The best ingredients for aging hair, according to stylists

HAir health, like skin health, declines as we age. Over time, our scalp is exposed to environmental factors that cause oxidative stress, causing visible signs of aging in our fibers. So as we age, a once thick and shiny mane can become thin, dry, rough, dull, hard and brittle — and that’s not to mention the reduction in pigmentation that gives it its color. grey.

We all know that there are a number of active ingredients you can add to your facial routine to fight the signs of aging (like retinoids, peptides, and vitamin C), but according to stylists, The same goes for your hair. Keep reading for their recommendations.

To reduce dryness and breakage

As we age, our scalp produces less natural oils and our hair strands become thinner and weaker, leaving hair prone to dryness and breakage. To properly moisturize strands, Jamie Mazzei, creative director at nuBest Salon and Spa in Manhasset, NY, recommends using lightweight moisturizers that won’t weigh down thin textures. Dermatologist Naana Boakye, MD and trichologist Kerry Yates certifies glycerin, rosemary seed oil, jojoba, aloe, and panthenol (vitamin B5) as the best ingredients to look for in your products. .

Casey Simmons, owner of curly-care brand Royal Locks Curl says when it comes to shampoos, choose sulfate-free formulas that contain milder detergents that hair “so badly needs to prevent breakage.” , keep sticky and glossy, not curly”. Care about. She also recommends pH-balanced shampoos, as those with a higher pH (more alkaline) can increase friction between hair strands, making hair more susceptible to damage. If you have straight hair, look for sulfate-free shampoos with a pH between 6 and 7, and if you have curly hair, look for one with a pH between 4.5 and 5.5.

In terms of conditioning, Simmons recommends using formulas “with natural vegetable oils, such as argan and macadamia, to nourish delicate gray hairs.” She’s also a fan of panthenol, which, she says, “keeps hair soft and tangle-free.” In general, you’ll want to stay away from any formula made with isopropyl alcohol, which is common in styling products and can dry out your hair. “However, fatty alcohols, like Cetearyl alcohol, are great for conditioning and soothing the body,” says Mazzei. You’ll also want to avoid silicones, which are used in styling products including serums, sprays, and foams, and can “heavy hair and cause it to become brittle over time,” says Yates.

To maintain pigmentation

Your hair also loses pigment over time, which is what causes it to turn gray. “The pigment cells in our hair follicles gradually die as we age and the hair strands no longer contain as much melanin, thus becoming more transparent colors, like gray, silver or white, as they grow up,” Gretchen Friese, certified trichologist for BosleyMD, previously told Well + Good.

According to Mazzei, sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate — common ingredients in volume-cleaning and volumizing shampoos — can discolor your hair, so you’ll want to steer clear of any formulas that contain them. . He adds that if you dye your hair gray, you should “always use a color-retaining shampoo and conditioner to keep the color looking fresh between salon visits.” Look for a basic dye with a name like Basic Brown 16 or Basic Red 46 in the ingredients list to indicate a color deposition product.

To fight thin

Patterned alopecia, also known as androgenic alopecia, affects 50% of men and 25% of women in their 50s. According to Dr. Boakye, apply pumpkin seed oil or topical minoxidil (sold on sale). no prescription) to the scalp can help. .

Enrizza Factor, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and owner of the Skin Therapy EPF clinic in Los Banos Laguna, Philippines, notes that certain nutrient deficiencies can also lead to thinness. She points to low levels of biotin, which can cause hair loss, and vitamin D deficiency, which can slow new hair growth. Adding these ingredients to your routine through dietary supplements can keep hair thick and strong.

Dr. Boakye also notes that there is evidence that saw palmetto extract can help prevent hair loss, adding that “some dermatologists also recommend Viviscal and Nutrafol for some of the most hair loss conditions.” determined.” These supplements combine marine proteins with various vitamins, minerals, and plant extracts. Just a note: you should always consult your doctor about any vitamins and supplements you’re taking.

If you are interested in medications to treat hair loss, your doctor may prescribe oral minoxidil or dutasteride. Oral spironolactone, which can be combined for topical use, is also an option for women, says Dr. Boakye.

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