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QUESTION: My hair turned very white 14 years ago when I had my children. After being on the A diet for 4 months (I have been a vegetarian for 2 years) my hair is turning very dark again. Can you explain this? I have been totally dedicated to the diet - mostly HB. I am thrilled!
ANSWER: We don't know why hair turns gray. We know that there is melanocyte (pigment cell) dropout or there is depigmentation of the melanocytes. But we don't know exactly why. It could be related to vitamin D because in certain vitamin D resistant syndromes hair growth stops or it is thin and often gray.
Graying hair in young women is often associated with osteopenia (bone thinning) and/or thyroid problems. Vitamin B-12 deficiency, anemia or viruses can cause gray hair to appear as well. There is also the phenomenon of "going gray" due to a shock or fright but is not well documented and is hard to explain physiologically.
I can assume that the biologic demands from your pregnancies, perhaps in conjunction with nutritional deficiencies or a thyroid shut-down, may have prematurely turned your hair white. However, this may not have been what your genetic 'timeclock' had you coded for. Following the diet, blood type A which maximizes absorption of key micro-nutrients, and lectin avoidance (which can be thyroid-sparing) may have been just the ticket to get your melanin production back into synch.