


How to avoid grey hair?

A balanced diet is important for healthy scalp and hair. Food rich in zinc, iron, vitamin B complex, protein and omega-3 fatty acid are recommended by Nutritionist Saumya Shatakshi to prevent premature greying of hair. “These foods not only prevent the spreading of grey hair but are also essential for a healthy scalp and hair growth. Include mushrooms, black sesame seed, soyabean, carrots, oats, cucumber, yogurt, leafy vegetables, nuts (like almonds), amla, fish, eggs and low-fat cheese in your diet. Herbs like rosemary and curry leaves also help. If you love your hair and do not want them to grey early, avoid smoking, caffeine overdose, excessive intake of sugar and stop use of synthetic dyes”, she adds.

Do not ignore the greys. Your hair might be telling a lot about your health, so listen closely.


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