Why does hair get course and dry as we age? Are there any particular supplement ingredients and/or foods that lessen course, dry hair?
As we age, there are many changes that occur in the body. From wrinkles and fine lines appearing on the face to age spots on the hands and feet, visible signs of aging can be frustrating and unsightly. Another area of the body that is affected by growing older is the hair. Thin, brittle tresses can add years to your appearance, making you look washed out and unhealthy. Fortunately, there are many ways in which to slow and prevent the aging process and keep hair looking young and healthy.
The Causes of Brittle Hair:
Hair grows from a root found deep at the bottom of specialized pores called hair follicles. Hair roots are fed and nourished by blood vessels in the scalp that keep the hair healthy and promote growth. As the hair grows longer, it is pushed past an oil gland, which coats the strand in an oily substance called sebum. Sebum acts as a natural conditioner for the hair, keeping it soft and glossy.
Beginning in middle age, the oil glands responsible for keeping hair soft and hydrated begin to lose their ability to produce enough sebum to keep hair in top condition. Over time, the cumulative effects of declining sebum production causes hair to become dry and brittle. Another reason for dull and fragile hair is that as we age, the ability of our cells to regenerate and heal is reduced. In our twenties and thirties, the hair is able to recover quickly from damage caused by heat, sun exposure and coloring. As we reach middle age, hair begins to break down more quickly and recovers at a slower rate.1
Nourishing Hair From The Inside Out:
A common cause of unhealthy, brittle hair is a poor diet. Just like the rest of your body, the hair needs proper nutrition in order to stay healthy and strong. Follow these diet tips to improve the health and appearance of each one of your hair strands.
1) Power Up With Protein:
Keratin is the main structural protein that makes up each strand of hair and is responsible for maintaining hair strength and elasticity. Adding protein rich foods like lean meats, nuts, seeds, and eggs into your diet will help keep keratin production at an optimal level and ensure strong, smooth tresses. Collagen is also vital in helping hair look younger and glossier.
2) Add In Healthy Fats:
Omega 3 fatty acids found in foods like flax seeds and salmon are essential for the health of the hair follicle that houses the hair root, keeping it nourished and protected. Fats are also necessary for the production of sebum, which keeps hair moisturized and flexible.
3) Don’t Skimp On Fruits And Vegetables:
Foods rich in vitamin C are vital for hair health. Vitamin C is necessary for the regeneration and production of the cells responsible for hair growth and repair. Vitamin C also helps to fight inflammation in the body, which can lead to dry and brittle hair. A deficiency in this powerful nutrient can lead to dry and splitting tresses.3 Foods rich in vitamin C include red bell peppers, kale, grapefruit, and strawberries.