Why Your Natural Hair Color Changes As You Get Older

As we get older, many factors influence the way our bodies change with age. For instance, the sun, pollutants, and bad habits can all negatively impact the appearance of our skin. According to WebMD, we experience thinning of the epidermis and loss of elastin, which results in sagging skin. It's therefore no surprise that people who want to keep their skin looking young and supple invest in expensive cosmetic procedures to hold on to their youthful-looking glow.

Aging also affects our bones, muscles, and joints. Per Medline Plus, we start to get aches and pains in areas of our body that we never had before, due to loss of bone mass or density. People can also experience loss of cartilage in the knees and hips, which leads to discomfort in those areas. But before you become too depressed, there are plenty of things you can do to combat the effects of aging. The New York Times reports that weight lifting and strength training can help slow down degenerative changes, and even reverse it in some cases. Similarly, we see changes in our hair too, which turns gray or white in our later years.

Loss of melanin results in natural hair color change

As we age, our hair begins to feel drier and coarser. In fact, going gray is just one of the effects of aging. Verywell Health explains that hair is actually made of a protein called keratin, and surrounded by an outer layer called the cuticle. Per the outlet, our body stops producing melanin as we grow older. This pigment is responsible for giving color to your skin and hair — so when your body doesn't have enough melanin, hair naturally lightens to gray. People may first begin to notice that their hair starts to change color in their 30s. This occurs prior to hair changing color on other parts of the body, per Verywell Health. A study published in the International Journal of Trichology also suggests that a change in hair color could be a result of oxidative stress. As the free radicals eat away the DNA in the melanin, melanin stops working effectively. 

Though no one can avoid aging, there are various coloring options available on the market to help you cover up your gray strands. You can choose from a range of temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent hair dyes to color the hair shaft and keep it looking fresh and youthful. Be sure to take proper care of your hair, as this will also help minimize the look of aging.