Why Your Hair Just. Won’t. Grow.

short_hairEver wonder why the older you get, the harder it seems to get your hair past shoulder-length? Well, I’m here to tell you that it isn’t just your imagination. The hair’s anagen phase (aka the growth stage) actually shortens as you grow older. A Procter & Gamble study on the hair growth cycle explains: “The hair of someone with a five-year anagen can grow to a length of 60 centimeters before it enters the shedding phase. If their anagen period drops to three years as they age, their hair will then grow only to shoulder length before it falls out or is brushed out.” To add to the semi-depressing news (sorry!), researchers are also finding that hair biology simply changes with age.

Another in-depth P&G study found that sebum (oil) production, specifically on the scalp, decreases rapidly starting at age 45. When hair becomes less able to keep itself hydrated, it can become coarser-looking and more susceptible to breakage. And if you don’t give your strands the TLC they need to stay healthy and strong, split ends and breakage will be increased every time you brush and style your hair.

So what can you do? First, back off with the excessive use of hot tools such as blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons. High temperatures damage the hair cuticle, challenging its growth. If you must use hot tools, pre-treat hair to lessen the blow.  Incorporate hyper-moisturizing conditioning products into your daily routine, and consider  biotin pills, which may help fortify strands. And if all else fails? Get a killer cut, and no one will notice if your strands fall a little short.

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