Is my child getting old

Parenting no doubt is a tricky and testing phase of life. But it can be made easier if there is someone to address your dilemmas. Dr Ibrahim Yousuf, a Karachi-based pediatrician  will write on parenting issues every month exclusively for SNI readers. If you are facing problems with childcare send in your queries right away at: or post on our facebook page:

Dear Dr Ibrahim
My daughter is 10 years old and she has started to develop gray hair. How is this possible at such a young age? Can it be treated

Dear Rahat

Premature graying in children is usually because of family history. The time, speed and early onset can all depend on how it occurred in your parents or grandparents
Premature graying for Asians is defined as before the age of 25. Seldom does gray hair develop in children as young as eight years. It may indicate nothing other than simply an early onset of gray hair that we usually develop with age. Sometimes children grow single gray hairs at this age as well

Causes of gray hair

Gradual decrease of pigmentation that occurs with age that is, when pigment melanin ceases to produce in the hair root
Children with weak immune system caused by diseases like, HIV/AIDS, leukeia or chronic coronary artery disease can also cause premature graying.
Deficiency of vitamin B12 in children. The body’s ability to absorb and use B12 can be hampered by stomach or small bowel surgery
Kwashiorkor, which is due to a deficiency of protein in the diet, can also be the cause in children
Some diseases such as pernicious anemia, hyper and hypothyroidism, ostepeonia and progeria
Cigarette smoking (passive or direct)
Skin disorder such as vitiligo (which follow the destruction of melanocytes in the skin), can also result in loss of hair pigmentation
A particular type of skin and scalp fungal infection

Gray hair treatments
L-tyrosine is non-essential amino acid which helps in gray hair treatments in the following ways:

Increases melanin secretions by increasing the production of melanocytes

Reducing stress in body

If reversing or stopping gray hair seems impossible, then there are temporary solutions like applying henna which can be done as the child grows old. It can also be done with the help of semi-permanent methods like going for amino free colors. Finally one can also use permanent methods like amine dyes, which are not used frequently

The writer is a pediatrician in Karachi and a freelance writer

Vinkmag ad

Read Previous

Take my ‘bad’ breath away

Read Next


Leave a Reply

Most Popular