One major physical change that many women experience with age is how our crowning glory--our hair--changes in color, texture, and volume. Hair loss and thinning hair, in particular, are major concerns for aging women. But here are two pieces of good news--One: you definitely aren’t alone; and two: there are ways to make the most of this, too.
As you know and may have experienced by now, many changes come with the passage of time. We evolve in a variety of ways; our taste in clothes and food, our approach to life, the way we look, and so on. On the surface, many things change as well. Our bodies experience both hormonal and physical changes. Both of which contribute to thinning hair as we age.
While it is concerning, it’s far from an isolated case. Hair loss as we age is so common, in fact, that tens of millions of aging women in the United States alone have experienced this situation to some degree. Regular shedding, of course, is normal-but the amount and rate at which this happens increases as the years go by.
Getting older is actually one of the most common causes of hair loss for many reasons. Hormone levels differ, of course, leading to a disruption in the hair life cycle. Apart from this, the size of our hair follicles also shrinks over time.
There are also external concerns that can contribute to this, such as increases in stress levels that can lead to heightened cortisol levels, which in turn, can lead to your body allocating its resources away from the “non-essential” hair follicles in order to support your other essential functions. All of these changes can result in thinning hair or just loss altogether.
What Can You Do About it?
While all of this may sound daunting, fear not--because there are several different solutions for dealing with hair loss as you age. Here are some tips to consider.
1. Choose Your Products Wisely.
- Being smart about which products go onto your hair is key to maintaining hair health. You can even consult with professionals and stylists to find out which dyes, shampoos, conditioners, and serums would be ideal for aging hair. Find what’s safest and least damaging for your hair type and stay away from harsh ingredients. Also, consider which products might help add volume to thinning hair. Here are some organic ingredients you can look for in your hair care products:
- Coconut oil
- Organic honey
- Fruit extracts
- Essential oils like lavender, peppermint and lemon
- Organic green tea
2. Eat Lots Of Protein
- Hair follicles are mostly made of protein and shifting your diet to one that’s more protein-rich can aid in keeping your hair in tip top shape. Many different meats, fruits, and vegetables alike can contribute to your daily protein intake. Some fruits you may want to try are:
3. Try a Supplement
There are many supplements, medicines, and procedures that could help you with your hair. Ingredients like Minoxidil, which can be purchased over the counter, can help increase the blood supply to the scalp area, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the follicles.
Finasteride, a prescription medicine, can also prevent hair loss if your doctor might see this more fit. Alternatively, or additionally, you could also look into LED light therapy or PRP procedures, which can also promote hair regrowth.
(*Just make sure to consult with a doctor before trying any supplements or natural medications)
4. Don't Obsess Over Washing
- Washing your hair too frequently causes it to lose a lot of its natural oils. As a result, hair can become dry and brittle, and can break easily. This can worsen the natural shedding or thinning process of your hair. Instead of shampooing every day, figure out a less aggressive washing schedule that works with your lifestyle. Be gentle with your hair.
5. Limit Use Of Heat-emitting Styling Tools
- Tools such as curling wands, flat irons, and even hair dryers can be harmful to your hair if used in excess. Occasional use shouldn’t do much damage, but daily use can definitely cause harm, especially to thinning hair.
But this doesn’t mean we have to avoid these tools indefinitely. We can’t resist a good blowout or curling now and then. So when it comes to these occasions, using a heat protective spray before a heat styling session can make a huge difference in protecting your hair.
6. Use A Hair Scalp Serum
- Hair scalp serums work by helping increase blood flow on your scalp with nutrients and antioxidants. Remember, as we age, our skin needs help maintaining its nutrients and our scalp is no different. Serums do a good job of helping out our skin in that regard.
Not to be confused with hair serums, scalp serums do for your scalp as facial creams do for your face. They contain concentrated ingredients to rid the skin of your scalp of impurities while keeping it hydrated. This makes them ideal for women experiencing dryness, itchiness and flakiness.
It’s also worthwhile considering organic scalp serums to avoid adding harsh chemicals that may further damage your hair and scalp. Here are some ingredients to look for in a scalp serum:
- Organic oils such as coconut, sunflower or rosehip
- Aloe Vera
7. Massage For Increased Blood Flow
- Massages in general are just great to stimulate blood flow and reduce tension. Imagine what it can do for your scalp! Since your scalp is considered an extremity of your body, blood has a harder time getting there.
Scalp massages help remove tension and tightness that restrict blood flow. Increasing blood flow on your scalp will help nourish the hair follicles with oxygen and other nutrients. This means, with a regular scalp massage, you can create a better environment to grow healthier hair.
8. Exoliating The Scalp
- Our skin regularly sheds old dead cells and replaces it with new ones. This is also true about our scalp. Through exfoliation, you can rid your scalp of excess skin cells, oil and dandruff.
Exfoliating your scalp is a thoroughly soothing and stress relieving experience. It’s also a way to maintain your scalp’s health and remove excess debris and dirt.
There are a couple of ways to exfoliate your scalp. You can do it physically or with the aid of chemical exfoliants that dissolve the excess cells. Be mindful of how often you exfoliate because too much can cause your scalp to react and produce more oil.
The skin on your scalp is quite sensitive so it would be good to take care of it. It should be safe to exfoliate your scalp once or twice a week.
In summary, many if not all of these tips are all about being gentle with your hair. In fact, much about aging is about being gentle with yourself in a multitude of ways. Aging is a beautiful process that we step into across the years and doing so gently helps us age gracefully as well.
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