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Curly Nikki

What is Aging Hair?

By January 27th, 202139 Comments
What is Aging Hair?

via TheGoodHairDiaries 

Hair Ages in 2 Ways:

  • Chronological Aging
    • This type of aging is related to hair length. The middle of the hair to the ends are the oldest part of the hair and have been through the most. Mechanical, environmental and chemical distress leave the hair dry, thin and sensitized and/or porous.
  • Hormonal Aging
    • Hormonal
      aging occurs as a result of the physiological changes that women
      experience as they grow older.  This ultimately results in 
      slowed scalp activity and a decline in melanin, the hair’s natural source of protection and defense against age-accelerating aggressors.

What Stage Is Your Hair In? 

  • Hair should be at its thickest and strongest
  • Scalp produces sufficient amounts sebum which produces a healthy shine 


  • External damage from your twenties begins to show
  • There is a slight decline in sebum produced and hair isn’t as shiny 


  • The diameter of the hair shaft starts to shrink make it thinner and more fragile
  • A decline in melanin levels leads to gray hair 


  • Most women are 50% gray by age 50 due to the steep decline in melanin
  • Follicles continue to shrink resulting in overall finer and thinner including the hairline 


  • Nearly 40% of women experience some degree of hair loss by age 60, mostly around the crown leaving hair thin and lackluster.

Are your kinks, curls and waves older than your chronological age? leave a comment below.

CN Says:

All this tells me is that I need to appreciate the (fine ass) hair I have now ’cause it ain’t getting no better, lol.


  • Derika says:

    I second that! 🙂

  • Derika says:

    I'm 24 so my hair is exactly how it was described above. I'm not really worried about gray. I will embrace it just like I did with my natural hair. 🙂

  • Lulu says:

    Very interesting post. I am also happy that genetics trumps all. I was really surprised by the post, because most of the women I know will waist length or tailbone length afro textured hair are over between 40 and 70. A majority of them have thick hair and attribute it to their diet as well as lifestyle. In the end, I guess only time will tell. I am keeping my fingers crossed and my diet as well as lifestyle in check.

  • Shashou says:

    Awww sad face. Leanring to appreciate my hair now. Stay healthy to prolong the life of my hair.

  • nola707 says:

    It seems I need to sit down and thank my lucky DNA. I'm 52 and probably only 10% gray. I didn't start graying until I turned 45 and it was only a strand here and there. It seems that most of my gray hair is around my hairline, especially on the left side. My oldest sister (who's 10 years older) has a patch of gray on her left temple. I said that if mine grew like that I'd leave it alone. I lied. I like wearing my hair pulled back so that grey hair jumps out every time I look in the mirror.
    I've been coloring with a semi permanent dye every 4 weeks or so and it's thinning out my hairline. My Mom is 85 and is fully grey with soft, fine curls. My Dad on the other hand has white hair. Until a few years ago my Dad was at the barbershop every 10-14 days because he liked his hair short and neat. He used Murray's Pomade since I can remember. Because he doesn't drive anymore his trips to the barbershop are less frequent. A few months ago his hair had grown out about two inches and he was out of Murrays. OMG!!! It was the first time I saw his natural hair texture. It was beautiful! His hair was all white and it looked like someone had blown it out and bumped it with a curling iron. Think, Johnny Mathis with white hair. I then wished for hair like my Dad's when i grow up. I'm actually thinking about cutting about 8 inches off to see if I'm there yet…minus the white.

    I was very happy to see this article about aging hair. Since going natural at the end of 2010 I've followed several curly hair vloggers and bloggers. It took me awhile to realize the average age for most of the women I followed was 25 and that some of my hair issues couldn't be addressed by someone young enough to be my child. No disrespect to them because I appreciate the information.

  • Aging and Not Loving It says:

    I truly love the image of the woman that you chose to represent the mature women who have natural hair. I wish that I could let my hair just do what it does. I'm in my early 50's and I have always had fine hair. When I became premenopausal, my hair started thinning and that prompted me to go natural. My hair does look healthier but it is still thin and it seems to break off, no matter how many times I moisturize between washings. I also have several greys in the front around my temples but now I've noticed that my hair growth is not what it used to be. My mom is blessed with thick, natural hair and it is mid back length. I got my dad's hair and I can see that now it will be futile for me to attempt to regain the youth of my hair by taking supplements or using other growth aids.

