The thinning of the hair is an inevitable part of the aging process, and I’m often asked how best to counteract hair’s deterioration through age. There are a few things that can be done to slow this down – at least a little. Eating a healthy diet rich in zinc, calcium, sodium and potassium can help prevent unnecessary hair loss. Salmon, beans, leafy dark green vegetables and nuts are among the best sources of nutrients for maintaining a luscious head of hair.
If your hair has started to thin, Minoxidil (Regaine®) may be an option. It is a medication originally developed to treat high blood pressure, but a side effect of causing hair growth was discovered. Minoxidil won’t work for everyone, but in a percentage of men and women, it will cause some hair to continue to grow.
Hair transplant surgery is the only treatment that is guaranteed to re-grow hair that has been lost as part of the ageing process. A hair transplant is a long term solution for hair loss caused by male pattern baldness, and is even an appropriate solution in some cases of female hair loss.
As we get older, our skin, including the scalp, tends to get drier. Scalp oil moisturises the hair – the less oil, the drier the hair. As the hair loses melanin (pigment), turning white or gray, hair tends to feel drier. Counteract this change by eating plenty of protein, keeping hydrated and eating a healthy and varied diet. If in doubt, one can take a multivitamin supplement.
As we age, our bodies naturally produce less sebum, which is the oil that makes our hair greasy – which can be a relief for some. To keep hair in good condition, this needs to be counteracted by treating the hair as we would the skin and moisturise well. Consider using a shampoo specifically designed for dry hair, and a leave-in conditioner.
The hair turning grey, or eventually white, is a natural part of the ageing process. If you’re unhappy with this change, colouring the hair will not do it any harm, as long as you take care not to over-process it.
So, as you can see, there isn’t a miracle cure for restoring your crowning glory to its youthful best overnight, but taking good care of your hair will certainly help.