Many people give so much attention to the skin for most discussions about body care and anti-aging. There’s a sort of neglect for other parts of the body affected by aging. Statista confirms this in their 2020 report, which shows that skincare products account for 42% of the cosmetics industry global market, and hair care products make up about 22%.
As decent as these percentages are, we must remind ourselves that as the skin is susceptible to aging, so is the hair. In other words, aging affects the hair as much as it affects all other body parts. Unfortunately, hair aging doesn’t get talked about enough.
This post wouldn’t be about comparing skincare and hair care products. Rather, it’ll be about how aging – a natural phenomenon – affects our hair. Similarly, it’ll be about what makes the hair age and actions to mitigate a drastic hair loss.
How Does Our Hair Age as We Grow Older?
Save for the contributions of external factors like pollution, smoking, and sun damage, aging begins from inside our bodies. As we grow older, so do our cells. The implication is that these cells become less active and potent than they used to be, affecting all parts of our body.
How does this affect the hair? The effect of this cellular inactivity on the hair at some point in our lifetime isn’t rocket science. And, to lay it bare, it has to do with our hair’s cycle, which is evident in three stages. The first stage shows growth, the second shows hair transition, and the third shows the resting stage.
This process repeats itself every 7 years, but the older we grow, the more time the process stops at the resting stage due to the cellular inactivity that affects the switch from one stage to another. As a result, our hair ages due to this loss of inefficiency from the cells.
How Does the Hair Show it is aging?
Just like our body gives different signs when we’re sick, our hair also shows signs it is aging. It does so in the following ways:
It Changes in Color
Even though there are different hair colors, the result is almost uniform once aging sets in. The hair changes from whatever color it has into gray, which later transitions into white. It’s not magic. It’s just the halt in the supply of melanin to the root of the hair.
As strange as it might seem, every hair is inherently white before popping out of the scalp, after which melanocytes take their due course. Melanocytes are responsible for delivering melanin to our hair follicles, resulting in the dark colors they have. As we age, this process stops, resulting in the color changes we see.
It Loses Volume
No matter how bountiful your hair may be when you’re younger, once aging sets in, it’ll reduce and lose its volume. This happens when the hair root receives little blood supply, creating cells that grow the hair. That means when there are no cells; there’s no hair production.
While other things like sickness or other harsh medical conditions can cause the reduction of hair volume on our head, aging usually gets the first nod. The loss of hair volume manifests in men and women differently. With men, it happens earlier, and women later. But the fact remains that it inevitably happens as both genders grow older.
It Becomes Dull and Lackluster
When we’re younger, our hair shows a kind of unprecedented beauty and shine. But as we age, it gets dull and a little unattractive. While there are multiple ways people explore to fix this, it doesn’t change that it is a sign our hair is aging.
It also becomes dry and brittle such that whenever it’s combed, it breaks off its strands. And in a short period, it gets frizzy again.
It Changes Texture
A change in hair texture is inevitable as a result of aging. It can go from thick to thin, straight to curly as we age. However, these changes shouldn’t signal doom or cause gloom.
While dealing with it can be tricky, it is not impossible. We need to get educated on this new texture and the best ways to work with it.
How Can You Keep Your Hair Healthy as It Ages?
Hair aging isn’t as bad as most people imagine, provided we identify what to do to slow and manage the process. The following are some things you can do to keep your health as it ages:
Replenish Your Dry Hair
Dryness is one of the signs of aging hair. This happens when the sebaceous gland stops producing natural oil to the hair. So, to keep it healthy, get a good hair product that gives moisture to the hair and replenishes dry hair.
Take Protein-rich Diet
As aging sets in, most people might find it a little difficult to eat as much as they used to. But, for the sake of all-around health, specifically, hair health, eating healthy food is important. A protein-rich diet would go a long way in giving the hair the necessary nutrients. You can also have supplements to improve the efficiency of these nutrients.
Always Lift the Hair Roots
As our hair ages, it becomes very flat and thin. To keep it healthy and attractive, you should lift the hair roots. Several products add fullness to the hair from the bottom to the top. Invest in this and see immediate changes.
Please give it a Boost
You’ll notice that as you age, your hair starts breaking off. This is because some hair has become weaker. To keep it healthy and stronger, you should use products that boost the hair and protect the weaker hair using protection sprays before heat styling. When you do these, you’ll restore shine, fullness, and softness to your hair.
Aging is essentially a natural process everyone undergoes at every body part, including hair. However, it is a change that must be embraced and managed so that you’ll always look your best self.