It’s no secret that like skin, hair changes as we age. From dryness and thinning to increased hair fall and grays, the hair care products that worked for us in our twenties and thirties are no match for the hormonal fluctuations that can affect hair in our 50s and beyond.
If you’re struggling with your hair, one of the simplest things you can do is revisit your haircare routine to make sure you’re choosing and using products specifically designed to address the physiological changes that are impacting your hair from the inside out.
Updating Your Haircare Routine
In your 50s, the most effective hair care routines go beyond shampoos, conditioners, and styling products, they will also take into account the condition of the scalp and your nutritional intake. You may or may not know that the base of every hair follicle is alive, fed by tiny blood vessels that keep it growing within the incubatory scalp environment. This is the stage when taking proper care of your scalp and taking the right vitamins play a large role in influencing strong, healthy follicle growth. Once the hair reaches the skin’s surface and the cells within the strand of hair aren’t alive anymore, choosing the right shampoo, conditioner, and styling products is the key to keeping that hair strand protected, resilient, and moisturized until it naturally sheds 3-6 years later.
Sound complicated? It’s not. Here are three simple updates you can make to your hair care routine today to set the path for thicker, stronger, healthier hair in as little as 6-8 weeks (the amount of time it takes to see around an inch of new hair growth).
1. Take care of your scalp.
An effective scalp care routine is not dissimilar to one you might already follow for the skin on your face and body (after all, the scalp is skin too!). Regular exfoliation, nourishment, and moisture will go a long way in improving scalp condition and ultimately the health of your hair. Dead skin cells, styling product build-up, natural oils, dirt, and debris can clog pores on the scalp. As a result, follicles can grow skinnier and weaker, making them more vulnerable to breaking later down the line. Exfoliating the scalp physically with a scalp brush or with formulas containing ingredients like lactic acid and activated charcoal can help keep pores clean. Hair growth also slows as we age, meaning there’s more time in-between when a hair strand naturally sheds and a new one grows back. Energize and nourish follicles to boost healthier hair growth with nourishing scalp serums containing ingredients like caffeine, ginger, niacinamides, and ceramides.
2. Fuel your Follicles from the inside out.
Our body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the foods we eat decreases as we age, which means fewer vitamins and nutrients get to your growing follicles. Why? Your body considers hair non-essential tissue versus critical organs, such as heart, lungs, brain, etc., which is what gets priority when directing vitamins and nutrients despite the fact that hair actually has very high nutritional requirements to be healthy and to grow. The solution is to take daily supplements containing hair-friendly ingredients like Biotin, Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and Folic Acid. We recommend supplements that are sugar-free and cruelty-free, and as a rule, we always recommend you check with your healthcare provider to discuss your best options, especially if you’re already taking medications or supplements.
3. Moisture, moisture, moisture.
Hair becomes drier as we age due to a combination of biological and environmental factors. The scalp produces less sebum ( a waxy, natural substance that coats and strengthens strands) at a time where many women turn to coloring their hair or using more heat styling products to add back lost volume, both of which are incredibly drying and will lead to increased breakage. In fact, many women who report increased hair loss (you know, the clump of hair you see in the sink every day) are actually seeing hair that’s broken off due to weakness and dryness. Making sure hair stays moisturized is perhaps the single most important way to prevent premature breakage. Some of the easy ways to ensure this are to avoid shampoos and other hair care products that contain sulfates, only shampoo the scalp and let the suds rinse through the hair in the shower, use a deep condition treatment 1-2x/week, and always, always use a heat protectant before you blow-dry, curl or flat iron hair.
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