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Premature graying hair in children:

My daughter is nine and son is five both have premature graying hair condition. Their diet looks healthy in every way what should be done?

There are various reasons why a person may suffer from premature graying hair condition but since your children are so young, there must be two main causes which are heredity and lack of nutrients. In case of heredity, there is nothing you can do as it is a natural process which may get worse with age. If premature graying of hair is not in your family, lack of proper nutrients is probably the main cause. This condition is also known as canities.

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There is no need to worry about it. You can try to prevent further graying by providing a healthy diet to your children.

Premature graying of hair occurring due to improper diet may be because of lack of essential nutrients. These nutrients should be consumed on a daily basis. Vitamins, proteins, iron and iodine are some of the essential nutrients. Provide your children with food rich in these nutrients which include fresh green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, juices, white meat, sea food, eggs and dairy products. These food products will provide the essential nutrients which will help them develop internally as well as externally. It is very important to note that reversing the process would be quite impossible since it is natural. You can try your best to do so as the above mentioned diet will not cause any kind of problems. But since you have mentioned that their diet is quite healthy, there could be other possible reasons for the rise of this condition.
Apart from providing a healthy diet, it is also very important to check whether your children are suffering from any kind of disease. Leukemia is believed to cause premature graying of hair. It is extremely important to check with a doctor about the cause of premature graying of hair in your children. Passive smoking is also considered to be one of the main causes. If you or your partner smokes near the children, it should be stopped immediately. Excessive carbohydrates and sugary foods consumption is also believed to be one of the major causes of canities. Excessive intake of soda, cakes, candies, chocolates and many more include refined sugar which may cause serious problems to the body. Premature graying of hair is one of them. Massage the scalp of your children with herbal and natural oils which would make the hair healthy and might reverse canities. Apply sufficient amount of hair oil before bed time and wash off the next day using an herbal shampoo and conditioner. Follow this method every alternate day. You will see a remarkable change in a matter of two to three weeks.
 

Grey Hair In Children

Hair is made of protein and grows out of follicles located within the surface of the skin. The skin is modified in different parts of the body to produce hair. Hair on the top of the head is an important feature of the individual’s physical appearance. Many people are concerned about their hair style and about the density and color of the hair. As one ages, the melanin content in the hair reduces and hair starts becoming gray or white. This is completely normal for an individual over the age of 40. Many people begin to develop white hairs when they are in their 30’s as well. A combination of many different factors including stress, genetics and nutrition is at play when it comes to determining the color of the individual’s hair.

Premature graying occurs in some children due to a variety of factors. The most common factors associated with grey hair in children are heredity and nutrition. Heredity is a factor associated with grey hair in children that cannot be changed in any way. Parents that notice grey hair in children should not be alarmed if other members of the family have experienced the same problem in their childhood. However, grey hair in children is also associated with vitamin and mineral deficiencies. This is why it may be a sign of some problem relating to the nutrition of the child. It is therefore best to check with a doctor when one notices grey hair in children, just to be sure that this is not associated with some dietary problem.

Hair gets its color from the genetic code embedded in the child’s DNA. This is usually a combination of the genetics from the parents. In many cases, the genes of the dominant parent determine the hair color of the child. Hair heredity may therefore play a role in grey hair in children. This is true of families that tend to have cases of premature grey hair in children. Premature grey hair in children occurs when the production of melanocytes stops taking place in the hair follicles. This often happens to single hairs or to bunches of hair in the same place. In this situation, the problem is likely to be associated with the skin in the area or with the particular follicle that may be defective. However, when there is a general spread of grey hair in children, it means that there is a problem that is causing the production of melanocytes to diminish.

Vitamin B12 and Iron are two important nutrients that determine the health of the hair. Iron is required from the point of view of anemia, a condition where the blood does not supply sufficient amounts of oxygen to various parts of the body. This can cause other symptoms such as general fatigue and loss of concentration. Vitamin B12 is directly associated with the hair itself. This vitamin is a part of the B-complex group of vitamins which are vital for many functions of the body. It is common for children to experience problems with their nutrition, particularly if the parents are not fully aware of what food is needed for the child based on the age, gender and development of the child. It is also common for children to avoid foods that they do not find palatable which may be depriving their bodies of the vital nutrients that are essential for good growth.

Another factor associated with premature graying in children is the type of soap and shampoo being used. Some soaps and shampoos are extremely aggressive in their nature. This means that they are loaded with chemicals that are designed to clean the body thoroughly. This often leads to a situation where there is long term damage done to the skin and the hair. This damage occurs because the chemicals tend to affect the nature of the skin adversely. This may, over time, affect the melanin production qualities of the skin. Gray hair has been known to occur in people who use particular shampoos and soaps that are fuelled with chemicals. It is best to try and access a healthier soap or shampoo, particularly one that has the extracts of vitamins and minerals present in it. This will help with the overall condition of the skin as well.

Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes the skin to lose its ability to generate melanin. This is a whole body condition and will present in the form of patches all over the skin. Grey hair in children may be caused by this condition, but it is highly unlikely that the hair alone will lose its color. Therefore, skin discolorations will be noticed in the case of vitiligo.

Pollutants in the atmosphere and the water being used to wash the hair may also be responsible for the condition of grey hair in children. There may be little that parents can do about these factors except to try and ensure that water purification systems are in place at home.

Grey hair in children can be a source of problems for the child when it comes to his or her peer group. There is not much that can be done about hair heredity. It is important that parents take note of grey hair in children when there is no history of such a problem in the family. In such a situation, it is highly likely that the child is suffering from some nutritional deficiency, possibly a deficiency of vitamin B12 or of iron. There are some cases where thyroid related problems have been known to cause premature grey hair in children. Therefore, one can assume that grey hair in children is a sign of some nutritional problem which must be dealt with properly. A visit to a doctor will help sort this situation out. At the very least, the parent will be able to understand the cause and take the relevant corrective action to ensure that the child does not face the ill effects of long term vitamin or mineral deprivation.
 

Submitted on January 16, 2014
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