The Truth About Changes in Hair Texture as You Age
As we age, it’s not just our skin that undergoes changes – our hair also changes in texture and appearance. This can be a source of frustration for many people, especially since the changes can start as early as our 30s and become more noticeable over time. But what exactly causes these changes, and is there anything we can do to prevent or slow them down?
Why Does Hair Texture Change with Age?
The first thing to understand is that hair texture is largely determined by genetics, but there are several factors that can impact it as we age. Here are some of the main ones:
Hormonal changes can have a big impact on hair texture. As we age, our bodies produce less estrogen and progesterone, which can cause hair to become finer, drier, and more brittle. Hair may also start to grow in different areas, such as the chin or upper lip, due to changes in hormonal balance.
A diet that lacks essential vitamins and minerals can also impact hair texture. For example, a deficiency in iron or vitamin D can lead to thinning or brittle hair. This is because these nutrients play important roles in producing healthy hair follicles.
Exposure to environmental factors such as sun, wind, and pollution can also affect hair texture. These elements can cause hair to become dry, brittle, and more prone to breakage. Additionally, using harsh styling products or heat tools can also damage hair over time.
Illness or Medication
Illness or medication can also impact hair texture. For example, chemotherapy can cause hair to become thin and brittle, while thyroid disorders can lead to hair loss or thinning.
What Are the Common Changes in Hair Texture?
Now that we understand why hair texture changes with age, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common changes:
As we age, hair follicles may shrink, which can lead to thinner hair. Thinning hair is especially common in women, and can be caused by hormonal changes, nutrient deficiencies, or genetics.
Gray hair is a natural part of aging. As we get older, our hair follicles produce less pigment, which causes hair to turn gray or white. Genetics play a big role in when and how quickly hair turns gray, but stress and illness can also accelerate the process.
Over time, hair may become drier and more brittle. This is because aging can decrease oil production in the scalp, which can cause hair to become dry and prone to breakage.
Some people may notice that their hair becomes coarser and wiry as they age. This is due to changes in the hair shaft, which can cause hair to become less elastic and more prone to frizz.
Can You Prevent or Reverse Changes in Hair Texture?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some changes in hair texture are simply a natural part of aging and cannot be prevented or reversed. However, there are several things you can do to keep your hair as healthy and vibrant as possible, such as:
Eating a Healthy Diet
Eating a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of iron, vitamin D, and biotin can help support healthy hair growth and prevent thinning or breakage.
Using Gentle Hair Care Products
Avoid using harsh hair care products that can strip your hair of its natural oils and cause damage. Instead, opt for gentle, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners that are specifically designed for your hair type.
Protecting Your Hair from Damage
To prevent damage from environmental factors and styling tools, wear hats or scarves when you’re outside and avoid using heat tools like curling irons or straighteners too often.
Treating Underlying Health Conditions
If you suspect that an underlying health condition or medication is causing changes in your hair texture, talk to your doctor about possible treatment options.
While changes in hair texture can be frustrating, it’s important to remember that they’re a normal part of aging. By understanding the underlying causes and taking steps to keep your hair healthy, you can still have beautiful, vibrant hair no matter your age.