Aging does a lot to our bodies, but do you know what effects it has on your hair? As we age, our hair goes through a number of changes that affect not only the color, but also the texture. Here are three facts you may not have known about how hair ages.
1. Hair Gets Coarser As You Get Older
As you get older, the number of cuticle layers in your scalp increases. This change can make your hair feel coarser to the touch, and it can cause your hair to seem to dry out much more quickly than it used to. This also makes it more difficult to keep your hair conditioned. The good news is that coarse hair keeps oil away, so you won’t have to wash your hair as often, as it won’t get as oily as it did when you were younger.
2. Graying is Caused by Hairs Losing Pigment
While it’s still not understood why some people gray earlier than others, it’s thought to be largely tied to genetics. The actual graying process is caused by hairs losing the pigment, melanin. When this happens, the hairs change from their original color to a white or gray. For most people, this change begins to occur in their mid to late thirties.
3. Thinner Hairs are Produced
For many (not all) aging adults, new hairs that grow in are significantly thinner hairs. These hairs (called vellus hairs) can make it seem like new hair is not re-growing and give the look of male and female pattern baldness. The specific cause of this is also not known or fully understood, but it is thought to be affected by some combination of genetics and hormonal changes as the body ages.