Hair is an important part of our physical appearance. It is for this reason that both men and women find hair loss (also known as Alopecia) as a stressful experience. Hair significantly enhances youthful looks and gives us an energetic feeling. To a large extent, the condition and style of our hair determine how people perceive and think about us. Most times, men often find hair appearance as an attractive factor of their feminine appeal and desirability.
But unfortunately, many external and internal factors cause hair loss and ageing as we grow older. Statistics showed that hair loss affects 70% of men aged 50 and above and about 40% of women over the age of 70. Shockingly this same statistic suggests that 16% of women under the age of 50 suffer from hair loss.
What Causes Hair Loss and Ageing?
Naturally, hair begins to wear and tear as we grow older. More so, our hair grooming habits affect the rate and extent of hair loss and ageing. For example, chemical treatment of the hair, i.e., bleaching, colouring, perming, and straightening over time, is a major cause of hair weathering and persistent shedding.
For some people, their hair loss is genetic and heritable. At that stage, such Alopecia or hair loss is majorly identified by a consistent reduction in visible scalp and hair density. This recession of hair results in baldness and a contracting frontal hairline.
Some other environmental factors such as ultraviolet radiation, air pollution, smoking have also been linked with hair loss and ageing. Engaging in outdoor activities and holidays under the sun can expose the scape to sunlight and cause the thinning of scalp hair and dryness. Too much sunlight exposure can also make hair lose its colour and natural shine.
Nutrition is also another important factor in hair loss and ageing. Researches have traced inadequate intake of iron and essential amino acid to excessive hair loss. Secondly, most researchers believe that oxidative stress contributes to hair ageing. The reason is that the presence of oxidants during hair growth increases with age due to the body’s inability to fight free radicals. These oxidants often damage the melanocyte (a cell that gives hair its natural colour and youthful look).
How Can I Take Care Of My Ageing Hair?
Hair thinning, dryness and damaged hair are most of the common issues associated with ageing hair. Practising proper hair grooming habits can help to maintain hair quality and slow down the signs of ageing.
For a start, always wash your hair and scalp with a quality shampoo. It is advisable to choose a shampoo with anti-ageing compounds and beneficial antioxidants. Treating your hair to a regular shampoo wash help remove greasy dirt within the hair and leave hair looking fluffy and thicker.
Secondly, having dry hair can cause pain, hair breakage and even hair loss in the long run. Dry hair is the hair that has insufficient moisture. You can avoid dry hair by always applying conditioners after bathe and before stepping under the sun. Doing this will impact the softness and lustre effect to the dry hair.
Lastly, grey hair is a natural phenomenon that occurs with ageing hair. It occurs due to a shortage of hair melanin production at an older age. However, it is important to keep dark hair because of its natural advantage. Dark hairs help to protect the scarp from sunlight rays and also protect our skin from sunburn. Applying hair colourants and dyes can help hair recover its lost colour.
Are There Any Hair Loss Treatment I Can Try?
Absolutely! Nowadays, there are quite a handful of therapies for managing ageing hair loss. Amongst them is applying Minoxidil infused creams. Minoxidil is known in cosmetics for its ability to slow or stop hair loss and promote hair regrowth. Minoxidil stimulates hair regrowth by allowing oxygen, blood and nutrients to penetrate into hair pores.
Hair transplant is also another option to reverse hair loss. Over here, surgeons cut and implant fertile layers of scalp into the bald areas of hair growth.
Lastly, it is advisable to eat foods and fruits rich in antioxidants. Vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E are beneficial antioxidants with several anti-ageing benefits. More so, the shortage of Iron is linked with hair loss in some women. Supplementing nutrients like Iron and Amino acid can also help to facilitate hair regrowth.