Age-Related Changes in Female Scalp Dermal Sheath and Dermal Fibroblasts: How the Hair Follicle Environment Impacts Hair Aging

    Rachael Williams, Gillian Westgate, Alison D. Pawlus, Stephen Sikkink, M. Julie Thornton
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    TLDR Aging causes changes in the scalp that can affect hair growth and lead to older-looking hair in women.
    This study examined the effects of aging on the scalp hair follicle environment in 22 female participants aged 19-81 years. It found that aging is associated with a decrease in epidermal thickness, a more distinct papillary/reticular boundary, increased collagen deposition, and more miniaturized hair follicles. There were changes in protein expression, such as decreased podoplanin and increased versican and matrix metalloproteinase-1 in the scalp tissues. Additionally, dermal fibroblast cultures from older individuals showed altered protein secretion, including an increase in cartilage oligomeric protein. These structural and biological changes in the scalp may influence hair growth and contribute to the aging of hair in women.
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