This is what happens to your hair as you grow older

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

As we get older, our hair goes through a number of changes.

Dr Erika Schwartz said via The New York Times: "Like everything else in aging, your hair suffers the consequences."

One change is the loss of melanin, the molecule responsible for hair colour.

"Thick, shiny hair is a hallmark of youth," said Dr Erika.

READ more | Jada Pinkett Smith opens up about hair loss, saying she wants to be friends with alopecia

How quickly a person's hair loses colour has to do with genetics and the extent to which the hairline recedes.

Most people's hair also goes through telogen, the phase in which hair growth slows significantly.

Dr Dendy Engelman, a dermatologist, said via The New York Times: "I tell my patients they aren't imagining it. Hair really does spend less time in the growth phase as we get older."

In addition, hair follicles undergo changes that can result in thinner hair, also known as 'miniaturisation.'

"Think of your scalp like parched earth- when it is dehydrated, hair become less rooted," said Jeni Thomas (Procter and Gamble) via The New York Times.

Both men and women also experience a decrease in sebum production, which makes hair shiny.

READ MORE | 'I didn't comb my afro for more than a year. This is what happened'

Experts say that if you choose to combat these changes to your hair, make sure to update and maintain your new routines.

Debra Lin said via The New York Times: "A lot of women have figured out what worked for them in their 30s. But then they're hit with changes in their 40s and need to figure it out again."

"You can't just do something and stop. You have to keep it up if you want to maintain your results," said Plastic surgeon Dr Gary Linkov via the New York Times.

Follow us on social media: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Sign up to W24's Newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
22% - 537 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
10% - 232 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
49% - 1186 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 36 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 442 votes