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If you’re over 40 you may be noticing little changes in your hair and scalp. Perhaps your scalp is drier than it has ever been and your hair refuses to grow past your shoulders without breaking and becoming thinned out. Or maybe you have the opposite issue and your oil and sebum production has been in overdrive. Hormones and just plain aging can change our skin and hair, but this doesn’t have to be a negative thing. With the right products and — most importantly — a good diet rich in healthy fats and protein, you can having shiny, voluminous, healthy-looking hair.
This Is How Often You Should Wash Your Hair
Hint: It's more than you think.“Absolutely not!” says Anabel Kingsley, brand president & consultant trichologist for Philip Kingsley. “Washing your hair daily is one of the best things you can do for your scalp health.” Part of the mentality around incorporating scalp products like hydrating serums and hair growth oils into your routine is to realize that the skin on our scalp is just that–skin. But it seems like that mentality ends when it comes to cleansing. “I always like to compare your hair care routine to your skincare routine,” says trichologist and celebrity hairstylist Helen Reavey, who founded the scalp-focused brand Act+Acre.
Start with your plate. These are the best foods for your scalp and hair health over 40, according to Dr. Rebecca Hilton, a dermatologist at J-Beauty. These picks are delicious, nutritious, and are considered to be healthy hair helpers.
Avocados are a rich source of biotin, a water-soluble vitamin that’s important for healthy hair and nails, Dr. Hilton points out. “It helps to strengthen the hair and prevent breakage,” Dr. Hilton said. “Avocados are also a good source of healthy fats, which help to keep the scalp moisturized.”
Nuts and seeds
“Nuts and seeds are a good source of zinc, a mineral that’s important for healthy skin and hair,” Dr. Hilton said. “Zinc helps to protect the scalp from damage and keeps the hair follicles healthy. Nuts and seeds are also a good source of vitamin E, which helps to protect the hair from damage and keep it shiny and healthy.”
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The next time you want to bake or air-fry a potato, reach for a sweet potato instead to add additional vitamins and nutrients to your diet. “Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene, a plant pigment that’s converted to vitamin A in the body,” Dr. Hilton said. “Vitamin A is important for healthy skin and hair. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber, which helps to keep the digestive system healthy and regular.”
Green leafy vegetables
“Green leafy vegetables are a good source of folic acid, a water-soluble vitamin that’s important for healthy hair growth,” Dr. Hilton said. “Folic acid helps to prevent hair loss and promote hair growth. Green leafy vegetables are also a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, which are important for healthy skin and hair.”
Like nuts and seeds, oysters are a good source of zinc. “Zinc helps to protect the scalp from damage and keeps the hair follicles healthy,” Dr. Hilton reminds us. “Oysters are also a good source of iron, a mineral that’s important for healthy hair growth.”
Dealing With an Itchy, Dry Scalp? Here's How to Treat It
Whether it's dandruff, product build-up, or something else.So whether you’re dealing with dandruff or product build-up (looking at you, dry shampoo), there’s a way to manage it. Need some guidance on your scalp care journey? You're in the right place. Ahead, see expert-insight from leading dermatologists and trichologists—a.k.a. hair and scalp specialists—on what causes dry and itchy scalp, as well as how to prevent and treat it.
Don’t worry: dessert is also on your healthy-hair menu. “Dark chocolate is a good source of copper,” Dr. Hilton said. “Copper helps to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. Dark chocolate is also a good source of magnesium, a mineral that’s important for healthy skin and hair.”
Last but not least: consider a breakfast of Greek yogurt with berries and nuts to really amp up your scalp and hair health. “Greek yogurt is a good source of protein and calcium,” Dr. Hilton said. “Protein is essential for healthy hair growth. Calcium is important for healthy skin and nails. Greek yogurt is also a good source of probiotics, which are live bacteria that help to keep the digestive system healthy.”
A good shampoo and serum are nice, but your best hair days start with a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet of foods.
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