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The Best Care For Aging Hair And Treatments For Hair Loss.

Discover effective care tips for aging hair and explore proven treatments for hair loss.

Many people worry about thinning hair and hair loss as they become older. Loss of volume, brittleness, and thinning are common hair aging symptoms. At the same time hereditary factors, hormonal shifts, stress, and medical disorders are additional potential causes of hair loss.

If you’re seeking ways to address these concerns, this guide, divided into two parts, will assist you in revitalizing your hair and encouraging the best treatments for hair loss.

How To Manage Aging Hair

Everyone, regardless of gender, will have hair changes as they age. While one can’t stop hair loss from happening altogether, but can preserve the hair follicles and make it go by more slowly.

Proper hair maintenance should be your first priority before considering any treatments. Prolonging the anagen phase when hair grows is the secret to encouraging hair to last longer.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), there are some things people can try while taking care of their hair to improve their aging and have fewer hair problems.

Hairwashing Routine

Hair wash should be done if you see a messy to greasy appearance, unclean-looking hair, and some product buildup. According to AAD, washing hair must be done as per hair type.

Hair Type Recommended Washing Frequency
Oily Hair Daily
Chemically Treated Hair Less often
Textured or Coily Hair Once or twice a week
    • Also, with aging, the scalp produces less oil. As a result, a person may not need to wash their hair as often.
Shampooing And Conditioning. 

Use shampoo to cleanse the hair as frequently as necessary. Always use shampoo according to your hair type and emulsify it with water for better cleansing. Also, applying shampoo to the hair shaft isn’t recommended as it may strip natural oils and make them dry.

Regular use of the incorrect kind of shampoo can harm the hair shaft, according to an article published in 2015. So choose shampoo according to hair type as per the following recommendations:

Shampoo Type Suitable For Key Characteristics
Normal Hair Shampoo Untreated hair, moderate oil Lauryl sulfate for mild conditioning and good cleaning
Dry Hair Shampoo Chemically treated hair Provides good conditioning, mild cleansing
Oily Hair Shampoo Oily hair No conditioners
Everyday Shampoo Daily use Mild cleansing effect and separate conditioning are suggested
Deep Cleaning Shampoo Frequent styling product use Lauryl sulfate, use weekly
Baby Shampoo Infants and young children Mild detergents
Medicated Shampoo Scalp conditions Contains active ingredients
Professional Shampoo Pre-cut or pre-styling Not for daily use

Remember to condition after hair washing. It’s an essential part of hair care. Conditioner helps restore moisture, shine, and natural oils that are washed out by shampooing. Always apply conditioner to the hair shafts, not on the scalp.

Properly Drying Hair

People can use a low-speed blow dryer or cover their hair in a towel to let it air dry. Avoid twisting your hair in the towel or rubbing it too vigorously.

The best practice is to let the hair dry naturally instead of using tools like a hot blow dryer. If necessary, research suggests that using a blow dryer at a distance of 15 cm and constantly rotating it can reduce damage.

Choose the Right Products

It’s also a good idea to avoid using heat tools like flat irons, curling wands, and blow dryers daily. Do not use them more than twice a week. If you really must, then apply a heat protectant to your hair before using heat styling tools. A heat protectant coats the hair with a protective layer and adds moisture to prevent heat damage.

Avoid using hair products that include parabens and phthalates, as they have been damaging to the hormonal system.

Keep Your Hairstyle Loose

If you wear braids, buns, or ponytails often, make sure that they aren’t too tight; otherwise, your hair will be stressed and more prone to breaking. Another option is to try sleeping with your hair pulled into a loose pineapple ponytail or braid, if you can manage it.

Use a Silk Pillowcase

Try sleeping on a silk pillowcase if you want to stop hair loss and make your hair healthier. It has been suggested by AAD that silk, unlike cotton, lets hair’s natural oils stay where they are by not absorbing moisture. Because of the decreased friction, your hair is less likely to break or get split ends, and it retains more of its natural oils, making it healthier and less damaged.