  • Megan M. says:

    I am 22 years old and my hair is not thick. My classmates in high-school said they could see through my strands and see my scalp. My mother said my hair is not fine it is just I do not comb all the way down to the middle of my hair not true! I think my hair is fine. Can a head full of hair have multiple textures of fine, medium or thick strands?

  • LBell says:

    So far about half of them are close to the same texture (small coils; 4b) and the other half are actually trying to act like 2b hair. And they're in the FRONT, which would make me crazy (because they refuse to stay twisted) if they weren't such a pretty silver color. : Today I noticed one lone gray coil right in the middle of my thinning top. In total I think I'm less than 10% gray but I expect to have my first all-gray twist in the next 5 years or so. Natural highlights!

  • Cheryl ThetrueGeminii Barnett says:

    I am in my late 30s and started turning gray at age 8. I began coloring my hair in high school and decided to stop in my early 30s. I wanted to see how my hair looked without color. I found out that I was totally gray/white! I walked around like that for 2 years and then decided that I wanted to jazz it up so i added black underneath my hair with the gray on top. I have been natural for 12 months exactly and have a head full of thick, strong, corkscrew curls. I love my gray and I love my natural hair..#winning!

  • CurvyCurly says:

    I totally forgot to mention that the woman in the photo is drop dead gorgeous and her hair is amazing. #thatisall.

  • Erica says:

    I turned 49 in July and this picture inspired me earlier this year to let my grey hair do its thing. I am just beginning to grey on each side of my temples. Henna doesn't cover these suckers, so no henna. Fortunately both parents have full heads of curly natural hair. My Mom has very fine salt and pepper hair. My Dad at 73 has beautiful curly hair totally silver and so far, no thinning. I hope I inherited the fullness from my Dad. I'm still self conscious about my grey hair sometimes when I see handsome men (lol – ego is something else). My twist outs are the same length as diva in the photo and I love it! The problem is protective styles with grey hair. The buns with grey hair can "age" you. I'm trying to find some complimentary styles for grey natural hair besides the twist outs. Twist outs dont work for me in NY winters!

  • Pat says:

    Guess I'm lucky with melanin, I'm 50 and nowhere near 50% gray.

  • Miss A says:

    You are correct genetics play an important role. I am 51 and about once a
    year a gray hair will appear along my hairline. …which i immediately
    pluck! I don't have any other gray. My mother lived until she was 70 and
    only had some gray along her hairline with a few gray strands
    throughout the rest of her hair. So I doubt that I will ever be 50%
    gray. Aging is different for everyone.

  • Miss A says:

    You are correct genetics play an important role. I am 51 and about once a year a gray hair will appear along my hairline. …which i immediately pluck! I don't have any other gray. My mother lived until she was 70 and only had some gray along her hairline with a few gray strands throughout the rest of her hair. So I doubt that I will ever be 50% gray. Aging is different for everyone.

  • Imani BeautifullyPissed Monroe says:

    Me & my hair are right in tune

  • Karen says:

    43 is young, Im 40 myself…no thinning hair & 2 grey strands but lets see where we are in 10 yrs!

  • CurvyCurly says:

    Girl stop it! LOL

  • CurvyCurly says:

    Right! The women in my family don't really grey that much but instead suffer from hair loss.

  • Rela says:

    I'm with people who mention genetics playing a strong factor. Look at the people of a certain age in your family to determine what your older hair might look like. I think that's a better indicator than statistics about the "average woman" –especially when it comes to the gray.

  • Davina916 says:

    I'm almost 42, and my hair is still pretty thick (edges have always been thin). I'm trying to hold on to as much as I can. Beautiful picture!

  • Anonymous says:


    I think plucking makes gray hair come in faster. I may be wrong but I see more.

  • Nisha says:

    I'm 43 and see no thinning…my hair is just as thick as it ever was! Now I am finding some grays…but they get plucked out!

  • Angela B. says:

    This is both scary & kinda depressing lol. I'm 28, so I guess I should appreciate this thick head of hair while I have it.

