Dry and brittle hair over 40
Dry and brittle hair after 50
I’ve noticed as I age that my hair becomes way more dry and brittle. This of course is exacerbated by the fact that when you have gray hair, you usually want to apply some sort of color which can also be damaging. In your fifties and beyond you really need to start caring for your hair and understanding what elements in your environment and lifestyle are hurting it. I really believe that dry hair has genetic elements to it. You might be from a family of kinky hair types, or a family of smooth hair types. That element you cannot change. But besides your hereditary texture predisposition, there is much you can do to combat dry and brittle hair. The main culprit is products, lifestyle habits, and various culprit that are stripping your hair of its natural oils. The first culprits to investigate are peroxides, ammonia, and sulfates. You will want to cut back or hopefully rid yourself of these chemicals to get your hair back in lustrous condition.
The first culprit can be the weather. In the summer if you are over exposed to the sunshine, chlorinated pools, and the beach, it dries out your hair tremendously. Try a hair protecting product or just less time out in the burning sun. Don’t dunk hair in chlorinated pools unless you have to. Likewise, in the winter, you go from extreme cold to heat indoors which can also dry out your hair. Therefore, you need a conditioner that brings plenty of moisture to your hair and this involves experimenting until you find the right moisture rich conditioner. While you can’t change where you live, you can protect your hair, wear a hat, and take other basic measures to make sure the weather does not beat it down.
Overuse of smoothing treatments
Smoothing treatments can temporarily fix your hair and make it soft and controlled but if you are doing these treatments too frequently they can actually become counter productive and dry your hair out. For example many of these products have alcohol in the ingredients which can be parching. If your hair is dry you need to look to that products you are using, and switch them out one by one to see if any of your products is unknowingly drying your hair out. Every now and then if you notice your hair is dry, hit the beauty supply and invest in some different products to see if you can get a less drying routine for your hair. Be willing to try some different shampoos, conditioners, and leave in treatments. If you are getting straightening or permanent treatments consider stopping and going back to the basics and embracing your natural hair texture to keep it healthy. One fun thing to do is to try some all natural at home hair softening treatments, you can find many recipes on the internet that include ingredients such as avocados and coconut oil.
This is a big one. Menopause wreaks havoc on the hair and you will find your hair drastically thinning as you go through this stage of life. You might not get all the hair back so don’t ignore it if clumps are coming out. For one thing, you need to switch to better products at this age. Primarily, your hair colorant can be killing your hair. Hair colors that have ammonia and especially peroxide are going to really fry you. The first thing to be careful about is the products you are using to color or lighten your hair. The second thing to look into is your diet. You really need to be getting your essential oils in your food, biotin, and all of the basic vitamins. The first line of defense is to eat really healthy and consume healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. The second line of defense is to add supplements such as a multi vitamin or hair and nails vitamin so long as your doctor says it is ok and you can tolerate them well. Keep your stress levels down, get plenty of rest and do your exercise regularly to keep your body and immune system healthy.
Where you could easily get away with drugstore box dyes to cover the grey, now these products can literally break your hair. If your hair is strong, and you use box formulas then you are lucky. I’ve found that as you age your hair is more sensitive to chemicals like bleach. They usually have peroxide in them, even most the ones that just deposit color. You might notice no ammonia variations but many of these still have peroxide which really can dry your hair. If your hair is healthy as an ox you can continue to use drugstore bought dyes. But if your hair is breaking off the bleach could be the culprit. If box colors or salon bleachings aren’t for you, try some more natural products.
A temporary hair dye called Cosamo is similar to the Loving Care temporary color that women used to love because it has no bleach. Another line to try would be Clairol Beautiful which you get at the beauty supply store, because it also has less chemicals than the typical drugstore box color. Any color will have a drying effect but the ones with less chemicals are better after age fifty. If you dye your hair in the salon you can switch from lightening the hair to applying temporary dye that has less chemicals in it. Ask your stylist about dyes that have natural ingredients and consider doing temporary color rather than permanent color or highlights. Any time you are bleaching your hair up to a lighter color it is going to be hard on your hair. Even dyes that take your hair darker or same color could potentially have peroxide and hurt your hair if left on too long.
It could be that your shampoos or conditioner just are not doing your hair justice. Try to experiment with some different brands. That includes leave in conditioners, deep conditioners, and protectant and shine products. Eliminate one by one to try to isolate the culprits. One thing to look into is more natural and gentle shampoos that do not have all the sulfates that you find in typical shampoo and conditioners. Read reviews from people with your hair type and don’t be afraid to invest a few hundred dollars experimenting with various products because once you find the winning combination you will save money in the long run. Even experimentation with drugstore brands if you can’t afford the beauty supply store should help you find the products that work best at your price point and affordability.
Try to cut back on drying processes like perms or chemical straightening. Some people recommend ion hair dryers if you must use one at all. Also heat can dry you out so be careful on your use of the blow dryers and flat irons. Give your hair rest a could days between hair washings. Straightening iron can cause your hair to break if over used. Another thing is that you should be deep conditioning your hair once a week. To make the deep conditioner most effective cover hair with a warm towel or apply a touch of heat by sitting in a streamy bath, using a hair dryer, or even a wet to dry flat iron while the conditioner is in place to seal the heat in. Easiest thing is to wrap your hair in a hot towel for thirty minutes with a deep conditioning hot oil treatment or hair mask.
In conclusion, your dry and brittle hair can be helped. The key is to identify the culprits, try different products and reduce unnatural processes on your hair including bleaching, harsh hair dyes, and styling methods that dry out your hair. Try more all natural products to reduce the chemicals you are applying to your hair. Try out different hair products and experiment with all natural ones to see if that helps. The main thing is to take action because your hair gets out of control. You might be doing weaves on your hair and notice more and more comes out when you dry it. If your brush is filling up with hair, don’t ignore it. Be very gentle when brushing your hair and gently get tangles out by hand. Sometimes you are frying your hair with something you are doing and because it doesn’t fall off straight away you ignore it until your hair is a lot thinner. Any time a handful of strands come out you should pay attention. This may not be just tangles, there may be some culprit at play that is contributing to the breakage.