Hair Care for SeniorsMay 19, 2023
Many individuals don’t feel ready for the day until they’ve finished styling their hair first. Well-coiffed hair is the finishing touch to a look that makes a clear statement of one’s personal style. This is why hair care is essential to so many. Hair care for seniors, however, may look different than it once did.
Throughout our life, our hair is prone to change—and this is certainly the case for older adults. Thinning hair, changes in texture, and breakage are all common problems seniors come into contact with. Sometimes it is due to medication, other times it results from excessive chemicals and heat, and other times it is simply another symptom of aging. Whatever the reason, when one’s hair changes, their hair care must too.
Remember: hair can tell a story
One important thing to remember about hair is that it isn’t only genetics that causes hair to look a certain way. Dull, brittle hair could be a sign of a poor diet or other underlying illness. If you’re noticing any changes in the look and feel of your hair, you may want to talk to your doctor. Once they’ve expelled the possibility of health issues, you can better determine how to properly care for your hair.
Delicate hair can’t be handled the same way thicker hair can. If you continue to use the same products, styling tools, and methods that you used when your hair was a different texture, you may be causing it damage.
When tending to your hair, it’s important you be as gentle as possible during all hair care stages. Use gentle shampoos designed to treat thinning and older hair. Don’t pull at the ends too much when working your shampoo and conditioner into your hair. Instead, keep your attention on the scalp. And while this may be counterintuitive to you, you should also avoid washing your hair every day. Doing so strips the natural oils from your hair, which leaves it drier and more prone to breakage. It may also surprise you to learn that washing your hair at too hot of temperatures can also dry out your scalp.
A good word to remember when taking care of your hair is “mild.” How you treat your hair, what you use to treat it, and the temperature you keep the water at should all be “mild.”
Use products and tools lightly
Depending on your hair type, you may have previously used copious amounts of gel, mousse, and other products to get your hair looking exactly as you like. These products, however, weigh the hair down, which can draw attention to problems like thinning. Try to utilize styling products that are built with thin hair in mind, such as volumizing mousses and heat-protectant spray.
Excess use of styling tools, like hair dryers, curling irons, and straighteners, also causes serious damage. Avoid using these tools too often, and when you do use them, use protectant spray and keep them at a lower temperature. It may take longer for you to reach your desired result, but it will be better for your hair.
Try a new hairstyle
You may not have the time or energy to tend to your hair like you used to. Next time you visit your hairstylist, ask them for recommendations for low-maintenance hairstyles. They may be able to suggest a style that is similar to your current one but requires less attention, allowing you to look and feel like yourself without as much trouble.
Hair care for seniors who are bed-bound
If you offer care to a loved one who can’t wash their hair themselves or is bed-bound, washing their hair might look a little different. You may have to assist them in the bath or the shower, or you might want to purchase a hair wash basin so they can stay in their bed or chair. Whichever is the case, remember the tips above: be gentle, and use products sparingly.
To extend the time between washes, dry shampoo and leave-in conditioner can help your elderly loved one look and feel good.
Personal care support in the comfort of one’s home
As we age, certain activities of daily living may grow cumbersome. Tasks like washing one’s hair, dressing, or bathing may be physically taxing. Whatever it is you need help with, don’t struggle alone. Hire the help of an at-home caregiver.
At Home Care Powered by AUAF, we have supported seniors for 30 years and look forward to assisting you too. For more information on how an at-home caregiver can improve your quality of life, give us a call at 773-274-9262.
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