Hair care; Our hair undergoes plenty of changes as we age. Just look at photos of your mum when she was your age and compare her hair, to how it is now to know roughly what you’re in for!
Why does hair go grey?
Over the years, our hair changes color. Quite when this begins is determined largely by your genes and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it, despite what many dietary supplement companies may claim. Ask your mum when her first grey strands appeared to get an idea of when your own hair might be affected. Usually, this occurs during your 30s, though for some women it could be earlier and for others, it might be later.
Hair goes grey because the hair follicles stop producing melanin, which is what gives the hair its color. This often begins with the hair follicles near the temples, then gradually spreads across the scalp. The more hair follicles that stop producing melanin. The more the hair looks grey – and eventually white, once there are no follicles producing melanin anymore.
What other changes occur to hair as it ages?
Slowly going grey (and then white) isn’t the only change that hair undergoes as we age. The hair strands become smaller. which is what produces the fine, wispy hair texture that we associate with older ladies. Many follicles also stop producing hairs altogether, exacerbating that thinning process.
Both men and women can develop bald patches as they age, as well. Male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness are largely determined by genetics. Almost everyone will find their hair thins as they age. But some will experience more significant hair loss than others.
Medication – minoxidil – is available for men and women suffering from this kind of hair loss. Either as prescription tablets or an over-the-counter liquid or foam. An increasing number of hair care brands are also offering products with minoxidil, giving women (and men) an easy way to incorporate it into their regular hair care routine.
How to care for aging hair
There are plenty of steps that you can take to look after your hair as you grow older, to ensure that it always looks its best. Start with the scalp and work outwards, from root to tip, considering which products you can use to nurture each part. As your hair changes, so will the products you need. This means there’s a whole array of exciting new products for you to discover as soon as you spot those first tell-tale grey strands!
Think first about how best to nourish your scalp. Your skin there deserves plenty of attention as it gets older. Products with nourishing oils like coconut or ingredients such as vitamin E are a great choice for locking in moisture.
For the hair itself, anything with panthenol can help with strength and shine. While conditioning masks and leave-in treatments can work wonders for restoring moisture. Make such treats a regular part of your hair care routine for maximum benefit.
Of course, some hair care lessons apply to any age. Regular trims at the salon will promote healthy growth and minimize split ends while avoiding heat-styling will help to prevent dryness, damage, and breakage. If you can cut blow drying out entirely, so much the better. Air drying is by far the healthier choice. When it comes to caring for the long-term health of your hair and the is particularly important the older the hair gets.
If you do style with tongs or straighteners, be sure to use a good-quality heat protector spray as part of the process. There are also some great strength-boosting, leave-in spritzes on the market these days, which are well worth a try.
Passing your hairstyles on to the next generation
For many women, their hair is aging while their children’s hair is still looking buoyant and youthful. It’s an opportunity to pass on hair care and styling knowledge that’s built up over the years.
When it comes to styles, many daughters look to their mothers as role models. A survey from All Things Hair recently explored this, asking women which hairstyle they love because it was one that they inherited from their mums.
Natural hair was the clear winner, with 28.5% of women having the confidence to showcase their natural look after growing up seeing their mothers do the same. Next came waves and curls; 12.7% of women reach for the curling iron (or the rollers, or the rags) as their go-to look that was passed down from mother to daughter. For 11.3% of women, it was a ponytail that they inherited – an ultra-classic style. That can range from artfully messy to smooth and sleek depending on the look being sought.
Just as these styles are passed down from one generation to the next, so too are attitudes to hair. Women who embrace going grey and seek to run with it. Rather than run from it, are likely to see their daughters do the same when their own time comes.
Styling tips for older hair “hair care”
There’s something to be said for aging gracefully when it comes to hairstyles. And with a wealth of texturizing powders and sprays available, rollers and blue rinses are definitely no longer the only option!
If you’re unsure about how to style your hair as it ages, take a trip to the salon. Your hairdresser will have plenty of tips and advice to share, so make an appointment and get talking.
As with hairstyles for women of any age. There’s also plenty of inspiration to be found on social media, film/TV, the red carpet, and various figures in the public eye. And YouTube, of course. YouTube is awash with videos featuring trendy cuts for older women. As well as styling tips, advice on accessories, product reviews, and much, much more. Aging gracefully and stylishly has never been so easy!