Why is my hair changing color by itself? [Explained]

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Specialist on Shampoo at - ShampooTopics

I’m Amelia. I have been working with hair care product shampoo and conditioner for 6 long years. This website is an outlet of my deep...Read more

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Seeing any unexpected change in appearance in the mirror can bring us to the brink of panic. We want complete control over our looks. Imagine the stress level if you see that your hair color has changed without a visit to the stylist — by itself. Should you start panicking? — No, hair color change is not the reason to panic. First, you need to get to the bottom of this hair color change.

We’ll look into the question: why is my hair changing color by itself?

Recognizing the problem is the first step (and the most important one).

Then comes the question: can I control it? If the answer is: yes, then we find the most efficient solution. If the answer is: no, we research and look for ways to minimize the inevitable damage.

Our main objective is to arm you with information on all potential reasons for hair color alteration.

To understand these reasons, we should comprehend the general concept of hair color. It’s not complex.

why is my hair changing color by itself

Getting to the core of the hair shaft

Our hair, although thin, has several layers. Its inner layer is called the hair shaft. That’s the location of the melanocytes, cells producing the color pigment.

The pigment goes by the name of melanin and it’s the main player in hair color development.

Why do we have different hair colors if there’s only one pigment? Melanin isn’t homogenous, it has two types, and their different intensity levels and combinations are the source of our diverse hair colors.

Now, we can partly answer the question: why is my hair changing color by itself?

Melanin is the reason. Whether it’s because melanin production stopped or the combinations of melanin components have been altered, is yet to be identified.

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Hair color alteration

Seeing your natural hair color change is not yet the right moment to start panicking. The cause could be relatively benign.

We put all the reasons into two main categories: hair color issues that we can control and eliminate and the ones we have no power over. With the latter, we’ll either accept them or use cosmetic industry achievements to minimize the effect.

Beyond my power

The change of natural hair color not caused by our actions or inaction doesn’t necessarily imply acceptance. It just means that we probably can’t eliminate the cause. But damage control is always in our hands.


As gene code defines our hair color, it can also program when we start losing it a.k.a. getting grey hair.

Melanin pigment production decrease and stop can be predetermined.

You may have noticed that the age when people turn gray, usually runs in the family. In some cases, it happens at a young age.

If you’ve spotted a white lock in your raven black hair, look at your family history. It could be a common trait.

Although unpleasant, it’s not a huge deal. Your beautiful black hair can be easily restored after one visit to a hair salon.

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Getting older

A natural process when melanocytes in hair follicles start diminishing in numbers causes gray hair, which is basically losing any color.

The hair becomes thinner, translucent, and looks like white or gray hair. Hair pigmentation ceases to exist.

No matter the genetic predisposition, sooner or later, gray hairs will appear starting from a few and turning you into a silver fox, with time.

If you can’t rock the silver fox look, your blonde hair or dark hair can be easily returned with a good hair dye.

Health issues

Certain health issues can change your hair color if their condition impacts hair pigmentation.

If the person is required to take drugs like corticosteroids, these medical products can stimulate melanin production.

As a result, your blond hair may get a reddish hue because your natural color pigment has changed. It doesn’t happen overnight, obviously. But if a person takes corticosteroids for years, it can affect the natural hair color.

Insufficient amounts of vitamin B12 can also be responsible for red hair, although it’s not exactly red hair, more like reddish tones in your natural color.

Staying healthy and eating food rich in vitamins B, D, and E as well as iron, biotin, and zinc is a way to keep the color of your hair intact.


A 9-month hormone spree is prone to affect the hair pigment in the most unpredictable ways. Lighter hair or darker, red hair lightening, or blond hair getting brownish, anything is possible.

The most important thing is to stay relaxed and wait it out.

You’ll deal with it when everything calms down.

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Water issues

We put water issues into the category of the reasons for hair changing color which are beyond our control. Although technically, you can filter all the water you use, not only drinking water, there are very few people who do. Hence, uncontrollable situation.

Hard water can cause changes in hair color. Due to its content and harsh components, the natural hair color can lose its glow and change.

If you have brown hair, exposure to hard water will make your hair color dull and darker.

Relocating due to water’s hardness doesn’t seem too productive. But using top-quality specialized hair products for extra moisturizing and nourishing your hair can help restore the hair color.

Within my power

It makes us feel better when we know that it’s up to us to solve the problem and improve the situation. Below we listed such situations where we can eliminate or better prevent the hair color alteration problem.

Hair care

Proper hair care includes washing and conditioning it with the products appropriate for your hair type. Hair styling is also included here as well as dying your hair.

