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There are many factors affecting the condition and look of your hair at any one time. Hormonal changes, humidity, styling, products, ingredients... Iain Sallis talks about some of the things you can do to help your hair stay in healthy and looking great.
Hair is unable to make its own oils so it relies on the natural oils from our scalp and the moisturising ingredients in the products that we use. As we age, our hair loses more moisture - a direct result of the lack of moisture in our skin. It therefore becomes even more important to provide your body with the right nutrients on the inside so that it can produce the oils your hair needs. You also need to ensure your shampoo and conditioner is delivering the daily nourishment your hair needs.
Iain Sallis debunks the common myth that washing your hair every day dries it out. "You can wash your hair every day if you wish without a real problem, just use a good conditioner. However, if you use heated appliances to style your hair such as straightening irons every day, this could seriously damage your hair."
In a survey of 2,000 women, 49% cited loss of volume as their biggest ageing hair concern while a third said they worry about fine hair. Fine hair can be caused by many things including medication, genetics, styling and stress, but for women, hormones are the most common factor. As we age and reach the menopause, oestrogen levels in the body are reduced and so the 'male' hormones in our bodies have a bigger effect on the hair cycle.
During and after the menopause androgens (a male hormone) cause hair follicles to shrink and each hair grows finer than before. It is important to use volumising products to prevent oils from building up on roots and to give hair a lift.
According to Iain, "Nurture replenish full volume shampoo is great hybrid between a moisturising and volumising shampoo, perfect if you feel as though you need that 'anti-ageing boost' to your hair. Nurture replenish nourishing care conditioner allows you to fully moisturise the hair without weighing it down."
It's important to feed your hair to keep it looking lustrous. Unfortunately hair is not a vital organ which means that your body won't prioritise its nutritional needs. What many would also consider to be a healthy diet, for example one that includes many fruits and vegetables, does not necessarily provide your hair with what it needs.
To give hair a helping hand incorporate proteins and complex carbohydrates such as fish, chicken, eggs, oats and brown rice. However, even with these steps you can't guarantee that the nutrients will be passed on to your hair so if you want more assurance, pick a specific skincare supplement with a range of B-vitamins, natural oils, biotin and silica to use alongside your topical products.
Iain recommends a thorough hair routine which "includes regular washing and conditioning, weekly hair masks to give that extra moisture boost and changing any excessive chemical processing for something more gentle."
Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn't possible, supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.