My hairs started to grow white when I was about 18. After that, I notice some of them grow black again, but mostly they are turning into white.

At this age (24 y/o) almost half of my hairs are white. I've visited 3 doctors (different ages) but they didn't tell me anything other than it's genetic. However, there is no one in our family having such a condition.

I've asked my parent and grandparents to recall sharply if anyone related to them had her/his hair grown white in a young age, but the answer was negative.

This doesn't end here. My beard and mustache are very sparse. If you split the hair coverage on a normal male, then I only have the bottom half. Even those don't fully grow.

Again, no one else has such condition in our family.

Could it have another reason other than genetics? Since I don't live in some radioactive field or some exotic locations with strange environment.

  • Have they run any tests? If so then what did they test for? Do you have normal pigmentation all over your body or do you have any whiter spots on the skin at any spot on your body?
    – threetimes
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 4:09
  • @threetimes Hi. Yes it's quite normal on the rest of the body. However I don't have much body hair ( average ). The last time I visited a doctor was a couple of years ago, can't quite recall, but I don't remember any specific test being ran.
    – Johansson
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 4:17
  • Well what they may have looked at would be thyroid, vitamin levels, etc.
    – threetimes
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 4:26
  • Do you have any bald spots on the head, even tiny ones? I know with alopecia you can loose hair, have it regrow as white & then later have it grow in as dark, but generally you will have some bald patches as far as I know of it. I am not aware of it happening without an actual bald spot (even a very small bald spot).
    – threetimes
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 9:00

1 Answer 1


There are more possible causes, other than generics, as described here:

  • Stress

    Stress can also affect your hair. A 2013 study found a connection between stress and a depletion of stem cells in the hair follicles of mice. So if you’ve noticed a rise in your number of white strands, stress might be the culprit.

  • Autoimmune disease

    An autoimmune disease can also cause premature white hair. This is when the body’s immune system attacks its own cells. In the case of alopecia and vitiligo, the immune system can attack hair and cause loss of pigment.

  • Thyroid disorder

    Hormonal changes caused by a thyroid problem — such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism — may also be responsible for premature white hair. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck. It helps control many bodily functions such as metabolism. The health of your thyroid can also influence the color of your hair. An overactive or underactive thyroid can cause your body to produce less melanin.

  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency

    White hair at an early age can also indicate a vitamin B-12 deficiency. This vitamin plays an important role in your body. It gives you energy, plus it contributes to healthy hair growth and hair color.

    A vitamin B-12 deficiency is associated with a condition called pernicious anemia, which is when your body can’t absorb enough of this vitamin. Your body needs vitamin B-12 for healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen to cells in your body, including hair cells. A deficiency can weaken hair cells and affect melanin production.

  • Smoking

    There’s also a link between premature white hair and smoking. One study of 107 subjects found a connection between the “onset of gray hair before the age of 30 and cigarette smoking.”

So, the steps you can follow are the following:

  1. Go to the doctor again, this time ask to test yourself for alopecia and vitiligo, as well as checking your thyroid gland.
  2. While waiting for those tests, try some things yourself and see if this help:
    • Take Vitamin B-12 pills.
    • In case you smoke, quit smoking.

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