Maintaining long healthy-looking hair isn’t as hard as it looks….okay, it does take some effort, but per good life advice, take all things in stride and you’ll end up okay. Knowing that changes will come will help you adapt to different ways of doing things when the time arrives.
I have been fortunate to have well-behaved shiny hair for the majority of my life. I’ve had it long, short, permed, shaved, and really put it through the ringer in the 80’s by using lots and lots of hair spray…can you say Aqua Net?! Luckily I still have a good head of hair left and can still grow it down to past my mid-back, but it has definitely thinned out a bit and has needed more attention as of late.
Something curious in addition to the thinning is that I now have to work a little harder to keep my hair from getting greasy on top, while at the same time, keeping my ends moisturized. I’ve also found that my hair reacts to certain products or ingredients differently than before. Gone are the days of not having to pay attention to what particular products I was using. I used to be able to wash with any product available and brush my hair without accumulation of hair on my brush.
So, what changed? One thing that I can attribute this difference to is the hormonal shuffle that occurs with age. As women approach their 40s and 50s, hormonal changes transpire that affect all parts of our bodies, including our hair. Estrogen is a hormone that helps regulate regular skin and hair follicle function. The levels decrease over time and contribute to hair loss. Changes in other regulating chemical levels in our bodies like androgens and insulin can affect hair growth, hair loss, and texture.
With a little research and trying different methods to care for my hair, I’m happy to say that I’m back to getting compliments on its length and healthy look. Some of my favorite hair growth tips that I’ve accumulated are laid out below.
1. Be adventurous and try something different. What you used to use may no longer work for your hair or you may find something that works better, especially as your body goes through hormonal shifts. Don’t be shy to ask for samples at the beauty store. That’s what they’re for (it’d be a shame to deprive them of their purpose). I had never used a leave in conditioner, but I tried my sister’s when on vacation at her place. Wow! I never knew…now it’s a regular part of my regimen.
2. Use cool water wash and rinse the hair. It closes the follicles, which prevents too much sebum from being secreted from the scalp and increases strand retention. It also closes the cuticles on you hair, which keeps your hair less frizzy. I love the feel of hot showers, but after trying cold water on my hair noted a lot less hair in the drain after showering.
3. Mind a healthy lifestyle. Mental, physical and nutritional stress is a powerful adversary to hair growth and retention. I think of the term “pulling your hair out” when frustrated. Well you don’t even have to use your fingers to accomplish this…if you are over stressed, your hair can fall out or stop growing all on its own. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have about your hair and your overall health. If needed, they can help set up hormone testing, provide anti-stress recommendations, and to help identify if there are any other underlying health concerns that need to be addressed. I’ve had the great “a-ha” and am now focusing my health on anxiety and stress relief versus fixating on the symptoms. It helps curb hair fall, mood swings and so much more (hoping the weight will come off more easily too).
4. Treat your hair (yourself) once in a while. If your hair likes a certain product, go for it, if even if it’s a little pricey. I’ve spent way too much time and money searching for alternatives to my all time favorite product (MoroccanOil), that just don’t do it for me. I’ve literally experienced heartache over it (and probably lost some hair to stress over it too). I think it’s the best argan oil for hair that I’ve found on the market and I get a lot of compliments when I use it. So, I’d decided to suck it up, buy it again, and enjoy making it last.
5. Keep what you’ve got by being gentle with your hair. The less you mess with it, the less damage you have to manage. This means avoiding the over use of styling products and heating elements, as well as protecting your hair from the sun and the wind. Oh, and there’s no need to brush a hundred strokes before bedtime (that was a practice of long ago times under different conditions). Over brushing can lead to cuticle damage and split ends. I’ve found that using my fingers in the shower and a wide toothed comb out of the shower results in less hair fall out and less damage from tangling.