Hair Hydration – When you look in the mirror, you may find that age has taken a toll on your tresses. Aging hair can change in texture and appearance, leaving your locks less shiny and bouncy than before. There are many reasons for hair changes, but there are just as many solutions. A healthy scalp and proper hydration are your golden tickets to strong hair. Read on to learn how to support scalp health and hair hydration as you age.
How Does Hair Change with Age?
There are numerous changes in your hair’s physiology as you age. In your 40’s, you may experience your hair becoming thinner, courser, and drier. The natural aging process brings about hormone fluctuations, which can negatively affect your hair follicle health. During menopause, estrogen hormone levels decrease, giving dominance to levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT shortens the amount of time your hair spends in the growing phase and shrinks follicles. Slower hair growth and damaged follicles can eventually lead to hair loss and thinning.
Additional causes of hair changes with age include genetics, collagen depletion, an imbalanced diet, and medications.
How to Support Scalp Health and Hair Hydration as You Age
Exfoliate Your Scalp
It is crucial to maintain the integrity of your scalp to grow strong hair. Neglecting the health of your scalp can result in dull, thin strands. Oil, dirt, sweat, and product buildup can clog your follicles and prevent a healthy hair-growth cycle. The process of exfoliation can remove buildup, stimulate hair growth, and soothe an irritated scalp. A scalp exfoliator or cleanser sloughs away dead skin cells, which allows fresh cells to grow. Your tresses will grow healthier and stronger, making your strands shinier than ever.
Choose an exfoliator, like the one from Better Not Younger, with clarifying and nourishing ingredients. For example, activated charcoal has detoxifying properties that cleanse impurities from your scalp and enhance hair growth. Also, lactic acid moisturizes a dry, itchy scalp and removes buildup without stripping natural hair oils. Depending on your scalp condition, it is recommended to exfoliate every seven to ten shampoos.
Give Yourself a Scalp Massage
Scalp massages are known to increase blood circulation and promote hair-growth. The subcutaneous blood flow transfers oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles, a necessary process to support healthy hair-growth. A low blood flow can gradually shrink follicles, causing each strand to become finer.
To give yourself a scalp massage, apply gentle pressure in circular motions using a scalp-brush or your fingers. This motion will activate oxygenation by dilating the blood vessels that surround your hair follicles. You can use an essential oil in your massage treatment to feed your follicles essential nutrients.
Conditioning is Key
Aging locks can be dry and unmanageable, so a hydrating conditioner is important in your hair-care routine. Hair that is adequately hydrated is less prone to split-ends and breakage. A conditioner is a moisturizing agent designed to hydrate and nourish your strands. It provides a protective layer for your hair, preventing environmental and heat damage. Conditioner smoothes the outer layer of your hair, which makes detangling less of a nightmare.
In addition to your regular shower conditioner, there are also leave-in conditioners and deep-conditioners. As the name suggests, a leave-in conditioner is a no-rinse formula that is applied after showering and before styling. Leave-in conditioners provide an extra-boost of moisture and can help keep frizz at bay. A deep-conditioner is an intense moisturizing treatment that gives long-term hydration benefits to your tresses. A deep-conditioning treatment also prevents damage and improves elasticity and shine.
When looking for a conditioner, keep an eye out for hydrating ingredients like bamboo oil, hops extract, and oleanolic acid.
Avoid Excessive Heat Exposure
Excessive heat styling and sun-exposure can quickly dehydrate your hair. Heat lifts the cuticle of your hair shaft, allowing moisture to easily escape your strands. Consider taking a break from your hot tools or using a heat-protectant to help retain your hair’s hydration. Additionally, you may shield yourself from damaging UV rays by wearing a hat or scarf.
Drinking water plays a large role in fortifying a healthy head of hair. Your follicles soak up water from your body to hydrate your strands, improving your strands strength and growth rate. If the body is receiving an inadequate amount of water, your scalp and hair can become dry and brittle. Observe your recommended daily-water intake to ensure your hydration is up to par. You can also consume foods with high levels of water like cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach and broccoli.
Aging hair doesn’t have to be a burden. In your middle age, long-term hair health starts at the follicle level. Dive deep to solve your hair problems by prioritizing scalp care and hydration. From scalp massages to deep-conditioning treatments, your hair-care routine can be both effective and great for your well-being.