As we age our hair loses its colour, its shine, its quality and very often it also becomes noticeably thinner. There are lots of things we can do to improve the quality of our hair and here trained nurse, hair loss writer and founder of BOOSTnBLEND Bambi Staveley, offers 6 healthy hair tips for older women.
1. Look after your scalp
It makes sense that since your hair grows out of your scalp, having a healthy scalp is important for healthy hair, just like good soil for healthy plants. It can be difficult to detect an issue with your scalp health unless you’re experiencing discomfort, so ask your hairdresser about the condition of your scalp (they don’t mind!). Some clues to an unhealthy scalp include itching, dryness, dandruff (or flaky dry skin, read here how to tell the difference), dry or brittle hair, uncontrollable frizz, thinning, hair loss, visible scalp through your hair (does your scalp get easily sun burnt?)
Scalp Saving Tips
- Know the difference between dry scalp and dandruff and treat accordingly.
- Give yourself scalp massages to encourage blood flow and exfoliation (especially after adding in your conditioner)
- Don’t wear your hair in tight hairstyles too often.
- Keep any visible scalp (including your part line) safe from the sun by applying sunscreen on a cotton bud, wearing a hat, or using chemical free scalp concealers like BOOSTnBLEND.
- Get regular blood tests so you can be informed should you be deficit in vital vitamins and minerals that can affect hair growth and scalp health
2. Protect your hair from heat
Heat and hair are not friends. Heat can dry your hair making it brittle and susceptible to breakage. When the weather is cooler, it’s tempting to have boiling hot showers and keep the hair dryer on a little more than strictly necessary, but try to resist. If you must engage in these winter habits, take extra care to nourish and moisturize your hair and scalp. Heat can also play havoc with your scalp. You should not wash your face under boiling water in the shower to preserve your skin’s health and keep it from ageing. So don’t do it to your scalp.
Hair & Heat Tips
- Make sure your showers are not too hot.
- Use a heat protective spray when using blow dryers, straightens, curling wands etc.
- Ensure you keep the hair dryer at least 20cm away from your head.
- Wear a hat in the sun, especially if you have fine or curly hair as these hair types are more susceptible to sun damage.
- Use a diffuser on your hair dryer so that you don’t aim too much concentrated heat on one area.
3. Condition, condition, condition!
Dry hair is definitely something to avoid at all costs, so make sure you condition adequately. When we were teens, we were taught not to condition our hair near the roots, just the ends. When we were younger, we had more natural oils in our scalp and so our hair was much more oily. As we age we produce less oils and as a result our hair becomes drier, brittle and prone to hair loss. It is absolutely vital that we now add oil to our hair and scalp, especially if it is noticeably dry or falling out. We recommend the Carelli Oil, and massage your conditioner into your scalp, not just the ends.
- Use a treatment around once a week.
- Get a treatment at the hairdresser whenever you get something drying done e.g. dyes, perms etc.
- Towel dry your hair between shampoo and conditioner to aid in the absorption of your conditioner (you don’t put face cream on a wet face for the same reason)
- Don’t be afraid to massage your conditioner into your scalp
4. Minimize the use of chemicals
Over the years we’ve been conditioned to thinking that good quality supermarket shampoos and conditioners can actually be good for our hair. Unfortunately, if you’ve continued with that thinking past your fifties then it’s time to make a change. Check the chemical list of all hair treatments you use. Make sure that you are minimizing the chemicals you use on your scalp and hair.
Chemical Protection Tips
- Use chemical free hair products (read more). The chemical list on the average shampoo bottle is nothing short of scary!
- Use a clarifying shampoo around once a week to eliminate product build up. A good natural alternative is apple cider vinegar.
- Add a squirt of a good quality nourishing oil to your shampoo or your conditioner. (e.g. Carelli Recovery Oil)
- Apply a nourishing oil (e.g. Carelli Recovery Oil) to damp ends after washing
- Massage Carelli Oil into your scalp the night before washing it for a healthy shiny look
- Rinse pool and sea water out of your hair as soon as possible, they both have a drying effect on hair.
Chemical free products don’t have to cost the earth. When used according to their directions (ie in very small amounts), a bottle of organic shampoo will last much longer than the supermarket alternatives.
5. Be kind to wet hair
Wet hair is vulnerable, it becomes stretchy and as a result, it can break.
Wet Hair Tips
- Always use a wide tooth comb on wet hair.
- When adding styling products be sure to comb them through with a wide tooth comb
- Save your plastic brushes for styling dry hair. If you use a brush and blow dryer together, ensure that you use a good quality soft brush
- Avoid rubbing wet hair dry. Use a microfibre hair towel wrap that soaks up the moisture and prevents the need to rub hair dry
6. Increase the volume of your hair
It sounds like a crazy statement – just simply make your hair thicker. But, believe it or not, it is absolutely possible. The most recent breakthrough in hair volume technology for women is organic cotton hair fibres. When applied to dry hair, hair fibres obscure the scalp, which is good for confidence as well as protection from the sun.
Hair Fiber Tips
- Choose a colour closest to your root colour and if you can’t decide, choose the darker option
- Style hair as usual, then shake in a cosmetic cover up fibre like BOOSTnBLEND for women
- Always blend in hair fibres with your fingers to ensure the fibres cling to the individual hair shaft
- Apply a light hair spray to hold your style in place
- Always make sure you are using a hair fibre product made from cotton. There are some hair fibres made primarily for men which claim to contain a “keratin protein”, but as we all know, it’s really a chemical concoction made to imitate protein. And worst case scenario, if it does actually contain protein, it will be derived from animals which require a whole host of chemical treatments to become fit for human use.
We don’t have to give in to aging and our hair doesn’t need to look our age. Take on board these simple tips and you can reverse the damage you may already have done, and younger looking hair has an amazing effect on confidence.
If all these tips are a bit overwhelming, try to introduce a new tip each week until they become habits, your hair will thank you!
About Bambi Staveley
Bambi suffered hormone related hair loss in her forties. Since then she has devoted her life to helping other women boost the quantity and the quality of their thinning locks. Now age 55, Bambi has become a prolific hair loss writer having recently launched her new book HOW TO MAKE THIN HAIR FAT and she has also developed a range of hair thickening products exclusively for women (BoostnBlend), and offers help via a help line in Australia.
BOOSTnBLEND is also available on Amazon.com
BOOSTnBLEND is also available on Amazon-UK