The Truth About Ageing: How Age Affects Hair + Nails And What To Do

Ever noticed how our ‘crowning glory’ loses its lustre as we age or how our once-sturdy nails begin to look dull and discoloured? It's not just you; it's the natural cycle of life, a transformation that each strand of hair and nail undergoes.

But here's a thought: ageing is an art, and your body is a canvas. Today, you’ll find out why keratin, the building block of hair and nails, can affect their respective shine and growth. Then, discover luxurious hair, nail, and skin care products – one example is Olaplex treatments – that can help you get those youthful locks and strong nails back.

How ageing affects your hair and nails

The natural ageing process

With each birthday that passes, our bodies undergo natural transformations, and changes gradually manifest. It’s unnoticeable at first, but then you begin to notice it in unexpected places, like your follicles and fingernails. Suddenly, they’re not growing as quickly as they used to, or they’re losing their strength. What gives?

Keratin, the building block of hair, explained

Now, let's talk about keratin, our hair's superhero. It's the protein that keeps our locks luscious, giving them strength and resilience. Imagine it as the backbone of each hair strand, keeping them robust amidst the daily styling with GHD hair products or even the occasional pull of a toddler's hands.

But it's not just about the hair; keratin is also a critical component in our nails, keeping them tough against the challenges of garden work and kitchen escapades.

How keratin production declines with age

Here's the not-so-secret part: as we age, keratin production slows a bit. A drop in these protein levels will cause hair to become weaker and less elastic. Plus, as we age, our follicles lose their once-unbeatable ability to produce melanin, making our hair transparent. In the case of nails, you might notice they’re growing oddly thicker than before, with a brown rather than clear hue.

But don’t worry – this doesn’t have to be the end! With the right products, like a nurturing Balmain shampoo and nourishing hair masks from K18, we can encourage keratin to make a comeback. And let's not forget our nails. A quick break from nail polish and a regimen of nail health-boosting products can make a world of difference.

Ageing and your nails


Over time, our nails become brittle due to environmental and lifestyle factors. From frequent hand washing, overexposure to acetone or cleaning products, or even an iron deficiency, there could be various reasons your nails are cracking under pressure.

But here’s the silver lining: it’s also because we make good use of our nails as we live our lives – they are tools and means of expression. Brittle nails are not a sign of neglect but rather a part of our story, reminding us of when we cracked open a can of soda on a hot summer day or picked up a lucky coin off the street.


Discolouration in our nails can be caused by skin fungus, psoriasis, or even a finger or toe injury. But it can also happen simply due to age. From a healthy translucent appearance, they could become more opaque.

Nail growth also slows down gradually over time. From 3 millimetres per month at 25, it can go down to 2 millimetres per month at 85. What does that mean for the colour of your nails? Well, the longer nails can go without trimming, the more likely you’ll notice when they begin to change colour due to, well, no longer being new.

Changes in nail shape

Our nails, too, evolve in shape over time. Some may experience curling, others may experience clubbing – changes that are mapped by our health, our environment, and the intricate design of our genetics. These transformations are journeys in themselves, paths that our bodies tread in the continuous cycle of life.

Ageing and your hair

The vanishing act: thinning hair

As we saunter into the golden years, our once voluminous locks may begin to feel the weight of time as more and more follicles stop producing new hair. But it's not just about the number of strands. The diameter of each hair strand also reduces, leaving us with the feeling of lushness slowly slipping away. But while it might be daunting, it's a change we can confront with grace and the right care.

A shift to silver: greying hair

The pigment cells in our hair follicles gradually die off as we age. The fewer pigment cells in a hair follicle, the lower the melanin content. This is when a hair strand takes on a more transparent colour, like grey, silver, or white. Eventually, the hair will look completely grey.

The texture transformation

In the case of hair health, oil isn’t always the villain in the narrative. With age, your scalp’s natural sebum production declines, leading to brittle, dull, and coarse hair.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause can also wreak havoc on your hair texture. For example, fluctuations in oestrogen can affect the way hair grows because they shorten the growth part of the hair cycle, which results in increased fallout.

Crafting your hair and nail rituals with personalised care

Nurturing your crowning glory

The older we get, the less likely a lather-rinse-repeat lifestyle becomes sufficient. Hydration is your mane's best mate, so guzzling water and investing in moisture-rebalancing hair products is non-negotiable. Think the top of your head doesn’t need SPF? Think again! Protect your scalp and locks from sun damage, which can accelerate ageing, with a hat or a mist sunscreen.

And let's not forget scalp massages – they’re not only a relaxation technique but also a way to stimulate hair follicles and promote growth. Remember, it's about consistent care, not miracles in a bottle.

Fortifying your ten talons

Nails, the unsung heroes of our daily lives, require their share of TLC. Hydration, again, is key: creams and oils can help avoid the brittleness that comes when you’re always washing those hands. When the weather shifts, gloves and mitts aren't just a fashion statement; they're a barrier against harsh chemicals and extreme temperatures.

Your diet matters, too; protein and biotin-rich foods are your nails’ best friends. Regular manicures will also slough off dead skin and weed out fungus, encouraging frequent renewal.

Building your hair and nail kit

Your hair and nails need all the backup they can get! 

For hair, sulphate-free shampoos, conditioners with natural ingredients like argan and coconut oil, and heat-protectant styling sprays should be in your arsenal for minimising age-related changes. Nails thrive with quality cuticle oils and keratin-based nail strengtheners. But the real secret? Using these products consistently and properly.

Ageing gracefully with luxury beauty

Sensorial hair products

The world of luxury hair products is a treat – a symphony of sensory experiences. From rich, creamy textures that melt into your hair strands to intoxicating fragrances that linger like a cherished memory, these products are more than just a routine. They make repairing your hair less of a chore and more of an indulgence!

Enriching nail colours and care

Luxury nail polish and nail care transcend the superficial; they're expressions of art, statements of personality painted on the tiny canvases that are our nails. And when paired with elite nail care products that restore or enhance nail health, we don’t have to compromise a cute manicure.

Ageing with confidence through nail and hair care

Ageing doesn't diminish beauty; it refines it. Taking care of our hair and nails isn't vanity; it's a testament to our enduring elegance, a way of asserting that with age comes an unshakeable confidence. By choosing products that nourish and rejuvenate, we're not clinging to youth; we're celebrating the maturity and wisdom that make us truly beautiful.

Key Points to Remember

Keep your hair and nails looking great at every age with these easy points to remember: 

  • As we age, the production of keratin naturally slows down, affecting our hair and nail health. But there are various solutions you can try to restore their shine and strength.
  • The changes our nails undergo — brittleness, discolouration, and reshaping — come naturally with age and can be affected by our environment and lifestyle.
  • Hair follicle size and density, melanin levels, and sebum production, among others, can play a role in how thick, shiny, and healthy your hair is.
  • By nourishing your hair and re-strengthening your nails with the right products, you can get back on track – but consistent and proper use is just as important!
  • With luxury products, hair and nail rejuvenation won’t have to feel like a challenge. Rather, it could be a beautiful way to treat yourself and celebrate your ever-evolving beauty.

Elevate your routine with Beauty Affairs, where we meticulously select the finest in luxury beauty. Choose from the finest brands like L'occitane and Estee Lauder, all designed to resonate with your unique essence. Step into a realm where quality transcends and your distinctive beauty story comes to life.

Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne is a passionate beauty writer with over 10 years of experience. She’s incredibly keen on all things skincare, makeup and cosmetics, with a fingertip on the pulse of the latest global beauty trends at all times.

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