As you get older, your hair goes through changes that are the natural result of aging. It can be anxiety-inducing to see these changes, but they’re changes that just about everyone faces, and there are steps you can take to combat and delay them.

The three most common effects of aging on your hair are thinning, greying, and slower growth.

Thinning hair and changes in texture are the result of wear and tear over the years. Hair only grows at a rate of roughly half an inch per month or six inches per year, and a single hair lives for about six years. That means shoulder-length hair (roughly 12 inches) has already experienced years of UV rays from the sun, dryness and heat from blow-drying and curlers, and potentially chemicals and dyes. Because many women keep their hair longer than men, they’re more likely to see the effects of coarse hair that breaks more easily.

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Greying hair is the result of a natural process in which the body stops producing melanin, the pigment that colors your hair and skin. New hairs grow in without the color, and it may also feel coarser.

Although nearly everyone experiences at least some of these effects, they can still be distressing. However, there are steps you can take to counteract the effects of age. These are four things that women living in senior homes across the country can do to keep their hair healthy.

#1 Don’t Wash Too Often

Lots of people think clean hair means healthy hair and that to keep their hair clean, they have to wash it frequently. That’s not true. You’re better off washing your hair twice a week. When you do, don’t use too much shampoo.

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#2 Use Volumizers and Conditioners

Don’t just wash your hair. Use conditioners and volumizers as part of your hair washing routine as well. Volumizers strengthen each strand of hair, while conditioners replenish your hair’s moisture levels and sheen after shampooing. Always apply conditioner after washing your hair, not before or during.

#3 Take Biotin Supplements

Biotin, also known as vitamin B-7, helps your body carry nutrients through its system and helps it use enzymes.

Biotin is also good for hair health. Specifically, taking biotin can improve your hair’s:

  • Volume
  • Shine
  • Scalp coverage

#4 Eat a Healthy Diet

Exercise is important for overall health and healthy hair, and so too is a healthy diet. Your hair will look better with time if you eat a complete, protein-rich diet than if you eat fast food every day. 

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Protein is especially important for hair health, as hair follicles are primarily made of protein. Foods high in protein include:

  • Red meat
  • Greek yogurt
  • Pasta
  • Cottage cheese
  • Eggs
  • Peanut butter
  • Lentils
  • Seafood

The Bottom Line

Your hair won’t look the same at age 60 as it did at age 20. That said, you can keep your hair as beautiful as your genes allow when you take good care of it. And you can take good care of your hair by washing it not too frequently, using volumizers and conditioners, getting the right vitamins, and eating a healthy diet high in nutrients and protein.

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