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 look at each cause individually to better understand why your young ones have grey hair.
Can it be prevented, you may ask?
1.Heredity or genetics
Your child’s genetic makeup plays an important role in determining the appearance of grey hair.
Similarly, grey hairs at an early age might mean 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. Therefore, the quantity of melanin is determined by time and genetics.
Children’s grey hair has been a topic of discussion for years. Importantly, research shows high stress levels 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 undue 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 to deal with this emotional condition.
As parent myself, I understand how a two-way communication can help both deal with stress.
2.1 Stress management
Here is some suggestion for you to teach your child how to handle, 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 shows signs of the following autoimmune symptoms.
3.1 Symptoms of autoimmune disease
• Feeling weary 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 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 notice 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 that two deficiencies were commonly detected jointly with other common nutrient deficiencies, like selenium or zinc.
5.1 Eating unhealthy foods
If you want to tackle deficiencies in vitamin 12 take 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. It’s best to add such foods to your child’s diet.
6. Smoke gets into your eyes
In a recent study, researchers found a significant relationship between the onset of grey hair before age 30 and cigarette smoking.
It appears there are more female smokers than males when it comes to premature greying.
This is a problem you should watch out for. It’s been shown that children of smokers may experience greying earlier than those without the habit, and this could lead them down an unhappy path early in life!
To prevent this from happening, the best way is to quit smoking before becoming pregnant.
7. Prescribe remedies that may help
Is your child a little wild-child? Do they always have the latest fad to test out, and if it doesn’t work, there’s no need for concern.
You can rest assured that hair dyeing is safe, as long as you do all your research before getting started.
You can save your kids hair colour if you make some life changes early in their life. Here are some suggestions:
• 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 tough 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 you and your child take these proactive steps, there is a good chance your child will worry less and feel more confident in themselves.
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.