Why Does Men’s Hair Turn Gray at Old Age?

Getting up in the morning starts with the same process. 

You get up. Go to your bathroom. Take a look at yourself in the mirror.

When you check out your hair you notice something is different. You can see a shiny white speck.

Maybe it’s some dust. No. It’s actually a white hair.

Why did my hair start changing color? Do all old men get gray hair?

To find out, keep reading along!

What Age Do Men’s Hair Turn Grey?

Young Man Checking Hair

No. When you see old men who have fully colored hair, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have any grays.

They are actually coloring their hair. 

All men will get grey hair at some point in their lives.

Typically men should start seeing grey hair in their 40s. However, you can get these white hairs as early as your 20s.

Turning gray in your 20 or 30s is considered as premature graying.

What Causes Grey Hair In Old Age?

Gray hair doesn’t necessarily mean that you are aging faster. Everyone’s body is different.

But the one constant is everybody having melanin in their hair follicles.

Cells in hair follicles called melanocytes produce pigments that work together to produce your natural hair color.

Over time the melanocytes gradually reduce the production of hair pigmentation. Once pigment cells stop producing, your hair turns white.

Therefore, lower melanin production means gray hair. Below we will cover the different causes of lower melanin production.

Causes Of Gray Hair


Sometimes there are things that you can’t control. 

Health illnesses are one of them. And these premature aging syndromes can lead to hair graying.

Examples of illnesses that decrease or lose melanin are thyroid disease and vitiligo.

If you unfortunately have these conditions, then you will need to either embrace your white hairs or actively dye hair to a color.

Vitamin Deficiencies

When you start getting gray or white hairs, your body is giving you a signal.

And this signal may be that you are not getting enough of certain vitamins.

According to the Hair Society, studies have shown that deficiencies in vitamin D3, vitamin B12, and copper have a connection to hair graying in general.

Also, deficiencies in vitamins B6, B12, biotin, vitamin D or vitamin E can contribute to premature greying.

Overall, nutritional deficiencies can affect hair colour. But on the bright side your color can return to normal after vitamin supplementation.


Another reason for decreasing melanin production is your race and ethnicity.

For example, premature greying in cauasian or white people can start as early as 20 years old.

While premature greying can be as young as 25 years old among Asians and 30 years old in African Americans based on clinical studies.

Negative Lifestyle

Smoking Cigarettes

In addition to hurting our overall health, a negative lifestyle can cause white hairs.

Examples of negative lifestyle are smoking, drinking alcohol, and excess stress.

Both smoking and drinking alcohol cause oxidative stress that damages melanin cells.

Stress can accelerate the graying process by depleting pigment called melanin that hair follicles produce. Similarly, anxiety may also cause gray hair.

Harmful Chemicals

One other cause of grey hair that is often missed is using hair products with bad hair ingredients.

There are harmful ingredients in hair products such as shampoos and conditioners that contribute to decreasing melanin levels.

The following are ingredients to avoid if you want to prevent grey hair.

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Parabens
  • Alcohol

Also, if you opt to use hair dyes to recolor your hair, try to avoid hydrogen peroxide. Studies have shown that hydrogen peroxide can also cause hair to go white.

How Can I Increase Melanin In My Hair?

Man Working Out In Gym

Outside of serious health issues, preventing and reversing premature graying is not too difficult.

Below we will provide solutions for handling grey hair.

Healthy Diet

The most important and best solution for getting a grip on your hair is a healthy diet. 

On this site, we recommend improving from the inside out. Therefore, eating whole foods rich in vitamins and nutrients will help you prevent and reverse gray hair.

The main category of foods to focus on are antioxidants. Examples of antioxidant foods are fresh fruits, vegetables, green tea, olive oil, and fish.

In terms of natural remedies, curry leaves, bhringaraj, black tea, and indian gooseberry will also help fight loss of melanin.

Positive Lifestyle

It’s obvious that a negative lifestyle will harm our health.

But people still do those same bad things over and over.

Lucky for you, you are reading this and want to improve your life. Few things that you can do to have a meaningful impact on your life and gray hairs are not smoking, not drinking, and sleeping more.

If you can get a handle on these we are sure your grays will slow down and you should see a big spike in your life.

Styling Gray Hair

Gray or not pick a hairstyle that suits the shape of your face. 

But if you do have grey hair and decide you don’t want to hair dye then the following styles show off grey hair in the best way.

Short Sides With Long Hair On Top

George Clooney With Gray Hair

This style displays the tones of gray in the best way. With the cleaner sides you get a more confident, masculine, and sophisticated look.

Curly Top

Patrick Dempsey With Gray Hair

If you have curly hair then leave it a little longer on the top (2 to 3 inches) This will show off your curls in addition to the grey hairs.

Short All Over

Matt Damon With Gray Hair

For guys with thinner hair, a shorter style all over and combed back will give you a clean and masculine look. Also, the shorter haircut won’t make your hair look as thin.

Learn More: Explained: Low Fade vs Mid Fade vs High Fade Men’s Haircuts

Grooming Gray Beards

Man Greying Beard

If you are getting white hairs on your head it won’t be long until you start getting grays in your beard.

Gray beards will require commitment to maintain and groom.

Also, a good beard style needs to compliment the shape of your face. Here are popular beard styles to compliment your face shape.

  • Square Faces: Keep both sides shorter and the chin thicker to help define your jawline
  • Round Faces: Make your face look longer with longer length at bottom with trimmed short on the sides
  • Rectangular Faces: To accentuate your jawline, let the beard be fuller on the side and shorter on the bottom
  • Oval Faces: Generally all styles work for this face shape

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