Hair ageing is surprisingly predictable. If you think of your hair in terms of the decades of your life, it will be easy to see how it too can be affected by the trials and tribulations, the good times and the challenges, that are peculiar to those decades.

From your twenties to your sixties, each decade offers something different, for most people, but for women in particular, what they have to offer can really take its toll on the hair. A recent article in the Daily Mail saw a trichologist explain the effects of ageing on your hair. We summarise it here.

Hair ageing in your 20s…

This is a carefree period of work and no-strings income. In your twenties you can party hard, eat and drink what you like, and thrive on less sleep than the rest of us. In spite of this, your hair will continue to look pretty good for most of the decade.

However, as the decade progresses, your hair might start to suffer, and if it looks less shiny or bouncy it may be time to take a health check. Taking preventative action in your 20s – by establishing a better diet, more restrained drinking and sleep patterns – will ensure that your hair survives intact as you approach your 30s.

Hair ageing in your 30s…

Many women begin to settle down – find partners, start families. A career becomes more manageable as you hone your skills. Life has become more stable… until you experience pregnancy and parenthood. Iron deficiency in pregnancy, disrupted sleep, the physical changes to your body, caused by pregnancy and motherhood – all will be reflected in your hair.

Hair may become thinner, even falling out in handfuls, with hormonal imbalance and reduced iron levels. Consult your doctor for blood tests to check your thyroid, and see your midwife about taking iron supplements to protect your hair from further loss.

In your 40s…

You may be starting to recover from the ravages of parenting a succession of tiny humans, but that does not let you off the hook. Women in their 40s are just as busy, and perhaps moreso: pursuing careers at a higher level, raising adolescents, keeping up with friends – all take their toll. In your 40s your hair will suffer at the hands of stress, fluctuating hormones and that old chestnut, iron deficiency.

See your doctor to stay on top of these issues, and take steps to maintain your hair – topical treatments can help to stimulate your hair follicles if you think your hair is looking a little thinner, or if you can afford it, laser therapy can also jump-start your follicles.

Your 50s…

Most women will experience symptoms of menopause in their 50s, if not earlier, and for women who have experienced iron deficiency-related hair loss, this may be a welcome mile-stone.

However, thinning can occur with menopause, and it is worth trying a topical or laser treatment, if you haven’t already.

Your 60s…

This may be the time to consider a shorter or more styled look. While hair loss may not occur, your hair strands will become finer, so the advice of a good hairdresser will keep you looking great.