Thanks in no small part to the famous women who’ve gone grey (and made it a cultural phenomenon, no less), haircare for women over 50 has never been more top of mind. Between advancing science and the beauty industry recognising it needs to cater to the needs of ageing hair, it’s a fruitful time to examine how you can nurture the thickness and texture of your strands through ageing, radical hormonal shifts, periods of high stress, and beyond. Addressing haircare for women over 50, here three experts break down what happens to hair as it ages and what you can do to make it more resilient for fuller, softer, and shinier lengths.
What happens to the scalp and hair as it ages?
It’s inevitable: As time goes on, hair is going to gradually begin changing. “There’s increased shedding and slower hair growth, more frizz and dryness, less volume, and loss of pigmentation in the hair strands resulting in more grey and white hairs,” explains Debra Lin, Ph.D., a hair science expert and chief scientific officer for haircare brand Better Not Younger.
In addition to the effects of ageing, many women are impacted by the transition into menopause, which typically happens between 45 and 55. “The hormonal changes associated with menopause can impact sebum production, which may lead to increased dryness of the scalp and brittleness in hair, and a potential increase in DHT (dihydrotestosterone) sensitivity, which may be linked to hair thinning and hair loss as oestrogen levels decrease,” explains Lin.
As Bridgitte Hill, certified trichologist and founder of Root Cause Scalp Analysis, emphasises: Even the slightest change in hormones can lead to chronic and severe changes to the scalp. “As we age and don’t engage in proper scalp care or maintenance, our ageing scalps lead to deteriorating hair follicles,” explains Hill. “The skin of the scalp experiences similar shifts just as the skin on our faces.”