Changes in Women's Hair and Scalp

A woman's hair and scalp changes through each phase of life.

Photo: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

Your hair is often an extension of your personality. Your choice of color and style gives your pals a sense of whether you're a wild, cutting-edge fashionista or a quieter, conservative kind of girl. It's your trademark, your lucky charm, your life. Like the rest of your body, your hair and scalp goes through changes in the years between puberty and menopause. Some changes can help you rock your look in the hair department, while others are not so fab. Don't let it get you down, girlfriend! Take what you're dealt and run with it to look and feel like a queen.

Scalp Condition

Your scalp is the point from which your hair grows, so you can look at it as a garden of sorts. You need to keep the soil irrigated and healthy to let plants grow, and it's the same with your scalp and your hair. The major changes you'll notice in your scalp is the grease factor; not a pleasant topic, but there it is. When you go through that challenging time called puberty and again when you're pregnant, your scalp can become more oily than at other times in your life. The reason for this is the hormone surges you get, like the ones that make you feel a little off your rocker during the week before your period. And yippee!--a greasy scalp means your hair is going to look dull, flat and lifeless. Plus you're more likely to develop dandruff. The idea of an oily scalp and dry flakes doesn't seem to add up, but MayoClinic.com explains that you're more likely to develop the condition, the greasier your head is. Cutting back on your styling aids and washing with dandruff shampoos can help you stop looking like a greaser and can whip your scalp and hair into shape.

Hair Growth

Let's face it, hormones rule your life, and not just when it comes to reproduction and all of those important bodily functions. Your hair growth also responds to your hormone levels. You might notice that your hair grows more quickly during pregnancy, when your hormones are raging. When you're older and nearing menopause, the opposite will happen and you'll find your hair growth creeps at a snail's pace. These changes are normal; however if you are not pregnant and not menopausal and your face and body are starting to sprout more hair than you'd like. This can mean your hormones are imbalanced; a trip to the doctor is a good idea, to sort things out.

Hair Texture

The texture of your hair is another attribute that doesn't stay the same throughout your life, even if you'd like it to. Pregnancy can be a joyous time for you and your partner, but also a nine month long great hair day. Your hair may be so thick and abundant, you just won't know how to contain yourself. Enjoy it while it lasts, though, because after your baby is born, all bets are off. Not only will you shed hair like never before, but when new hair grows in, you might see some changes. If you were previously curly, you might go straight, or vice versa. The same can happen after chemotherapy treatments or other illnesses in which you've lost hair.

Hair Color

Hair color changes are almost always associated with aging. As you get older, your hair loses its normal pigment, which leads to white or gray hair. According to MedlinePlus, most people start to gray in their 30s, but a lot of your hair color changes have more to do with your family history than your true age. Graying is largely genetic, giving you just one more thing to blame on your parents! Your racial background also plays a role; if you are Asian, you may have won the hair color lottery. MedlinePlus reports that as a whole, Asian people tend to gray at a later age than Caucasians.

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