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Mature Hairline | The Role Aging Plays in Hair Loss

March 25, 2021

4 Min read

Just like skin, our hair changes as we age. From mature hairlines to coarser textures to greying roots, hair aging is triggered by both internal and external factors. Interestingly, skin and hair anti-aging have a lot in common: hydration is the name of the game and ingredients like collagen and antioxidants are your MVPs. To learn more about why hair ages and how to slow down the clock, we spoke to Dr. Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist.

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Age-related hair loss & prevention

Dr. King says the two biggest drivers of age-related hair loss are genetics and hormones. “Female pattern hair thinning (androgenetic alopecia) is related to sensitivity of the hair follicles to hormones, which is primarily genetically determined,” she explains. Mature hairlines in men are similarly related to hormones and follicle sensitivity. However, lifestyle factors like stress, poor diet, and overall health can accelerate genetic predisposition to hair loss, so prevention is key. 

While two-thirds of American men experience noticeable hair loss by age 35, age-related hair thinning in women begins after age 40 and intensifies during menopause, when estrogen levels drop and testosterone becomes more dominant. Menopause and the symptoms of menopause (insomnia, hot flashes, brain fog) can cause both mental and physical stress that worsens hair loss during this time of life. Our bodies also face more oxidative stress from free radicals as we get older, which is why antioxidant-rich foods and supplements are so important for hair anti-aging and whole-body vitality.

In addition to staying hydrated, eating lots of high quality protein and green veggies, and managing stress, a natural hair supplement like Prose Root Source™ can support hair health against the effects of aging. Ingredients like grape extract provide an antioxidant boost to fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals, while sustainably sourced saffron has been shown to modulate feelings of stress and anxiety in clinical studies. Unlike other hair supplements that target and block hormones, Root Source™ supports hair growth with a proprietary blend of clinically-proven millet, wheat, and coriander to stimulate hair growth at the bulb of the follicle, while thickening collagen to anchor and secure the hair*.

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How aging affects hair color and texture

“Hair follicles contain melanocytes, which are the cells that produce the pigment melanin,” says Dr. King. “With age comes a reduction of melanin production; hair turns gray and eventually white.” Like hair loss from aging, graying hair is largely determined by genetics, Dr. King shared, but an unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, poor nutrition, low B vitamins) as well as health issues like anemia and thyroid conditions can speed up genetic predisposition to gray hair.

Although gray hairs are actually finer than non-gray hairs, they have a coarser texture that can make them look dry. “As we age, our sebaceous glands produce less sebum — which lubricates both skin and hair — leading to drier follicles,” explains Dr. King.

Here are some anti-aging tips for soft, hydrated, youthful hair: 

  • Shampoo less. Since the scalp produces less sebum with age, it’s important to preserve natural oils by shampooing less frequently. 
  • Avoid harsh ingredients. Dr. King says sulfates and other harsh detergents can strip natural oils and dry hair out. Opt for moisturizing products with clean ingredients
  • Support collagen production. Collagen plays a key role in a healthy, hydrated scalp. The millet in Prose Root Source™ has been shown to increase the thickness of collagen in the connective tissue of the hair follicle, helping to keep it anchored and secured. 
  • Don’t pluck grays. “Stay away from the tweezers!” says Dr. King. “At best you’ll make your hair thinner temporarily and at worst you can traumatize the hair follicle enough to cause scarring and the hair won’t grow back — permanently making your hair thinner.”

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

April Walloga is a beauty and lifestyle editor who’s written extensively on hair health and the root causes of hair loss. She is the former and founding editor in chief of Revelist.com and has been a lead editor at publications like Business Insider, Gotham magazine, and xoVain.com. In her spare time you can find her perusing what’s new at Sephora or enjoying Riverside Park with no less than her third cup of coffee that day.

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