The first signs of ageing and how you can help maintain good hair as you grow
As we age, it’s not just our skin that’s affected. Our hair and scalp change too. You can slow the effects of ageing with a dedicated hair care routine with the right products to help strengthen, boost and protect your hair as you age.
The rate at which hair grows is determined by our genes, our overall health, the environment and the products we use. As we age, hair cuticle cells become weaker and follicles produce less protein and sebum, leaving hair dull, dry and fragile. As women age, hair often thins and the scalp becomes more visible. Hormonal changes during menopause accelerate this natural process, too, as levels of male hormones are elevated. Recognizing how the hair changes as we age is the first step to taking preventative measures to offset the natural process.
Fade to grey
Grey hair is probably the first and most recognizable sign of ageing and the result of the lack of melanin production, which gives the hair its color. Melanin also makes hair more substantial, so grey hair will feel finer and less voluminous. As greying is genetic, you can’t change it and color treating grey hair can stress already fragile hair.
Wear and tear
A single hair has a lifespan of up to six years. That means that long hair has been exposed to a host of external factors for almost three years, leaving it prone to breakage as the cuticle cells become softened. Environmental factors such as pollution and exposure to the sun damage both hair and scalp, leading to premature ageing in the same way they do with the skin on our face and body. Hair that has been damaged or sensitized ages faster as it quickly becomes dry and fragile.
Through thick and thin
The density of our hair changes over time, growing finer and wispier and losing its volume and body to result in thinner hair. Shedding also increases with age as maturing hair follicles lack the ability to replace lost hairs at the same speed, spending instead more time in the resting phase than in the growth phase. As hair loses its proteins over time it changes in texture – from curly to straight or straight to curly, and from color to grey. Ageing hair also lacks volume, feeling less bouncy and vital.
You can do a lot to maintain the health of your hair and scalp – and don’t need to wait until problems start arising to tackle them. By taking good care of both from early on, you can offset the signs of premature ageing and maintain beautiful and healthy hair.
Get the balance right
You can’t have healthy hair without a healthy scalp. Fuller, thicker, voluminous and lustrous hair starts deep within the hair follicles, so a balanced scalp microbiome is key to good hair. Care for your scalp with products rich in nourishing ingredients that balance and protect.
Ageing hair needs more than conditioner after shampooing. Deliver much needed hydration with a moisturizing hair mask or leave-in treatment to limit breakage and split ends and tame the frizz associated with older hair. Maintain manageable hair and keep it nourished with weekly hair masks and omega fatty acid rich shampoos and conditioners.
Keep your cool
Blow dryers, curling tongs, straightening irons and other heat stylers draw moisture out of the strands, leaving hair dry and unable to withstand damage. Use a heat protectant product before heat styling hair to make sure it bounces back.
Tender loving care
Choose the right products to care for your hair. As hair loses its volume it’s tempting to use products that thicken and boost. Build-up can cause scalp problems that make thinning or breakage worse. Avoid hair products that contain parabens and other ingredients known to disrupt hormones.
A healthy scalp and healthy hair go hand in hand. Find out more about how you can care for yours here.