1. Restore Moisture
As teens, oily glands were the bane of our existence. We lived in fear of pimples and how they would mar our social cred or ruin a school photo. (Yuck!)
So you could be forgiven for thinking that producing less oil is a side benefit of getting older – but you’d be wrong about one thing: a dry, itchy scalp does nobody any favors.
As you age, the oil glands on your scalp begin to shrink, producing less oil over time. That means the natural oils from your scalp that work to hydrate your hair aren’t working so hot by the time you hit 50.
With some preventative care, you can avoid a dry scalp and coarse hair, too – all it takes is a little oil.
“Naturally occurring oils (like argan and coconut) have been proven time and again to add shine, strength, and moisture to brittle hair, thanks to a high concentration of fatty acids that help penetrate the strand’s shaft and repair hair from the inside out,” explains health and beauty writer Nina Elias.
Beef up your shower routine with a natural oil hair mask to strengthen, repair, and hydrate. Most experts suggest lathering up with a mask at least once a week. And if an over-the-counter fix doesn’t appeal, there are plenty of DIY treatments to try, too.
Other experts suggest limiting your time in the shower or making the switch to dry shampoo to encourage the natural oils you do have to stick around.
“Try not to wash your hair every day,” dermatologist Rebecca Kazin recommended at Prevention. “Do it every other day instead to maintain its natural oils.”
Finally, says stylist Nick Arrojo, consider investing in a new hairbrush to encourage the natural oils in your scalp to moisturize the rest of your hair.
Opting for a boar bristle brush will “make styling easier and promote shine and smoothness – benefits almost everyone wants,” Arrojo told Prevention.
Learn more about the importance of boar bristle brushes here – and you’ll cash in on those shiny hair benefits in no time flat.
2. Give Your Hair a Boost
While you’re thinking about making changes, there are two more elements of your beauty routine where small tweaks can help your hair feel stronger and more luxurious.
First, ditch that old conditioner and opt for a luxe conditioning treatment with super-powered vitamins.
“Three ingredients to look for: hydrolyzed keratin, which can provide the hair with strength and vitality, as well as moisturizing olive oil and shea butter,” stylist Arrojo told Prevention.
Remember: keratin = protein for your hair, while olive oil and shea butter will lock in moisture for sapped locks, benefiting a dry scalp, too.
And if changing your diet or upgrading your conditioner doesn’t give you the oomph you need, we recommend taking biotin or silica supplements for stronger, healthier hair.
“Those with biotin deficiencies have dry, brittle hair and when you supplement them with biotin, their hair returns to normal,” Woolery-Lloyd explained to Huffington Post.
“Silica helps to strengthen collagen – research is weaker on this but it helps strengthen your existing hair,” she added.
As with all super-charged vitamin treatments, check with your doctor before taking supplements. And remember to be patient. It can take up to six months before you start to see changes in your hair – but if over-50s are experts in anything, it’s the virtues of taking your time.
While there are some things we love about getting older – say, not caring a whit about what other people think, or finally nabbing our AARP discount – coarse, thinning hair is not one of them.
Whether you’ve been noticing an uptick in the number of hairs circling your shower drain or wondering why all the moisture’s been sucked out of your locks, getting older means changing the way you take care of your hair – grays and all!
As frustrating as this cycle might be, all it really takes to improve your tresses is a little TLC. Think luxurious natural oil masks, fortified conditioners, and supplements to help give your hair a bit of a boost.
We might not be able to turn back the clock, but we can sure as heck help your hair look amazing in 2017 – no matter how old you are.