Oiling Hair

To replenish the nutrients and oils washed out of hair with each wash, try oiling your hair once in a while. It could also make your hair softer. (1) Ayurvedic medicine suggests this method, which has a long history of usage in India. Any oil can work but one can use oils as per concern. The research has suggested the use of the following oils:

  • Coconut Oil: Best for dry damaged hair, helps to lock moisture and shine.
  • Rosemary Oil: It has been studied for hair regrowth. There is some evidence that rosemary oil can stimulate hair growth. A study involving 100 individuals with androgenic alopecia found that rosemary oil treatment resulted in the same number of new hair follicles after three and six months, unlike Rogaine, which left them feeling dry and itchy.
  • Argan oil is great for color-treated hair. A 2013 Brazilian study found that this rich in essential fatty acids oil is particularly beneficial for dye-damaged hair due to its ability to condition and protect against damage from oxidative dyes.
  • Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil is best for thin hair. In 2021, Egyptian researchers discovered that it prevents protein loss, a factor in hair thinning, by penetrating hair follicles, reducing hair breakage, and removing sebum.
  • Sweet Almond Oil: Sweet almond oil is a popular natural remedy for dry scalps and dandruff. It is one of the lightest options, said to hydrate and revitalize dry, lifeless hair without adding unnecessary weight.
  • Baobab Oil: Many people with curly hair choose baobab oil. This oil is believed to make hair flexible, shiny, and bouncy, along with having natural conditioning properties.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Studies have shown that tea tree oil has antimicrobial characteristics and can resist the bonding of yeasts that cause seborrheic dermatitis and other forms of dandruff.
  • Pumpkin Seed oil is great for healthy hair shafts and growth. A study found that using pumpkin seed oil topically for 24 weeks can enhance hair growth by 40%. Researchers also compared the effects of minoxidil 5% foam and pumpkin seed oil in treating female pattern hair loss (FPHL).
  • Castor oil: Many people use castor oil as an all-natural hair treatment. It is hydrating and may lubricate the hair shaft, making it more pliable and less prone to breaking.

Here is a summed-up table for all the oils and their benefits.

Oil Name Best For
Rosemary Oil Hair regrowth
Pumpkin Seed Oil Hair growth
Castor Oil Hair shaft lubrication
Coconut Oil Dry, damaged hair
Argan Oil Color-treated hair
Jojoba Oil Thin hair
Sweet Almond Oil Dry scalp or dandruff
Tea Tree Oil Dandruff or scalp issues
Baobab Oil Curly hair

How to use hair oils? Massage some oil into each portion by running your fingertips along the part line. Once you’ve finished massaging the scalp, continue working the oil into the ends of your hair. Let it sit for 2-3 hours and then wash out with shampoo. A weekly oiling session might help with dry skin and a flaky scalp. The recommended frequency for a regular scalp is twice or three times monthly.

We all want to look our best, but in the long run, your hair will thank you if you follow the above hair care tips.

2. Supplements with Hair Healthy Vitamins

While age and heredity have no say over the condition of one’s locks, what you eat can significantly impact it.  An article in Dermatology and Therapy states that a diet deficient in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids can cause hair structure anomalies and hair loss.

It means a lack of certain vitamins can significantly affect hair health and thickness. Not getting enough of certain vitamins, such as biotin and vitamin E, can result in weakened hair structure, more breakage, and hair loss. If you want thicker, healthier hair, you must ensure you get enough of these vitamins through a balanced diet or supplements.

  • Biotin (Vitamin B7): Promotes hair growth and strengthens hair.
  • Vitamin D: Linked to hair follicle health and can help reduce hair loss.
  • Vitamin E: An antioxidant that supports scalp health and improves hair elasticity.
  • Vitamin C: Essential for collagen production, which supports hair structure.
  • Vitamin A: Encourages hair growth by promoting sebum production in the scalp.
  • Zinc: Aids in tissue growth and repair is crucial for hair health.
  • Iron: Supports healthy blood flow to hair follicles, preventing hair loss.
  • Selenium: Helps with hair growth and protects against oxidative stress.

So, thickness and quantity can be improved by taking a supplement that contains vitamins that are good for your hair.

Consult a dermatologist first before beginning any hair vitamin regimen to ensure that it is appropriate and safe for your specific hair and scalp requirements. If you find these vitamins too much for yourself, always consider taking them from natural sources, as discussed in this article.

