Glossy, strong hair not only feels amazing, it looks incredible. Keeping your hair in a happy condition is a brilliant way of beating the clock, along with looking after your skin.
Our hair quality changes as we age – as hormones fluctuate, everything from your hair’s thickness to its moisture levels can vary.
“Our body is made up of millions of cells which are constantly renewing ourselves, these cells are constantly renewing themselves, but they do slow as we age,” says trichologist Iain Sallis.
“Therefore, our skin gets saggy, our joints ache more. The cells that make our hair slow down causing the hair to become finer and grow for less time.”
Years of colouring and styling can take their toll on longer hair and you may find it doesn’t bounce back in quite the same way as in your teens and twenties.
There can be a number of medical reasons for an increased loss of hair. If you have any other symptoms like excessive tiredness or feeling manic, changes in appetite or weight it’s worth seeing your doctor to get checked out.
If all else is well then it could be you need to top up your consumption of essential nutrients.
Top trichologist Anabel Kingsley, daughter of hair guru Philip Kingsley explains:
“Make sure your diet is varied with good proteins like, fish, eggs, quinoa and nuts. Carbohydrates such as brown rice, pasta, and porridge. And iron from red meat, dark leafy greens and prune juice.”
If your hair is looking thinner and flatter than usual you can take steps to help it thicken up.
Hair is made up of protein so you need to make sure you include plenty in your diet.
Your body needs four key amino acids to produce hair keratin – cysteine, lysine, arginine and methionine
“Of these amino acids lysine and methionine are classified as essential, meaning they are not formed by the body and must be made available through our diets,” says trichologist Simone Lee.
You can boost your levels by eating more lean meat, dairy or plant proteins such as beans, soya and peas. Or make sure it’s included in the ingredients of a high quality daily supplement.
Too many chemical processes and heat styling can cause any shine to disappear. But dull hair can also indicate a dry and dehydrated locks.
“Hair dulls over time due to UV light degradation as well repetitive styling habits, excessive heat from straighteners is also a shine killer,” says Iain Sallis.
But you can help bring back the shine by making sure your diet has enough good fats in it.
It could be you are running low, especially of omega-3.
“Vitamins must have fat to dissolve and nourish the body and polyunsaturated fats help keep hair shiny,” confirms Anabel.
“While hair is incredibly important to us psychologically, physiologically our body could not care less.
“Any nutrients ingested first go to essential systems, with hair receiving whatever is left over.
To help ensure you are consuming adequate nutrients for hair growth, eat at least 120g of protein at breakfast and lunch.”
So make your breakfast things like avocado and eggs on wholegrain toast. Or chia pudding with nuts and a dollop of full fat yoghurt.
A great lunch would be salmon or mackerel with a quinoa salad.
You should also aim to eat at least every four hours in the day. That way you have a consistent amount of fuel for your body and energy isn’t taken away from hair production.
If you find that your hair is looking frazzled and frizzy at the ends despite regular trims, excessive breaking could be the culprit. The best nutrients to help brittle hair are iron, which helps maintain a healthy growth cycle. And vitamin E helps hair growth and blood circulation to the scalp.
But it could also be your hair brush, rather than your diet to blame.
“I’ve consulted women who are intensively conditioning, eating well, protecting their strands from the sun but their hair is still split and frizzy,” reveals Anabel.
“The problem? Their hair brushes. Using a damaging hair brush, or being too vigorous with one, can cause a lot of damage.
“Metal prongs can get too hot when heat styling and burn the outer hair cuticle and scratch the scalp.
“Boar bristle brushes are similarly menacing as they easily tear away sections of the hair cuticle and the cuticle is very important.”
Instead chose a brush with rounded, plastic prongs and a vented, cushioned base and be gentle while brushing. If you find yourself tugging at a knot it’s likely it’s only going to give way by snapping the hair.
Lumity’s new Facial Oil is fantastic to use on your hair as well as your face. The 32 all natural botanicals soothe the skin on your head as well as on your face. Our clients have told us that leaving it in overnight, then washing out in the morning leaves hair with a lovely shine.
If you found this article useful, perhaps you’d be interested in whether a supplement can really help with hair growth. And, if you’re wondering how to cover greys without a trip to a salon, we have found some easy answers for you.