No matter what age you are, hair goals don’t include brittle strands prone to breakage. In your middle age, your hair becomes more fragile, so it is essential to have a hair-care routine that prevents damage. It is usually our daily hair-habits that contribute to excessive breakage or split-ends. A few quick fixes may be all it takes to halt damage for the years to come. Continue reading to learn what you can do to stop damage in middle-aged hair.
What is Damaged Hair
Damaged hair typically refers to damage caused to the outer-most layer of the hair, known as the cuticle. The cuticle is left open, making the hair-shaft vulnerable to more damage. Damaged hair can have a straw-like, brittle appearance.
Types of Hair Damage
- Split-Ends occur when the shaft of your hair splits in two. Split ends will weaken strands and make them tangle.
- Color Damage is a result from excessive hair dying and bleaching. Many common hair dyes contain harmful, damaging ingredients.
- Heat Damage is likely to come about from excessive use of hot-tools or sun-exposure. Heat opens the cuticle, leaving strands susceptible to dehydration and breakage.
- Hair Thinning is a common form of hair damage as you enter your middle age. Thinning of individual shafts is known as follicle miniaturization, while more severe hair loss is called female-pattern thinning. The hormonal shifts during menopause commonly spur hair loss in women.
How to Stop Damage in Middle-aged Hair
- Work on Your Brushing Technique
An incorrect brushing technique or over-brushing is a sure way to damage your hair. Firstly, hair is most fragile when it’s wet, so handle it with extra care. To minimize breakage, start detangling your ends first. After your ends are smooth, work your way up the hair-shaft, eventually brushing from your roots to ends with one stroke. Applying a detangling spray or leave-in conditioner before brushing can lighten the burden of raking through knots.
A wide-tooth comb or boar-bristle brush will help you gently detangle strands without hair breakage. The spaces between a wide-tooth comb decrease friction to prevent any cuticle damage. Likewise, a boar-bristle brush is made of all-natural materials and helps distribute your natural oils throughout your hair.
- Invest in Soft, Silky Hair Accessories
Elastic hair ties and cotton towels and pillowcases may start to increase frizz and dryness. Elastic hair ties snag and pull at your hair, which can lead to breakage. It is better to use a fabric-covered hair-tie to steer clear from unnecessary tugging. Also, when you use a cotton towel to dry wet hair, you risk roughening the cuticle. Abrasive cotton towels can cause friction, frizz, and damage. Instead, choose a microfiber towel, which helps your hair dry faster and removes excess moisture without leaving strands thirsty.
To avoid breakage during your beauty sleep, trade your cotton pillowcase in for a silk one. A smooth, silk pillowcase will allow your locks to hold on to their moisture and softness at night.
- Wear a Hat in the Sun
UV rays can contribute to hair protein loss and cuticle damage. The harmful rays lift the cuticle and form holes in your hair’s protective lipid layer. Sun damage can appear as dry and brittle strands, discoloration, split ends, or frizziness. If you are spending time in the sun, don’t forget to protect your locks by wearing a hat or bringing an umbrella.
- Apply Heat Sparingly
Overtime, heat-styling can lead to damage, including dryness, frizziness, and broken ends. Whenever time allows, embrace your natural texture and skip the hot-tools. However, there are a few ways to improve your heat-styling routine to limit damage. Firstly, always use an alcohol-free heat protectant before using your hot-tools. Also, it is unnecessary to exceed a temperature of 350 on any hot-tool. You can also minimize damage by running over a section of your hair only once with a curler or straightener. Lastly, if you apply heat to your strands, treat yourself to a conditioning mask to replenish hydration.
- Keep Strands Hydrated
Strands will be less prone to damage if they are properly hydrated. A restorative, hydrating shampoo and conditioner is a must in any good hair routine. A nourishing shampoo, like the one from Better Not Younger, will restore damaged strands and make them shine again. When looking for a moisturizing shampoo, consider ingredients like rice bran oil, argan oil, or glycerin. Stay away from products that contain harsh sulfates and parabens to avoid chemical damage.
Conditioner is a moisturizing agent, designed to introduce moisture and increase your strand’s smoothness and shine. In addition to your regular shower conditioner, you can use a leave-in conditioner or deep conditioner to boost hydration. A leave-in conditioner is used after the shower and helps to protect your hair from damage and detangle strands. A deep-conditioner goes the extra mile to provide intense moisture to strengthen and protect strands from outside damage.
With a more thoughtful consideration of your aging tresses, it is possible to stop hair damage. The inclusion of gentle-styling techniques and protective measures against heat exposure in your daily hair-care routine will help build strong, healthy hair.