  • Bobby says:

    Very true, Genetics play a huge factor in male pattern baldness. If the older women in your family(look on both sides) are bald chances are you might go bald also

  • nicthommi says:

    I don't think it's so much hair type so much as genetics. My mom has thick, shiny, wonderful hair and she is 68. Not much gray either. But she also has very fine hair (the hair is wavy but very, very thick so she has a lot despite having a straightish hair texture)…

    Look at women in your family to figure out if you'll start balding or thinning in the future…

  • nicthommi says:

    Well, it's all genetic and doesn't your mom still have a lot of hair…my mom is pushing 70 and she still has thick, long, and shiny hair with very little gray…so it is possible.

  • Miss Anne says:

    I'm hitting 30 pretty sooooon so ummm the start so I'm gonna start taking extra care of my hair to make up for the damage of my relaxed 20s!!!

  • Rhonda C says:

    Yupper, you are singing in my choir, Nik! I have 5 white hairs (I count them everyday to make sure they are not multiplying). They laugh at henna and barely have any curl or wave at all. I say rock what you have in confidence and appreciation ~ who knows what's on the horizon.

  • AC says:

    Omg, this sucks…my hair is already ultra fine and i'm 18. It's official, I will be bald soon.

  • mzcnnd says:

    First of all, the woman in the picture is spectacularly gorgeous! Anyway, I'm 50+ and my hair has always been thin, soft and cottony. I am currently less than 10% gray, but my sister, who is 4 years younger than me is 80% gray?! Them grays is some feisty buggers. I color my hair and them mugs is so aggressive they don't even take the color (which actually makes my bottled blondish/brownish hair look a *little* more natural :0). Because the color slightly relaxes my natural curls they are a little less tight, but overall I haven't noticed a major difference in my hair. All those years of relaxing made my hair feel thinner, so since I've been natural, it actually feels thicker which is another reason I won't go back to the crazy, creamy crack! I am concerned that in a few more years I may have thinning at the crown, because my 75 year old mom does. (And my dad is bald on top also!). Hopefully the hair gods will bless me and give my po hair a break!

  • H.SWABY says:

    So I really like this my early 40's mY grays are right in the front so I do have a problem with that.. I have some spot in the middle tht grows very slow.. now I know wht the culprit is melanin.. Nikki I always wonder if you have Grays now I know LOL..Getting ready to put some color in to fix the front..

  • sharon-jefferson says:

    I've read somewhere that type 4 hair doesn't thin out as much as we get older. Please say that's true. That is my hair type. I'm 51 and my hair is pretty thick. One of my grandmothers had very thick hair and the other one had very thin hair. My mother passed at 50 and she had medium thickness. My hair thickness could go either way I guess.

  • DeAndra says:

    Thanks for sharing! I have been stressing because my hair does appear thinner! I am in my 40's and according to the article – it's just nature! VERY GOOD ARTICLE! But, as someone else said.. I am depressed too! At least we know now! Knowledge is power!

  • CurlyNikki says:

    RIGHT! My gray strands are thick and wiry (like, *clears throat*, pubic hair, lol) while my melanin laden strands are super fine. The gray strands also don't appear to have as strong of a curl/wave pattern.

  • LaShon says:

    So now i'm depressed. I just discovered my natural hair and now i'm going to loose it…

  • says:

    I do, but only in the sense that my lone grey hair seems more resilient than its peers. I could style my hair and have a pile of hair on the floor, but that lone grey wolf stands strong. :

  • CurvyCurly says:

    CurlyNikki is hilarious! My hair is fine, I'm already in my early 40's, so it ain't gonna get no better. Love, appreciate and take care of what I got 'cause is gonna last forever! My grandmother passed away in her mid-60's and barely had ANY grey hair and my mom is in her late 60's with barely any grey hair but both them have super fine hair and experienced noticeable hair loss. My granny didn't really care but my mother is so self-conscious of her hair loss and scalp showing that she's started experimenting with wigs. I hate to say it but I'd rather have a head FULL of grey with minimal hair loss versus no grey and tons of hair loss. #DangGenetics!

  • CurlyNikki says:

    Do you notice that your grays are a diff. texture than the rest of your hair?

  • LBell says:

    I'm in my late-40s (yeesh) and have been thinning on top for at least the last 4 years. I didn't like how scalpy my twists looked in my 30s so you KNOW I'm not feeling them now. However, at least I can do a kind of combover with them, lol. I'm very grateful to be natural because I can't imagine what this would have looked like on my relaxed hair…

    I REALLY like my grays though, especially since they're not gray: they're silver (courtesy of my mom) and white (courtesy of my dad).

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