It’s an undisputed fact that as we age our hair, 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, 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.
You could try sleeping on a silk pillow; if you ever wake up with fuzzy hair that's hard to tame after tossing and turning in your sleep, a silk pillow could be a game changer. The smooth texture of the silk doesn't grab at your hair strands, so you'll wake up with glossier hair - and an added bonus is the way it will prevent sleep creases on your face too! Try the Only Curls Silk Pillowcase, £30.
Hair becomes grey due to a lack of melanin and can appear dull as it lacks reflectivity.
Grey hair is also coarser and dryer, so try to cut back on hairspray where you can - the alcohol in hairspray can dry your hair out with repeated use, and the polymers that keep your hair in place can make your hair look even more dull.
If you use hairspray to tame flyaways, instead opt for a lightweight serum, like Lee Stafford Dazzle Drops (£8.49, 50ml) - this will also help with the dryness as it seals moisture back into the cuticle at the same time.
If you need to use hairspray to set your hair do, then run an oil treatment through it first to boost shine - packed with camellia seed oil, macadamia nut oil and vitamin-rich carrot seed oil, Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Treatment Oil+ (£25, 50ml) restores moisture and protects hair from dryness.
Alternatively, perhaps experiment with a looser style, or pin it back with bobby pins; in fact, keeping the same hairstyle is one of the biggest age giveaways, so changing it up could be for the best.
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.”
If you do opt for longer locks, treat them with a leave-in conditioner every time your wash your hair, before you dry it - try John Frieda Frizz-Ease Daily Miracle Leave-In Conditioner (£5.99, 200ml); and if you brush it when wet, opt for a Tangle Teaser (£12.49) to gently detangle with minimum breakages.
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Choosing hair dye for grey hair
For those who want to banish the grey, the world of hair dyes is a minefield.
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.
Going grey: To dye or not to dye