Whoever it was that said youth is wasted on the young makes a valid point.

The fact is, we enjoy the best hair condition of our lives whilst in our 20s and 30s, although we likely don’t appreciate it at the time. 

We’re taking an in-depth look at what we can expect from our hair as we pass through life’s doors and how to make the absolute most of what we have when we have it. Not only will we unpack the overall condition of our hair and how to care for it, but more importantly, we’re going to point out some common bad habits that will affect our hair quality in the future.

While you read, take note of any hair care practices that you may need to reconsider in your own hair care regime.

20s Hair Care 

Once you’re over the hormonal fluctuations of puberty and your body has settled into early adulthood, your hair should be in the best condition of your life. You’ll enjoy its youthful density and prolific growth with a healthy scalp and vibrant colour. 

It’s at this time of our lives when we don’t need to worry about greying hair that many tend to be adventurous with colour and styling treatments. Thankfully for most, our youth and vigour are very forgiving of these experimental phases, allowing fresh new growth when things go awry.

Hair Care Recommendations

A good hair care routine is recommended at any age. If you can make use of a quality shampoo and conditioner suited to your hair type and get a regular trim then you’re on the right track. 

However, there are certain practices that will almost certainly cause long-term damage to your hair and scalp that you should avoid. For example, back-to-back chemical treatments can (and will) damage your hair and scalp, the main culprits here being permanent colouring, chemical straightening or curling. 

Additionally, temporary styles that include severe traction or added weight such as extensions or weaves are incredibly hard on the scalp. This can quickly result in permanent hair loss around the face and neck.

How to Maintain a Healthy Head of Hair in Your 20s

Aside from treating your hair and scalp with care, there are other ways to ensure that you take the beauty of your 20s hair into your 30s. These simple but effective lifestyle changes will help:

  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol
  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce your sugar intake
  • Get enough rest
  • Exercise regularly

Eleanore Richardson explains how your overall health impacts your hair. “Your 20s are a classic time for flakey and irritated scalps to flare up as personal care drops in the face of partying, drinking and late nights. 

“For hair and scalp to thrive, your body needs to be healthy first and foremost. Being the last priority of your body for survival, hair will often suffer first when nutrition drops or systemic inflammation increases. This is because the body claws back nutrients from low-priority organs. So make sure your overall health is strong and stable and reduce smoking and alcohol intake and think about your sugar intake.”

FAQ – Can your hair be more oily when you’re younger? 

We can blame the raging hormones which often raise the production of sebum (natural oil) on the scalp rather than the hair, hence those greasy teen years. Your hormones may still need time to settle if you’re still having frequent breakouts. You might want to check with your doctor if this doesn’t improve on its own.

The hair can also appear oily if it is thin/fine it sheds excessively, reducing its overall volume, or if it is extremely straight, allowing the oils to flow easily through it. You should use products developed for finer hair types since they will have less oil content and more volumising ingredients.

30s Hair Care

As we enter our 30s, many of us will notice a slow deterioration of the overall quality of our hair, especially in its density. How quickly this happens depends on many factors – genetic and otherwise. 

However, one of the main contributors to declining hair growth is our lifestyle. Our 30s usually mark a more stressful period of our lives as we start buying homes, pursuing careers, getting married and having children. 

“This is the age when I most commonly see stress-induced hair shedding noticed in patients at our clinic.” Eleanore Richardson

 Logically, if stress affects our bodies (as we know it does) then it will definitely affect our hair.  Rising stress levels have been shown to force hair follicles into a resting phase. As a result, you may find that you are shedding a significant amount of hair when washing or styling. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be permanent, but it’s worth taking note of if you are in a stressful environment for a length of time. 

Combatting Common Hair Problems in Your 30s

Regular, gentle cleansing and moisturising of your hair, along with sensible styling choices are the best advice we can give you. As with hair care in your 20s, avoid too many chemical treatments and harsh styling techniques that can cause long-term damage to your scalp.

For many, their 30s is when they start a family, and we know that pregnancy takes a huge toll on your body. The hormones that flood your system impact you in multiple ways and your hair will almost certainly be affected. Heightened estrogen levels can disturb your hair cycle which may result in thick, luxurious hair during pregnancy followed by extensive shedding after. Once your hormones settle though, your hair will naturally recover and resume its previous cycle. 

Eleanore comments on hair care during and after pregnancy, saying, “There actually isn’t much you can do, apart from looking after yourself and giving your body the rest it needs having just birthed a small human. 

“So we ask new mums not to stress and obsess about any hair loss they are experiencing as this will eventually recover as hormone levels equilibrate again. The most important thing is to rest and nourish yourself and by default your hair, so you can stay healthy whilst you look after your baby.”

Sensible Hair Care at All Ages

No matter your age, there are steps that you can take to maintain your hair in the very best condition possible. Styles and fads come and go, and you may feel pressured into conforming to costly and damaging hair choices – don’t. 

Caring gently for your hair and scalp – indeed your whole body – will guarantee you the best head of hair in the best condition. 

Look out for our next article on hair care in your 40s and 50s. 

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