As the number of candles on our birthday cakes accumulate, the cells that grow our hair decrease. Your hair then starts falling out, and before you realize, your ponytail just isn’t as thick as what it used to. It’s distressing but inevitable, and we’re here to tell you that happy, healthy hair after your 40’s is possible (Yes, that’s right!). Read on for all you need to know about hair thinning and aging, and a manageable anti-aging hair regime for your everyday pro-aging haircare needs.
With hormone decrease, comes hair decrease
The female body changes drastically when we hit our 40’s and 50’s thanks to the slowed production in estrogen that begins in our late 30s. So when we hit our 40’s, we are rudely awakened to the changes in mind and body, and the thought of menopause just around the corner.
We all sort of, kind of, but don’t really want to know that when hormone levels drop, so does skin elasticity – due to the decrease in collagen. But did you know it affects hair as well? The drop in hormone slows hair follicle regeneration and dulls dermal papilla, the skin layer responsible for nourishing hair follicles and, subsequently, hair growth. And a disrupted hair cycle is the culprit of conspicuous hair loss and thinning.
Hair then becomes thin, loses its strength, has no volume, and styling is a pain every morning. Hair parts start growing wider, hair straightens even after treatment, and it feels like a losing battle to retain shine.
But wait, what even are hormones?
“I’m sorry, it must have been my hormones speaking!”
Men and women alike have all jokingly used hormones to explain unwarranted emotional outburst in the female population. But it’s true, mood swings and physical changes are a biological feature of being a woman. Think of it as the side effect of the female hormone.
Hormones are information transmission substances necessary to maintaining human life. The female hormone estrogen that controls our bodies and emotions? It’s not just women, men have it too! Estrogen is the distinguishing force behind the feminine body and the beauty of skin and hair. The male hormone testosterone on the other hand, is responsible for the combination of beards and muscles in men, and brain function as well as muscle and bone strength in both genders. Men have a higher proportion of testosterone while women have a high proportion of estrogen.
Therefore, when our bodies begin to slow down the production of estrogen – the essence to beautiful hair – in our 40’s, it cuts down on the hair growth cycle. Symptoms of a shortened hair growth cycle include decrease in number of hairs growing from one hair follicle, hair becoming more fine, and experiencing overall thinning hair.
The decrease in estrogen may lead to an increase in testosterone levels, which may trigger the onset of the male-pattern hair thinning syndrome AGA (Androgenetic Alopecia) in women. Depending on how your hormone balance collapses, the type of thinning and symptoms associated may vary.
Secrets to gorgeous hair in your 40’s and 50’s
Don’t start shopping online for wigs just yet, beautiful hair is achievable even in your 40’s and 50’s! By nourishing your dermal papilla with adequate nutrition, you can improve thin hair and slow down premature hair decay.
- Start thinking scalp care
“Poor blood circulation”, “dry scalp”, and “lower vitality in the hair roots” are common scalp issues associated with age. Make this a reason to pamper yourself with scalp massages, an effective countermeasure to hair loss. Not only extremely relaxing, but a scalp massage also improves blood circulation, stimulates hair growth, and improves hair root nourishment.
- Do hair care right
When you get older, your scalp begins producing less sebum. So get rid of that deep cleansing shampoo, you are washing out necessary sebum! Take a trip to your nearest drugstore and buy yourself some deep moisturizing shampoo. Use a face moisturizer for some extra hydration action. Hair tonic is also great for stimulating hair growth.
- Watch your diet
Pull out your grocery list and get writing. Soybeans contain the nutrient “isoflavone” that hold similar properties to estrogen in “enhancing female hormones”, “strengthening capillary vessels” and “heightened antioxidant activity”. Incorporating foods high in antioxidants also helps delay aging by removing active acids that oxidize (or damages) cells. Fermented foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, kimchi, umeboshi, yogurt, and natto; and marine ingredients hijiki, seaweed, mozuku, kelp and small fish are just some of many high isoflavone and antioxidant ingredients to add to your daily diet.
- Sleep is NOT for the weak
Bring out your inner Sleeping Beauty. That’s right, who says you have to be an early bird and be up by 8AM on a weekend once you hit 40-years-young. Good quality sleep is essential to keeping fit. What’s more, growth hormones are produced when you are asleep, so be sure to get a good night’s rest for a healthy head of hair!
- Get movin’ (and groovin’)
Muscles waste away with age, so if you don’t use it, you lose it. It’s not just muscles you are doing without, but also a deterioration in blood vessels and bad blood flow. Aerobic exercises such as walking and swimming are not enough, start incorporating strength training into your exercise regime for maintaining muscles that will secrete that much-needed estrogen.
Now that you know why we can’t seem to get our hair right once we hit a certain birthday, and a repertoire of lifestyle and pro-aging hair care tips you can do to prevent premature hair loss, start today and don’t give up for gorgeous hair at any age!