There is one thing that most women don’t think about when it comes to hair, age. In every stage of your life your hair is different, from the time it grows in and as you age your hair texture, curl pattern, and even color can change.
A single hair may live about 4 or 5 years. Given that hair grows, on average, a little less than half an inch per month, hair that is 12 inches in length has seen almost three year’s worth of ultraviolet light, friction from brushing, heat from blow dryers, curling irons, and straighteners, and chemical exposure through coloring, perming or straightening.
A baby’s hair is soft and fine. But it changes during childhood, it is still flexible, but becomes bigger in diameter. Through adolescence and adulthood, hair texture is increasingly coarser in general. Over time, hair may gradually produce thinner, smaller strands, or none at all. Many older adults, in addition to becoming more gray, notice thinning hair.
OK, now that we got through all the Science part of it, I will tell you about what the aging process really does to your hair.
Like so many things baby-related, newborn hair (or lack thereof) is unpredictable. Whether your baby’s bald or bushy depends upon a mix of genetics, ethnicity, and hormones. Try not to get too attached to the look, his hair will likely change during the first year.
If your baby was born with hair, he’ll probably start to shed it during the first six months, thanks to hormonal changes. That hair loss peaks when infants are around 3 to 4 months old, And it can be quite dramatic (a hairy kid can turn into a bald one) or more subtle. Once all his new hair grows in (sometimes as early as 6 months, sometimes as late as toddlerhood), it may have a completely different texture or color, or both.
However your baby’s hair looks when it grows in, it will be finer-and more fragile-than yours, so follow these tress tips to prevent it from getting too dry or damaged:
• Babies under 6 months produce less oil on their scalps, so there’s no need to shampoo more than two times a week.
• Once your child is older-and more likely to rub bananas in her hair-you may want to shampoo it more often.
• A good trick for preventing knots if your baby has a lot of hair or tight curls: Use a baby-friendly conditioner after shampooing and rinse out only about 75 percent of it. Use a spray detangler for sparser hair (leaving in conditioner can make fine hair look greasy), and spritz just the ends, not the scalp. To coax out a stubborn tangle, hold a chunk of the hair between the scalp and the knot, spray it, and gently comb through.
• Since infant hair can break easily, avoid pulling your daughter’s hair into a super tight ponytail until she’s a toddler.
Against may parent’s dismay, babies grow in to children. Once the toddler stage is over, your child’s hair is going to start to change again….
Caring for your child’s hair is not the same as caring for adult hair. Because children have fine hair, and sensitive skin, the shampoos and conditioners used by adults may irritate the skin, and dry out the scalp. These shampoos also contain chemicals that sting the eyes. Using the right shampoo, and using the proper detangling technique is key in keeping your child’s hair and scalp healthy.
Here are some step’s to take care of your little’s one’s hair:
• Brush your child’s hair before shampooing. This will not only make it easier to brush after the shampoo, but will also help prevent breakage caused by brushing wet hair.
• Shampoo with a mild water-based, sulfate-free shampoo that is less likely to sting the eyes￼. According to parenting.com, toddlers should have their hair washed at least three times a week, and children that are preschool age and up should have their hair washed every other day.
• Use a detangling spray. A detangling spray is lighter than conditioner and will allow the hair to be easily combed without being weighed down.
• Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle hair once the spray has been applied. A wide-toothed comb will help prevent breakage.
• Blow-dry hair on a cool setting. If the heat from the blow dryer is too hot, it can damage the hair and dry out the scalp. Due to the sensitivity of children’s skin, it may also burn.
Tweens and Teens
Next comes the dreaded tweens and teens. By this point hair is starting to become more “adult hair” (if it hasn’t already). Because of the hormonal changes during puberty and teenage years, taking care of hair can be a beast of a problem. One day your hair is shiny and laying just the right way, and the next it is unmanageable.
Too much oil can overly coat the hair and clog the pores. This is often what happens to the skin in teens when acne is forming. Clogged pores can lead to unhealthy hair and increased oil in the face, leading to acne breakouts. On the other hand, you can have hair that is too dry. This leaves spaces between the scales, allowing moisture to escape. Hair becomes brittle and prone to breakage. Without moisture it is no longer shiny and healthy.
Dealing with Teen Oily Hair:
It is not uncommon for teens to discover that they have oily hair. The rush of hormones can increase oil production leaving hair stringy, flat and full of odor. Dealing with your hair is a very individual thing. In order for your hair to look beautiful you may have to take different measures than someone who has dry or even combination hair.
• Wash your hair each day – Removing excess oil can keep your hair healthy. Use an appropriate shampoo that is designed for those who have too much oil in their hair to begin with.
• Wash your hair twice a day if you are active – Sweating can introduce more oil into your hair. You may need to wash it more than once. If you do, use a milder shampoo so that you don’t strip too much oil from your hair and damage it by making it too dry.
