How Hair Changes as We Age
Aging is inevitable, with it comes physical changes — wrinkled skin, weaker bones, and greying hair. The latter being the one of the earliest to manifest in life. However, graying isn’t the only thing that happens to hair as you age, your mane goes through a whole (gradual) aging process.
Here are some of the hair changes you may notice over the years:
The change in hair color is the most obvious of all hair changes as you get older. While some people go grey prematurely for several reasons — including stress and unhealthy living — the usual culprit is the lack of melanin production.
As you age, the pigment cells in the hair follicles die. With fewer cells, the strands can contain less melanin which leaves hair looking more transparent, aka grey.
Thinning Hair and Hair Loss
Thinning hair is a common concern as you age. The rate of hair growth also slows. How much hair you have on your body and head is determined by your genes. Hair is made of many protein strands. A single hair has a normal life between 2 and 7 years, that hair strand then falls out and is replaced with a new one.
Over time, hair becomes finer, thinner and grows more slowly. So, the thick, coarse hair of a young adult eventually becomes thin, fine, light-colored hair. Some hair follicles can stop producing new hairs altogether.
Men may start showing signs of hair loss by the time they are 30 years old. Many men are nearly bald by age 60. The type of baldness related to the male hormone testosterone is called male pattern hair loss. Hair loss may be at the temples or at the top of the head.
In Women, the hair becomes thinner overall, the part line may widen, and the temple areas can recede. Hair becomes less dense and the scalp may become visible.
Aside from color, the loss of protein in the hair also makes it more fragile. As it grows weaker, hair becomes brittle and less elastic. This leads to breakage when it is pulled instead of it bouncing back.
The outer protective cuticle of hair strands also suffers over time, which makes hair break faster.
Too much bleaching, dye, and straighteners also makes hair dry and more prone to breakage.
How to keep your hair healthy
There are several ways to keep your healthy. One of the best ways though is to eat healthy.
In an article on Cosmopolitan, Trichologist Madeleine Preston shared that eating eggs and fish will help hair strengthening.
“Essential amino acids are more abundant in animal protein and more easily absorbed. Deficiencies of iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin D, B12, and B6 can be common so it’s important to eat foods that contain these vitamins,” Preston explained.
Dietary supplements can also help maintain hair health. Look for supplements that contain Biotin, Niacin and DHT Blockers (Beta Sitosterol & Saw Palmetto).
Hair is made up of protein and as you age, its keratin decreases making your hair thin and prone to breakage. To aid in keeping your hair healthy, pack up on protein.
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Hair Health & Nutrition