Hair is a prominent aspect of one's appearance and identity, and undergoes significant changes over the lifespan, including declining hair health. With recent scientific innovation, the conversation has shifted from merely treating the symptoms of hair ageing to addressing the root causes of these issues. Our experts explore the emerging science of "Hair Longevity" and delve into the scientific aspects of hair ageing, follicle miniaturisation, and how to prolong the hair growth cycle for optimal hair health over the lifespan.
What is Hair Longevity?
For too long, the narrative around ageing hair has focused on solely treating hair loss and masking changes associated with ageing. But new science reveals a different path is possible – one of hair longevity and healthy hair ageing. MONPURE are shifting the conversation from hair ageing to hair well-ageing and longevity.
Hair longevity moves beyond merely concealing thinning hair by proactively addressing the root causes of changes in scalp health and hair wellness. The key to maximising hair longevity is holistically supporting the complex biology of the hair growth cycle and optimising the scalp environment to continually nourish resilient follicles across our lifespan.
Rather than accepting hair ageing as inevitable, targeted, results-driven solutions derived from hair longevity science can prolong productive anagen growth, minimise telogen shedding, inhibit follicle sensitivity to DHT, and rebuild hair’s natural structural integrity from within the cortex outwards. This enables robust follicles to keep producing strong, healthy and youthful-looking hair decade after decade.
Hair longevity promotes thriving hair follicles, graceful well-ageing, and hair that continues reflecting inner radiance across our lifespan through evidence-based lifestyle, diet, and hair care strategies. While embracing our hair's maturation and confidence, understanding hair longevity can help maximise our goal of healthy hair no matter our age.
“We are born with approximately 100,000 hair follicles. Once they go, they go, so it's super important to take care of the follicles that we've got.” - Sofia Baig, Monpure's Lead Trichologist.
During our lifetime, our hair follicles continually renew through three cyclical and independent phases of growth and shedding:
- Anagen phase - active hair growth lasting 2-6 years
- Catagen phase - transitional regression lasting 2-3 weeks
- Telogen phase - resting (shedding) period lasting 2-3 months
The anagen phase is when active hair growth occurs, producing the visible hair fibres that emerge from the scalp (the hair we see). This growth period lasts 2-6 years in healthy hair. However, as we age, the duration of the anagen phase progressively shortens while the telogen resting phase lengthens. This shifting ratio results in the production of thinner, wispier hairs and an overall reduced volume or density of hair growth.
Additionally, the shortened anagen phase means hair spends less time actively growing before shedding. With the telogen phase extended, more resting follicles accumulate, leading to increased hair shedding and loss. The prolonged telogen also slows the rate of new hair regrowth since less follicles are cycling back into anagen at any given time.
In women, the reduced anagen duration and increased telogen duration is tied to declining oestrogen levels and increased sensitivity to the androgen hormone DHT that occurs during perimenopause and menopause. DHT shrinks the anagen phase in susceptible follicles, while low oestrogen fails to counteract its effects. Supporting hormonal balance and mitigating DHT production is key to maintaining healthy anagen and telogen ratios as we age.
Key Factors Affecting Hair Longevity
Age: Post-menopausal women over 50 exhibit a decreased anagen duration and increased follicle miniaturisation. By age 60, 80% of women experience some form of hair loss.
Hormones: Menopause leads to hormonal changes including rising DHT sensitivity which decreases diameter, growth rate and time in anagen.
Genetics: Androgenic alopecia shortens anagen and can cause pattern baldness. Gene expression impacts DHT sensitivity.
Diet: Nutrient deficiencies deprive follicles of essential compounds for growth. Iron, zinc, vitamin D and protein malnutrition have been linked to hair loss.
Stress: Stress hormones (cortisol) disrupt growth cycles, prematurely pushing follicles into telogen. This leads to excessive shedding.
Medications: Drugs like beta blockers and antidepressants have been shown to trigger temporary hair loss as a side effect.
Damage: Heat styling, chemical processing and environmental aggressors like pollution and UV radiation can prematurely age hair follicles over time.
