How To Get Rid Of Premature White Hair: Causes, Natural Treatment, And Prevention Tips

Reviewed by Dr. Bhakti Kapse, General Physician
by Shaheen Naser

Graying of hair is usually associated with age. However, it can also occur in children.

Graying hair in kids is an increasing concern among many parents. It is not only worrisome but may also affect the child’s confidence levels. Hence, it is important that you be aware of its causes to deal with the situation appropriately. You can also try and manage the appearance of gray hair until you find the right treatment. In this article, we have discussed the possible causes and natural remedies for managing gray hair in your kids.

What Causes Gray/White Hair At A Young Age?

Just like premature graying can occur in young adults, it is also possible for children across all ages to grow some strands of white or gray hair.

The common causes of white hair in children include:

  • Genetic predisposition with relation to pH and cysteine levels of melanosomes.
  • Inheritance – A family history of early onset of gray hair.
  • Premature aging disorders, such as progeria, pangeria, etc.
  • Studies show that the failure of antioxidant effect during melanogenesis can damage melanocytes, thereby reducing the pigmentation of hair.
  • High levels of stress.
  • Use of synthetic shampoo and soaps.
  • Exposure to damage by UV light rays as it could damage the hair follicles, thereby causing graying (1).

Your child could have developed gray strands due to multiple factors. If they exhibit any other symptoms in addition to graying hair, it is best to consult a doctor to find out the root cause of the issue.

Medical Treatment Options

The cause of premature must first be determined to treat the condition.

Mostly, treatments for graying hair in kids involve modifying the diet and increasing the intake of nutrient-rich foods. This is because nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamins B12 and D3 and calcium, are one of the leading causes of gray/white hair in children (2).

If you have been diagnosed with premature hair graying, the chances are that you are deficient in vitamin B12 and also indicative of low serum ferritin. In some cases, hormone replacement might be a method of treatment, while in most cases, your doctor will prescribe vitamin supplements (3).

There are also a few natural home remedies that can be used to get rid of gray hair in your little one. They are listed below.

Home Remedies To Manage Gray Hair In Kids

  1. Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
  2. Coconut Oil
  3. Aloe Vera
  4. Curry Leaves
  5. Henna Hair Pack
  6. Bhringaraj (False Daisy)
  7. Black Coffee
  8. Nutritional Supplements

1. Amla (Indian Gooseberry)

Amla is widely used as a hair tonic to prevent graying of hair as it not only promotes hair growth and strength but also enhances pigmentation of hair (4).

You Will Need

  • 3-4 Indian gooseberries
  • 1 cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Cut the Indian gooseberries into small pieces.
  2. Add them to a glass of water and bring it to a boil.
  3. Simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Switch off the stove.
  5. Allow the mixture to cool. Strain.
  6. Apply the mixture to your kid’s hair.

How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times a week.

2. Coconut Oil

Gray hair is often thick and coarse. Hence, it needs to be well-nourished and well-maintained. Coconut oil, with its moisturizing properties, can help reduce protein loss from gray hair and keep it nourished (5).

You Will Need

1-2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply virgin coconut oil to your scalp and hair.
  2. Leave it on for an hour and rinse it off with a mild cleanser.
  3. Follow up with a conditioner.

How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times a week.

3. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera juice is widely used in conjunction with natural dyes to color hair without damaging its cortex. It may speed the process of coloring or dying gray hair when used with henna (6).

You Will Need

1 cup of aloe juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Take a cup of freshly prepared aloe vera juice.
  2. Use it in conjunction with natural dyes like henna or coffee.
  3. Apply it to your child’s scalp and hair.
  4. Leave it on for an hour before rinsing it off with water.

How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once every few months. Aloe vera juice alone can be used once a week.

4. Curry Leaves

Extracts of curry leaves contain bioactive compounds that can help nourish and prevent premature graying of hair in kids as well as adults (7).

You Will Need

  • 15-20 curry leaves
  • ½ cup of virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Add 15-20 curry leaves to a cup of coconut oil.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan and simmer.
  3. When the oil turns a shade of black, switch off the stove.
  4. Allow the oil to cool and apply it to your kid’s hair and scalp.
  5. Leave it on for at least an hour before rinsing it off.

How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once every week.

5. Henna Hair Pack

Henna exhibits natural dyeing properties that can help in getting rid of unwanted gray hair (8). It is safe to be used on kids as well.