3. Reduce Stress

Although stress is unstoppable, if it lasts too long, it can harm your health, including your hair. The adrenal glands secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which some research suggests may interfere with the hair growth cycle.

Taking time for yourself, whether that’s for meditation or an activity you like, can assist with stress management. And if you’re still struggling to manage your chronic stress, seeing a therapist may be helpful.

Best Treatments For Hair Loss

Numerous treatments for hair loss exist, but the one that works best for you will be specific to the underlying cause of your condition.

1. Consulting For Hair Loss

If you see a specialist as soon as possible, you might begin treatment immediately and slow down the progression of hair loss. As certain medications can cause further hair loss. A doctor can tell you whether any of your drugs have any negative effects on hair development or loss and provide you with suggestions on how to avoid or lessen such effects.

2. Scalp Massages

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According to several studies, massaging the scalp frequently may help some people’s hair grow longer, thicker, and healthier. Scalp massage has also been proven for relaxation, improving circulation, decreasing blood pressure, and slowing the pulse rate.

A 2019 study found that scalp massages can help stabilize hair loss or regrowth in over 70% of respondents after six to eight months of daily massages. This treatment is particularly beneficial for androgenic alopecia, also known as female pattern baldness or male pattern hair loss. The study suggests that scalp massages can be valuable for managing hair loss.

A recent 2021 study found that migraine and tension headache sufferers may also find relief through scalp and forehead massages.

How to do a scalp massage?

Although exact instructions for massaging the scalp by hand may not exist, applying light to medium pressure to the scalp using palms or fingertips may do the trick. Run fingers in tiny circles for a few seconds, then cover the entire head. Repeat the next phase and hold for another six minutes. Now, hand-held scalp massaging devices are also available.

Individuals have varying preferences regarding the frequency and duration of scalp massages for hair growth, and there is no universally agreed-upon ideal time. According to most research, it is possible to stimulate hair growth by massaging the scalp for 10–20 minutes at a time. For the greatest effects, massage your scalp twice daily, but once daily could also work.

Some hair loss is normal, and the normal growth cycle causes everyone to lose hair.

3. Using Medications to Treat Hair Loss

  • Minoxidil: One treatment used to restore or grow hair is minoxidil (rogaine). It was first used to treat high blood pressure. But now, scientific investigations have shown that minoxidil can promote hair growth when given topically to the scalp. It promotes hair growth as:
  1. The process by which telogen hair follicles transition into the anagen phase
  2. Extension of the anagen phase

Based on the results of the trials, the FDA has also authorized the use of 2%—5% minoxidil over the counter to treat hair loss.

One can obtain the results with consecutive topical applications for 2 months. The drug’s peak impact emerges around 12 months post-usage. If you discontinue, you will experience hair loss again. But consult your doctor before using minoxidil if you are pregnant, intending to conceive, or nursing. It’s detrimental to your fetus and can be transmitted through breast milk to a breastfeeding newborn.

Minoxidil can also be used orally, which is beneficial for individuals who are not receiving sufficient benefits from topical minoxidil and for those who have scalp irritation because of the topical version.

  • Spironolactone (Aldactone). It is an oral drug that can be used to treat hair loss.  It can be used specially in women who don’t respond well to minoxidil. Mostly, spironolactone is prescribed to reproductive-age women in conjunction with an oral contraceptive. So, this treatment may not be suitable for any women who wants to conceive, as it may cause birth defects.
  • Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar): Men take it orally to treat hair loss. The hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) causes hair thinning and loss, and this product blocks its activity. However, topical sprays have also been studied for use. A 2021 clinical study found that finasteride topical spray solution significantly improved hair density in 323 men with pattern baldness. This medication requires 12 months of treatment before you observe any improvement.
  • Corticosteroids: Alopecia areata is one kind of hair loss that may require the use of injectable or topical corticosteroids. They are effective because they lessen inflammation and inhibit the immunological response, both of which can contribute to hair loss.

Oral medicines can cause side effects. Oral minoxidil, for instance, has the potential to induce hypotension and palpitations. For this reason, a personalised treatment plan is necessary for each patient.

