Over time, we all eventually see telltale signs of aging when we look in the mirror. But along with those typical fine lines and gray hair, one super-common symptom of aging that you might not expect is thinning hair.
The editors at Amazing Wellness, a website from the experts at the Vitamin Shoppe, share some of their extensive know-how on all things health and nutrition to help solve some of our most annoying symptoms of aging. Don’t let aging get you down — see how to take action now to stop three common signs of aging. Look and feel better than you ever have before!
Aging & Hair Loss
Some of us may have drawn the short genetic straw when it comes to hair loss. In that case, age-related hair loss may be unavoidable.
For other women, a number of other factors could be taking a toll on hair growth. For some, the hormonal fluctuations of menopause or nutritional deficiencies may be the culprits. Other very common causes of women’s hair loss are an underactive thyroid and stress, says Dr. Mache Seibel, author of The Estrogen Fix.
Don’t forget the over-styling trap. Heat-styling with a straightener, curling iron or blow-dryer at very high temps (think 405 degrees or more) can actually melt the keratin in hair strands, causing weakness and fried, damaged hair. Avoid tight ponytails or braids, extensions, and excessive combing or brushing to prevent a (usually temporary) type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Treat hair gently when it’s wet. Use a microfiber towel to dry freshly washed hair and minimize vigorous towel-drying.
Stylist-Recommended: How to Repair Over-Styled, Damaged Hair
Work by professional hairstylist Jennifer Yepez has appeared on the runways of Dolce and Gabbana and Vera Wang, and on the pages of Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire. So she has years of experience seeing over-styling damage both in her clients and herself.
Yepez personally has recommended Viviscal for years to remedy the damage from over-styling and hair color. She explains, “When hair extensions were breaking my hair, I took them all out and took Viviscal every day. After three months, I saw a huge difference, and I still take it. If your hair is weakened easily and you color your hair, or for men, if you see hair loss, don’t wait. Fix the problem early so you can save the hair that is already there. I use it, so I know Viviscal works. Be a bit patient and make sure you stick to it, and you will see a major difference.”
Doctor-Recommended: Causes and Treatments to Reduce Hair Loss
If you believe your hormones are imbalanced, it’s best to see your primary care doctor, gynecologist or an endocrinologist to get to the bottom of the issue.
But for lots of us, a good diet and stress relief tactics will make a huge difference in the health of our hair. Improved nutrition can even help balance our thyroid and hormone levels, says Dr. Seibel. He recommends:
- Reduce stress by relaxing, getting enough sleep, and turning off TVs and other devices a couple of hours before bed. If you watch TV in the evening, stay away from news after 6 p.m.
- Avoid toxic hair products and toxins in general, as the thyroid is especially vulnerable to toxins.
- Take biotin supplements for healthy hair and nails.
Other Signs of Aging: How to Stop Sagging Skin
If you’re seeing sagging skin and reduced elasticity in your face these days, it’s most likely due to genetics and collagen breakdown. Dr. Kally Papantoniou, a board-certified dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology, PC in New York, explains that, surprisingly, the sagging skin from aging has less to do with the sun damage of our youth than with these other factors. Stress, lack of sleep, and an unhealthy diet also can accelerate the breakdown of collagen. If you’ve had a sudden, rapid weight loss, that will also contribute to loose, sagging skin.
With age, there’s naturally a certain amount of volume lost in the face, giving it a saggy or jowly look. But doing a combination of resistance and aerobic exercise will help tone muscles and reduce sagging skin on your chest and torso. (Bonus: regular exercise reduces stress levels, which exacerbate not only sagging skin but thinning hair too.) Aside from a full face lift, consider minimally invasive fillers, mild lifting procedures, and laser and other treatments to stimulate collagen production.
Eating the right nutrients will also help. Upping your collagen intake by eating bone broth or taking collagen supplements won’t send collagen directly to into your skin, explains Dr. Papantoniou. “It gives your body building blocks for making collagen.”
Did you know?
Acupuncture can also revitalize your face. Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate collagen production, improve circulation, and get your skin back to glowing.
Boost Low Energy
No matter how much energy we had in our 20’s, we all eventually face a slow-down in energy levels. When this happens, our impulse is to reach for extra caffeine and quick sugary energy fixes.
But building real long-term energy takes a more holistic approach, says Dr. Seibel. He calls this “the sum of you.” Otherwise, he says, “It’s like having three good tires and one flat one.” He recommends laying a foundation for sustainable energy with a diet of whole-food, low-carb, organic foods that support hormone balance. Plus, get daily exercise, good-quality sleep, reduce stress, and take the essential supplements. B-complex vitamins also support and stabilize energy.
Naturopathic Treatments: Adaptogenic Herbs
Dr. Robert Kachko, ND, LAc, a naturopathic physician and acupuncturist in New York, recommends using adaptogenic herbs, such as rhodiola and eleuthero. Adaptogens can help increase your energy level without making you jittery or interfering with sleep. Adaptogens can be used as tonics that have either an energizing or a calming effect, depending on what you need at the time.
How to Increase Your Energy Levels
- Eat enough protein. Most women need about 40 to 50 grams of lean protein daily. Most men need even more, about 50 to 70 grams daily.
- Stay hydrated. Drink half your body weight of water in ounces every day. For example, a 150 lb. person should drink about 75 ounces of water per day.
- Try rhodiola, eleuthero or an adaptogenic herbal formula.
- Take a B-complex vitamin supplement.
For more anti-aging remedies, including how to boost brain health, get glowing skin and improve your memory, read the complete article on AmazingWellness.com.