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Silver, Shine, and Menopause: Every Strand Tells a Story


Mature woman shrug shoulders
It is not by the gray of the hair that one knows the age of the heart. - Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

When those first few strands of grey hair pop up on the head we usually pluck them out quickly before someone notices. And we are willing to pretend it is a one-off thing. But soon, the whole head is sprouting an army of grey hair without warning and beyond control, as if they have all plotted against us to make us look old.


The conspicuous grey hair which sit just above the forehead are usually the most unwelcome strands, as they instantly make owner of the hair look far older than their age. As if it's a mistake or crime to look old, the anti-aging brigade have created hype about looking forever young and anything that doesn't meet the requirement is ordinary; and being ‘ordinary’ is socially uncool.

How Does Hair Aging Occur?

While we may not have delved into this topic before, gaining an understanding of the science behind it can help us manage it more effectively. This is particularly important in Singapore, where we have a diverse aging population. Hair graying is influenced by a combination of environment and stress, and aging. Individuals with a genetic predisposition to hair graying tend to experience these changes earlier than others. Additionally, both age and the rate of graying are connected to a person's ethnicity and geographical origin.

Effects of Menopause

In the context of hair graying due to age there is a well-known saying that goes: the 50-50-50 rule. It suggests that by the age of 50, roughly 50% of the population will have about 50% gray hair. Menopause can bring about various changes to the hair, especially among Asian women:

  1. Hair Loss: Hormonal shifts during menopause can result in alopecia or hair loss. This involves a reduction in active hair follicles on the front part of the scalp, which affects the production of new hair and its growth rate.

  2. Hair Strength: Menopausal changes often lead to a significant reduction in hair diameter and hair lipids, particularly among women. This reduction results in decreased tensile strength, making the hair more vulnerable to breakage.

  3. Hair Volume: Reduced hair density can cause women to experience a loss of hair luster, cuticle damage, frizziness, roughness, and dullness. The cuticle is the first structure affected by aging, followed by changes in the hair matrix and keratin network.

  4. Hair Graying: A decrease in melanocyte stem cells during menopause results in reduced hair pigmentation and color.

  5. Hair Thinning: Changes in melanin transfer to keratinocytes affect the distal hair shaft, leading to hair thinning.

  6. Hair Texture: The texture of hair is also linked to factors such as natural curl, shine, bounce, softness, and smoothness. Age-related changes in the hair follicle can reduce oil and moisture content, resulting in dehydration, dullness, and changes in texture.

According to a study, hair aging occurs among Asians especially the Chinese ethnicity typically in late 30s when they experience damage to the distal hair shaft. Various High-end hair treatments & solutions are now a thriving industry to help 40+ men and women with scalp repair treatments, hair loss, dandruff, eczema, scalp irregularities, stem Cell solutions and treatments

Hair Dyeing

This is a straightforward and temporary solution to dealing with hair greying. When synthetic hair dye is applied, it penetrates the hair shaft, causing the cuticle to open up. The chemicals in the dye then alter the pigmentation within the cortex of the hair, permanently changing its natural color. Conventional hair dye works effectively on all hair types but may not be suitable for those with sensitive scalps.

In contrast, henna is a natural, non-chemical botanical which envelops the hair rather than penetrating the cuticle. When applied to originally gray or lighter hair, henna produces vibrant orange-red tones, while on brown and black hair, it imparts a reddish hue. However, it's important to note that henna can stain the skin a specific technique to prevent staining during the application process.


In Singapore, numerous service providers offer henna treatments, including Bonita, Blush, Rupini, OmVedicHeritage, Venetian Hair Makeup, Miss G Salon, and Mythili's Salon.

Contemporary Solutions

Many specialists in anti-aging skincare and hair care, such as Yunnam Hair Care, , Luxescalp and CYL Scalp LaB, to name a few, , which incorporate traditional herbs from Chinese, Ayurvedic, Western, Korean, and Japanese traditions into their products and treatments.

Dermatology Specialist Clinics like Dr. Angelione Yong Dermatology, The Dermatology Practice and The Skin Specialists and Laser Clinic also offer a range of treatments, including surgical hair transplant procedures, therapies, and laser treatments.

Traditional Remedies

In addition to contemporary treatments, traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic herbal remedies for hair loss have been relied upon for centuries using ingredients such as Dangui, Lingzhi, and old ginger to enhance blood circulation, Neem, Brahmi, and Bringraj for stimulating hair follicle growth, and ingredients Ginseng, Knotwood root, Xanthium, Show Wu, Dittany, and Peony for scalp health.

Silver in Style

Gray hair can significantly alter one's appearance and self-image, which may not align with everyone's preferences.. While there are various products available for temporary hair dyeing, the process can be costly and potentially detrimental to hair quality and texture. An increasing number of women are challenging societal norms and stereotypes by embracing their silver or white locks. Salons are keeping pace with this trend by offering techiques for mature individuals such as Gray blending techniques This involves strategically placing highlights and employing backcombing to emphasize blended strands of gray or white hair. This results in a low-maintenance and fashionable natural look

"Grombre," eliminates the need for root touch-ups. In this approach, hairstylists bleach a section of hair slightly away from the roots and select two or three tones that match both the gray and non-gray sections of the hair. They then highlight this combination, creating a salt-and-pepper effect with ash highlights throughout the hair.

Hair plays a significant role in a woman's perception of beauty, attractiveness, and overall well-being. Just like other natural processes in the body, the transition of hair from black to white with age is entirely normal. Gray hair resulting from aging serves as a reminder of our biological clock ticking, and it represents a natural process that cannot be reversed. Furthermore, the characteristics of hair aging can vary among different ethnicities, emphasizing the importance of culturally sensitive approaches and recommendations!

 

Important Notes: This article is meant purely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as medical advice. Always consult a medical professional for specific advice on your health. This article has not been reviewed by any medical professionals or legal bodies.

Resources https://www.firstforwomen.com/posts/beauty/menopause-and-gray-hair-162380 https://www.dermatologytimes.com/view/hair-aging-in-different-races-and-ethnicities https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/how-your-hair-changes-as-you-age-plus-what-to-do-about-it#hair-types https://www.instyle.com/hair/henna-hair-dye https://www.beautyundercover.sg/Grombre-Highlights-Grey-Hair-Singapore-TUA https://www.twoherbs.com.sg/blogs/news/best-hair-loss-treatments-singapore

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