Hair goes through a variety of changes with age, which include turning gray or white due to the cells no longer producing pigment, thinning due to genetics, and becoming coarse instead of smooth. Help keep your elderly loved one’s hair healthy with these simple tips, brought to you by the staff at Westfield Home Care Assistance.
1. Cut Back on Chemical Treatments
Dry, brittle, and coarse hair is often a natural result of aging. However, hair treatments can make hair extra brittle and more prone to breakage. Full color hair dyes, straightening treatments, and perms can all damage hair. Encourage your loved one to take longer breaks between hair treatments and use deep conditioners to moisturize dry, damaged hair.
2. Eat Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds, can help contribute to the elastin in the hair. Though hair growth slows in the senior years, elastin can increase regular hair growth and make up for this natural effect of aging. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids help keep the sebaceous glands working properly, which nourishes the hair follicles. Eating at least one gram of omega-3 fatty acids per day or taking a supplement may produce noticeable results.
3. Avoid the Sun
Sunrays can do as much harm to your loved one’s hair as they can to his or her skin. Ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the proteins in the hair, causing it to thin over time. According to a 2008 study performed by researchers at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, using hair products with UV protection, wearing hats, avoiding tanning beds, and staying indoors when the sun is brightest can help reduce hair damage and keep hair fuller and healthier.
4. Take Vitamin Supplements
A deficiency in biotin can make hair dry, brittle, and more prone to breakage. Taking a biotin supplement of at least 3,000 milligrams a day can help decrease the risk of breakage, keeping your loved one’s hair from looking thin. Additionally, taking silica supplements can strengthen the collagen in hair. Supplements can take approximately 6 months to produce noticeable results, and your loved one should only take them if approved by a doctor.
Personal grooming can become more challenging in the golden years, especially if a senior is managing an age-related health condition. If your loved one needs assistance with hair care or other grooming tasks, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated caregivers are available 24/7 to help your loved one live a happier, healthier, and more independent life. For more information on live-in and respite care Westfield seniors can rely on, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to request a no-obligation consultation.