Your Health and Safety is our Priority. Learn more about our COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Book an In-Office or Virtual Appointment

Can dermatologists treat gray hair?
Posted by Dr. Robert Levine

Can dermatologists treat gray hair?
Posted by Dr. Robert Levine on April 20, 2022

Noticing a little bit of sparkle in your hair can be alarming, especially if you weren’t expecting it. Depending on your circumstances and genetics, it’s possible to start seeing gray hair as early as the teen years! Fortunately, if you’re looking for something a little more effective than dying, there are a few treatments a dermatologist can provide that can help you get back to full color.

What causes gray hair?

The thing that gives your hair color is a pigment called melanin. How dark your hair is directly correlated to the amount of melanin in your hair. When your hair turns gray, the color gradually decreases because your body stops producing as much melanin as you age. At some point, the body stops producing melanin in your hair altogether.

A few reasons you might experience premature graying include:

  • Genetics – Unfortunately, your genetics play a big part in when you go gray. If you had a parent who experienced something similar, you are far more likely to gray
  • Medical issues – Certain medical conditions may be related to premature greying. Vitiligo, specific thyroid issues, and imbalances in your pituitary gland may all contribute.
  • Not enough nutrients – If you aren’t getting enough vitamin B2 or certain minerals like iron and manganese, your body may produce less melanin and cause early greying.
  • Stress – If you’ve been through a period of long-term stress, you might see some (We’re looking at you, pandemic)

Can my dermatologist treat it?

Suppose you express your concern to your dermatologist. In that case, they will look at your scalp, and then depending on your doctor, you may either be referred to a specialist or examined further in-office with blood tests and high-resolution imaging of hair strands. If afterward you’re determined eligible, treatment will begin.

What treatments are available for gray hair?

You may be at a loss for what to do for your gray hair other than dying, but fortunately, there are some other treatments your dermatologist can provide.

  • Lifestyle and diet changes will be your first port of call on your journey to treating gray hair, especially if it’s determined your gray hair is premature. The first step in treatment is avoiding alcohol and cigarettes, managing stress, and getting vitamin and mineral-rich food that promotes melanin production.
  • Medication and therapies are the next steps. There are a variety of topical creams, shampoos, and other products that may be applied directly to the hair, as well as treatments for underlying medical conditions like thyroid disease that may contribute to gray

It’s important to remember that the most successful gray hair treatments happen in patients who gray prematurely, and gray hair is easier to prevent than reverse. If you want to find out whether or not gray hair is treatable in your case, reach out to your dermatologist. Want to set up an appointment today? Get in contact with us, and we’ll be happy to find a day and time that works for you!

Related Media