It is evident from a glance at childhood photos that hair changes dramatically over time. One-time blond ringlets can morph into brown wavy locks over your childhood years, for example. Although gradual, hair changes are continual, and a natural part of life. Some people might experience dramatic hair changes, such as baldness or excessive thinning. Others might experience textural changes, colour changes or even excessive growth.
One thing we all experience is cyclical hair loss. That’s one of the natural cycles our follicles go through. Sometimes you’ll lose a lot of hair, and other times not much at all. It can be alarming when your hair isn’t behaving as you’ve come to expect, but fortunately there are often answers. At New Image Hair Extensions in Manchester, we have seen it all. In this article we’ll impart some information on common hair changes and what you can do about them.
How your hair works
Every strand is made up of the protein keratin, which keeps it strong. There is also an outer layer, which can be likened to overlapping sheets, and these constitute the hair cuticle. The hair you can see is technically dead, but the part of the hair inside the follicle is alive. The epidermis and dermis of the scalp contains incredibly fast-growing cells.
Hair changes and ageing are generally the result of hormonal or biochemical changes, or environmental factors. These will affect the follicle and consequently the constitution and appearance of the hair.
Each of your hairs will stay alive for between four and five years. It tends to grow at a rate of just under half an inch each month, so it makes sense that hair that has been around for years will have been through quite a lot. That could include UV, heat damage, chemical damage, etc.
The cuticle cells will soften and raise, which makes your hair appear more rough. It will also break more easily, and the follicles will eventually start to produce smaller and thinner hairs. In some cases, they stop producing hair completely.
Although the hair greying process is not fully understood, it is thought that hair melanin (the pigment giving skin and hair its colour) production slowly halts. There is a definite genetic factor, and there is also a parallel between the colour of your skin and when it will grey: the darker your skin, the longer your hair will take to grey. To give you an example, most Caucasians will start to grey in their 30s.
There is also a theory that oxidative stress is behind greying hair. This basically means that free radical production is amplified as new hairs start to form, and this in turn damages the pigment within the follicle cells. Similarly, hair may become more coarse and unmanageable when melanin has diminished, as the cells responsible for its production are also responsible for the keratin production.
Hair thinning and baldness
It is not only men that experience pattern baldness. Women often also experience some degree of balding as they get older, meaning that their hair will at the very least start to thin out with more of the scalp becoming visible. Again, genetics can play a part in this, as can smoking and changing hormone levels. Another thing that can affect this is vitamin deficiency, and some health conditions.
Although this might not seem like an issue, for some people it is. There is a condition known as Hirsutism, and it makes hair grow on women’s bodies the way it does naturally on men’s. Although harmless, Hirsutism often causes embarrassment. It can also be a genetic issue, but sometimes ageing seems to trigger it. Certain types of medication might also cause it; for example, the medicine given to treat polycystic ovaries.
What you can do about the above hair problems
There are five main solutions that will help you to overcome negative hair changes:
• Stop exposing hair to chemicals and heat
• Use products that aid hair growth and scalp circulation
• Use natural, plant-based hair dyes that condition rather than damage
• Refrain from smoking and try to find alternatives to medications that alter your natural hair production patterns
One of the best options for those suffering from thinning hair (dependent on the cause, of course) is to install hair extensions. Provided that the extensions are not going to exacerbate an already fragile scalp condition, they can be attached to give your hair the appearance of thickness and length.
When the reason behind your hair thinning is natural ageing, hormones or wear and tear, we can install hair extensions in our Manchester salon to improve the overall look of your hair. If you’re not sure whether this is right for you, you’re welcome to pop in for a free consultation and we’ll help you to decide in the right course of action.
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