Has your hair become less bouncy? Or have you noticed that your part is getting wider? As we age, many women notice their hair thinning and breaking more easily. But because your hair is also a good barometer of your general health, your everyday diet and lifestyle choices can make a difference to its fullness. These smart tweaks will help you say hello to beautiful thicker hair.
1. Loosen Up
Whether you’re gardening, doing housework or running around after grandkids, sweeping long hair into a ponytail or clipping it back with clips or elastic bands might seem like the smart thing to do. However, pulling your hair back too tightly can break delicate strands.
Try this! Gather hair into a loose, low bun. It keeps long hair off your face but is much kinder to fragile strands. As an added bonus, this looser and more relaxed style will make your hair appear thicker and more youthful. You may also want to talk to your hairdresser about changing your length. The longer hair gets, the more it weighs itself down, resulting in thinner-looking hair. Cutting in a few layers may give you more volume and movement.
2. Address Stress
You might joke that a stressful situation is making your hair fall out, but this expression has a basis in fact. Hair loss really can occur during times of mental or physical stress, such as surgery or illness. The reason? Trying times put your system into “survival mode.” Your body diverts all its nutrients to your vital functions – and your skin and hair miss out.
Try this! Luckily, anxiety-related hair loss is reversible. When the stressful time has passed, your hair will likely bounce back. To help it along, devote more time to self-care: Get more exercise and sleep, and try relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, massage, coloring, gardening or reading.
3. Get Styling Smart
From tugging out knots to using super-hot styling tools, many of us are much rougher with our hair than we’d ever dream of being with our skin. No wonder thinning hair or fine hair snaps easily.
Try this! When washing your hair, use Pantene Anti-Breakage Strengthening Shampoo, which strengthens against breakage for 97 percent less hair fall*, and Pantene Breakage Defense Foam Conditioner, which has a formula infused with microbubbles to repair and prevent breakage without weighing down hair. Then, once a week, use a hair treatment like Pantene 3-Minute Miracle to keep your hair super-hydrated. Whenever possible, let your wet hair dry naturally. When you do use a hairdryer or other heated styling tool, avoid using the highest heat setting and combine it with a heat protection product. Also, buy a specially designed plastic detangling brush that won’t yank, snag or pull your hair.
4. Ditch the Crash Diet
That super-strict low-carb diet may promise impressive weight loss in a short amount of time, but it could also trigger hair loss. This is because the body needs carbohydrates to make energy, while protein helps create strong new hair cells. However, if you cut out the carbs, the body hijacks the protein to use as an energy source, and your hair suffers.
Try this! Healthy hair comes from a balanced, nutrient-dense diet, so up your intake of vegetables, fruits and healthy protein sources like fish, tofu and lean meat. By eating more of these foods and fewer high-calorie, high-fat processed foods, you’ll also maintain a healthier weight. Another remedy for losing hair is to add eggs to your daily breakfast. They’re a good source of protein and other hair-healthy nutrients, including B vitamins, but will also power you up until lunch, helping you stay away from mid-morning sugary snacks.
5. Check in on Your Hormones
From night sweats to mood swings, hormones are to blame for a wide range of annoying problems – hair not excluded. Everything from thyroid problems to menopause can cause fluctuations in hormones, which can trigger hair loss.
Try this! If you’re shredding hair at an unusual rate, see your doctor, dermatologist or a qualified trichologist to rule out a hormone imbalance (and other health concerns). In some cases, medication is useful.
6. Introduce Iron
The amount of iron you consume matters! Iron in the body binds ferritin, a protein that prevents hair shedding.
Try this! Think you may be short on iron? Ask your doctor to test you for a deficiency. Good sources of iron include white and red meat, dark-green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli, iron-fortified cereals, brown rice, beans, tofu and fish. However, vitamin C-rich foods are vital for helping your body absorb iron, so try eating more citrus fruits, kiwis, peppers and strawberries. In some cases, your doctor may advise you to take iron supplements.
What tips do you have for keeping your hair healthy? Let us know in the comments section below. And check out Pantene for more surprising tips on how to reduce hair loss.
*Shampoo and conditioner system vs. nonconditioning shampoo