By Lisa Cupido, Shefinds.com
Are you finding it increasingly difficult to maintain your hair’s health, especially as you age?
You’re not alone — far from it. Hair goes through several changes during a person’s lifetime. And one of the most common physical effects of the aging process is a loss of hair. Whether you’re experiencing shedding, thinning, or just feel like your hair has seen glossier days, you don’t have to resign yourself to dry, brittle hair. There are steps you can take that won’t cost a fortune, won’t require a time-consuming commitment, and can really celebrate the hair you have. Lisa Abbey, founder and CEO of Strength x Beauty, provides three of her tips (and a few additional tips, to boot) on how you can grow thicker, longer hair over 40.
Go sulfate and paraben-free.
Before you run to the store and buy another shampoo or serum, it’s important to get a handle on the ingredients that you should include in your routine, and the ones that you should avoid at all costs for better hair. “Sulfates have long been thought to increase hair loss, thinning or hair fall, especially after 40,” Abbey said. “Instead, seek out Sulfate and paraben free plant-based hair care products – your hair will grow longer and look healthier.”
Avoid the over-use of talc based dry shampoos.
“Too much powder or talc at the scalp can clog pores and dry out the hair, ultimately resulting in poor growth,” Abbey said. “Many now are talc or powder free – you’ll know they are if the product feels a bit damp when it goes on. This means it likely is alcohol-based rather than powder-based and will dry quickly, without clogging the scalp and absorbing excess oils as it does.” If you are someone who relies on dry shampoo every other day to keep your hair looking fresh, it could be costing your scalp over time. Use these shampoos less often to maintain the health of your scalp and hair.
Look for hair care products containing Keravis PE.
Hair health isn’t just about the ingredients that you avoid at all costs. Consider shopping for products that contain Keravis PE, which Abbey says is a new, plant-based keratin protein that has been clinically proven to make the hair stronger and help it appear thicker and fuller, with more shine. “This miracle ingredient is quickly becoming a hair care brand go-to ingredient and you’ll find it being used in many new products by clean or vegan beauty brands committed to avoiding animal-derived ingredients,” Abbey said.
Make sure you’re getting enough biotin and vitamin K in your diet.
Your diet matter a lot when it comes to both your health and the health of your hair, skin, and nails. “If you’re experiencing nails that peel or break easily, or hair that gets invisible at the ends and won’t grow past a certain point, you’re likely deficient in one or both of these vitamins,” Abbey said. “Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin which can be found in lean meats like fish and chicken, eggs, and soy products. Vitamin K on the other hand is fat-soluble and can be absorbed from a diet rich in leafy greens such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, and green leaf lettuce, or vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.”
Up your collagen intake.
“Collagen helps maintain hydrated skin and helps ease osteoarthritis pain, lower blood pressure and blood sugar, and can also help keep your bones stronger — all of which are excellent as we age, but did you know it can also help keep your hair thicker?” Abbey said. “Taking collagen supplements daily can help increase hair density and scalp coverage.”
Use a thickening shampoo.
Many thickening shampoos on the market contain vitamin B5 and panthenol, both of which help the hair look and feel thicker by penetrating the hair cuticle to ‘plump’ and attract moisture, and by coating and protecting the hairs outer cuticle, which helps makes it feel thicker and prevents breakage, according to Abbey.
Add a rose water or rice water rinse to your hair hair care routine.
This tip can help your hair and make bath time feel more luxurious (and who couldn’t use a bit of luxury?). “Rose Water aids hair growth by restoring and maintaining the pH balance of your scalp and hair, to foster healthy growth and keep your hair healthy,” Abbey said. “Rice water can help strengthen the hair follicles, improve density, and make the hair look healthy and shiny.”
Wash less often.
You’re probably washing your hair too much — and it may be backfiring when it comes to how your strands look and feel. “Unless your hair is very oily, you shouldn’t wash more than two to three times a week,” Abbey said. “This will allow your scalp’s natural oils to ‘feed your hair’ the nutrients its needs to grow long and strong.”
Exfoliate your scalp regularly.
Exfoliation isn’t just for your skin. “Exfoliating the scalp helps to unclog pores and keep the roots and follicles healthy,” Abbey said. “Exfoliating also helps remove product buildup that can weigh the hair down and can make it look dull or dry. We recommend using a scalp scrub once or twice a month to add tons of body and shine.”
Brush your hair out once a day.
Regular brushing stimulates the scalp, helping bring nourishing blood to the follicles which helps keep your hair healthier, and stimulates growth, according to Abbey (plus: it feels like a bonus massage). Go for 100 strokes, just like grandma used to say!
Hair health doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive — if you know a few good tips that help you grow your hair longer and stronger, no matter what your age.
Next Up: Minimalist Beauty: what is it, and why should you care?