Hair care isn't just a concern for younger people. As you age, keeping your hair healthy and looking good is still important to many. Seniors often face new hair challenges that can make hair care more difficult. Knowing how to deal with your aging hair can help you maintain your confidence in your appearance.
Your hairstyles have likely changed over the years, and your natural color may have given way to silver, gray and white strands. However, those aren't the only ways your hair changes as you age. Many people notice changes in the texture and thickness of their hair as they get older. Hair growth tends to slow, and you may experience hair loss or thinning to some degree. Individual strands also tend to shrink, so you might not have the thick mane full of body you once had. You might notice that your hair is coarse, dry and more prone to breakage.
Your hair often isn't as elastic as it was when you were younger. That can make it break easily, even with normal handling. If you've permed, dyed or heat-treated your hair regularly throughout the years, it could be even more brittle. Gentle treatment can help reduce damage to your hair in its more delicate condition.
Mild shampoo and conditioner products help you maintain your hair without putting more stress on it. When washing your hair, avoid scrubbing it aggressively or using hot water. Gentle scrubbing and warm water help protect your hair. Washing your hair a few times a week instead of every day can also keep it healthier.
When styling your hair, go easy on your tresses. Heat styling tools can be hard on your hair, so limiting how often you use them is a good idea. Find a brush that's gentle on your hair — a brush with soft boar bristles often works well. Use it carefully instead of brushing it through your hair aggressively.
Using lots of styling products can contribute to damage and wear on your tresses. Products like gel, hair spray and mousse can have a drying effect, especially if they contain alcohol. Avoiding or limiting the use of lots of hair products can cut down on those negative effects, such as drying out your hair or making it more prone to breakage. When choosing your products, look for moisturizing options with ingredients like argan oil or coconut oil to help nourish your hair. Using hair masks occasionally can also add beneficial moisture.
Your usual hairstyle might not work as well as you get older. The changing texture and thickness could make the cut less flattering on you or more difficult to achieve. If you rely on styling tools or several hair products for the look, you could be putting a lot of strain on your aging hair. Lots of styling can also be more challenging as you age if you have mobility issues. It can be difficult to grip a brush or styling tools or raise your arms above your head to fix your hair.
Simplifying your hairstyle and choosing a new look that works well with your changing hair can make hair care easier. You'll also likely be happier with the results if the new cut is more flattering and easier to achieve. If you're a caregiver responsible for your loved one's hair, helping them choose an easier hairstyle they still love can help make your job easier.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet gives your body the nutrients that can support healthier hair. Fruits and vegetables with lots of vitamins can help. Include protein-rich food in your diet as well as foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, flaxseed and walnuts. These foods also support an overall healthy lifestyle and healthier skin and nails.
If you're a caregiver for a loved one, helping with their personal care tasks, including hair care, is often part of the job. Applying the ideas of being gentle, styling hair simply and limiting how much product you use is still important. However, you also have other concerns for senior hair care. If your loved one has dementia, they might not enjoy having their hair washed or styled. This can be worse if they're frustrated or in a bad mood. Waiting until you're both in a good mood and ready to tackle the task can make it easier.
Some care providers may have training in hair care for people with dementia, and many areas offer hair care services for seniors. Using one of these options for hair care can reduce stress for you and your loved one. Looking for someone who'll come to your loved one's assisted living apartment to cut their hair can also be less stressful than taking them to the salon. Consider your loved one's needs and preferences to create a hair care routine.
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