Just like our skin will start to wrinkle and sag as we get older, our hair will also show signs of aging. Here are the 4 most prominent signs of aging hair:
The average person notices their first gray hair in their 30s and most people by their 40s. Hair goes gray when cells stop producing pigment (melanin), which happens naturally with age.
Scalp hair often starts graying usually at the temples and extends to the top of the scalp. Hair color becomes lighter, eventually turning white.
Graying is determined by genes. It tends to occur earlier in Caucasians and later in Asians. Nutritional supplements, vitamins, and other products will not stop or decrease the rate of graying.
Hair is made of many protein strands. A single hair has a normal life between 3 and 10 years, then it falls out and is replaced with a new hair. How much hair you have on your body and head is also determined by your genes.
With aging nearly everyone has some hair loss with aging. The rate of hair growth also slows.
Hair strands become smaller and have less pigment. So the thick, coarse hair of a young adult eventually becomes thin, fine, light-colored hair. The density of hair is also greatly affected when many hair follicles stop producing new hairs.
Men may start showing signs of baldness by the time they are 30 years old and many men become nearly bald by age 60. A type of baldness related to the male hormone testosterone is called male-pattern baldness. Hair may be lost at the temples or at the top of the head. (Read more about Male Pattern Hair Loss here.)
Women can develop a similar type of baldness as they age. This is called female-pattern baldness. Hair becomes less dense and the scalp may become visible. (Read more about Female Pattern Hair Loss here)
The oil glands shrink over time and will get less efficient in producing oil to lubricate the hair, as such the hair is left much drier without sufficient coating.
As a person age, the hair also loses some of its elasticity causing it to become brittle. Yet dry, brittle hair is less related to aging and more related to the products use. Hair that is repeatedly treated with chemicals from bleaches, hair straighteners, permanent dyes -- can become stiff, dry and prone to breakage.