The age-old question ‘what causes grey hair’ is one pretty much everyone wants answering. Grey hair can make you feel as though you are aging faster than you deserve or it may inhibit your confidence if you feel it’s affecting your look more than you’d like.

Below you will find some of the main causes of grey hair, if you know the cause you can adopt the solution before the grey hairs appear! Prevention is better than the cure.


Stress is one of the biggest causes of grey hair, especially premature grey hair. Stress can have many negative effects on the immune system making it weak and vulnerable, these can show on our skin and hair. Stress can cause you to develop premature grey hairs so it’s imperative to always give yourself time to de-stress.

Oxidative stress

The term ‘oxidative stress’ can be defined as the state in which your free radicals (from pollution, poor diet, stress, etc.) outnumber your antioxidant defenses (from healthy diet). Greying hair can be a strong indicator of oxidative stress-induced damage.

Your background

Grey hair is unfortunately an inherited trait so there may not be an easy escape for you. If your parents went grey early there’s a good chance that you will too. The bad news is that Caucasians seem to go grey earlier and some health conditions may cause premature greying such as diabetes, pernicious anaemia or thyroid problems. 

Normal aging is the biggest offender

Sadly aging is something you can prohibit. Aging is the biggest, natural cause of grey hair and there isn’t a great deal anyone can do about this other than use a good quality, grey coverage hair dye. Hair changes texture with age and looses its colorpigment, which leaves you with grey hair. 

Your lifestyle may have an affect

Certain lifestyle factors such as smoking and lack of water can cause stress to your hair and skin alike. Low Vitamin B12 levels are renowned for causing the loss of pigment in your hair. Foods packed with vitamins and antioxidants are great way of trying to delay the onset of those pesky grey hairs.

It’s not your hair that goes grey…

Did you know that it isn’t actually your hair strand that’s responsible for the grey color you see? Every time you lose a hair and it has to regenerate you also have to grow the pigment-forming cells again and these simply wear out meaning no color is supplied to your hair.

We all hate grey hairs so much because no matter what our age is, we associate them with aging. Just like wrinkles in our skin and dark circles under our eyes we hate grey hairs because we feel like by having them we are losing a little bit of our youth! Sometimes grey hair can be delayed with the correct diets and lifestyle choices but sometimes they are simply part of our genetic makeup.

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Judy Greenway