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Aging and hair: The signs and the solutions



Aging is inevitable and for many, the signs of aging is first observed not on the skin, but the hair.


We have compiled the common causes of aging hair signs and what you can do to slow down the process.


1. Grey hair

The color of our hair is controlled by the protein, melanin and it plays an important part in the production of 2 types of pigments: eumelanin and pheomelanin. The former is a dark pigment that is predominant in black and brunette hair while the latter colors hair orange and red, which you see in blonds and redheads. Each hair follicle produces a little hydrogen peroxide, a metallic by-product, that is broken down by the enzyme Catalase into water and oxygen. As we age, the enzyme that breaks down hydrogen peroxide diminishes, resulting in the build-up of hydrogen peroxide in the hair bulb which damages and destroys melanin. With decreasing eumelanin and pheomelanin, the shade and color intensity of your hair decreases, resulting in the grey you see today.


2. Hair Loss (thinning hair)

Do you look in the mirror and feel that your scalp is more prominent? If so, you might be suffering from hair loss. Unlike men, women typically experience thinning hair without going bald. Hormonal change can be a cause in your hair growth patterns. Hair follicles decrease in size with age so finer hair is produced. Also, hair cycles through 3 phases of one life (Growth, transition, and resting phase). In the growth phase, it takes several years for hair to grow to it full capacity and in the resting phase, it fall out. At older ages, each hair spends more time in the resting phase, which means that hair is shedding at a faster rate than it is growing.


3. Change in Hair Texture and Strength

With accumulated damages from years of friction, chemical & heat exposure from hair treatments and styling, it is difficult that your hair does not suffer from the effect of wear and tear. Cells that forms the hair’s protective outer cuticle becomes increasingly fragile and results in a decrease in keratin protein levels and fatty acids, leaving hair brittle, duller, and less elastic. Hair becomes more susceptible to breakage when pulled or stressed. Similarly, oil glands produced less sebum with age, resulting in the drier and rougher textured hair.


Solutions:


1. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Having the right nutrients in your diet aids hair growth. Increasing vegetables, fruits and food that are rich in vitamin B12 and B9 in your intake and cutting down on junk and processed food are just one way. Exercising, having sufficient sleep and staying hydrated also provide beneficial impacts. The amalgamation of these factors not only keep the body in optimal condition to maintain healthy cell activities, it also provides detoxifying effect to purge toxins that trigger hair whitening.


2. Stimulate your scalp.

Research conducted Eplasty in 2016 has concluded that hair massages may increase the volume of hair. Additional research in 2019 further supports these findings. According to the study, the stretching of hair follicles’ cells through scalp massage stimulates it to produce thicker hair and aids in the dilation of blood vessels beneath the skin, encouraging hair growth.


3. See your doctor

If all else fails, check with a doctor to ensure that it is not an underlying medical condition (thyroid disorder, vitiligo, anemia etc) that is causing areas of your hair to turn white. Even if it isn’t, at least you know that you are not suffering from illness.


Know any other remedies? Let us know by commenting down below!


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