Your Guide to Aging, Thinning Hair: 6 Simple Tips

You can offset the effects of time, dyes and medications

Your Guide to Aging, Thinning Hair: 6 Simple Tips

To keep our hair looking good as we age, it needs special attention. Why? The sad story of our hair is that over time, fibers become thinner and begin to drop out — and never regenerate. Pigment cells stop producing as much pigment. Hormones that help stimulate follicle fibers diminish. Then, of course, there’s damage from chemicals used in hair dye.

But don’t despair. There are steps that women can take after menopause to offset these natural changes, says dermatologist Wilma Bergfeld, MD“You can do a lot to strengthen and repair your hair for a thicker, more lustrous sheen, she says.

Dr. Bergfeld offers these tips to love your hair at any age:

1. Wash less frequently

Don’t overdo shampoo, but you should wash your scalp at least twice per week. Use the type of shampoo — for thick or fine, oily or dry — that best suits your hair type.

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2. Don’t forget conditioners and volumizers

These are an important part of the mix. They work like a splint to strengthen your hair, providing more volume per fiber. They also change the electrostatic charge so that fibers stand apart from one another and your hair has more visual volume.

3. If you color your hair, use the right products

Be sure to protect your hair with shampoos or conditioners made specifically for color-treated hair.

4. Eat a complete diet

Be sure you are eating enough overall. “As you age, you start to eat smaller portions because your taste level goes down, and you become nutritionally deficient,” Dr. Bergfeld says. “Usually, when a person says, ‘I’m on a healthy diet,’ they’re on a restricted diet.”

5. Don’t skim on protein

Dr. Bergfeld suggests women eat a little bit of low-fat red meat a couple of times a week. “This captures your protein and other vital nutrients. Also, with age, subtle thyroid disease sneaks in. Patients get a little tired and think it’s old age, but they have mild iron storage anemia.”

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6. Check medications with your doctor

Talk to your doctor about how any of your medications could affect your hair, and ask for advice on how to help counteract negative effects.  Some  drugs  for conditions like cardiac disease or lipid-lowering medications can cause shedding of finer fibers, Dr. Bergfeld says. Also, when women stop hormone replacement medication, they should expect a fair amount of hair loss.

“There’s no one who has the hair at 60 or 70 that they had at 15,” Dr. Bergfeld says. “That’s why it’s important to take care of your hair as you age.”

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  • br

    Wrong. I don’t dye or perm my hair and though I have a bit of gray, my hair is still shiny and thick.

    • AnkyNan

      Is it as thick as it USED to be, though? My hair is still thick, but not quite as much as it used to be & the hairs themselves are now finer than they used to be.

      • LP

        I am 64 years old and have let my hair grow out long. It is as thick and with lots of body as it ever was. I have permed my hair many times over the years but have never put a bit of color in it. I was a red head as a child, then auburn. It still is auburn with some grey. My 33 year old daughter has more grey than I do. I have been on cholesterol mess for over 10 yrs, have not taken hormones for well over 5 yrs. I wash it 2-3 times per week & straighten it with a flat iron. It now has a lot of natur as l waves & curl. I truly have been blessed with great hair. Women half my age, & younger say they wish they had my hair.

  • br

    And I am 64.

  • Lea

    What…recommending eating red meat, are you kidding? Not hard to guess where your funding is coming from!

    • AnkyNan

      “A little bit of low fat red meat” doesn’t exactly sound like the beef industry wrote this. If you choose not to, then don’t. My daughter, however, after 11 years being vegan, had to resume a basically Paleo diet. Extensive testing showed that her body doesn’t process legumes or grains – formerly a major part of her diet. She is much healthier all over now – including her now-again-shiny hair.

      • Kelly

        wow are you woefully uninformed. are you a registered dietician? I kind of thought not.

        • Rowley

          Seems a bit agressive Kelly.

      • Barb

        My son was a Vegan for years, but after a skateboarding accident left him with a broken ankle the x-rays showed he had the brittle porous bones of an elderly person…he changed to a Vegetarian diet and healed better.

    • Kelly

      the whole article is ridiculous. they should be telling people to stop coloring their hair.

  • ecollins

    So what are some medication s .that cause ha is problem s

  • Teri

    Hello, i am 60 years old and my thick locks are now thin strings. I can not make a french roll. I am crushed. What can i do? Teri

    • Bella Amira

      Take hair skin and nails vitamins. Also use folicure shampoo and serum sold at sallys beauty supply stores.

  • SVGEEZ51

    I’ve been taking biotene (gummies) for about 1 1/2 mos. Its helping. Hair loss has diminished so I’m encouraged.

    • DP

      Biotin is good for the skin, hair and nails but you have to keep taking it for a period of time before it works. I took it and when I stopped a noticed a big difference especially in my nails breaking and splitting. As you age your nails thin out, get ridges and become more brittle so any help you can get you need and Biotin works well. Now they don’t split as much but I have to cut them shorter to prevent that as it still does it. You can also be hypothyroid (underactive) thyroid and this causes dry, brittle hair, skin and nails also. I take generic Synthroid by my MD and it helps.

  • Mem

    I’m 63 and have dry thin hair. I’ve found the best remedy for dry hair is pure coconut oil. I put a bit (a little goes a long way) in my hair every day and it tames my locks without weighing them down.

  • LadyZ

    I was on Metoprolol for several years and lost a lot of hair. I wish I would have asked for a change in meds much sooner. It never did come back the way it was.

    • cajdawson

      really, Metoprolol is a culprit for hair loss?

      • LadyZ

        It certainly was for me and my doctor did confirm that it was the cause.

  • Guest

    I just turned 60. I let my hair grow out to celebrate. I still have about 90% of my original hair volume and my hair is about 99% its original color!

  • Blanche

    I just turned 80 and have noticed about 6 mons ago my eye eye brows were getting bare spots.especially the left one. I have been taking pravacol for more then 10 yrs and metoprolol about 7 years. Also around my left eye and between eye brows look like very fine sand paper. The skin still feels smooth and soft. I have always tken care of my skin will not go to bed without washng and moisterizing and have not left house without sun screen since I was in my 20’s. Also I have gained about 5 pounds in the last year without any change in diet and only slight change in exercise routine. Any ideas? Thank you

  • Pikakemoon01

    I have been using this formula, DasGro Hair Formula, it contains a complete complex of hair support nutrients to help hair grow!
    Look it up online! I started using it 4months ago because my hair was thining and falling out! So far I have had amazing results!
    My hair grew 6 inches longer and feels thicker!
    Consult with your Medical Doctor before you
    Get it! Because it does contain Soy and other ingredients!
    I very happy and amazed with using this product!

  • Andrea Peden

    My mother had beautiful, thick hair at 92. It’s not all about aging.

  • anne

    5,000 mcg’s of Biotin helps also

  • norma

    No idea what hair dye chemicals to avoid. Wonder if there is an organic lasting dye and where to research.

  • sara

    I’m 31 years old and my hair is thinning so much that you can see my scalp. This has just recently started happening and I don’t know what to do.