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How to Keep Hair Healthy in the Senior Years

By Kevin McClarren, 9:00 am on

Maintaining a healthy head of hair can make seniors feel more confident about the way they look, which can give a major boost to their emotional wellbeing. If your elderly loved one’s hair isn’t looking as healthy as you think it could, the Warren senior care experts at Home Care Assistance have a few tips to help enhance its quality.

Wash with Apple Cider Vinegar

Sebaceous glands are small structures located just below the surface of the skin. The job of these glands is to secrete oil to keep the hair soft and lubricated, but they often become damaged with age, leading to a pH imbalance. Rinsing your loved one’s hair with a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar a few times a month can help restore the pH balance and increase the efficiency of the sebaceous glands.

Get Tested for Thyroid Disease

The thyroid is a small gland that regulates growth and development by secreting various hormones. Older adults who have thyroid disease often lose their hair much quicker than those without the disease. Testing for thyroid disease only requires a small sample of blood, and the testing kits can be purchased at most major pharmacies. Moderate cases of thyroid disease are generally treated with basic lifestyle changes, including regular exercise, a healthy diet, and iodine supplements.

Use Dye Less Frequently

When gray hairs become visible, many people begin dyeing their hair. Coloring the hair a few times over the years should not permanently damage the follicles, but repeatedly dyeing it can result in brittle and damaged hair. The chemicals found in hair dye can be especially harmful if someone other than an experienced stylist applies the dye.

Get Plenty of Iron

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 80 percent of adults over age 65 have some form of anemia caused by an iron deficiency. One of the most common symptoms of an iron deficiency is hair loss. During an annual checkup, your loved one should ask to be tested for anemia if his or her hair has been thinning. If your loved one is not getting enough iron in his or her diet, the doctor may recommend treating the deficiency with monthly shots or over-the-counter iron supplements.

If you loved one needs help with hair care, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist with grooming and various other daily tasks, including meal prep, exercise, and light housekeeping. For more information on the live-in and respite care Warren families trust, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to schedule a free in-home consultation.