You’ve probably noticed that as you’ve gotten older, your hair doesn’t look and feel quite the same, making anti-aging hair care an essential part of helping you feel and look younger. It’s no surprise that your hair shaft, or outer cuticle, thins out and gets damaged over time, because it’s constantly being exposed to environmental pollutants, harsh weather, styling tools, and products.
If you’re looking for anti-aging advice to get stronger, younger-looking strands, you might have to go a little deeper than the top of your head. A recent study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology has found that the problem with thinning hair starts well beyond the root.
Upon analyzing hair fibers from women aged 10 to 70, researchers discovered that even women under 40 showed signs of damage to the outer cuticle of hair—no shocker there. But what was interesting for the purpose of anti-aging hair care was that the hair from women over 40 showed significant signs of damage to the inner cuticle as well.
According to experts, anti-aging advice for hair has to start from within, because it all has to do with how your body works to repair itself. In your younger years, your hair had the ability to recover from damage much quicker. But now, as you get older, that repair process happens at a significantly slower rate, which means that the outer hair cuticle (the part you see) breaks down more. As a result, the outer cuticle becomes far less effective at protecting the inner structure of each cuticle (endocuticle) from damage. And because the deeper structure of hair becomes more vulnerable to damage, strands become more susceptible to visible thinning, brittleness, and breakage with each passing year.
That being said, there is still lots of anti-aging advice that can work to improve the appearance of hair. Here are a few tips to start incorporating into your anti-aging hair care routine:
• Protection: Before using hot styling tools, it’s always good anti-aging advice to prep your strands by using a heat protecting serum or spray, which provides a shield to minimize surface damage from the intense heat.
• Avoid Coloring: Your hair might be turning gray, but a lot of hair dyes are loaded with chemicals, which can seriously damage strands. Instead of doing all-over color, start with just highlights. If you’re absolutely set on coloring your hair, the best anti-aging advice is to stick to darker colors that won’t require you to bleach your hair first.
• Supplements: Another 2015 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that when women consumed daily supplements of antioxidants, omega-3, and omega-6 for six months, hair got thicker (a 62% increase in hair density). A whopping 90% of the women also experienced an improvement in overall hair loss. While this may sound like tedious anti-aging advice to follow for your hair, the point is that your hair health might be indicative of something that’s lacking in your diet. Check with your doctor to see what supplements might work for you.
• Diet: What you eat can impact your hair health. Protein is good for anti-aging hair care, since your hair is made up mostly of protein, so chicken, turkey, and fish are all good choices. Salmon is especially good for your hair because it’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids.
• Other Factors: When it comes to anti-aging advice for your hair, it’s also a good idea to be aware of other factors that might be aging your hair even faster.