We’ve all done it….in the middle of some mundane task like answering emails or doing the dishes, we glance down at our hands and see our mother’s. Light wrinkles, thinning skin, blue veins; we are starting to wear our years. But it’s not too late to care for our nails and hair. It’s also essential to do, because these mantels of beauty reveal a great deal about our overall health.
Identifying the changing of age spots, calluses, infections and fungus that can affect your toenails as well as your fingernails, can be addressed quickly and effectively if you are regularly caring for your nails. Nail thickening is common as we age, so learning how to manage them now is critical. (Click here to review the Mayo Clinic’s tips on clipping nails). If you are finding that you can no longer manage your own toenails, please seek out someone to help. It is not simply an issue of vanity; it is essential to your health!
In addition to watching our hands age, we’ve all noticed that hairline start to creep back. Men and women alike begin to gray and thin around age 35, and the process simply speeds up as we age. Before settling into a panic, there are some things seniors need to know and can do now:
- Thinning doesn’t mean baldness. Thinning can be caused by stress, diet, even some viral infections! (We all know people who have lost huge amounts of hair due to COVID-19). If you’ve noticed a clogged drain a little more frequently recently, consider if any of these factors are true for you and address the root cause of your hair loss.
- Moisture is essential. Every other part of our bodies gets drier over time. Our hair is no different! Consider using a milder shampoo and washing less often. Always use a good moisturizer (even on no-wash days) to replenish the oils in your hair.
- Nourish your scalp. If you’re prone to dandruff (which most seniors are), treat your scalp to a shampoo that contains salicylic acid once a week.
- Use volumizing products that give your hair a fluffier, softer look. Mousse is your friend!
- Go purple! You read that right! If you decide to embrace your gray rather than dying it, be sure to incorporate some PURPLE shampoo into your regime! Gray hair is very different in mineral content (therefore, texture) than the hair of our youth. It tends to carry yellow tones that make it appear dull and lifeless. Adding a shampoo specifically designed for gray hair will be purple, which neutralizes those follicles and adds sheen to your silver.
Perhaps the most important component of health in our senior years is our mental health. Embracing the wrinkles, spots, and silver, rather than working TOO hard to find the Fountain of Youth, is the healthiest approach to the aging process. If you’re body is showing signs of aging, remember that you’ve worked hard for each and every sign!