As we get older, growing healthy hair is not quite the same as when we were younger and the growth hormones are on the offensive. As we age, our hair – just like our skin – loses its elasticity, moisture and general strength.
Chronic breakage and even hair loss may be inevitable for many. This is due to a number of factors including, aging hair follicles which affect the hair growth cycle and the thickness of each strand, genetics, hormonal imbalances and the general health of each individual.
While genetics can’t be helped, the other factors can at least be alleviated by following these tips:
- Make sure you take care of your body and your body will be kind to you as you get older. Eat a balanced diet with enough B vitamins including Biotin, iron, calcium, vitamin D and protein. Stay away from alcohol and smoking and make sure to do enough exercise for good circulation. A healthy scalp produces healthy hair.
- Keep your body hydrated as much as possible by drinking as much water as your body needs.
- If you feel you are not getting enough vitamins from the food you eat, consider taking supplements. They are often helpful in maintaining a healthy head of hair.
- Moisturise your hair with a water-based product as often as possible, then seal with an oil-based or butter-based product to keep your hair moisturised for longer. Moisturising twice a day is ideal but not always practical. So at least once a day should be adequate.
- Keep your scalp clean to minimise any scratching. Hair loss is often a result of excessive scratching which leads to inflammation of the scalp.
- Chemicals that burn your scalp will hinder you from producing healthy hair. It may be time to go natural in order to preserve the health of your scalp and help it produce healthy hair for longer.
- Some hair dyes are quite harsh and will dry out hair strands. Let your greys shine. If others are colouring their hair grey as a fashion statement, consider it a blessing to have those grey highlights. If you must add colour though, or cover your greys, then shop wisely. Not all hair dyes are created the same. Avoid hair dyes that have ammonia and always go darker than lighter to be safe. Bleaching to get your hasir lighter may cause even more dryness and weak hair that breaks easily.
- Stress is often one of the causes of hair loss. Find ways to manage stressful situations effectively and fast before you start stressing about hair loss.
- Hair loss due to certain medications or chemotherapy can be frustrating. However the good news is, once you’re off the treatment, your hair will grow back.
- Thinning hair or hair loss may also be a sign of something wrong internally and if you slightly suspect this may be the cause, you may need to see your doctor as soon as possible. It is better to rule something out than to be too late for treatment.
It is never too late to start caring for your hair in ways that promotes health and growth. You may need to go a little further than younger women but healthy hair is indeed within reach no matter your age. Start today and you will never regret it.
What are your hair challenges as you get older?
(This article first appeared on iAfrica.com where I am a resident natural hair writer.)