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When you hit your 40s, you likely notice your hair start to change. At this point, you need to start making changes in your hair routine. Small but important changes taken early on can be immensely effective in mitigating the adverse effects that aging has on your hair. Nonetheless, there are still steps you can take later on to curb hair loss as you age.

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Invest in a natural brush

As you age, your hair becomes thinner and more prone to breakage. The spiky, rigid brush on your vanity only exacerbates this problem. Abandon nylon, plastic, and even ceramic brushes and replace them with something gentle (but not too soft). Natural-bristle brushes are an investment but will stimulate your scalp without encouraging breakage or hair loss. Often made from boar's hair, they are the best option for achieving silky smooth strands with minimal frizz.

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Switch to a silk pillowcase

How you dry and style your hair in the morning aren't the only factors that contribute to radiant-looking locks. Your strands take a beating while you sleep, and it's important to provide the best nightly conditions if you want to reduce frizz, breakage, and flat hair. A silk pillowcase, like a silk hair tie, alleviates stress and friction while preserving your volume and style. It doesn't absorb moisture like cotton or synthetic blends—a bonus for brittle hair.

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Own your grays

Perhaps the most impactful way to show love to your locks is to break up with harmful hair dyes for good. If you can embrace your natural silver hair, you can dramatically alter your hair's health and luster for years to come. Harsh chemicals strip away your hair's moisture and weaken resilience. They can be dangerous for your skin, too! If health benefits aren't enough motivation, consider the freedom you'll be rewarded when you stop meticulously chasing after stubborn baby grays.

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Avoid shampoos with detergents

If your scalp starts to become dry or flaky, consider changing your shampoo. In addition to helping to deal with the dryness and flaking, using the right shampoo helps to control hair loss. Especially effective are shampoos that are antifungal. You can get them by prescription or buy them over the counter. Even though the shampoo itself doesn't directly prevent hair loss, it plays an important role in hair loss treatment because it keeps your scalp in good condition. Additionally, cut down on your usage of shampoos with harsh detergents to avoid having an overly dry scalp and hair.

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Stop aggressive towel-drying

If your after-shower routine includes the classic hair flip and frantic towel rub, you're likely creating more damage than you realize. Your hair is in its most fragile state while wet, and the typical bathroom towel is too rough to rely on. A finely woven microfiber towel will get the job done faster and without as many strand casualties. That said, rubbing is still discouraged. Utilize a gentle twist or wrap to preserve your hair's density and elasticity.

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Air-dry whenever possible

Give your hair permission to dry naturally for a noticeable boost in moisture. With the assistance of a gentle microfiber towel, the air-dry process is much faster than it used to be. You'll still need to develop a bit of patience if you're switching from a daily blow-dry routine. There are several wet braids, twists, and plops to try to achieve stylish results without tools. If heat-styling is unavoidable, wait as long as possible after showering before applying heat and always use a protection serum.

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Don't forget to use conditioner

Hair needs moisture to look good. As you become older, your scalp produces less natural oils. So, make sure you condition your hair after you shampoo. Occasionally, condition your hair even on the days that you haven't shampooed. Doing so keeps your hair healthy by augmenting the natural oils from your scalp. Use thick conditioner if you have thick hair and lighter conditioner for lighter hair.

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Master the soft updo

Tension hairstyles cause more damage than they're worth by incessantly tugging at your follicles. As a once-in-a-while style this isn't a serious problem, but over time will result in permanent hair loss and damage. It is important to preserve hair density and volume whenever possible—mastering a soft, whimsical updo is a must. Try a loose messy bun or bouncy braid with silky fabric ties rather than elastic.

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Try a shampoo with salicylic acid

Your scalp feeds your hair. So, to have amazing hair, you need to keep your scalp healthy. Use a scalp cleanser regularly as it removes dead cells and hair products that build up on your scalp. Doing so reduces scalp dryness and flaking and lets your hair find space to grow freely. Go for a shampoo that contains salicylic acid, which helps to remove dead skin cells. You can keep your scalp healthy by cleansing it every week or so.

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Break up with heavy hairsprays

Moisture is the key to maintaining a healthy mop, and hairspray tends to diminish it. Most hairsprays contain a significant amount of alcohol, which dries and damages hair. Drop the heavy sprays in favor of a light or minimal hold. Look for one with moisturizing ingredients like coconut or Moroccan oil to combat the negative impact.

