Habits That Age Hair


Hair is made of protein, the same building block that constructs our muscles and nails. Hair is paradoxically tough and delicate and it requires tremendous tenderness to reach it’s optimum potential. As we age, our hair ages too. This typically manifests as thinning and dryness and texturally the hair may change. Habits that many of us indulge in daily have a toxic influence on our hair and cause it to age prematurely and rapidly. Here are some of the worst hair heresies and their impact.

Smoking

Smoking is detrimental to absolutely every part of the body and that includes our hair. Excessive smoking actually deprives the hair follicles of oxygen and without a steady supply of oxygen hair cannot grow and the nutritional output to hair is stifled. Even if you eat a healthful diet, smoking will strip the hair of vital minerals and nutrients which will negatively impact on its growth and quality. Oxygen carries all of the goodness our hair needs through the follicle so constricting this follicle has severe repercussions for hair. The key to beautiful hair is to put down the cigarettes.

Binge Drinking

Alcohol is a depressant and dehydrates the body. A dehydrated body is reflected in the quality of the skin, eyes and hair. Dry, limp, brittle and lifeless hair is typically dehydrated hair. Break up with booze and drink at least 2 litres of water which roughly translates into eight glasses a day. This will keep the body (and hair) hydrated. In moderation, alcohol will do little harm and red wine is packed with antioxidants however excessively imbibing alcohol is damaging to the body.

Malnutrition

As hair is made up of protein, our diet literally forms the building blocks of what our hair becomes. A diet lacking in vitamins and minerals means that the hair can only do so much. If you feed your body an abundance of oily fish such as mackerel and salmon, beans, pulses, lentils, vegetables, fruits and lean healthful proteins such as chicken, eggs and turkey, the hair will reflect this wholesome diet with luminous health. Sugar in particular is hazardous to hair and contributes to the general ageing of the body and face. Keep the system flushed through with water and up your healthy ingredients.

 Excessive Styling

Styling helps hair look superb plus it’s fun but excessive styling, especially with heat leaves its mark. Try to limit the number of times a week or month that you style hair. Leave it only for special occassions. Give hair time to air dry and spend more time embracing your hairs natural texture. If your hair is naturally wavy, let it be wavy for a few days. Find ways to style hair without heat such as by clipping up overnight and releasing the next day for tumbling waves – add a little hair spray or mousse and let it be. You don’t need to give up styling your hair but just practice moderation. Give your hair rest days just as you would rest your body after exercise. Heavy styling on a regular basis can cause the hair to become thinner and contribute to split ends and breakage, the adversaries of long locks.

 Environmental Factors

Mother Nature is beautiful. She’s also cruel. The impact of wind, rain, sleet, snow and sun on our hair adds up over time. Most people don’t adaquately protect their hair against the elements which can cause dryness and damage that is hard to come back from. Hair needs a sunblock just like skin. Fortunately there are many leave in sprays that protect the hair against the sun. Wind is a true hair enemy. On windy days, keep hair pinned or tied back securely to prevent flyaways (the wind is basically like a haphazard blowdry). Wear hats (though not too tight fitting as this can restrict blood flow) and use umbrellas to shield hair from harsh weather conditions. Remember hair requires a gentle touch and the elements are often far from gentle!

 A Bad Style

Another huge thing that impacts on our hairs age is how we style it. A bad, old fashioned or unflattering style do damage as do poor dye jobs. Hair that is too blonde, too dark, too red, too tinted, too long, too short or too poofy (anytthing that is TOO much) can really make the person, and the hair, look bad. Remember to reboot your style and keep it fresh and flattering.
 
Medication
 
Certain medications can really ravage hair either by thinning it, changing its texture or causing it to fall out. Many medications that people take for numerous reasons and chemotherapy sessions can impact our hair. Discuss any concerns you may have about the side effects of any medications you are taking or may take in future with your doctor to see if there are ways to limit the influence or to discuss alternatives. Often, hair bounces back with a vengeance once medication is discontinued.

 Stress
 
The impact of stress is hugely underrated. Stress bombards our bodies with free radicals which speeds up the aging process. Although it's not always easy, finding a way to de-stress which works for you is vital.
 
Yoga, meditation, journaling, Pilates, running, a short holiday, reading a book and disconnecting from technology are all helpful. Longer term solutions might involve changing careers, attending therapy and moving to a different area.
 
Remember, some stress is natural and normal but if you are constantly stressed, there are ways to help.

With a little TLC, hair will age well.