One of the chief complaints of women as they age is the appearance of their hair. Thinning hair in older women is something that many just accept as the way of life. What was once lush becomes drier, thinner, and less voluminous. There are several possible causes for hair becoming thinner as one ages, some of which can be helped.
Hormonal Changes: The Most Common Reason for Thinning Hair in Older Women
As women age, the levels of estrogen they produce begin to decline. Estrogen does several things that promote thick hair. Therefore, the loss contributes to thinner hair in several ways as well. First, estrogen lengthens the growth stage of hair. This means more follicles of hair are growing at a given time when estrogen production is at an ideal level. It also stimulates the growth of new hair, after the old hair has shed.
Estrogen plays an important role in the overall appearance of hair. It is easy to see why an imbalance could cause hair to begin to look thinner over time. There is very little that can be done to increase the natural production of estrogen once menopause has started. However, phytoestrogens, bioidentical, or synthetic estrogens can be utilized to support estrogenic activity in the body.
Nutritional Deficiencies: Nutrients are Processed Less Efficiently
As women age their bodies begin to process nutrients less efficiently. Many vitamins and minerals are necessary for hair growth. Iron and Vitamin C are good examples of this.
Iron deficiency has been linked to hair loss in several studies. As the body ages, it can become more difficult for it to obtain the iron it needs from foods. The deficiency can then lead to thinner hair. Interestingly, a Vitamin C deficiency can contribute to the iron deficiency. This is because, without enough Vitamin C, the absorption of iron from foods such as red meat becomes more difficult.
There are a great number of nutrients that play a part in thinning hair in older women. In addition to iron and Vitamin C, getting enough magnesium, B vitamins, selenium, niacin and zinc is important. Some deficiencies can be helped with a diet change or nutritional supplements. Nutrafol is a supplement that contains Vitamin C, Selenium and Zinc – among other things.
Stress Can be a Factor with Thinning Hair in Older Women
As we age our stress levels increase. Additionally, realizing that we are aging can cause additional stress. High levels of stress over a long period leads to increased cortisol production. This can have an negative impact on hair growth and lead to hair appearing thinner.
Cortisol is a hormone created in response to all types of stress. High levels mean that the body is busy producing this one hormone. And therefore producing less of the hormones that promote healthy hair growth. By reducing stress levels, it can be possible to reduce the cortisol levels and bring the body back to balance. Some methods for stress reduction include physical activity, enough amounts of sleep, and laughter.
As we age, it is not uncommon for women to become more aware of their physical appearance and how it is changing. While many women dread the changes, some steps can be taken to keep a youthful look. Healthy hair is one of the most visible signs of our appearance. With attention to diet and supplements, it can be possible to help hair regain some of the fullness of youth.
Featured image by Romana Klee