Why Do Some People Go Gray In Their 20s?

When we think about getting gray hair, we usually don't picture ourselves having to deal with it until later in life. However, this isn't always the case. For some, gray hair can come as soon as their 20s. Even though gray hair is normal, it can be surprising to find yourself dealing with it sooner than you thought. As much as we would like to hold off until we are older, the natural color change can come at any age.  

Hair turns gray when the strand loses melanin, explains the Cleveland Clinic. The hair loses melanin due to a loss of melanin-producing stem cells. The process of losing these stem cells typically happens at an older age. However, there are plenty of reasons why your gray hair might begin showing up at an earlier age. No matter the cause of early graying, it isn't a situation for alarm. Having graying hair has typically been a concern due to society's expectations of women, but there is no reason it needs to be something of concern. In fact, now there are more ways to cover or embrace it.

The causes of gray hair at a younger age

Premature graying can be caused by various factors. However, one of the most common reasons why you can find grays in your 20s is due to genetics. Trichologist, Gretchen Friese, tells Marie Claire, ​​"Genetics plays a big role in when and how we go gray. Usually, if one or both parents went gray earlier in life there is a more of a chance that you will." Ultimately, if your parents have shown signs of getting gray hairs from an early age, you can bet that you will also find some gray strands early on. While it might not be ideal, if genetics is causing your gray hair, you can be assured of knowing it has nothing to do with you.

However, there are some factors in your lifestyle that might be contributing to your premature graying, according to Davines. Aside from genetics, some elements that might be hurting your melanin production include stress, vitamin deficiency, and smoking, among others. Keep in mind, having low levels of various vitamins can deplete not only your production of melanin but the overall health of your hair. Stress is known to lower melanin production, meaning it can directly cause gray hairs. Now, if you are a smoker under 30, this gives you a two-and-a-half more chance of getting gray hairs. These lifestyle factors are some of the only ones within a person's control that can lower the chances of turning your hair gray.

How to deal with gray hair in your 20s

If having gray hair is causing you too much stress, know you can deal with it without too much hassle. L'Oréal Paris suggests using a root spray to conceal any roots that are beginning to appear gray. If all of your gray hair concentrates in the roots, a root spray can be a quick and inexpensive solution for a quick cover-up. A root spray, along with powders and pens, is a portable way to cover up those gray hairs while you are on the go. If you want a more permanent solution, try to conceal some of the future gray hairs with highlights or lowlights. Experimenting with highlights is one way to blend in the silver streaks as they start popping out.

The experts at Sally Beauty add that at-home dye is another approach to covering any gray hair. Whether you go for a premium or an affordable one, at-home dyes are ideal if you need to cover a bigger section of hair at a moment's notice. However, the easiest way you can deal with gray hair is by simply letting it grow. Nowadays, more people are choosing colors, like gray, white, and silver, as part of a growing beauty trend. Even if your gray hair is natural, it's part of a style many would love to rock. Embracing gray hair might not come right away, however, it is the cheapest and most liberating option.