Hair Whitening: What It Is and Why It’s Happening

When we think about aging, grey hair that looks white comes to mind. Although this is inevitable with getting older, it’s hard to think about having white hair when you’re in your prime years, your glory days. Even in your 30s and 40s, white hair isn’t a thought in the forefront of your mind, but due to genetic factors, hormonal imbalances, and even stress can turn your hair white regardless of your age. If you’re experiencing hair whitening, you might be wondering about the causes and anything you can do about it. Read on to learn about the reasons and treatments for hair whitening.


Our hair follicles, but what makes them turn white? The cells in your hair absorb color from even smaller cells called melanocytes. Typically, your hair replenishes these cells, and your hair color stays intact. But, as we age, cell turnover and reproduction slow down. This is where silver and gray hair comes from as we age, and of course, hair whitening also originates from.

There are many causes of why your hair is white, especially if you’re younger. These hair changes can happen suddenly (most popular in your 20s), or you can even be born with white hair. This is where genetics and DNA come in.

1. Genetics

Genetics play a large role in why you’re experiencing white hair. If your parents experienced premature graying or white hair, too, this was passed down to you genetically, and there isn’t much that you can do to change it, but more on that later.

Your parents also pass down to you your hair color, so if it’s darker, you may experience that your penetration for our natural hair color starts to fade. Those with darker hair will see more white hair than those with naturally light hair. And, it’s all dependent on how your body works and how your cells grow and work in unison with your hair follicles. If you’re experiencing weight hair, you can always see a geneticist or a medical professional to understand better what’s going on.

2. Autoimmune Diseases

Another factor that you don’t have control over is autoimmune diseases. These diseases occur when the body attacks itself and the immune system. Among the most prevalent autoimmune disorders are psoriasis, lupus, and sclerosis—and autoimmune diseases cause hair whitening too. 

The autoimmune diseases that cause issues with the hair are alopecia then vitiligo o the skin. Vitiligo is like hair whitening just on the skin. If you suspect that an autoimmune disease might be the culprit for your hair whitening, then schedule an appointment with your doctor to figure out what’s going on.

3. Stress

Stress is another large factor in hair whitening. Stress disrupts your whole being and how the body functions. It disrupts sleep, causes anxiety, and how your body fights off infections. The biggest disruptions that stress causes? It affects how your hormones work and how they produce in the body. When your hormones function correctly, this causes an imbalance that makes everything off in your body—even your hair.  Stress makes the hair fall out and even can disrupt the melanocytes and then cause hair whitening.

4. Vitamin Deficiencies

Vitamins also play a huge part because if you have a deficiency, this will also cause the hair follicles not to function correctly. Adequate levels of vitamins give the body and hair the energy to grow correctly and full, and in this case…colored. If your vitamin levels are low, this results in anemia or, most commonly, a vitamin B-12 deficiency. A vitamin B12 deficiency affects your hair’s melanin production, causing the hair to have less pigmentation.

Can You Reverse Hair Whitening?

First, it’s important to pinpoint why your hair is turning white. Once you have an answer from your doctor, you can figure out what steps and hair whitening treatments you can try.

  • Genetic: If your hair whitening is genetic-based, then, unfortunately, there isn’t insist anything you can do. There is nothing you can change about the DNA you were born with. If you crave to adjust your white hair, coloring treatments are available but require consistent upkeep since your white hair is continuously growing back.
  • Autoimmune Disease or Hormonal Imbalance: Regular check-ins with your doctor will help you manage your condition. Once the conditions are managed,  your hair could naturally repair itself. It will take time, but trust the process and your body.
  • Vitamin Deficiency: If your white hair is due to a vitamin deficiency, your doctor will prescribe you a higher dodge of vitamins that your body will actually absorb and use to create healthy hair. When you get the correct amount of vitamins, the body and hair will also start to repair themselves.
  • Stress: If your hair whitening comes from stress, then a drastic lifestyle change is in order. Cut out anything that brings tensions and anxiety into your life. If it’s a job, then consider transitioning into a more suited role or change careers entirely. If it’s the clutter and chaos in your living space, then dedicate a chunk of your time to make the space one that brings you peace. Once you cut the stress, your body can function like it’s meant to and your hair might surprise you and regain color.

Hair Whitening Treatments

We’ve covered why white hair happens, now let’s talk about hair whitening treatments. You don’t want to do anything to your hair that will cause more damage and potentially more home to the pigment. Instead, focus on keeping your hair healthy with fortifying shampoos and moisturizing conditioners. These are the best home remedies for shiny hair, and they will keep your white hair healthy and strong. Make a few lifestyle changes that will have a benefit on your hair whitening.

And, if you’re still bothered with your white hair, you can always color it! Just be sure to maintain it with an excellent color-safe shampoo and conditioner.

Bottom Line On Hair Whitening

No matter what causes your hair whitening, it’s crucial to figure out the causes behind it. Educating yourself on these causes will help you care for your hair and provide treatments to keep your strands healthy and vibrant. If you’re planning to show off your white hair proudly, still care for it with a nourishing shampoo and conditioner duo. But, if you’re opting to color it, add a color-safe shampoo to your shower.

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