Our hair is often one of the first things others notice about us. Yet hair concerns (and bad hair days), so often cause women grief. The good news is, there are ways to keep our mane looking great even if we have a few problem areas.
Common hair concerns
Hair undergoes many changes throughout our lives. Usually, when we’re in our 40s or 50s, hair starts to grow finer and will appear noticeably different than it did in our 20s when it may be more lush and full. Other typical concerns include:
- Thinning hair —it happens to women of all ages. Common reasons include general aging, hormonal changes (reduced estrogen and progesterone and increased androgen production), recently giving birth, undergoing chemotherapy, and or wearing your hair in tighter styles — like ponytails and braids.
- Split ends —are commonly caused by chemical processing, vigorous brushing while hair is wet, or too much heat (as from blow dryers and curling irons). Missing vitamins and minerals in the diet, and hormonal changes, can also cause a breakdown in the hair shaft.
- Texture changes —in our hair can be alarming, but most of the time there’s a simple explanation for it. Hormonal changes, whether from menopause, childbirth, or puberty can affect the way hair grows. A diet that lacks sufficient protein is another reason the texture of your hair might change.
Ways we damage our hair (and their simple fixes)
While there’s not much we can do about hormonal changes, we can curb the ways we damage our hair. From styling tools to salon visits, simple hair care practices we follow can wreak havoc on our locks. So how else does our hair get damaged?
Sun damage: If the sun can damage our skin, why wouldn’t it harm our hair? Well, it can. Prolonged exposure to UVA and UVB rays can discolor hair and cause frizziness and split ends. The sun weakens our hair’s protein and elasticity.
- The fix: Limit sun exposure or wear a hat if you’ll be out in the sun for a while. There are also serums available to protect and polish hair making it smooth and healthy.
Styling tools: Trying to recreate a trendy haircut with styling tools is a good way to damage hair. Using a flat iron or blow dryer often causes more breakage.
- The fix: Lowering the temperature is always better — it achieves the same look without harsh hair results. And instead of trying to follow the herd with that fashionable new do — try finding a look that’s suitable for your own hair, not what’s “on-trend.”
Hair coloring: Frequent use of hair dyes can cause our hair to dry out, leaving it more prone to breakage. The chemicals can take away the natural protective layer of the hair, which makes it brittle and more easily damaged.
- The fix: Instead of frequent salon visits try a natural concealer without the harsh chemicals. There are different shades available, and they’re easy to use.
How to keep hair looking great
Just like our skincare regime, caring for our hair changes as time goes on. Healthy habits and behaviors are key in keeping our insides strong but also have a dramatic effect on our outward appearance. Here are simple tips to keep your hair looking great.
- Check your diet — healthy hair needs plenty of protein, iron, omegas 3,6 and 9, and antioxidants to look its best.
- Stay away from hairspray — the alcohol in it can cause dry, brittle hair.
- Avoid shampoos with sulfates — which can strip the hair of color and natural oils.
- Consider a scalp serum or oil — used regularly these can aid in creating an environment for healthy hair.
- Try a hair mask — used about once a week they can help make hair smoother and more lustrous.
Our hair needs are constantly changing, and sometimes we need to freshen up our routine to revitalize our hair. So what are your hair care questions? How can we help?