Grey Hair in Children

By Charlie Jay

Although most of the time, grey hair is a symbol of aging, occasionally patches of grey hair can be seen in young people, even children. If your child exhibits grey hair, there are several possible reasons for this strange development.

Although most of the time, grey hair is a symbol of aging, occasionally patches of grey hair can be seen in young people, even children. If your child exhibits grey hair, there are several possible reasons for this strange development.

Why Hair Greys

Hair begins to turn grey when the melanocytes, cells in each hair follicle to determine hair color, grow inactive. This process is a normal part of mature adulthood but can be seen in children in rare cases.

Inheritance

Premature greying of hair (also known as canities) is most commonly linked to genetic inheritance. If your child is exhibiting this trait, chances are someone else in your family had prematurely grey hair as well.

Vitamin Deficiency

Another possible cause of this condition is a deficiency of vitamin B12. This can occur from eating a very strict vegan diet or from inadequate absorption of vitamin B12 caused by surgery or certain illnesses.

Disorders

Childhood greying can be a symptom of one of a few disorders. Among these are several disorders of the thyroid, including hyperthyroidism, disorders regarding skin pigmentation, most notably vitiligo, and Vogt-Koyanagi syndrome, the result of a virus.

Hair Dyes

Premature grey hair can easily be masked using certain dyes. Vegetable dyes are a safer alternative to chemical dyes, which may have links to skin cancer.

References

About the Author

Charlie Jay has written for publication for close to five years, with experience on community and college newspaper staffs. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish and served in several editorial positions for publications at his college.

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