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  • Writer's pictureAnjana Rajbhandary

Why Your Natural Hair Color Changes As You Get Older

As we get older, our body changes, and we have many factors that influence the change. Take our skin, for instance; the sun, harsh weather, and bad habits affect the appearance of our skin. According to WebMD, thinning the surface layer of the skin makes it look more transparent, loss of elastin makes it sag, and skin just starts to look rougher overall. People who want to keep their skin looking young and supple invest in expensive skincare and cosmetic procedures to hold on to their youthful-looking skin.

Aging also affects our bones, muscles, and joints. We start to get aches and pains in areas of our body that we never had before, and there is a reason for that too. Medline Plus says that people lose bone mass or density with age, which can lead to the middle part of the body becoming shorter, which is why people get “shorter” as they get older. Loss of cartilage begins to happen in the knees and hips, which is why many people develop pains in those areas. Before you get too depressed, adding strength training can help people slow down the degenerative changes and even reverse some of it, so it might not be a bad idea to start lifting some weights, per The New York Times.

Similarly, we see changes in our hair too. Like we wake up one day, and we have gray hair? Let’s find out why getting older affects our hair color.

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.

Originally published at on February 14, 2022.


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