When you've gotten accustomed to styling your hair a certain way and making the most of its texture, it can be startling to find it changing. Many different things can change the texture of your hair. While you may not be able to reverse undesired changes in your hair completely, there are some things you can do to help.
As you get older, especially after age 35, your hair follicles start producing less melanin. Melanin is what gives color to your hair. However, your hair doesn't actually turn gray. Once your hair follicle produces a hair, it won't change color on its own. When that hair falls out, it may be replaced by a new hair that has less color. Gray hair tends to be drier since your hair follicles produce less sebum as you age. This is what causes the change in your hair's texture as you age.
Undergoing chemotherapy can cause your hair to fall out, and the hair that grows back may be a different texture. Many people find that their hair grows back curly when it used to be straight. The shape of your hair follicle determines whether your hair is curly or straight. Your hair follicle may collapse when your hair falls out, which can cause your hair to grow back curly. Your hair follicles may also become twisted during chemotherapy.
Your hormone levels can affect the quality and quantity of your hair growth. Any time you experience major hormonal changes, you may also experience changes in your hair.
Pregnancy and postpartum
During pregnancy, you have high levels of estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, and growth factors. These hormones can cause your hair to grow faster and to grow in thicker. Many pregnant women experience this as part of the "glow" of pregnancy. Unfortunately, after your baby is born, your hormones eventually return to their normal levels. When this happens, you'll probably start noticing a good bit of hair loss.
With menopause, your estrogen level falls, but your level of the male hormone androgen stays the same for longer. This imbalance in male and female hormones can cause you to lose hair and cause the hair you do have to become thinner. You may also notice excessive growth of facial hair.
Over or underactive thyroid gland
If you have prolonged hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), it can affect your hair growth. You may experience thinning all over your entire scalp rather than your hair falling out in patches. Because of the long length of the hair growth cycle, you probably won't notice hair loss until several months after you develop thyroid disease. Once you treat your thyroid disease, your hair should return to normal, though it may take a while.
Thyroid diseases are usually caused by autoimmune diseases. People who develop one autoimmune disease are more likely to develop another. Alopecia areata is another autoimmune disease that can cause hair loss. Alopecia areata causes hair to fall out in circular patches rather than all over. Other autoimmune diseases that may cause hair changes include lupus erythematosus and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Latest Skin News
Daily Health News
Caring for your changing hair
Regardless of the reason for your hair's changing texture, here are some tips for taking care of your hair at any age:
Don't wash too often
Washing your hair too often will cause it to become dry and brittle. Wash your hair twice a week with a shampoo designed for your hair type, which may be normal, oily, or dry.
Use conditioners and volumizers
Conditioners help replenish the oils that shampoo strips from your hair. This can be especially important for gray hair that doesn't have as much oil to begin with. A volumizer can plump up your hair and make it look thicker and healthier.
See a professional
If you decide to color your hair, go to a professional rather than do it yourself. At-home dye kits are often very drying and damaging to the hair, and a trained stylist can help you decide on the right type of hair color to use on your hair and help you pick out the best hair care products.
Minimize heat-styling products
Try not to use heat-styling products such as blow dryers, hot curlers, and straightening irons. The heat from these can damage your hair. If you do use them, pretreat your hair with a protective treatment to shield it against damage.
Eat a healthy protein-rich diet
Your hair follicles are made of protein, so make sure you're getting enough in your diet. You should also make sure you're getting sufficient nutrients by eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Talk to your doctor about your medications
Some medications can affect your hair. If you've noticed changes in your hair, talk to your doctor to make sure the medicine you're taking isn't the cause.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
British Thyroid Foundation: "Hair loss and thyroid disorders."
Cancer Hair Care: "New hair growth commonly asked Q&A."
Cleveland Clinic: "Your Guide to Aging, Thinning Hair: 5 Simple Tips."
International Journal of Molecular Sciences: "Hormonal Effects on Hair Follicles."
Library of Congress: "Why does hair turn gray?"
Top Why Has My Hair Suddenly Changed Texture Related Articles
What Is the Best Treatment for Female Pattern Hair Loss?The best treatments for female pattern hair loss include minoxidil, iron supplements, and anti-androgens.
Can Receding Hairline Grow Back?A receding hairline is a type of hair loss affecting both men and women. As the name suggests, a receding hairline causes hair loss along the hairline. This is different from the overall thinning hair and bald spots that may appear on the top or back of the head.
Can Stress Cause Hair Loss and Will It Grow Back?What is stress related hair loss? Will the hair grow back? Learn about the relationship between stress and hair loss and what to do if you’re experiencing it.
Do Hair Growth Vitamins Work?Vitamins or herbal supplements for hair growth are often used to promote healthy hair growth and regrowth. If there is hair loss or hair damage associated with a serious nutritional deficiency of certain vitamins or minerals, hair growth supplements can help with hair growth or regrowth.
Hair Loss (Alopecia)There are many causes of scalp hair loss. This featured article covers the common ones such as patchy hair loss (alopecia areata, trichotillomania, and tinea capitis), telogen effluvium, and androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness, female-pattern baldness).
How Can I Get Healthy Hair Naturally?Hair has always been a significant aspect of beauty standards. Luscious and shiny locks have been considered ideal beauty for ages. Have you always dreamt of having that bouncy and voluminous hair seen in the advertisements? If so, this dream can turn into reality by following a proper hair care routine.
How Can I Grow My Hair Faster Naturally?Hair, on average, grows about half an inch every month. There is no proven scientific way to make hair grow faster. Certain home remedies may help increase hair thickness and thus hair length, which include massaging your scalp, trimming your hair, brushing gently, using conditioner, eating a nutrient dense diet and other strategies.
How Can I Make My Hair Grow Superfast?You will hardly come across any person who does not want thick hair. No wonder, there are so many hair-care products, such as shampoos, oils, serums, and even supplements, in the market that claim to reduce your hair fall and promise you beautiful and thick hair.
How Can I Make My Hair Soft and Silky?The signs of healthy hair include thick, soft, and shiny hair. Having silky hair is something not every person is born with. Your hair may become dry and brittle if your diet is not healthy or if you use hair products that are not meant for your hair type.
How Can I Remove Body Hair Permanently at Home?Having body hair is normal. Some may want to get rid of face and body hair permanently for cosmetic reasons, while others may want to get rid of excess hair growth, especially on the face due to hormonal disorders. There are ways to get rid of hair for a long period of time and possibly permanently.
How Can I Treat My Hair Fall at Home?Treating hair loss at home involves understanding the potential reason for the hair fall or hair thinning.
How Do I Make My Hair Shiny?A good hair day is one less thing to worry about! Everyone pines for a healthy and shiny mane, resorting to many of the over the counter hair care products that claim to make your hair shiny, smooth, and silky. Of course, you cannot ignore the shampoos and conditioners, but make sure you choose them as per your hair type.
How Do I Stop My Hair From Breaking Off?Hair loss and hair damage can occur due to improper combing practices, hormones (pregnancy and childbirth), medications (cancer medication), and other medical illnesses (stress, thyroid disease, or autoimmune diseases).
What Are the Four Types of Hair?Hair type and texture are determined by several factors including genetics. There are four main types of hair texture: Type 1 - straight, Type 2 - wavy, Type 3 - curly and Type 4 - tightly curled.