All of us want hair that is strong and flexible, can be styled in multiple ways, and we would love to see more frequent good hair days. But the truth is while some of us have that luxury, a large section of the population finds it very difficult to keep those strands long enough on their scalps, and might not have the opportunity to maintain them. While hair generally tends to disappear with advancing age, some people might face significant hair issues quite early in life. Therefore, it is never too early to start taking care of your hair.
How To Take Care Of Hair
While every age group might have to use different techniques or methods to take care of their hair, some standard rules apply to all. Let’s take a look at some important hair growth tips.
- Frequency: The first basic rule on hair maintenance is how frequently you need to wash your hair. A hair wash is necessary as it removes dirt and grime and keeps your scalp free from infections. A minimum of 2-3 times a week is the norm unless you have very oily hair. With chemically-treated hair, the frequency might be lesser as it is normally dry, and frequent washing could make it drier. With advancing age too, you might have to shampoo a lot less as your scalp does not produce much oil. However, if your hair tends to get flaky, that could mean you aren’t shampooing enough or are shampooing too much and therefore making yourself susceptible to infections.
- How To Wash: When you wash your hair remember to clean your scalp too. If you focus only on your hair, you run the risk of making your hair dull.
- Conditioner: Remember to use conditioners after shampoo as it helps in increasing shine and enhancing strength while also offering protection from UV rays. Conditioners should ideally be used on the tips of your hair and not on the length of your hair or scalp.
- Drying Your Hair: You should always dry your hair naturally as the use of blow drying tools could harm your scalp and hair. Use a cotton cloth to dry your hair, and rub gently or you could damage your cuticles. Never comb wet hair.
- Oiling Hair: Make it a point to oil your hair with good oil, such as coconut or olive oil on a regular basis. The oil massage helps improve blood circulation, nourishes hair and helps relax the muscles.
- Styling Hair: Use heat styling tools very rarely to style your hair and when you do you will be well advised to use a heat protectant serum. Also, trim your hair on a regular basis to get rid of split ends and damaged hair.
- Drinking Water: This is one of the key factors for the growth of hair. A well-hydrated body makes it easier for the scalp to produce healthy hair. At least 3 litres in a day are necessary for the good growth of hair.
- Diet: It is also important to maintain a good diet over a continuous period of time as this leads to the strengthening of the cells in the hair root.
Diet Needed For Different Age Groups For Better Hair
Different age groups demand a different focus on diet and nutrition to enhance the strength of their hair. These demands change qualitatively as well as quantitatively over time. Let’s look at some important hair-growth foods.
Toddlers need a diet of whole foods rich in nutrients for their overall development. These include
- B Vitamins: B vitamins help in the creation of red blood cells as they are very crucial in the production of haemoglobin. Bread, cereals and pasta are good sources of B vitamins. Beans, legumes, bananas, potatoes and nuts in the ground form are rich in B vitamins.
- Protein: Hair is made of a protein called keratin and hence, our protein levels need to be maintained for optimum hair growth. Foods such as tuna, mackerel and salmon not only give the body protein but also ensure that the body gets omega fatty acids, essential for growing hair. Legumes, soy, eggs, lean meat and milk could be considered good sources of proteins.
- Foods Rich In Vitamin A: Vitamin A helps the body in utilising protein and assists in the production of red blood cells. It also helps in the regulation and production of hormones that impact hair growth. Carrots, papaya, pumpkin, sweet potato and deep yellow-orange fruits and vegetables have good vitamin A content. Milk, eggs, butter, and green leafy vegetables are good sources of vitamin A and are important foods for hair growth.
Kids grow up really fast and so they ideally need a diet full of proteins as proteins are the building blocks of the body. They also need a good balance of vitamins and other ingredients. Nuts like walnuts are recommended as they are rich in biotin, vitamin E and omega fatty acids. They are very effective in protecting the hair from damage.
- Proteins: Protein cells are made of amino acids. Our body needs a lot of protein for faster and healthier growth of hair. Legumes, soy, lean meat, eggs, and tuna are rich in protein content. Yoghurt or low-fat cheese is packed with the goodness of essential proteins and also has vitamins B5 and D.
- Fats: Kids need a lot of healthy fat content which is provided by omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. This helps them get glowing skin and hair.
- Zinc: Zinc is also very essential for hair growth as it facilitates the proper functioning of the oil glands in the scalp. It helps in the growth and repair of your hair tissues and also protects them from UV damage.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is very important for producing collagen which is a vital element in hair structure. A diet rich in vitamin C will help you have thicker, fuller hair. Strawberries, oranges, guava, blueberries, and papaya are good sources of vitamin C. A good source of Vitamin C keeps your hair & scalp healthy and keeps your locks silky and shiny.
- Iron: Food rich in iron is necessary as it helps provide oxygen to your hair. If your iron levels are low, it might lead to anaemia which is a major reason for hair loss. On the other hand, a diet rich in iron would help in creating stronger locks of hair. Spinach, apples, broccoli and sweet potatoes have excellent iron content.
