Posted by All-Nutrient Professional on Nov 15, 2016

Where skin care goes, haircare follows, but there’s a lot more you can do to manage aging hair than to slog through the slew of anti-aging products.

Hormonal changes and hereditary factors play the biggest role in hair that’s actually aging. Not long after the age of 35, follicles begin to shrink, individual strands grow out finer and hair density (the number of strands per square inch) decreases. Gray hair gets coarse and wiry. But hair can simply look older because of harsh chemical treatments, medications and more. Whatever the cause, these ideas help give anyone hair that’s both healthier and better looking.


1. Change Your Cut.

When it comes to truly aging hair, think “all things in moderation.” Cuts that are too blunt, overly layered or severely short all add to the ageing effect. Find someone who specializes in cuts for fine and thinning hair, who can balance your face shape with the right length and add subtle movement, which is crucial for youthful-looking hair.

Get regular trims and try a cut that shifts your part from one side to the other, which creates natural root lift. Haircuts with subtly notched ends are also good bets because they make irregular or sparse ends look intentional and natural. Even if your hair is simply dry or damaged from abuse, a new cut can instantly revitalize your style.


2. Shift Your Styling Routine.

When styling, there’s a lot you can do to minimize the dryness and damage that ages hair and to avoid actions that actually damage follicles. For starters, put an end to ponys, weaves and hairstyles that are pulled back tightly or tug on the hair—especially around the front hair line. Avoid hot water and minimize heat styling. Air dry hair whenever you can.

When you do blow dry, use a thermal protector and lower heat settings. Hold the blower at least a foot away from your head and keep it in constant motion. If you do use thermal tools like flat irons, start on the lowest settings and only increase the heat if necessary. Don’t hold these tools in place for too long—more passes with a flat iron is better than one long, slow one. Try taking smaller sections instead of using more heat.

As you prep and style hair, avoid mechanical stress like pulling and tugging. Invest in a good wide-toothed comb and detangle gently from the ends up, working in increments. Apply mousse or a volumizer at the roots and avoid hard-hold products, overly sticky ones and ones with a high-alcohol content. Any style that is too stiff or disheveled will make you and your hair look older. To add volume, lift the roots away from your head at 90-degree angle, using a vent brush. Opt for ones with plastic or fabric cushions, not ones with metal cores that hold extra heat. Then direct ends to create soft movement. Think natural, easy and minimal.


3. Explore Scalp Treatments.

Because hair grows out of your scalp, it’s only natural that good scalp care is essential for keeping hair healthy. While a scalp massage feels great, it also revs up blood flow to the hair follicles and relieves stress—another contributor to hair loss.

A healthy scalp should be supple, flexible and free from flakes, product build-up or too much sebum. A scalp massage with select aromatherapy oils like tea tree starts things off right. To unclog follicles, remove dead skin cells and banish build-up, try in-salon or at-home clarifying treatments. They also inhibit bacteria from growing on the scalp, and ones that rely on amino acids help maintain a natural pH balance without creating dryness or stripping natural oils. Even a simple clarifying shampoo can remove build-up from styling products and hard-water minerals.


4. Focus On Hair Care, Inside and Out.

To keep hair in tip-top condition, start by nourishing follicles from the inside out with a balanced, high-protein diet, B vitamins and Saw Palmetto for hair loss. Just remember, a balanced whole-foods diet addresses true nutritional deficiencies best, and while herbal supplements can improve the hair’s quality, they can’t halt hereditary hair loss.

At-home treatments address many factors that make hair look older or damage it by creating dryness or brittleness. Scalp treatments, often with aromatherapy oils, start things off right. Then, explore specialized salon back-bar treatments, masks and intense conditioners that add moisture with natural ingredients or balance moisture and protein levels to inhibit breakage. Look for treatments that rely on essential fatty acids, Omega 3s, Quinoa protein, and Vitamins A, D, K and E. If your hair’s texture has changed for the worse, Keratin protein treatments can smooth strands gone wiry and wild. 

Finally, explore the best range of professional shampoos and conditioners. They can address everything from frizz and fragility to dryness and chemical damage. First, a professional should assess the hair to discover if protein, moisture or both are needed. You don‘t want to cover-up the problem with an oil and end up having it weigh your hair down.


5. Restore Color Vibrancy and Shine.

As we age, our skin tone changes and our faces lose definition. This makes dimensional color one of the best anti-aging remedies. Along with gray coverage and a final glosser for shine, it can take years off of anyone’s hair. Instead of tons of bleached highlights, consider balayage or subtle dimensional pieces that are created with permanent color.

Gentler demi-permanent color helps blend gray or create rooting, which minimizes scalp show-though. In the latter case, too much contrast is bad: very dark roots make scalp show-through more obvious. Subtle shade shifts and staggered highlights minimize the “I can see your scalp” effect. What you don’t want is an overly blonde shade, which washes out the face and makes loss of hair density more obvious.


6. Fake It.

You might think that aging hair can’t stand up to hair extensions. That’s true if it is also weak and brittle. Otherwise, there are a slew of smart salon options. Clip-in and tape-in extensions, just for fullness, don’t add too much weight and are safest for natural hair. There are also integration or “pull-though” pieces that incorporate faux hair with a webbed netting—just pull your own hair through the netting. Toppers are great for sparseness on top.

For the most natural looking hair that works with your own, forget buying these online. A professional stylist can cut and color your hair and the extensions or integration pieces for a perfect, camouflaging match that will either keep you looking great until your hair gets healthy again or hide thinner, finer hair for years to come.  

Topics: hair care