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Condition from ends to crown

While moisture is great for fine, aging hair, too much conditioning at the roots can work against you. Used correctly, conditioner encourages a healthy, lustrous shine. Concentrated at the scalp, it causes build-up and heaviness that leaves your hair limp. When applying conditioner, always begin at the ends and gradually work your way up. Stop at the crown—let your scalp's natural oils do the rest.

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Introduce hydrating hair oils

Many people let the fear of a greasy head keep them from experimenting with hair oils. As with any new regiment, practice makes perfect. In this case, perfect means restored moisture, vibrance, and anti-bacterial fortitude. If you're hesitant to use your own oils, several hair-care providers have formulated super-blends featuring peppermint, almond, grapeseed, safflower, and other powerful softening agents. Bonus: oils can also protect your hair and scalp against harmful UV damage.

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Commit to natural supplements

A dedicated supplement routine is an excellent defense against course, thinning hair. Yet, not all supplements are created equal. Biotin, collagen, and MSM are commonly featured in hair-support supplements, as well as Vitamins A, C, and E. Before purchasing, make sure to read plenty of reviews and check for a money-back guarantee—many reputable companies offer them.

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Use hair treatment regularly

In cases where aging is the only cause of hair changes, the slowing down of your hair's life cycle is the reason behind its natural thinning. This happens when the shedding phase lengthens and the growth phase shortens. Consequently, hair follicles miniaturize and become increasingly thin. Thankfully, regular use of hair treatment can help to combat this. The treatment extends the growing phase of your hair, which is the result you're going for when your hair starts to become less and less dense and increasingly thin.

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Apply more oils if necessary

If you condition your hair regularly and your hair still dries out too quickly, consider using a deep conditioning mask. It restores the lost moisture and mitigates the declining production of natural oils from your scalp as you age. Alternatively, you can use coconut oil or argan oil every few weeks. Do however be careful not to overdo these oils because while they benefit your hair, excessive use can clog hair follicles and lead to breakouts.

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Embark on hair loss treatment

When you start to notice some worrying hair changes, such as thinning or balding, consider starting hair loss treatments such as finasteride or minoxidil. Dermatologists often prescribe these treatments, either by prescription or over the counter. The earlier you start, the better. That said, we strongly recommend that you talk to a physician before you start any medicative treatment because while effective, these treatments have some side effects. For example, finasteride may cause depression, impotence, or a diminished sex drive. The earlier you start the treatment, the less frequently you need to use the medication, meaning the less exposed you'll be to potential side effects.

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Use quality hair styling products

As your hair changes with age, so should the hair products you use. Replace your hair styling products with lighter and gentler ones that won't weigh down your hair with excessive oils on the one hand or strip your scalp of all its natural oils on the other. Give preference to products that give your hair a natural hold, and stay away from thick gels and pomades that exacerbate any natural hair thinning. Use quality mousse to give your hair look substantial while keeping it fluffy, soft, and pliable.

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Use specific treatment for grey hair

For most men, grey hairs start to emerge in their 30s. By the time these men hit 40, the full extent of the greying is already becoming evident. Greying hair occurs naturally as a result of the dwindling supply of certain minerals in the body. The extent of the greying will determine how you need to treat your hair. Grey hair is more prone to pollution and buildup of external minerals. Keep grey hair looking healthy with silver shampoo and a deep conditioning mask tailored for grey hair.

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Consider taking hair supplements

Serious health problems may cause extreme hair changes, such as rapid thinning or shedding. In such cases, consider eating more anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods. Additionally, consider using hair supplements. While they may not be a cure-all, these supplements are a good addition to your overall hair care regimen. After all, diet is among the various factors that you need to address when preventing hair loss or treating it.

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Embrace your natural hair texture

Like many people, you might be tempted to change the natural texture of your hair. We get it. At some point, most of us have tried to alter our hair texture using hair styling products, hot tools, and various types of brushes. There is nothing wrong with going for that dream look. Here's the good news: you can still have amazing hair without forcing your hair to become something it isn't. If you have naturally flat hair that lacks volume, use a volumizing shampoo, and apply mousse to the roots. For naturally wavy hair, nourish it with shampoo, conditioner and spritz some sea salt to give it some grit.

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