Good nutrition is vital for adolescents as this is the time when the body is changing and developing rapidly. This is a crucial time as the body needs to be replenished with all the right ingredients to enhance its quick and proper growth. Avoid foods with excess fat and sugar.
- Iron: Iron helps maintain energy levels. Hair cells are very sensitive to the decreasing levels of iron as it helps in the production of haemoglobin which carries oxygen to the body’s cells. To ensure sufficient iron levels in the body, a diet rich in legumes, fish, green leafy vegetables and chicken is suggested.
- Vitamins A and E: Vitamin A helps in the secretion of sebum oils that contributes to stronger hair roots. Carrots, mangoes, papaya and oranges are rich sources of vitamin A. On the other hand, vitamin E helps improve oil and pH balance and enhances blood circulation to make the follicles stronger for better growth. Avocado, peanuts, sunflower seeds and spinach are rich in vitamin E.
- Nuts And Seeds: Foods like walnuts have good copper content which helps retain the natural colour of hair and add to its lustre. Walnuts also have biotin and vitamin E which helps prevent hair loss.
- Green Leafy Vegetables: This is simply the best type of nutrition that you could provide for your body and hair. Spinach and green parsley are rich in iron and help protect you against hair loss. Also include plant products such as figs, soya and apricots which help stop hair fall and breakage.
- Eggs: Eggs are blessed with amino acids, sulphur and selenium content which are all very good for hair. They also have biotin (vitamin B7) which is great for boosting hair growth.
Depending on the food preferences, doctors recommend a more wholesome diet. Foods with good nutritional value like fatty fish, eggs, leafy greens and adequate quantities of protein are absolutely essential for strong hair.
- Eggs: Eggs are absolutely essential to maintain good hair health and are often regarded as a superfood for hair. Egg yolk has great protein content and is packed with vitamins A and D, folate and biotin. It can also be applied directly to hair to make it grow faster. It is an essential food for hair growth.
- Berries: These are a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants. Doctors also recommend them for preventing hair loss and enhancing growth. Tomatoes could be an alternative for the same.
- Fatty fish: Fish like tuna, sardines, salmon and mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Vegetarians can get their dose of omega-3 from walnuts, flaxseed & soybean oil and fortified foods.
- Legumes & Soy: Protein is absolutely necessary for good hair growth. If you do not have enough proteins in your diet, the old hair will not be replaced by new ones when you experience hair fall. Hence, protein is a must.
- Cinnamon: A pinch of cinnamon in your coffee or toast helps in enhanced blood circulation. This will help provide nutrition and oxygen to your hair follicles.
- Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes contain the antioxidant beta-carotene which helps in giving shine to your hair. They help your hair produce sebum which will help in preventing hair dryness. Carrots, mangoes and pumpkins are also rich in beta-carotene.
With advancing age, the right nutrition becomes even more important to maintain hair. Apart from various hair care tips, older adults also have to rely on the proper diet to extend the life and quality of their strands.
- Proteins: Since people naturally tend to consume less as they get older, nutritional deficiencies are common. This makes it imperative to include a good protein diet as hair follicles are essentially made up of protein. A good diet of low-fat meat will help up protein levels as well as fulfil your iron requirements. Eggs with their biotin content also help increase the levels of hair protein. Plant-based options of proteins include beans, lentils, soy, and legumes.
- Spinach: Do try and include spinach in your diet as it has good vitamin A and C content apart from iron and folates.
- Multivitamins: Multivitamins are also necessary to provide the body with nutrients that the foods cannot fulfill.
- Avocados: These highly nutritious green foods are filled with the goodness of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids which help enhance hair health.
- Vitamin C: Foods like berries, oranges, and lemons have vitamin C which helps the body produce collagen, a hair protein that builds hair strength.
The body requires a balanced mix of protein, vitamins, antioxidants, and plant-based foods for optimum hair growth. While diet is an important component in hair growth, it has to be supported by the right habits and proper hair care techniques as this will ensure that your hair lasts for the longest possible time. For customized hair solutions, you can check Traya as our experts will conduct detailed tests for recommendations to enhance the strength of your strands.
Q1 - Which Age Is Good For Hair Growth?
The fastest hair growth happens between 15 and 30. After this age, some follicles stop working and some get thinner hair and grow bald. So, post 30 some people start experiencing more hair fall.
Q2 - Does Hair Grow Thicker As You Age?
On the contrary, as you grow older hair growth becomes slower while thick and coarse hair tends to become thinner, finer, and lighter. The hair also becomes susceptible to breakage and this makes growing hair even more difficult. If you look after your hair well you will have thick and healthy-looking hair.
Q3 - How Can I Thicken My Hair As I Age?
A good nutritious diet could help you build those thicker locks as you grow older. Vegetables, fruits, vitamins, antioxidant-rich foods, and omega-3 fatty acids could help you accomplish your thick hair goals. Supplements of horsetail, biotin, and niacinamide have been very effective in promoting hair growth and thickness.
Q4 - What Age Is Hair Healthiest?
Hair is healthiest when you are in your early 20s. This is because the hair shafts are thickest and the cuticles tight.