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At What Age Does Hair Growth Stop in Females?

Hair is a symbol of health, vitality and, in some cases, a prized possession. Naturally, as we age, our hair can become thinner or even stop growing altogether. Understanding the...

Hair is a symbol of health, vitality and, in some cases, a prized possession. Naturally, as we age, our hair can become thinner or even stop growing altogether. Understanding the contributing factors and the reasons behind hair thinning and loss may trigger you to improve your hair care regime.

The age at which hair growth stops is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Hair growth is an individual journey, and the cycle can vary from person to person. However, according to a study in The American Academy of Dermatology, female pattern hair loss affects approximately 40% of women by the age of 50. 

Genetics, hormonal fluctuations and environmental factors can influence hair loss or thinning. As our bodies age, our functions gradually become slower. That’s not to say that one day, your hair will just suddenly stop growing. However, it may become thinner, finer and shed more. 

In this blog, we’ll look at the hair growth cycle, factors that affect it and growth patterns across different life stages. Let’s dive in! 

Understanding the hair growth cycle for women

Understanding the hair growth cycle is essential. The hair growth cycle is a continuous natural cycle that occurs throughout our lives. According to Healthline, the scalp has 100,000 hair follicles, and each strand grows in stages. 

The stages are as follows:

  • Anagen phase- the growing stage. During this stage, your hair follicles push out hairs that continue to grow until they’re cut off or reach the end of their lifespan. A study by the National Institutes of Health states that at any time, 90% of hairs are at this stage. 
  • Catagen phase- the transition phase. Hair follicles shrink, and the growth of hair slows as the shaft is cut off from the blood supply. 
  • Telogen phase- the resting stage. This stage typically lasts around three months. As it reaches the end of the phase, hair will start to fall out, with new strands growing in place. 
  • Exogen phase- the shedding phase. It lasts 2-5 months, and new hairs grow in the follicles as old ones fall away. Healthline states that you lose approximately 50 to 100 hairs during this stage. 

For women, these hair growth stages can be influenced by a range of factors. In the following section, we’ll explore the contributing aspects. 

Factors influencing hair growth in females

Despite there not being a distinct age where hair becomes thinner and falls out, there are vital reasons why it can happen. 

Here are some factors that influence hair growth in females:

1. Hormonal changes

Hormone fluctuations play a large role in women’s hair growth. Throughout a woman’s life, hormonal changes will occur constantly. From puberty and pregnancy to menopause, there are many times hormones may impact the hair growth cycle. 

During pregnancy and the reproductive stages of a woman’s life, oestrogen levels will increase. According to the study “Hormonal Effects on Hair Follicles”, during pregnancy, the “diameter of scalp hair increases.” This is due to high levels of oestrogen during this time. 

The study also explains that “Oestrogen levels decrease abruptly after menopause, while androgen secretion declines gradually with ageing and is maintained until the later stages of life.” As a result of this, Female Pattern Baldness is often observed during menopause. 

2. Genetics

Some women are genetically gifted with thick hair and longevity of growth, others aren’t as lucky and may inherit genes that make them more likely to experience hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia, also known as Female and Male Pattern Baldness, is genetic and the most common reason for hair loss. 

3. Age

Ageing is a natural process that could impact hair growth. Despite there not being a specific age at which women will lose their hair, the ageing process will naturally slow the growth cycle. 

An article in the National Library of Medicine discusses the link between ageing and hair growth, stating, “Hair strands become smaller and have less pigment. So the thick, coarse hair of a young adult eventually becomes thin, fine, light-coloured hair. Many hair follicles stop producing new hairs.”

4. Nutritional factors 

A balanced diet contributes to healthy hair growth. A nutrition-rich diet will provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals needed for thick, healthy hair.  

BBC Good Foods states the importance of having enough protein in your diet, stating, “If you are not consuming enough protein in your diet, your hair is likely to become dry, brittle and weak. Extremely low protein diets may result in restricted hair growth and even hair loss.”

5. Medical conditions 

Medical conditions like alopecia, thyroid disorders and autoimmune diseases can contribute to hair loss. According to Harvard Medical School, “Hair loss can be one of the symptoms of a medical illness.” For example, lupus, syphilis, or a thyroid disorder. 

While these factors influence hair growth, it’s vital to remember that everyone’s journey is different. Depending on your lifestyle and life stage, your hair growth journey may vary.

Hair growth patterns across different life stages

Hair growth in women occurs naturally throughout the stages of life. Over time, the growth cycle gradually declines.

