You know that feeling you get when your little one gets their first grey hair? It’s enough to make anyone feel a bit sentimental and old.
But don’t worry, it’s not just you! I had the same issue when my son had his first grey when he was only ten years old. What causes kids hair to turn grey?
It is not uncommon for children to be born with grey hair early in life and it may be caused by stress, lack of vitamins or heredity
Can it be hard for your child with greys to fit in at school or on the playground? He or she might be teased by other children because they look different.
This can lead them down a path where they become self-conscious about how others perceive them. As a result, they may attempt to start changing their appearance to fit into their group of friends.
Let’s take a look at each cause individually to better understand why your young ones have grey hair. Can it be prevented you may ask?
Your child genetic makeup plays a big role in determining if grey hair is to appear.
Similarly, grey hairs at an early age might mean that it’s passed down from parents or grandparents who also had greys or whites at an earlier time frame than normal.
I had grey hair when I was thirty and now my youngest son has grey much earlier.
According to Kaustubh Adhikari, a professor at the University of College London, they may have identified a new gene IRF4.
This gene is responsible for light hair colour in people of European origin. But this ties into grey hair colour as well. This gene regulates and produces melanin which gives hair its colour.
Grey hair appears when the body produces less melanin. Subsequently, the time and the quantity of melanin to produce is determined by genetics.
Children’s grey hair has been a topic of discussion for years. Importantly, research shows high levels of stress can hasten premature greying among adults.
However, there is not enough evidence supporting this theory concerning young children.
As reported by Dr Batras, your child is subjected to an undue amount of pressure from school-related issues like bullying, studies and even media influences.
When your child is highly stressed, thyroid problems occur causing the greying of hair as the first physical symptom you will notice.
Premature greying in your child can be caused by stress acceleration. Therefore it is important to teach your kids how best to deal with this emotional condition.
Being a parent myself, I understand how this two-way communication can help both of you deal with stress.
2.1 Stress management
Here is some suggestion for you to get involved in teaching your child in handling any external stresses.
• Get enough rest with a minimum of 8 hours of sleep
• Meditation or yoga ( using head massage techniques)
• Exercises through sports
• Practice time management
3. Autoimmune disease
Sometimes autoimmune diseases like alopecia or vitiligo will attack the cells in your child’s body, including those making pigment for skin and hair!
Consult your doctor if you suspect your child has developed or show signs of the following autoimmune symptoms.
3.1 Symptoms of autoimmune disease
• Feeling tired with aching muscles
• Having trouble concentrating
• You noticed redness in your child’s scalp with hair loss
4.Is your kid’s thyroid working?
The butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your child’s neck is called a thyroid. It is responsible for many bodily functions such as metabolism.
Hormonal changes caused by a thyroid problem such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism may also be responsible for premature white hair, which is explained further.
4.1 A delicate balance
When there is sufficient thyroid hormone in your kid’s blood, the thyroid “turns- off”. As the kid’s body needs more thyroid hormones, the gland starts again.
People suffering from thyroid disease, have glands that are not producing sufficient hormones. It is a condition called hypothyroidism.
Some of the common symptoms would be tiredness, feeling cold, dry hair and gaining weight.
Individuals with a condition called hyperthyroidism produce too much thyroid hormone. Common symptoms would be weight loss, pounding heat and skin that’s hot.
More females than males developed these symptoms. Both can be treated with medication, so check with your doctor if you see it in your child.
4.2 The right diet
As stated in “Doctors Book of Food Remedies” thyroid glands depend on iodine which you can get from iodine salts, bread, and certain vegetables.
Thyroid experts recommend juicing or eating anything from 15 to 35 grams of rich fibre of broccoli, cabbage, kale etc. to obtain the iodine your body needs.
5. Your child needs vitamin B-12
Whenever your child lacks vitamin B-12 deficiency, it might be the culprit for prematurely greying hair.
International Researchers have noted that a lack of this vitamin is often accompanied by folic acid and biotin deficiencies in youths whose hair starts to turn grey early.
In the latest study, researchers found out that most cases of premature greying are caused by low levels of certain key vitamins such as Vitamin B-12 and Folate.
It was observed these two deficiencies were commonly seen together with other common nutrient deficiencies like selenium or zinc.
5.1 Eating unhealthy foods
In case, you want to tackle deficiencies in vitamin 12 with the right diet, you can get more information from my blog post, “ What is the best food for hair growth?”
Protein maintains the shine of hair and improves its texture. Whole grains, soy, cereals, and meat are sources of protein. Add such foods to your child’s diet.
6. Smoke gets into your eyes
In a recent study, researchers found that there was a significant relationship between the onset of grey hair before age 30 and cigarette smoking.
Effecting it seems, more females smokers than males when it comes to premature greying.
Another worry is if you smoke while pregnant, there is a strong chance your child may experience greying earlier than non-smoking parents.
To prevent this from happening, the best way is by quitting smoking before becoming pregnant.
7. Prescribe remedies that may help
If you are worried or have doubts about dyeing your kid’s hair then my blog post should help you, I recommend you read “hair dye for kids, is it safe?”
You may be able to save your kids hair colour if you make some life changes such as:
• Investigate vitamin supplements
• Try herbal remedies but do with some caution
• You and your child can work on stress management
• Seek medical advice
Grey hair is a natural phenomenon that happens to all of us. It can be hard for kids who are already feeling insecure about their appearance.
As a parent, you may not have the power to restore your child’s youthful lock. However, you can minimize the change by making some lifestyle changes.
Also helping your child understand the causes of premature greying may help dispel the myths about grey hairs.
Assuming that you and your child take these proactive steps there is a good chance your child will worry less and feel more confident in themselves.
Whether or not this post resonated with you, please share it with friends on social media so we can get the word out there!
- Newsweek on generics
- Prospective Analytical Controlled Study Evaluating Serum Biotin, Vitamin B12, and Folic Acid in Patients with Premature Canities
- Premature Graying of Hair: Review with Updates
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Disclaimer: These statements are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. They are for information purposes only. They have not been evaluated by the FDA. If you suspect that you have a medical condition, seek help from your doctor.