All these procedures make a significant impact on your hair color and overall health.

Some components of the hair products can alternate your hair colour. Like camomile. It can lighten your natural color. Some other chemical hair treatments can affect your hair colour too. Therefore, read the instructions on the box before purchasing the product to make sure your color remains intact.

Hair dye can also be a traumatic procedure, even when done by professionals at a hair salon. Especially, if you are lightening your hair. To minimize the damage and potential color alterations, try to use only high-quality products.

Hair heat styling tools can pose danger to your hair color especially heat styling. The temperature of the styling tools can easily reach 480 °F. As you can imagine, it’s damaging for hair follicles and shafts. Try not to use maximum heat and when possible let your hair rest from heat styling. Your hair follicle will be grateful.

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Sunlight and its UV rays

UV rays have a very negative effect on the hair follicle and the ability to create melanin. That’s where blonde hair strands occur in dark brown hair, medium brown hair, or any other hair color.

Hair lightening — that’s the effect of exposure to direct sunlight. But not the only one. Sun exposure will cause hair strands to get brittle, dull, and dry.

Although some folks welcome ‘natural’ hair lightening, it’s damaging for both hair color and hair growth.

As we don’t forget to use sunblock on our face and body, we should remember that hair is also part of the package. Let’s protect it.

There are a lot of special sun protection hair products on the market, but even after using them, we highly recommend putting on a hat, a cap, or a bandana, any cover will work.

Anxiety and stress

As you probably know, stress is one of the factors that can turn your hair gray prematurely.

The stress hormone is known to cause a lot of damage to the human body.

You have probably heard about people turning gray within days, that’s how quickly cortisol can destroy the natural pigment among other devastating consequences.

A so-called Marie Antoinette syndrome is the condition that the French queen allegedly had. We don’t know if it’s true, but her whole head supposedly turned completely white during one night, her last night before the execution. That’s some great stress.

Contrary to popular opinion, being more laid-back and easy-going is within our power. Establishing a healthy, positive attitude to life will result in healthy hair among other benefits.

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And finally…

Hair is a great indicator of the overall state of the human body. Healthy hair is a very good sign of your overall health (not 100%, of course).

Therefore, if you notice that your hair color has changed, and maybe your hair lost its shine and silky texture, it’s time to investigate. There is a reason for the change.

Your first step is to find out what it is. If you realize that solving a problem is not up to you, the second step will be to start so-called ‘symptomatic treatment’ (like dying your hair).

If you are able to eliminate the threat, then do it, and your natural color will return to you. If our article helped you with any of the steps, we will be absolutely delighted.

Frequently asked questions

What is it called when your hair changes color naturally?

The most common hair color change is when your hair turns gray while you are getting older. It happens to everyone, though some folks can experience that earlier in life, for example, after going through an extremely stressful experience.

By and large, your hair changes color when something happens with the natural color pigment in your hair called melanin.

The combination of its types creates your personal hair tone. When something happens with the pigment, that’s when the change occurs.

Can your hair naturally change color?

Exposing your hair to UV rays — being in direct sunlight has a lightening effect on your hair. Unfortunately, it’s very damaging, too. It can give your blonde hair cute platinum strands, but, at the same time, it will dry your hair immensely. The hair will become thin, brittle, and hard to style.

Another common reason for natural color alteration is age. When your hair gradually turns gray, it’s a natural process, which you cannot stop, but can easily hide with one of many hair dyes available on the market.

What disease changes hair color?

When a disease causes hormonal disbalance in your body, you can experience color change. For example, the thyroid produces hormones participating in the melanin creation process.

That’s why, any problems related to the thyroid can affect hair color. The exact influence will depend on the individual.

Another condition is vitiligo. This is a disease with autoimmune origin associated with the loss of color pigment both on the skin (people suffering from it have visible white spots of different sizes on their skin) and hair.

Loss of pigment turns it gray or white which means that all the color pigment cells were affected.

Why does it look like my hair changes color?

Multiple factors can cause color change, including natural graying with age or long periods spend in direct sunlight. Pregnancy with its hormonal instability is another widespread cause. A blonde person can notice that the hair is becoming darker or even getting a reddish hue.

Color alteration can be triggered by stress due to the excessive production of cortisol.
Even the quality of water and its hardness level can be the reason for that.

shampootopics Author Image
AmeliaSpecialist on Shampoo at - ShampooTopics

I’m Amelia. I have been working with hair care product shampoo and conditioner for 6 long years. This website is an outlet of my deep passion for hair, Shampoo and Conditioner. Basically, I'm here to guide you on shampoo and conditioner.

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