Aging is a privilege — not everyone gets to do it. But growing older has its own set of challenges, including changes in your hair's growth, color and texture. And just as your body and mind need to be cared for differently in this stage of life, so does your hair.
To help, VEGAMOUR spoke with the experts about how to properly care for your hair in your 60s. Read on to find out their best advice — plus, discover what products you should use to combat thinning, aging hair ASAP.
How Your Hair Changes With Age
Aging has a profound effect on the body, including the hair. Your hair grows in cycles, and as you age, so do your hair follicles. The aging hair follicles end up producing finer, thinner strands, which contributes to hair thinning and loss of volume.
"Hair follicles start to die, which leads to hair loss and thinner hair," explained Christopher Downs, a hairstylist at Christopher Salon. "People in their 60s may experience some texture changes, with hair becoming coarse, stringy or curly. Also, loss of pigmentation — meaning gray hair — which has a coarser texture that's curly, thicker or unruly."
"One of the key factors in losing hair is hydration," said Downs. Unfortunately, as you get older, the production of the natural oils in your hair and skin also starts to slow down. And the resulting lack of hydration can make your hair more brittle and prone to breakage.
Both men and women experience thinning hair with age as a part of the natural aging process. These changes are completely normal and something everyone will eventually experience to some degree.
Most age-related hair changes are natural and inescapable, but there are certain internal and external factors that can weaken the hair follicles and accelerate the aging process of your hair over time. Stress levels, diet, lifestyle and hormonal changes can also affect hair health. In your 60s and beyond, prioritizing your health and wellness becomes more important, and a holistic approach is the best way to benefit both your body and your hair.
Tips for Caring for Your Hair in Your 60s
Healthy hair is possible at any age. By making simple, healthy lifestyle choices and supplementing your hair care routine with wellness-oriented products, you can positively impact not only your overall health and well-being but also promote shiny, healthy hair. Here are eight things you can do to properly care for your hair in your 60s and beyond.
Eat Healthy, Whole Foods
You are what you eat, which is why it's important to eat healthy, whole food, especially as you age. A good rule of thumb is to ensure your plate has plenty of color: leafy greens, vibrant fruits and vegetables and healthy whole grains are all part of a balanced diet. By "eating the rainbow," you'll help your body get all the protein, vitamins, and minerals it depends on to thrive. Here are some hair health essentials to incorporate into your diet:
- Vitamin A- Spinach, carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes
- Vitamin B- Whole grains, almonds and dark leafy greens
- Vitamin C- Citrus fruits, strawberries, peppers and guavas
- Vitamin D- Mushrooms, fortified tofu and plant-based milks
- Vitamin E- Avocados, almonds, spinach and sunflower seeds
- Iron- Lentils, blackstrap molasses, dried fruits and spinach
- Zinc- Pumpkin seeds, lentils, spinach and wheat germ
- Protein- Tempeh, legumes and whole grains
Reduce or Manage Stress
Stress at any age can seriously affect your health and even impact healthy hair growth. As the hair growth cycle slows down with age, increased stress may cause earlier and more intense hair shedding and pigment loss. For young people, these effects are often temporary. As you age, your hair loses its ability to bounce back and return to a normal hair growth cycle.
Reducing or managing overall levels of stress is one of the best things you can do for your body and your hair. Here are a few easy steps you can take to cut down on stress:
- Exercise: Daily exercise can help relieve tension and elevate your heart rate, which keeps your heart and mind in good health. (Always ask your doctor before starting a new exercise program if you have preexisting conditions) Take a brisk walk around the neighborhood, swim some laps or sign up for a fun yoga or pilates class.
- Meditate: A meditation practice can increase gratitude and keep you centered. Tons of apps are available to help you learn to meditate, and it only takes a few minutes of meditation per day to start feeling the benefits.
- Sleep: The body and mind recover while you sleep, so if you're not getting enough sleep, you can't perform well during the day. Plus, there's a potential connection between sleep and hair loss. Some people need nine hours of sleep, while others can get by on six. Figure out how much sleep your body needs to feel fully recovered, and be strict with your bedtime to ensure you get it.
Overbrushing your hair can cause scalp damage and increased hair loss. We recommend brushing your hair with a wide-tooth comb because it's the least-damaging detangling method for wet or dry hair. Start at the tangled end and work your way up. Be gentle and don't press too hard, especially if you have dry, overprocessed hair.
After detangling with a wide-toothed comb, use a boar bristle brush to distribute hair product evenly, like a hydrating hair oil. The dense bristles will coat each strand of hair in moisturizing oil, which contributes to the appearance of smooth, shiny hair.
Upgrade Your Hair Care Routine
Using shampoos packed with harsh chemicals can damage your hair, which is already thin, vulnerable and prone to thinning as you age. Sulfates, parabens and other hair-harming compounds can do irreversible harm to aging hair, which is why experts recommend switching to a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner set that helps repair damage and prevent breakage.
VEGAMOUR's GRO Revitalizing Shampoo and Conditioner Kit, which is packed with powerful phyto-actives, such as mung bean, curcumin and red clover, has been clinically proven to increase hair density and decrease shedding. The formulas also include wild harvested marula oil, organic murumuru butter and ximenia oil, which help hydrate strands and combat free radicals without pore-blocking buildup.
Avoid Heat Styling
Heat is one of the quickest ways to damage your hair. Flat irons, blow-drying, and all hot tools can cause breakage, which is the last thing you want when you already have thin hair. Instead, air dry wet hair, taming any frizz with hair products. If you can't give up your favorite heat styling tools, make sure to use the lowest heat setting to blow dry and style your hair. Use dry shampoo or texturing products to add volume instead of heat.
Avoid Artificial Hair Dye
Treating colored hair with chemical hair dye products can also weaken the hair follicle, causing dry and brittle hair strands. However, more and more women are rocking the gray hair color and looking incredible while doing so.
If you're not ready to commit to going full-on gray but want to avoid using harsh chemical hair dyes, the GRO AGELESS Anti-Gray Hair Serum can help. It boosts your natural color while reducing the appearance of gray on new hair growth, restoring color and shine to graying strands. This age-defying serum is formulated with two patent-pending plant-based actives clinically proven to dramatically restore color and shine to graying hair. The ingredients have been shown in studies to boost the appearance of natural hair color up to 34% in 79% of gray hair.
Care For Your Scalp
Healthy hair starts at the scalp. Product residue buildup, dead skin cells and other adverse scalp conditions can create a barrier that new hair growth finds difficult to penetrate. Optimal scalp care includes a weekly scalp detox treatment, which can assist with the removal of problematic buildup.
Embrace Aging By Caring for Yourself & Your Hair
Aging is a natural process, which means it's often both beautiful and complex. Taking care of your hair in your 60s and beyond looks a lot like taking care of your hair in your 20s. Age certainly affects the body, but at the end of the day, your hair has a few basic needs that stay the same throughout your life. Healthy hair is possible at any age, and with the right combination of self-care and targeted hair wellness products, you can encourage stronger, healthier strands for many years to come!
More From VEGAMOUR
- How to Keep Your Hair Healthy As You Age
- What You Need to Know About Hormonal Hair Loss
- Does Hair Turn Gray at the Temples First?