If you thought you’d hit 50 and just cruise right into retirement, those first few post-menopausal years can be a rude awakening.

(Yes, we can hear you cackling from here.)

Between hormonal changes, added stress, and fatigue, your body has had it up to here with aging – and your hair’s no exception.

We’re not just talking about all that gray – which can look perfectly chic, thank you very much. We mean the thinning, coarse, and dry hair you do battle with on the daily.

If this problem sounds oh-so-familiar, you’re not alone. Here are four expert tips to turn it around in 2017:

1. Change Your Hair from the Inside-Out

Once you hit the big 5-0, it’s more important than ever to stock up on hair-healthy fruits, veggies, and proteins to strengthen those follicles. You can also add a hair supplement designed to fill in the gaps left by your regular diet.

At the New York Times, Dr. Alan Bauman “recommends eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and flaxseeds, as well as dark green vegetables, which are strong sources of vitamins A and C, needed by the follicles to produce sebum, hair’s natural conditioner.”

That means it’s time to stock up on fish, avocados, and all the broccoli you can handle. And don’t forget to add lean protein to your cart! Protein is one of the most important building blocks of keratin, which helps your hair and nails grow back stronger than ever.

But eating well is only the half of it. According to Bauman, stress tends to hit over-50s even harder, especially if you’re already wiped from experiencing hormone-overload.

“Elevated levels of cortisol — a type of steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland — can contribute to temporary hair loss,” Bauman told AARP. “This is known as telogen effluvium, or excessive shedding.”

Shedding up to 100 strands a day is perfectly normal, but it you’re losing more than that – or you notice bald spots – stress could be the tipping point.

So if you’re looking for an excuse to kick back, relax, and treat yourself like a queen – you’ve got it.

Your health – and your hair – deserve it.

2. Minimize Breakage

Thanks to all those swirling hormones, not to mention the rapid slowing of hair growth, your locks won’t recover from damage as quickly as they once did, says dermatologist Heather Woolery-Lloyd.

“When hair breaks faster than the rate it grows, you don’t have any length and that leads to thinning,” Woolery-Lloyd explained to Huffington Post.

And the hair that does grow back? Well, it’s not as elastic as it once was, either – meaning it’s prone to even more breakage.

“It’s true that as you age, your hair also loses some of its elasticity causing it to become brittle,” dermatologist Jeffrey Benabio told HuffPo.

“Yet, often, dry, brittle hair is less related to aging and more related to the products you use,” Benabio adds. “

Hair that is repeatedly treated with chemicals — bleaches, hair straighteners, permanent dyes — can become stiff, dry and prone to breakage.”

The years after 50 tend to be a time when many women self-consciously double down on their efforts to change their hair and recapture their youth – which is precisely part of the problem.

“As hair ages, we tend to torture it more, which makes matters worse,” Bauman confirmed at The New York Times.

Just think about all the times you used a curling iron to bend your hair to your will, or how often you’ve headed to the salon to erase your gray!

By easing off the heat, nixing the chemical treatments, or letting your gray shine through, your hair will have an easier time bouncing back. You can also use hair products like Hairfinity’s Advanced Hair Care which has been proven to reduce breakage by up to 95%.

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