• Avoid using too much heat on your hair – Even oily hair can be damaged from styling elements like blow dryers and curling irons. Before you style your hair, dry hair completely. Wet hair is weaker and more easily damaged.
Dealing with Teen Dry Hair:
• Inactive oil glands can cause dry hair. If you have dry hair as a result of dry skin, consider washing your hair fewer times each week (every two or three days). Also, pay attention to the type of shampoo and conditioner you use to make sure it replenishes your scalp with essential oils. Words to look for on hair care product labels are “hydrating” and “moisturizing.”
• Be sure to take care with heat and chemicals, especially if you have dry hair. Although flat irons are popular, they do cause serious damage to hair. When used on high heat, hair dryers can damage hair, too. Decreasing your use of these hot devices (or at least using a less hot setting) will help to keep your hair healthier.
• Harsh chemicals in hair color, permanents, and relaxers can strip the hair of vital oils. Some hair dyes contain fewer harsh chemicals than others. Watch out for bleaches and peroxides, because they can make your hair brittle and cause split ends.
• Finally, be extra careful in the summer sun. Sunshine and chlorine can both cause dry hair. The easiest solution is to wear a hat or simply avoid getting too much sun
As a person grows older, progressive graying, thinning, tendency to dryness, baldness and change in texture of hair occurs. The fact of aging hair isn’t something that crosses most people’s minds. However, on average humans grow hair at a rate of about 1/2 inch per month, or 6 inches per year. Meaning that if your hair is 12 inches long, that hair on the very bottom is already two years old! Your hair also loses elasticity as you age, so a once-a-month protein pack treatment will help to restore strength to your hair making it easier to style and help styles to last longer. Many shampoo and conditioning products are now made in “sleek and smooth” formulas that help to close the cuticle layer and leave hair silky and shiny.
As we age, our hair loses some of its elasticity, density and may develop changes in texture, wave pattern along with gray. With gray comes other changes in the hair (Gray hair almost always has a different texture.)
Gray hair, while not necessarily an indicator of someone’s age, does tend to occur. For some women, gray hair is no big deal and they choose to go gray gracefully. For others it is a major issue and sends them running for haircolor. However you feel about gray there are a few things you should know.
• When pigmented hair turns gray it changes more than just the color of the hair. The hair’s cuticle layer becomes more compact making the hair more resistant to penetration. This means that often the hair becomes harder to curl, takes longer to process for chemical services like perms and straightening, and may resist haircolor services. This latter feature of gray hair is ironic when you consider that covering gray is one of the most common reasons people color their hair.
• There are many women who like the look of their gray hair, particularly those whose gray is of the silver or snow white variety, which can be very striking in certain styles. But, a common complaint in women with this type of gray is that the hair sometimes seems “dull”, “lusterless” and “yellowed” due to environmental factors, product build-up, medications and dietary issues. The solution to this problem is the use of shampoos and conditioners designed to brighten and remove yellowing from gray hair. These products use clarifying surfactants and bluing agents to remove residue and counteract the dingy tone. The result is silver hair that literally sparkles.
Dealing with your adult hair:
• Wash your hair every other day or less frequently. Less shampooing allows the natural oils in the hair, decreases dryness and brings out the luster in your tresses.
• Use a less harsh shampoo.
• Always employ a conditioner with shampooing. The conditioner treats the dryness that comes with aging hair.
• Apply a light hairspray to hold hair in place.
• Utilize a mousse not a gel for styling. Herbal Essences Extra Hold Mousse gently styles the hair without adding weight to the strands. Gels add heaviness to hair fibers and create a flat effect.
• Use a multi-tonal dye to color your hair. Cover up gray and aging hair, but refrain from going more than two shades from the initial color. Going a lighter shade helps cover up hair loss by decreasing the difference between the top of the head and hair strands.
Here are some interesting facts for you to ponder on
• Average number of hairs on the head: 100,000
• Red hair: 90,000
• Black hair: 110,000
• Blond hair: 140,000
• Female hair grows more slowly than male hair
• Male hair is more dense than female hair
• Lifespan of hair: 2 to 7 years
• Load-carrying capacity: 100 grams (= one chocolate bar)
• Humidity stretches the hair
• Combing is less detrimental than brushing
• Frequent washing does not increase loss of hair
• Wet hair should not be rubbed since hair is very sensitive
• Hair grows faster in warm weather
• Elderly people have slower hair growth and diminished hair density
• Split ends can not be repaired and need to be cut
• Hair is the fastest growing tissue in the body, second only to bone marrow.
• 90% of scalp hairs are growing and 10% are resting.
• It is normal to lose 100 hairs per day from the scalp.
• You must lose over 50% of your scalp hairs before it is apparent to anyone.
• Over 50% of men by age 50 have male pattern hair loss.
• Forty percent of women by the time they reach menopause will have female pattern (hereditary) hair loss.