4. Using Hair-Healthy Infused Products Or Medicated Products

Infused products contain natural or therapeutic components and are infused into hair loss solutions to reduce hair loss, strengthen existing hair, and stimulate new hair growth. The following are examples of infused items that are often used and may help with hair loss: rosemary, tree tea oil, aloe vera, argan oil, and caffeine-infused products.

Research from 2015 found that some medicated hair care products might prevent hair loss. It could also be helpful to avoid damaging treatments like heat, curling irons, and dyes.

5. Cosmetic Procedures

When medical treatments fail to restore their hair’s natural density, cosmetic procedures are the key treatments for hair loss.  These non-surgical and surgical methods are used to manage thinning hair and bald areas.

Here’s an outline of typical cosmetic treatments for hair loss:

Low-Level Laser Therapy

Red light therapy, or low-level laser light therapy (LLLT), treats skin problems by stimulating cell development using low-wavelength red light. However, it has also been found to be used as a treatment for hair loss. According to a small Korean study in 2020, 48 patients with androgenetic alopecia showed a statistically significant improvement in hair density and thickness after 16 weeks of LLLT.

These laser devices can also be used at home. The effects may take a few months to manifest. Some at-home laser hair loss treatments have received FDA approval.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRPs) 2149404693 1

Recent studies have shown that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections can improve hair density and thickness in individuals with a family history of hair loss or baldness. This non-invasive technique uses the patient’s own blood to stimulate hair growth.

A 2020 analysis of 12 clinical trials investigating the impact of PRP on hair loss found that PRP treatment significantly improved hair density and thickness for both male and female participants in 84% of the studies. Following four PRP treatments, another 2014 study reported 30% more growth in thinning regions.

The results can vary depending on a person’s health, age, and hair condition. A study found that individuals with androgenic alopecia who received three PRP injections over three months showed significant improvements in their hair density within six weeks.

It is also not a one-time remedy; most individuals need many sessions to see noticeable hair regrowth. Providers generally suggest three to four PRP procedures spaced four to six weeks apart for best outcomes, but they can still vary.

Periodic maintenance treatments may be required every six to 12 months to ensure ongoing regrowth. Also, they must only be conducted by a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon with the skills and expertise to treat patients safely.

Hair Transplant7498327 33239

When all the hair loss treatment methods have failed, the most costly procedure, the hair transplant, is done. This surgical process transfers healthy follicles from the scalp back to regions where hair is receding. Almost 10–80% of naturally occurring hair growth resumes after a transplant. It is an outpatient procedure with successful rates.

There are two main methods for hair transplants:

  • Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT): Follicle-unit transplantation accounts for 90% of hair transplant procedures. In this method, the surgeon takes a section of the scalp from the patient’s back of the head and divides it into smaller pieces called grafts. These grafts are then inserted in the area to be treated and eventually covered with a bandage.
  • In Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), the back of the head is shaved, and hair follicles are taken out individually. The follicles are then put into small holes in the area where the transplant was done. Then, the area is bandaged with gauze and bandages.

There will also be some downtime after the surgery. The transplanted hair is likely to experience shedding within two to three weeks. However, hair growth will continue, and about 60% of the new hair will have grown by the 6–9 month mark for most people. Sometimes, minoxidil (Rogaine) is a medication that some surgeons may provide to their patients in order to promote hair growth following a hair transplant.

By now, we know that a healthy lifestyle can help you deal with, delay, or avoid the onset of hair loss that comes with aging.  But sometimes the hair loss can be due to some serious issue and immediate attention must be given if you see,

  • Sudden, patchy loss of hair
  • Experiencing more hair loss than normal while styling or washing your hair.
  • A very prominent receding hairline.

Consulting a doctor is the best option to find the root cause.

By now, we know that hair can be kept healthy and vibrant even when one’s body undergoes natural changes as one ages. Several simple lifestyle changes can greatly affect hair condition. A healthy diet, mild hair care products, and good stress management are all part of this. And if you are concerned about hair loss, the best course of action is to consult a board-certified dermatologist or trichologist. They can guide you through different therapies and advise you on which one would be best for you.

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Dr Aimen

Being a Doctor by profession, Aimen is passionate about helping people get better health in their lives. Aimen enjoys her research on Prime With Time subjects and strives to create better awareness of the problems and changes related to women's health.
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