Some things in life are inevitable, like aging. *Sigh*
As we grow older, many things begin to change, some for the better… and some for the worse.
Along with the wisdom and experience of age come some peskier side effects, like achy joints, reading glasses and graying hair.
Although you may not be struggling with any of those things yet, they are probably down the road just waiting for you to catch up with them. Unfortunately, genetics play a big roll in how we age so there may not be a lot you can do to stave off some of the things you may not be looking forward to with as much enthusiasm.
Let me break down a little of the science behind how our hair, specifically, changes as we age.
If you read the last entry, you know that there are a lot of body systems that work together to support our hair growth. (If you haven’t read it yet, you definitely should!)
One of those main systems is obviously our skin, with all of it’s nerve endings and various glands. It’s essentially the potting soil to the beautiful flower which is our hair.
As we age, our skin naturally gets thinner, which does not lend itself as nicely to to support the thick, supple locks of our 20’s and 30’s.
Hormones also play a large roll in the growth rate and production of new hair. Just like how all new hair starts to sprout in all new places when we hit the hormone surge of puberty, the decrease in hormones as we age does the opposite. You’re apt to find once you reach your 50’s or 60’s that your legs and underarms don’t need to shaved as often as they once did.
Maybe you’re just starting to see the sprinkling of gray in the hair on your head, and are starting to wonder if the rest of your hair will gray as well. Well, it might. Obviously this kind of thing will be different for everyone, as graying is mostly determined by genetics.
Your natural hair color is controlled by a pigment called Melanin, which is produced by the hair follicle. As we get older, the follicles produce less of the pigment, which is what causes the gray, or white, appearance. Often, people start to notice gray in their 30’s. *Gasp!* And while body and facial hair also gray, it is usually later than the scalp. Hair in the armpit, chest and pubic areas may or may not gray at all…. Just leave it to genetics to surprise you!
Aside from color, the thickness and texture of hair also changes. Nearly everyone experiences some sort of loss or thinning with age. This is because your hair’s growth rate slows.
Many men experience Male-Pattern Baldness, in which the hair line can completely work it’s way back, starting at the temples and essentially crawling it’s way back over the top of your head. Conversely, it may also start at the crown and work it’s way down and forward. OR, if you’re really lucky (Not!), maybe a combination of both. (Your genes get to decide that for you too!)
In women, Female-Pattern Baldness also exists, and is primarily hormone related. While the main hairline usually stays the same, the hair will begin to thin significantly and the scalp will be visible thru the remaining hair.
*Important Side Note: Sudden hair loss can be a sign of health issues, so you should definitely let your doctor know if you have concerns!
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for baldness, although there are some areas of treatment that may help a little. You would just need to explore those options with your doctor.
And if all that talk of thinning hair wasn’t bad enough, the fun part (Again, not really!) is that other coarse, long, dark hairs can show up where before there was none. *yay!*
For women, these fun new hairs tend to show up on the chin, lip and neck. Ugh!
In men, they’re more prone to make their grand appearance in the eyebrows, ear and nose!
Then, just as a little icing on the cake, you may notice that any hair you have left is much drier than it used to be.
Luckily I have some good news in this aspect! While the oil glands that naturally lubricate and moisturize the hairs shrink over time, you can help the dryness significantly with the products that you choose to use. For instance, shampoos and conditioners (or even oral supplements!) with Biotin can really boost the moisture your hair retains.
You can also help keep your hair’s moisture intact by limiting color dyes and heat damage, caused primarily by hair dryers, curling irons, and straighteners.
So now that I’ve given you deep-seeded fears of losing all the hair on your head and having it sprout from your under-chin, just look on the bright side of aging…
At least your car insurance rates have probably gone down :)
Call the professionals down at Sugar Mama Waxing to help tame those pesky stray hairs on your chinny-chin-chin…
They’ll help you feel a little less like a wolf, and more like the FOX you really are!