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White hairs are considered a sign of old age, but they often occur in young boys. I want to ask why my hair is turning white? And why black hair turns white?


marked as duplicate by anongoodnurse, David, canadianer, Bryan Krause, AliceD Oct 4 '17 at 21:51

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  • $\begingroup$ I edited your post to be more fluent. Feel free to roll back if you disagree. $\endgroup$ – user22020 Sep 28 '17 at 2:07

Human hair color depends mostly on two pigments: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin has brown and black variants, whereas pheomelanin is reddish/orange. Cells at the base of hair follicles produce those pigments and white hair is simply lack of those pigments. There may be many reasons why your hair is turning white at a young age:

  • melanocyte stem cell damage at the base of the follicles
  • vitamin B12 deficiency
  • problems with the thyroid
  • deficiency of catalase as in vitiligo (hydrogen peroxide would then accumulate and impair pigment production)

But most of the cases are purely genetic and you should not be worried if you are certain your B12 levels and thyroid are OK. Here's an article on that topic: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23974581

There's also quite a bit of information on white hair on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_hair_color#cite_note-18 (sections Grey and white hair and Aging and achromotrichia)



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