Hair thinning can originate from anything. However, for the independent senior living community, this is a common occurrence as the rate of hair growth slows down. Eventually, your hair fibers will reach a dead end and not regenerate at all. That said, there could be other underlying factors that may lead to frequent hair loss, and if so, this needs special attention. This guide explains some of the common triggers of hair loss and what you can do to slow this down.
Common Triggers for Hair Loss in Old Age
1. Hereditary Hair Loss
Unfortunately, this is a natural and familiar way in which most seniors begin to experience hair loss. It appears in different forms. In most cases, families may share a recurrent pattern of baldness once they reach a certain age. Unfortunately, no treatment method has been identified to treat this kind of hair loss fully.
2. Health Conditions
It is common for seniors to have a low immune system in old age. This makes them susceptible to diseases and other severe chronic illnesses, not forgetting depression. In most cases, these chronic illnesses are the ones that trigger hair loss since they affect the normal metabolism of the body and also trigger hormonal imbalances. Some of the most common chronic diseases include:
As earlier explained, it will be hard not to be under any medication as you get older. Some of the common hair loss medications are used to treat cancer, depression, gout, amongst others. Unfortunately, some of these medications lead to hair loss. The worst thing is that some of these prescribed medications are inevitable, and you can’t discontinue them without a doctor’s approval.
4. Poor Nutrition
It’s easy for seniors to fall out of a good diet routine, especially if they are unsupervised. Also, their appetite diminishes day by day, making it easier for them to get easily malnourished. With time, this also reflects on their overall health, skin, and hair.
How To Counter Hair Loss
1. See Your Doctor
At times we ignore the signs and assume that we know the underlying cause of our hair loss, while in the real sense, our guesses are mostly wrong. The truth is that as much as it is conventional to lose hair in old age, it shouldn’t happen as fast as we think it should. If you experience sudden or severe hair loss in a short period, it would be ideal getting a medical perspective of the whole situation. That way, you will understand the origin of your hair loss and how best to deal with your situation without bringing more damage.
2. Focus On a Healthy Diet and Extra Supplements
Are you allergic to certain types of foods? There’s no need to worry about this since there are substitutes for every food cluster needed for your body. However, it is also vital to have notified your dietician or doctor about it as they will advise accordingly. Your doctor will also advise accordingly on how to take a balanced diet on proteins, minerals, and vitamins.
In addition to getting advice on a healthy diet, your doctor will also enlighten you on the amount of water you’re supposed to take to ensure hair follicles are well hydrated. Also, taking a blood test would be ideal as it will also help ensure that you’re not deficient in any essential minerals that are crucial in hair cell recreation. If you lack any essential mineral by any chance, your doctor will be able to prescribe accordingly on the recommended supplement levels.
3. Switch to Gentle Styling Methods
Gentle hairstyling can be a hard rule to go by, especially for the younger generation than it is for seniors. However, it is essential to note that harsh hairstyles will mainly result in hair thinning no matter your age. In this case, however, seniors are advised to be more careful with their scalp since it’s more fragile. Some of the ways that seniors can enhance skipping harsh styling methods such as:
- Heat styling- hair dryers, flat irons, or hair straighteners
- Tight hairstyles – tight ponytails
- Chemical treatments- hair dyes
4. Switch up Your Hair Care Products
If you want to maintain your hair follicles for long, it will be best to use hair products that are friendly to your scalp. From childhood, most of us have relied on a hair expert to help us maintain our hair by advising us on the right products to use. The truth is, your scalp doesn’t need expensive hair products to make it healthy again, but a simple switch in hair products that are friendly to your scalp.
A good hair expert should advise on the necessary hair care products and regular routines that you can do. Some of the best hair products to use are:
- Mild hair conditioners – help moisturize, strengthen your hair and reduce hair breakage
- Mild shampoos like baby shampoos – with less harsh ingredients
- A microfiber hair towel- helps your hair dry faster and lessen time to heat exposure
- A soft hair brush – help maintain oil in your scalp and reasonable distribution of oil applied to your scalp
5. Ignore the Short Hair Myth
There’s a general misconception going around that if you cut your hair, it’s bound to grow longer. If you’re a senior, chances are your hair will not grow as fast as it did when you were younger. The truth is, if you have long hair, you only have to cut the split ends and do everything explained above to maintain that healthy hair look and enhance growth. Therefore, if you can avoid cutting your hair and use other treatment methods to improve its growth, then take it up.
6. Avoid Regular Washing of Your Hair
Frequent washing of your hair keeps your scalp healthy and clean. However, frequently washing it can make it dry and brittle, thus leading to thinning. It could also be brought about by continuous exposure to hot water and shampoos, causing your scalp to dry out. Therefore, if you must wash your hair, keep it to a maximum of three washes per week.
Seniors have a great option to keep their hair healthy and strong. Therefore, if you have had concerns about your severe thinning hair, following that guideline will help you get that lost hair glow back! Also, don’t hesitate to ask for a caregiver to help you move around to make this possible.