Hair care tips for the over-50s

Liz Coggins

How to get more shine, colour and thickness for your hair, whether you want to keep your hair a natural silver or hide the grey.

It’s an undisputed fact that as we age our hair, which was once our crowning glory, becomes thinner and weaker.

Though we exercise and eat healthily to keep those lumps and bumps at bay and indulge ourselves in skincare regimes to stave off those ever increasing wrinkles, we do very little to combat the problem of ageing hair.

Hair and the ageing process

As we age the growth cycle of our hair changes. The rate of growth slows down as the hair follicles start to rest. We experience colour loss and hair will not appear as thick as it once was. To combat this we tend to use more chemical treatments such as colourants and perms and styling aids such as heated rollers, tongs and hair dryers for blow waving with the result that hair becomes weaker unless it is kept in tip top condition.

Get fuller hair with our top tips 

Prevent signs of hair ageing

Healthy hair always looks good whatever your age. So to prevent the signs of ageing - and encourage healthier and faster hair growth - shampoo regularly and use a conditioner to give it shine.

If your hair is fine, only use the conditioner on the ends and avoid heavy conditioners which will weigh the hair down and give you lank locks. Fine hair also benefits from using a volumiser product applied before styling.

Give yourself a regular scalp massage. Apply your conditioner or a treatment hair masque first and then gently knead your skull - its also a wonderful stress relieving treatment.

What causes grey hair?

Greying hair, like wrinkles, is a product of age. Hair becomes grey due to a lack of melanin and can appear dull as it lacks reflectivity. For those who want to banish the grey, the world of hair dyes is a minefield.

Get rid of wrinkles naturally 

Choosing hair dye for grey hair

Choose a colour that is too dark and you’ll end up looking like a middle aged member of The Addams Family or too blonde and you’ll feel like an over-the-hill Barbie Doll.

According to celebrity hairdresser Charles Worthington, grey hair can be resilient to colour because of its coarse texture. “If you have a few grey hairs stick to a semi-permanent colour no more than two shades lighter or darker than your natural colour for a natural finish. If you have finer hair carefully placed highlights will give the impression of volume.”

He adds that “Permanent colour is the only way to completely cover grey hair.” Charles Worthington also stresses that it is important to consider the time and lifestyle committing when you colour your hair. Full colour will need touching up every four to eight weeks while highlights can last up to three months with hand painting, or low lighting techniques.

Hairstyles for the over-50s

Keeping the same hairstyle is one of the biggest age giveaways. However, skilful styling to frame the face or give added length can hide a myriad of sins and make the best of your features.

According to Charles Worthington if your hair is fine, a bob or blunt cut is the best  style as it gives the illusion of more volume rather than wispy layers. “When it comes to long hair as you age the rules have changed and you don’t need to chop off your tresses once you hit 40.”

As an older woman with shoulder length hair, with, dare I say it, a chestnut base colour and multi highlights and lowlights in blonde, red and a sophisticated purple, I'm glad for that piece of advice. Hair extensions here I come!

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