Hair Care Tips
Change is the only constant in life, which is true for your hair, too. As you grow older, shifts like a shorter hair growth cycle, a smaller diameter of hair follicles, and a drier scalp skin are inevitable. All this influences the look and feel of the hair on your head.
Certified trichologists state that not only age-driven hormonal changes make your hair thinner but also oxidative stress affects the way the scalp functions. The stress disrupts hair growth cycles and reduces the production of lipids responsible for shiny, smooth, and soft hair fibers. Curly, coily, and highly textured hair is especially prone to dryness since such hair textures simply can’t retain moisture. This is due to the genetic design of hair fibers.
Hair color also changes over time, but hair doesn’t turn gray overnight. Although people can get gray hair at any age, pigment cells in hair follicles die gradually. The process of aging in the body at the cellular level starts in your early 20s, and for the hair, it takes place at roots or bulbs.
Since it’s not in your power to stop the process of aging, the only thing you can do is slow it down. For this, you need to understand why changes in texture and color happen and how to promote hair regrowth in case of its loss. Certified hair, brow, and facial hair surgeons shared their knowledge of hair aging stages and what to do about it.
Hair Turning Gray
You probably remember that striking moment when you noticed a sparkly silver strand in your dark chevelure or someone pointed out a wiry white strand sticking up at the back of your head.
With age, hair follicles produce less melanin and become more transparent. A major health event can also cause premature gray hair.
Recent research discovered amino acids responsible for melanin production. The decrease in tyrosine that participates in the synthesis of melanin and glutathione needed for fighting oxidative stress can be a factor, too.
What To Do About It:
Use shampoos specifically designed for gray hair that is more sensitive to weather conditions and air pollution. Such shampoos hydrate, boost shine and make silver strands less dry and frizzy.
Hair Thinning and Falling Out
Hair shedding at the rate of about 100 hairs per day is normal, trichologists say. However, when hormone levels fluctuate, it can cause a dramatic difference. Our experts explain that the aging process leads to a decline in hormone levels and the deterioration of the overall hair and scalp health. Research has proven that even the slightest shift in a delicate balance of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone results in severe hair shedding and fallout.
Other factors affecting healthy scalp and hair growth include diet/nutrition, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, prescription medications, products and practices for hair care and styling, and emotional stressors.
In women, hormones fluctuate not only during menopause, when the levels of estrogen and progesterone drop significantly. Pregnancy is often associated with postpartum hair loss. The good news is that hair shedding due to pregnancy is temporary and should reverse itself once hormone levels get back to normal.
What To Do About It:
The best is to consult a trichologist or dermatologist, who will devise a treatment plan for you, depending on how much you’re concerned about the amount of hair you lose.
OTC options include treatments with minoxidil. Alternatively, you can try a laser therapy cap to stimulate regrowth and strengthen your hair.
In-office procedures involve administering a cocktail of cytokines, extracellular vesicles, peptides, proteins, and hyaluronic acid, as well as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections aimed at partial reversal of hair thinning and loss.
However, medicines and treatments only can slow down the age-related changes. In the case of genetic hair loss, hair transplant surgery seems to be the only permanent solution.
Dryness and Changes in Hair Texture
In addition to age-related hair damage, other factors like exposure to the sun and your individual hair and scalp care routine can compromise the quality of the threads. If you spend time in the sun without a hat on or use hairstyling products that accelerate the wear and tear of such delicate fabrics as the scalp and hair, you provoke unfavorable changes. Chemical substances contained in hair dyes are not always beneficial either.
What To Do About It:
It’s key to maintain a healthy scalp since this is what hair texture directly depends upon. Think of introducing in your routine such products as a scalp scrub and serum. The first product will lift a buildup from your scalp and hydrate it. The second leave-in product will nourish hair follicles and condition roots, keeping your scalp balanced and creating optimal conditions for hair growth. Usually, these products suit any hair types and textures.