Does Hair Age?
Does hair age?
Of course hair shows the effect of aging and it will often change as we get older. Look at the huge crop of large diameter hairs in the ponytail of a twenty two year old women and think of the meager, thin hair of some 80 year old women. Hair often gets smaller in diameter and fewer in number as we age.
The process of getting finer shafts (or lower densities of the hair) with age occurs insidiously over many years, starting in some people in their early 20s (male and female) and progressively becoming more frequent with each decade. We just notice the changes when we look at an isolated 80 year old in a nursing home and we think ‘Old’. The medical profession calls this type of thinning ‘senile alopecia’ (doctors have to use some Latin to create a medical mystique to it). Most people will notice that their adult hair changes in character as their age advances. This change in character may be from wavy to straight, or from thick gorilla hair to a see through appearance where the scalp can be seen in reasonably bright light (htat may never have been the case in that same person when they were 20). I would suspect that the thinning of hair densities occurs in fully 1/3rd of the adult population (male and female) at some time during their lifetime and I see this process in some men who are in their early 20s, which we now call ‘diffuse unpatterned alopecia’, yet another abuse of the latin language of olden days.
By Drs. Jim Arnold and William Rassman
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