Young Boy and Gray Hair

Worried young boy
Photo: SergiyN/Shutterstock
Q: Hi. I have a question, my son is only 13 and I found about 6 gray hairs in a patch on his head. Do I have to worry about him being so young and having gray hair already?
A: Well, there are a lot of reasons that the hair might turn gray. With more than 100,000 hairs on the average person's head, finding six hairs that are un-pigmented could simply be an aberration with a normal cause. Sometimes, illness, hormonal changes, dietary deficiencies or changes, or stress can be the cause of graying hair.
If your son is showing any other symptoms of illness you may want to take him to visit his doctor and talk about possible causes. However, unless there are other signs of poor health, poor diet or undue stress, you probably have no reason to be overly concerned. This could simply be a matter of his genetics, or possibly simply a side-effect of hormonal changes caused by puberty.
If it is any comfort, I will tell you that I knew a boy when I was younger who had a few gray hairs show up when he was around 10. The hairs were later shed in the normal course of hair growth, and the new hairs grew in the same color as the other hairs of his head.
I am not a medical professional, and I won't tell you that there's nothing to be concerned over, because I don't have the medical expertise or authority to make a diagnosis or dismissal of a symptom. However, I wouldn't go overboard with worry unless the gray hair becomes more prevalent or you notice other symptoms that indicate there could be a medical problem.
See also:
Going Gray
Teenagers and gray hair
Why and how does hair turn gray
What is the average age for going gray?