Just because someone is getting older doesn’t mean they suddenly stop caring about their looks. Many seniors are quite particular about their overall looks, especially their hair. Most seniors have been grooming themselves for their entire life, but sometimes age-related conditions or illness prevents them from doing it on their own. As a family caregiver that helps someone with hygiene and grooming, you’ll need to know all about caring for your elderly loved one’s hair.
Elderly Hair is Unique
If you are a caregiver to an elderly relative, you may think that elderly hair looks and acts just like younger hair except for the white or gray coloring. However, hair goes through a lot of changes as the body ages, making it very different from what you may be used to.
For those elderly people with fine hair, the hair is thin and more delicate. Seniors with thicker hair in their youth will have wiry hair. Both types dry out easily and don’t hold coloring as well as younger hair. With age, the hair’s pigments also fade, leaving it white or gray. Hair loss is not uncommon and a dry scalp and dandruff are not uncommon either. As seniors experience a change in diet and metabolism as they age, nutrition fluctuation can also have an effect on hair.
Tips for Elderly Hair Care
-When it comes to shampooing your elderly loved one’s hair, make sure you use a mild product. Shampoos for senior hair often contain a blue agent that helps to minimize any yellow tint that the grey or white strands have picked up. Because senior hair is often so thin, a volumizing shampoo can also be a benefit.
-Don’t wash your aging loved one’s hair every day, but do it every other day. This helps the natural oils build up and keep the scalp and hair follicles from drying out as fast. Don’t forget to use lukewarm water instead of hot, because that can damage fragile hair. There are even dry shampoos on the market that help keep the hair clean without the need to get wet. A combination of typical shampooing and dry shampooing can help seniors keep more hair and make what they have look good. If your loved one gets help from an elder care aide, make sure they know which products to use and how often to wash the hair.
-Avoid using lots of heavy styling products in an elderly person’s hair, such as gel or mousse, because they can add a lot of weight to already-thin hair. To make thinning hair look thicker, encourage your aging loved one to wear it shorter, because longer hair only highlights an exposed scalp. Try to avoid using hair tools like curling irons and blow dryers unless absolutely necessary. If you do need them, put them on the lowest and coolest settings to avoid damage. Let other family members and elder care assistants know your preferences regarding hair care for your elderly loved one as well.
Seniors have plenty of reasons to want to look good, and nice hair can have a positive effect on self-esteem and confidence for both men and women. When elderly loved ones are not able to groom themselves, they are counting on a family caregiver to put in the effort it takes to maintain elderly hair and make it look good.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a caregiver in Alabaster, AL, please contact the caring staff at Senior Legacy Care today. Call us at (205) 380-7418.
Susan Smith is the owner of Senior Legacy, an independent non-medical senior in home care business. Read More...