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Do you recall being horrified when you discovered your first gray hair? No, mother nature doesn't stop there. Dulling, thinning, and frizziness are all gifts of aging we begin to experience with fluctuating hormones and some natural wear and tear -- you can curse your 1980s crimper now.
But when it comes to aging, we're so concerned with ironing out wrinkles or having bizarre beauty treatments, we often neglect our delicate tresses.
You don't have to settle for flat, lifeless hair with each coming birthday. We've put together some of the best anti-aging tips for your hair so you can turn back the clock on your crowning glory:
Enrich your diet
While it's more difficult to regrow hair, it's important to maintain and strengthen the follicles you do have. "The follicle function diminishes with age," hair restoration expert Alan Bauman told The New York Times. He recommends eating a diet rich in omega-3s, like salmon, avocados, and flaxseeds. He also recommends making sure you're getting enough protein in your diet, as hair is comprised of mostly protein.
Switch-up your part
One of the first places you might begin to notice your hair thinning is in your part. To camouflage a widening part, stylists recommend a "zigzag" part in place of a straight one. Stylist Thom Priano tells Prevention this will help mask thinning and create volume throughout your style. Use the end of your comb to "draw" a zigzag, separating your hair. Change is good.
Color is key
There's nothing as aging as seeing an older person with obviously bottle-dyed hair that's in one uniform color. If you're going for a dark hue to cover your grays, your roots will start to show quicker too when your hair grows. Add in some subtle highlights to help give your hair dimension and youthful shine. Highlights will also help soften any harsh, dark coloring.
While a clean, healthy scalp is vital to hair health, you definitely don't want to over-shampoo. "After menopause, your scalp starts to produce less of the oils that hydrate and strengthen your hair and add shine," dermatologist Francesca Fusco told Allure. Shampooing doesn't just remove dirt and buildup, it can also strip your hair of the good oils, leaving it dried and brittle. Try to use a hydrating shampoo with moisturizing ingredients like almond and sunflower oil.
Biotin is a vitamin that's essential for strong, healthy hair. A biotin deficiency can contribute to hair thinning and loss. Studies have shown that supplementing with biotin can safely help with hair volume and thickness, in people with temporary hair thinning.Try taking a biotin supplement or get plenty of biotin-rich foods in your diet, including peanut butter, eggs, cheese, and raspberries.
Believe it or not, humidity isn't all bad for your hair. Since our hair produces less oil as we age, dryness can be a major issue, causing frizzy, parched strands. Moisture is crucial, especially in the winter months. More Magazine recommends regularly running a humidifier to keep your tresses hydrated.
Prevent sun damage
When we think of sun damage, we think of protecting our skin by lathering on sunscreen. Sun damage is one of the primary causes of aging, and that's not limited to your skin. Exposure to the sun's UV rays can damage the proteins in your hair, making it weak and more prone to breakage, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Wear a sun hat to protect your hair, scalp, and skin. To go a step further, hair specialist Philip Kingsley recommends using a swab to apply sunscreen to visible parts of the scalp, according to Byrdie Beauty.
Eat dark chocolate
Along with thinning, graying hair is a dead giveaway of aging. While we admire the silver foxes and white hot ladies that are willing to go au naturale with their hair color--it's not for all of us. A fun way to banish grays? According to the Daily Mail, London trichologist Ricardo Vila Nova says certain foods help boost the pigment in your hair, by upping melanin levels. Dark chocolate, dark leafy vegetables, nuts, and whole grains can all help.