Why Does My Hair Grow Less in My 50s and 60s?


As we age, our hair undergoes gradual changes similar to our skin. Dryness and thinning are to our hair what dark spots and wrinkles are to our skin.

Our hair and scalps experience physiological changes. Hair follicles shrink and yield thinner, shorter hair strands. Some of our follicles quit producing new hairs, leading to hair loss. So what are the underlying conditions that cause this? Why does my hair grow less in my 50s and 60s? Most importantly, can I do anything to reverse this problem? Let’s find out.

How Your Hair Grows

Your hair is constructed of the hair follicle, a sac-like structure located below your skin, and the hair shaft — the visible portion of your strands. Your follicles anchor each strand into your scalp by the hair bulb. This bulb, made of protein cells, is where the growing action happens.

Blood circulates through your body, eventually reaching your scalp. Your scalp’s blood vessels nourish your roots with oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood, triggering protein cell division every 23 to 72 hours. This speedy cell division is what creates the hair shaft and makes it grow toward the surface.

As your hair pushes its way through your skin, it passes through the sebaceous gland. These tiny glands, located around your follicles, add an oil called sebum to each strand. Sebum is what makes your hair soft and shiny.

The blood vessels that feed the bulb cells also transfer hormones that alter your hair’s structure and growth schedule at various periods in your life, including your maturing years.

Your Hair’s Growth Cycle

There are nearly 100,000 follicles on your head, each capable of growing about 20 hairs in your lifetime. Your hair goes through three growth phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. 

  • Anagen — Your anagen, or active growth phase, lasts two to seven years. Most of your hair should be in this phase and remain in it for as long as possible.
  • Catagen — During this two-week transitional period, your hairs are pushed up toward the skin's surface and then detach from their blood supply. This phase signals the end of the anagen period.
  • Telogen — Your hair then enters this resting phase, where your fibers begin to fall out. Your follicles stay inactive for about three months until a new hair emerges through the same follicle, starting a new anagen phase.

Most of us lose an average of 50 to 100 hairs each day. As we mature, more strands fall out, and fewer grow back to replace them. This is known as androgenetic alopecia or female-pattern hair loss. It usually presents as a general overall thinning in women.

Female pattern hair loss is triggered by menopause-associated fluctuations in dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. DHT is responsible for your sex drive and controls hair growth. DHT hormones shrink and damage your hair follicles and cause your hair to grow in finer and easier to break than before.

Is My Hair Growth Slowing?

Your hair is the fastest growing tissue in your body. It grows quickest between ages 15 and 30 and then hits the brakes in your 40s and 50s. Besides age, how fast your hair grows depends on genetics, hormones, and other factors. It may be tapered by nutritional deficiency (zinc deficiency, anorexia, anemia, etc.) and fluctuations in hormones (thyroid disease and menopause, etc.).

Age-related variables may not be optimal for hair growth; however, it is still growing, no matter the speed. Furthermore, there are steps you can take to support and enhance growth beyond your 50s.

Improve Hair Growth with a Well-Balanced Diet

Nutritional and metabolic requirements should be fulfilled for optimal hair growth. Your diet should contain vegetables, fruits, protein, fats, and grains. Biotin, folic acid, and other B-group vitamins are especially important for healthy hair. When our body is not getting enough nourishment, it reprioritizes where nutrients will go. Vital organs will get first dibs, and hair follicles may get nothing at all.

  • Legumes — Legumes are loaded with protein, as well as zinc, iron, and biotin — mandatory for healthy hair growth. Biotin deficiency can trigger brittle hair and hair loss. Other foods that contain biotin include egg yolk, soy flour, liver, and yeast.
  • Fish sources — Protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and vitamin B12 available from fish can help stop dry scalp and improve your hair color.
  • Nuts — Nuts have an abundant supply of selenium, which is vital for a balanced scalp. Nuts also contain zinc and alpha-linolenic acid, which support hair growth and prevent shedding.
  • Dairy — Dairy products are an excellent calcium source, the key to robust hair growth.

Bolster Hair Health in Your 50s and 60s with Better Not Younger

Our body needs a ready supply of oxygen and a complexity of nutrients to promote healthy hair into your 50s and 60s. A balanced and bioavailable amount of micronutrients is vital.

If you cannot get the nutrition you need solely from your diet, Better Not Younger’s Significant Other Hair, Skin & Nails Supplement + Retinol Boost can supply nutrients to strengthen your roots and support healthy hair. They are packed with zinc, B vitamins and biotin to promote scalp health and augment your hair’s elasticity.

To support scalp and follicle health, use Better Not Younger’s Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum. Used nightly, this beneficial serum leverages the stimulating properties of caffeine and ginger to boost circulation and nourish your hair roots for healthier, thicker-looking hair.

Eat Well, Drink Water, and Use Better Not Younger

Aging affects the speed and quantity of our hair growth, whether we like it or not. There are things we cannot control, like genetics and life stressors, that determine how fast our hair grows. However, there are things we can control that make a big difference in our hair health.

Eating a well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water are crucial to keeping our hair and scalp in primary condition. Supplementing with Significant Other Hair Fortifying Vitamins and using Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum aid your body in producing lush, thriving hair in your 50, 60s, and beyond.

To find more products to boost your hair health, look for Better Not Younger’s complete line of products on our Shop page.