How to Maximise Hair Longevity
Support the Hair Growth Cycle
In order to cultivate optimum hair longevity, the hair needs to remain in the anagen phase for as long as possible and prolonged dormancy needs to be prevented. This can be supported by a healthy diet and lifestyle, as well as using products that hone in on the source and minimise hair loss by targeting the hair growth cycle itself.
The Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum initially targets the catagen and telogen phases of the hair growth cycle within the first 4-6 weeks, working to minimise excess shedding. Similarly, it boosts the growth of new follicles leaving the telogen phase and entering into a new cycle of the anagen phase, which usually takes around 12-14 weeks. The average hair’s growth rate is around 1 cm a month. With this in mind, visible changes in new growth are likely to manifest around 6 months.
The product’s star ingredient, pumpkin seed extract, is a gentle yet effective ingredient that has been scientifically proven to block the 5-alpha reductase enzyme that produces DHT, a byproduct of testosterone that causes hair loss. Specially, DHT shrinks the follicle’s anagen phase and prolongs its telogen phase. Therefore, by blocking the production and minimising the presence of DHT in the bloodstream and on the scalp, the healthy hair growth cycle is supported and excess thinning is prevented. This powerful extract also stimulates follicles, delivers nutrients and boosts circulation to the scalp.
The Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum is also formulated with skincare-staples retinol and lactic acid, that gently decongest clogged hair follicles, promote healthy cell renewal and enhance the absorption of other ingredients and nutrients, all of which support the hair growth cycle and the incubatory environment of the hair follicles.
Nourish the Scalp Environment
A healthy scalp environment provides the ideal conditions for hair follicle growth and vitality. As we age, changes in scalp health can disrupt the incubatory environment needed for robust hair production. Feeding hair follicles with nutrient-rich solutions provides essential compounds for healthy growth cycles and cell renewal.
The Nourish and Stimulate Scalp Mask feeds hair follicles a powerful blend of concentrated active ingredients, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids clinically shown to optimise the scalp environment to support healthy hair growth.
Improving blood flow and microcirculation is also key to maximising hair longevity. Healthy blood circulation in your scalp ensures a steady supply of blood to the hair follicles, thus supporting a longer anagen phase. Hair follicles derive their nourishment from surrounding blood supply, which delivers oxygen and hair-building nutrients. The Heal and Energise Jade Comb helps to relieve scalp tension, stimulate hair follicles, and improve scalp circulation to the scalp.
Rebuild Hair's Natural Strength
Reinforcing hair's structural integrity from within the cortex outwards is key for longevity. Environmental damage from sun exposure, wind, pollution, and heat styling causes exterior cuticle damage as well as degradation of interior protein structure over time.
The Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo and Conditioner nourish hair with active proteins to fortify strands against breakage and damage. The formulas are free of harsh sulphates, silicones and parabens. Vegan keratin is an essential active ingredient that reinforces the structural integrity of damaged hair. Keratin is the protein naturally found in hair, forming the building-blocks of its structure. Vegan keratin is a moisturising humectant that conditions and hydrates the scalp, while also holding anti-irritant benefits. This vegan alternative also protects, strengthens and repairs fragile strands, as well as boosting shine, smoothness and elasticity.
Vegan silk peptides are a powerhouse protein that fortifies hair from the root. They deliver a protective barrier to the hair and scalp, shielding it against harmful environmental irritants and stressors.
This innovative duo yield 83% pollution removal and 72% thermal damage repair with each use. This helps mitigate the damaging effects that contribute to hair health degradation and further maximises hair longevity. Used together, these solutions rebuild hair’s natural strength and maximise longevity by fortifying damaged strands, protecting from environmental stressors, and promoting healthy follicles and scalp vitality.
The Future of Healthy Hair Ageing
New understandings of the biology of hair ageing provide solutions to sustain robust follicles across the lifespan through holistic hair longevity strategies. MONPURE’s continued innovations will further expand our ability to nourish resilient, vibrant hair as part of well-ageing.
The key to maximising hair longevity is focusing on the root causes - the hair growth cycle and scalp environment. With a healthy foundation, your strands can defy deterioration and thrive decade after decade.