For men and women alike, hair is often a statement of personal style. A mane of thick, luxurious hair is desirable for many people, and some will go to great lengths to take care of their hair. Unfortunately, even hair cannot escape Father Time. Changes to hair do occur as people age, so it is important to understand how to keep hair healthy despite the aging process.
Hair is primarily made of a protein called keratin. The cuticle of a hair is an outer layer consisting of many overlapping parts that protect the inner hair shaft. When all of these overlapping parts lie flat, the hair looks shiny and healthy.
Some people may have thin hair shafts that are half the thickness of normal hair shafts. This quality is hereditary, and may result in fine, thin hair. Blond hair is usually the thinnest, red hair the thickest, and dark hair somewhere in between. Over time, hair roots may weaken and produce fine, fragile hair. People with thin hair to begin with may find that the aging process causes more noticeable effects. Other factors that may contribute to thin, damaged hair include repeated exposure to sun, water with a high mineral content (known as hard water), and perming and colouring agents.
There are several different products (shampoos, leave-in conditioners) that may help protect a damaged cuticule. These products may contain ceramides, proteins and vitamins to restore hair strength and fullness. A scalp massage may also help maintain healthy hair as people get older.
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