Going gray is a normal occurrence as we grow older, but there are those rare cases when children of all ages grow a few gray hairs of their own. Continue reading for an explanation into this unusual phenomenon.
1. An Inherited Trait – Among all races, Caucasian children are affected by premature graying most often, and this can manifest itself as just a few gray hairs scattered throughout or as a head full of silver hair. Most of these children are predisposed to the condition due to their parents developing the same problem in their own youth, but as of yet there hasn’t been enough studies conducted to determine which genes or which side of the family the instance of gray hair is inherited from.
2. Diseases and Disorders – Studies have linked premature graying in children to a wide variety of skin disorders, including vitiligo, tuberous sclerosis, Waardenburg syndrome, and neurofibromatosis. Not only do children with these diseases have premature graying hair, but they also suffer from hearing loss, tumors, and seizures. The diseases responsible for gray hair range from having an underactive or overactive thyroid, which is clinically known as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Other thyroid diseases, like Grave’s disease and Hashimoto’s disease, can also cause graying.
3. The Stress Factor – Studies have shown that our bodies produce an increasing amount of hydrogen peroxide when we’re dealing with stressful situations, and this barrage of hydrogen peroxide settles in our hair follicles and whitens them. This eventually results in a head full of silver strands, and since children can suffer from stressful situations in life just as adults do, this can lead to a child dealing with premature graying.
4. Vitamin Deficiency – People who follow strict vegan diets are at the greatest risk of having gray hair, since they typically avoid foods containing vitamin B-12. A lack of this very important nutrient has been linked to numerous premature graying cases worldwide. In order for children to maintain proper B-12 levels, they must be allowed to consume animal products, which provide the greatest recommended dosage of B-12.
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