How To Deal With Haywire Hair in Your 40s and 50s.
I have a Love/Hate Relationship with my hair. I’ve had many hair changes over the years.
My Love/Hate Relationship With My Hair
I loved the blonde Shirley Temple curls of my toddling phase. Super cute.
I hated the hacked and short cut that my Mother inflicted on me, driven by the need to save money. I accept that totally. I was a child of 70s Britain, power cuts and the three day week.
That haircut lasted many years. I longed for pigtails. A ponytail. Ringlets. Or an elfin face for my pixie cut rather the square freckled face I was blessed with. I wished it was straight instead of sticking up. I looked like a continual bad case of bed head.
I loved my bleached and backcombed “goth-y” fright phase. At the time, anyway.
I loved my curls in the 80s when the poodle perm was in.
I hated my curls when straighteners became de rigeur. I straightened my locks to within an inch of their life. This trend lasted years – that’s years of taming the curls.
For about the last year, I’ve embraced the curls.
If I’m honest, mostly because I think it’s kinda Bull Twang to deny who I am. I am much more comfortable in my own skin …the gift of growing (b)older. That’s no judgement on anyone with hair straighteners. No judgement on hair changes that you choose. I’d be a big old hypocrite. I still get highlights to lift the mouse brown.
Embracing the curls has saved an awful lot of time and effort.
But then I started to notice my hair changes…and NOT in a good way.
MY Hair Changes In My 40s
My hair is fine but there’s loads of it. It’s whispy and gets frizzy in humidity and drizzle rain.
It’s mouse brown with (artificial) highlights of sun kissed caramel. From foils …to avoid the dye being spread all over my scalp and risk more chemicals than necessary going into my skin. It’s coloured every 3 months and no more.
I have a few “glitter highlights” (greys) to cover but not that many to be honest. I’m 49 as I type this. I take after my Dad.
It’s always been quite soft…until recently. I noticed hair changes.
It was tangly when wet – just at one side. Go figure. Can’t blame bed head.
I bought a detangling brush as recommended by my gorgeous hairdresser Nik. I bought some pretty natural detangler on his recommendation.
Made no difference.
Instead, more and more hair got tangly. And seemed more coarse. Every time I washed and combed more was breaking off or being pulled out, no matter how gentle I was. Grrrrrrrrr.
So I stopped washing every day and now wash a few times a week. I can’t bear the amount of hair in my brush.
But more than that, I started to PANIC. Loads of hair in my brush. My hair is thinning … falling out. Chuff off Menopause! I started to stress.
I am menopausal and menopause can cause dryness to skin and hair. Another symptom can be hair loss. Hair loss can be caused by sensitivity to male hormones or an imbalance leading to too many male hormones. And yes, women have male hormones too.
I asked Mr P is he thought my hair was falling out. He said No. I actually asked my hairdresser – he says no as well, but agreed the texture is changing and it’s very, VERY tangly.
I’m still worried. I want keep my hair plentiful and in good condition. I want to keep my “crowing glory” er em glorious.
So what have I done?
Here are my tips.
Dealing With Haywire Hair in Your 40s and 50s
1. Eat a healthy, hormone helping diet with plenty of vegetables and fruit, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, pulses, fish, eggs and a little poultry and meat. Buy organic, unsprayed, free range, unprocessed. Make sure you include good fats like oily fish, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds, coconut oil and avocado. Choose eggs, liver, yeast, salmon, cheese, avocado, raspberries and cauliflower for the biotin (one of the B vitamins), which helps with hair growth and condition. Drink plenty of good fluids – filtered water, fruit and herb teas, coconut water.
2. Use gentle hair products free from sodium laurel sulphate and other nasties. Natural and organic products with natural plant oils really help condition hair. (I usually favour Neals Yard and Faith in Nature). Maybe choose products with essential oils too. Rosemary and Ylang Ylang are stimulating. Lavender and Tea Tree fight dandruff and dry scalp. Chemical treatments can also be very damaging and dyes and tints contain potentially toxic chemicals.
You can use a tiny smidgen of coconut oil on your hair too. Rub a little in your hands and use as a defrizzer and natural conditioner.
3. Don’t brush and tease at wet hair – you run the risk of breaking and splitting hair. Overheating with hairdryers, straighteners etc can also be very damaging.
4. Massage your scalp to encourage hair growth. And it feels sooooo gooooood!
5. If your diet may be lacking, choose a short course (3 months) of a good supplement that contains Vitamins C, E, B Vitamins and Biotin. Buy the best supplement you can afford – cheaper ones contain fillers and the nutrients are often much harder to extract and use by your body.
I just bought Viridian Beauty Oil and Viridian Ultimate Beauty Supplement. They’re organic and good quality and Viridian make a charitable donation for every product sold.
6. Choose a good style. Not just one that flatters your face shape, but one that plays to the texture and amount of hair you have. Nik created me a much better style to stop me running my fingers through my long bangs to keep it from my eyes – this will save more breakage and improve the condition. A new hairstyle is GOOD hair changes. Hurrah.
7. Don’t Stress. Stress is bad for our health. It causes our body systems, functions and processes to go haywire. It causes imbalance. It also affects us on the outside, often seen on our skin and hair. Remove the sources of stress from your life or reduce the impact with coping strategies like meditation, yoga, exercise, massage, journalling and more.
8. Speak to a doctor. Hair loss can also be triggered by some health issues like low thyroid function. So go and get tests and advice.
The lesson for me is just LOVE your hair. No more Love/Hate here. Just love. With my 8 top tips.
Let me know how my tips work for you.
Love, Kathy x