You Will Need

  • 1 cup of powdered henna
  • Water (as required)
  • Gloves

What You Have To Do

  1. Add water to a cup of powdered henna to form a thick paste.
  2. Mix well and apply the paste to your child’s hair using a pair of gloves.
  3. Leave it on for an hour or two before rinsing it off.

How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once every few months or as required.

6. Bhringaraj (False Daisy)

Bhringaraj is a popularly used natural dye that contains bioactive compounds that enhance melanogenesis, thereby can be used to color gray and white hair (9).

You Will Need

  • Bhringraj oil or powder
  • Water (optional)
  • Gloves

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply bhringraj hair oil to the scalp and hair.
  2. Leave it on for an hour and rinse it off with a mild cleanser.
  3. Alternatively, mix bhringraj powder with water to create a thick paste.
  4. Apply the paste to your child’s hair using a pair of gloves.
  5. Leave it on for an hour and rinse it off.

How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once every few weeks or months.

7. Black Coffee

Black coffee is also often used for hair coloring purposes due to its dyeing effects (8). Hence, it may also help in getting rid of gray hair in kids.

You Will Need

  • 2-3 cups of water
  • 4-5 teaspoons of coffee powder

What You Have To Do

  1. Boil two to three cups of water.
  2. Mix four to five teaspoons of coffee powder with a little plain water in another cup.
  3. Mix the coffee concoction with the boiled water. Let it cool down.
  4. Apply the mixture to your little one’s hair.
  5. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and rinse it off with water.

How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once every few weeks.

8. Nutritional Supplements

Deficiencies in vitamins B12, B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), and D3 are often associated with premature graying (10). Severe iron deficiency, chronic protein loss, and chronic copper deficiency are also associated with premature hair graying. Low serum ferritin and calcium are observed in premature graying.

Taking supplements for these deficiencies could help reverse the effects of graying of hair. Consume foods rich in vitamins like eggs, dairy, and fish and iron-rich foods like shellfish, spinach, liver and organ meats, legumes like kidney beans, etc.

You should consult your doctor if you plan on giving additional supplements to your child.

Here are a few tips that could help prevent your hair from graying prematurely or your child’s hair from graying.

Prevention Tips

If you are looking to prevent your hair from graying prematurely, you can follow these tips:

  • Make sure your kid follows a healthy, nutrient-rich diet.
  • If you smoke, quit or do not smoke in the presence of your child as passive smoking can also cause premature graying.
  • Address your child’s nutritional deficiencies after consulting a doctor.
  • Find out the root cause of graying by consulting a doctor and avail treatment accordingly.

Since most cases of gray or white hair could be attributed to nutritional deficiencies or an underlying medical condition, they can usually be restored by availing the appropriate medical or natural treatments.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Why does hair turn gray?

Graying hair is a natural part of aging. As you age, the pigment cells (melanocytes) in your hair follicles slowly die, which causes your hair to gray.

Which is the best shampoo to reduce white hair?

There are many brands selling shampoos intended to dye your hair black like Dexe and Vcare. However, it is recommended that you stick to natural alternatives to avoid any possible side effects.

Does stress cause white hair?

Yes, stress is one of the factors that may contribute to premature graying as it increases oxidative stress and damage within the body.

How do you produce more melanin?

You can help your body produce more melanin by following a healthy and well-balanced diet that includes lots of protein. Consuming vitamin-rich fresh fruits and vegetables can also help.s

Does everyone get white hair?

Yes, everyone eventually develops gray or white hair as they age. However, the age of onset of gray/white hair may vary from one individual to another.

Is it bad to pluck gray hair?

If there is only a strand or two of white hair, it is completely safe to pluck them off. However, plucking too many hair strands can increase your risk of developing an infection and scarring or may even lead to bald patches.

Does removing gray hair cause more?

No, removing gray hair doesn’t cause your other hair strands to become gray. It is only a myth.

11 sources

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Shaheen Naser

Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology. She is a Geneticist with proficiency in Biotechnology, Immunology, Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Genetic Counseling. Her passion for writing and her educational background have assisted her substantially in writing quality content on topics related to health and wellness. In her free time, Shaheen loves to explore the world and the different flavors/cuisines it has to offer. Photography is another hobby she has developed of late.

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