Here are the different patterns of hair growth across different life stages:

  • Hair in your 20s

During your 20’s, it’s likely that your hair will be in its prime. The anagen phase is typically at its longest, meaning hair may grow to its maximum length. This is because “hair shafts are thick and cuticles are tight,” according to Dr. Dominic Burg, chief scientist at évolis. 

Yael Halaas, M.D., a facial plastic surgeon who specialises in hair loss and is a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, discusses how hair changes as you age. She states, “if you become pregnant in your twenties, pregnancy hormones can actually help make your hair thick and shiny.”


  • Hair in your 30s

As another decade passes, hair follicles will begin to hold less hair, and your hair will become thinner. It may also begin to turn grey at this stage. The Guardian states, “A new study suggests stem cells may get stuck as hair ages and lose their ability to mature and maintain hair colour.” 

  • Hair in your 40s and beyond 

Perimenopause and menopause may begin in your 40s and 50s. During this time, your body may experience changes as your hormones fluctuate and oestrogen levels decline. The anagen phase tends to shorten, meaning your hair won’t grow as much as it once did. 

According to Halaas, “Some research shows that hair loss during menopause is the result of a hormonal imbalance, specifically a lower production of oestrogen and progesterone.”

Furthermore, the study “Prevalence of female pattern hair loss in postmenopausal women: a cross-sectional study” suggests that about half of menopausal women noticed increased hair loss.  

Even though there’s no set time or age for when hair growth will end for women, there are contributing factors that may impact its condition. Keeping these factors in mind is essential, as well as understanding that a decline in your hair’s thickness is normal. 

As your hair follows its natural cycle, you may begin to notice indicators of thinning hair. However, by nurturing your hair early, you’ll be able to prolong its thickness and vitality. 

Indicators of Reduced Hair Growth Rate

Our hair is an excellent reflection of our internal health. However, it's vital to understand that changes in hair growth rate don't always imply a medical problem. Often, these changes are a natural part of ageing. Recognizing the signs of reduced hair growth rate can be essential for taking steps towards better hair care.

Here are the indicators of reduced hair growth rate:

  • Scalp Visibility: One of the most evident indicators is when the scalp becomes more visible. A study from the Journal of Investigative Dermatology shows that hair diameter decreases as we age, resulting in a reduced hair volume, leading to increased scalp visibility.
  • Increased Shedding: While it's normal to shed 50-100 hairs daily, an increased rate of shedding can indicate a reduced hair growth rate. The American Academy of Dermatology notes that significant hair shedding can be due to changes in the hair growth cycle.
  • Reduced Hair Length: If you've noticed that your hair doesn't grow as long as it used to despite no changes in your hair-cutting routine, it might be due to a shorter anagen (growth) phase. A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology found that the duration of the anagen phase decreases with age.
  • Change in Hair Texture: A study in the International Journal of Trichology suggests that hair may not only reduce in density but may also change in texture. For instance, straight hair might become wavy, or wavy hair might become straighter.

Tips for Women to Maintain Healthy Hair Growth

To maintain a healthy hair growth rate and overall hair health, consider the following tips:

  • Balanced Diet: Ensure you have a nutritionally balanced diet. Foods rich in iron, biotin, vitamins A, C, D, and E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids promote hair health.
  • Limit Heat Styling: Excessive use of hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons can damage hair. Use heat protection products if you must style frequently.
  • Avoid Chemical Treatments: Repeated chemical treatments, like perming or straightening, can weaken hair. Opt for natural or less harsh alternatives.
  • Scalp Massage: A gentle scalp massage can stimulate blood flow, promoting hair growth. Use oils like coconut or almond for added nourishment.
  • Hair Vitamins: Incorporate hair-specific vitamins into your routine. According to a study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, supplements like biotin, folic acid, and vitamins A, C, and E can positively impact hair growth and strength.
  • Reduce Stress: Chronic stress can impact hair growth. Practice relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
  • Regular Haircuts: Trimming hair regularly helps in getting rid of split ends, preventing hair breakage.
  • Use Gentle Hair Products: Opt for shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products that are free from sulphates, parabens, and other harsh chemicals.

By staying informed and taking proactive steps, it's possible to manage and even mitigate many of the factors that contribute to reduced hair growth rate. A comprehensive approach to hair care, considering both internal health and external treatments, is the key to maintaining thick, lustrous locks throughout life.


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