top of page

3 Reasons Your Hair Might be Graying Prematurely

Graying hair is something we all dread to see coming although it is inevitable. Eventually everyone goes gray, but what if there was a way to keep your hair it’s natural color longer? What if I told you there is a way to do this?

I thought you might be interested. I’m going to talk about some of the key factors in early/graying hair and how to keep your hair it’s natural color longer!

1# Stress

It’s been debated for years whether stress causes hair to go gray or not. Recent studies have shown that stress does indeed cause graying in hair from the roots out. Why is this? Well….

Stress activates nerves that are part of the fight-or-flight response, which in turn causes permanent damage to pigment-regenerating stem cells in hair follicles.

These nerves are called the sympathetic nerves and they branch out into each hair follicle. Here’s what researchers have found:

Stress causes these nerves to release the chemical norepinephrine, which gets taken up by nearby pigment-regenerating stem cells.
In the hair follicle, certain stem cells act as reservoirs of pigment-producing cells. When hair regenerates, some of the stem cells convert into pigment-producing cells that color the hair.
Researchers found that the norepinephrine from sympathetic nerves causes the stem cells to activate excessively. The stem cells all convert into pigment-producing cells, prematurely depleting the reservoir.

So, stress causes gray hair prematurely. What can be done about that? Well, find ways to relax your body after work. A warm bath, deep breaths, and lavender essential oil in a diffuser, are just a few of the ways you can destress. Adult coloring books have for some people proven relaxing, some people enjoy yoga and for others relaxation comes from an evening on the porch. As a bonus being outside is a natural stress reducer.

2# Low Copper

Copper is important for so many functions of the body. From providing energy, brain function, skeletal health and skin and hair health.

Copper is one of the minerals needed to keep hair from turning gray. Copper deficiency and gray hair really is a thing. A study published in 2012 looked at blood levels of copper, zinc and iron in people under the age of 20 who were experiencing premature graying of their hair. The researchers concluded that low serum copper levels may play a significant role in premature graying of hair.

Getting your copper levels checked could help you determine if you are copper deficient.

3# Low Zinc

The studies on zinc and its connection to graying hair are still relevantly new but I, for one, believe in it. I have been taking zinc for the past 5 years, I started taking it around the time when I first noticed a gray hair and my hair has not progressed any further toward gray since that time. I was skeptical at first, but it has proven itself.

Of course, you want to check your zinc levels because if you already have plenty of zinc and start supplementing it can cause discomfort in your abdomen.

What can you do?

Well, finding ways to eliminate stress will slow graying or postpone it from happening. Getting your copper and zinc levels tested could give you an idea of whether you would benefit from supplementation.


bottom of page