Curly Hair Going AwayQ: Hi. I want to ask if it is true that curly hair goes away as I age, or if hormonal changes can cause it. If so, is there anything to do to prevent my curls from going away and if they are already gone is there anything to do to get them back?
A: Actually, it is usually a matter of genetics that causes changes in the growth and wave patterns of the hair as we age. Just as infants and toddlers with those adorable curls seem to suddenly start growing straighter hair as they grow older, adults will often see changes in their wave pattern and growth patterns as they age in to their senior years.
Previously thick, coarse hair can become sparse and finely-textured in addition to the hair losing its pigment in some cases. These changes are primarily genetically predisposed. However, there are other causes for changes in the way your hair grows. Poor-diet, illness, hormonal changes and medications (particularly those taken to regulate hormones and glandular conditions) can all have an impact on the hair and how it grows. These effects can often take months to become apparent because the hair changes occur beneath the skin’s surface in the way it grows from the scalp.
The important thing to do if you have a problem with changes in the way your hair grows is to decide if you think the changes are a result of treatable influences (illness, medicines, diet, hormones, etc.) or if the changes are caused by genetic factors. If you think the problem is treatable, you should consult a physician and confirm it. Your doctor may have a myriad of ways to resolve the various conditions that affect hair growth.
As for dealing with the hair when it doesn’t have its curl any longer, you have many options. There’s always styling – roller sets and curling irons – or more permanent options like permanent waves. You can also maximize the natural curl you have remaining through the use of curl-enhancing shampoo and conditioner. Making sure that your hair is properly conditioned using a lightweight, protein-enriched moisturizer can help to restore curl if the problem is caused by dry or damaged hair.
Hair growth Q&A
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The changing hair of the aging woman
Hair styling with curling irons