How to Fight Hair Damage in Your Forties
Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered whatever happened to the thick, healthy locks you had in your youth?
The body goes through a lot of changes with age, including your hair and scalp. Over time, the hair shaft becomes thinner and more brittle. Also, the hair’s cuticle becomes more fragile as a woman approaches her forties and fifties, making hair more prone to dryness and breakage.
In a study done by a Japanese university, researchers collected hair fibers from 121 women ages 10 to 20. They found that in the women under forty, hair showed damage on the outer cuticle from daily wear and tear. After forty, however, the damage goes deeper, extending to the hair’s inner cuticle.
This type of hair damage is a result of our body’s reduced ability to repair itself. In your twenties or thirties, the body (including the hair) recovers from outside damage fairly quickly. As you age, the repair process is slower. This leaves the inner cuticle more vulnerable to external damages.
Of course, you don’t have to live with dull, damaged hair. Here are some ways you can minimize hair damage in your forties:
1. Use heat styling tools with care.
If you have to style using hair irons, curlers, or blowers, style smartly to prevent further damage. Use product before subjecting hair to heat styling tools. Also, keep your tools at the lowest possible temperature setting.
2. Go easy on chemical treatments.
Keep hair color jobs as minimal as possible. Opt for shades that don’t need bleaching, as the intense chemical processes used to lighten hair can make it more porous and prone to damage. If you have to add color, go for partial highlights instead.
3. Load up on protein and iron.
Strengthen hair from the inside out by keeping a healthy diet that includes 40 to 46 grams of protein per day. Make sure you also get enough iron, which is about 18mg daily for women under fifty.
4. Protect your hair from the sun.
When hair is exposed to the sun for long periods, it dries out, making it prone to breakage. Plus, the sun’s UV rays can damage bonds and weaken the hair’s strands. Before going out, use a protective serum on your hair, or wear a hat.
5. Avoid tight hairstyles.
Steer clear of severe ponytails or buns. Traction over long periods of time can lead to inflammation of the root of your hair, which can ultimately lead to hairloss.