The Aging Process of Hair

by Viviscal Hair Expert on February 4th, 2013
anti-aging-hair

Your hair, just like your skin, is susceptible to the natural aging process. As you become older, you’ll gradually begin noticing significant differences in the color, texture, thickness, health and manageability of your hair.

While there is a plethora of anti-aging products for the skin, there tends to be shortage of shampoos and conditioners formulated for aging hair. In order to restore hair to a more youthful state, you need to find products with key ingredients that address the problems associated with aging hair.

Hair Color

Did you know that graying is determined by your genetics? According to the Medline Plus website, Caucasians tend to gray earlier than other ethnicities. Asians are also more likely to gray at an older age.

However, regardless of your ethnicity, graying is just part of the natural aging process, and there’s no way to prevent it from occurring.

In fact, most people start to see gray hair when they are in their 30s. This is because as you age, melanin production slows down. Melanin is the pigment that is responsible for giving hair its natural color. A decrease in melanin production means more gray hair, and hair with absolutely no melanin at all is responsible for white hair.

Hair Texture

Gray hair has a rougher texture than hair that is more pigmented. It also tends to have a slightly spongy and wiry texture. This is due in part to a reduction of melanin.

As your hair becomes lighter, its texture also changes and it becomes dryer and coarser.

Hair Loss

While some hair loss is part of the natural aging process because the growth rate of hair slows down, many people experience significant hair loss that leads to some form of baldness. Hair strands also become thinner and less pigmented while some follicles stop growing altogether, which leads to baldness.

Both men and women may experience baldness to some extent. Two-thirds of men experience significant baldness by the time they reach 60, while around 40 percent of women shows signs of hair loss by age 50; and less than 45 percent of women actually reach the age of 80 with a full head of hair, according to DermNetNZ.org.

Men and women also differ in the types of hair loss they experience. Women develop hair loss known as female-pattern baldness. Female-pattern baldness tends to affect the overall thickness of hair. Hair becomes thinner throughout, causing the scalp to be visible.

The type of baldness men experience, known as male-pattern baldness, is caused by a drop in testosterone, which causes men to lose hair at the temples and on top of the head.

Manageability

Since gray hair has less melanin, it also has less moisture. A lack of moisture means that hair becomes more difficult to style because it also tends to be somewhat wiry. When hair loses moisture, it is also harder to tame flyaway hairs and split ends.

Hair Damage

Overtime, various environmental stressors, such as the sun, wind and air pollution cause damage to the hair shaft. Other factors, such as dying your hair, using a hair dryer and styling your hair with curling irons and hot rollers also lead to extensive hair damage and weakening of the hair cuticle, which leads to split ends. Damaged hair is usually dry, brittle, weak and lacks luster.

You can restore your hair to a more youthful state by addressing all of the common signs associated with aging hair. Invest in a high-quality anti-aging shampoo and conditioner that makes gray hair easier to style. These products should also help to repair past damage from environmental stressors and styling tools. A good-quality shampoo and conditioner for aging hair should also make your hair stronger and prevent future hair loss.

 

Sources

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004005.htm

http://hairfoundation.org/hair-library/article-gray-hair.htm

http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/9023/24253/348513.html?d=dmtContent

http://dermnetnz.org/hair-nails-sweat/female-pattern-hairloss.html