Fooling Mother Nature
Did you know....
the thing that gives away our age quicker -- other than our necks and our hands (SPF, people!) -- is our hair?
I know that when we think of "aging" and "hair," we automatically think about going grey and how to best camouflage that. Aging hair goes SO much further than grey, so here's some tips to help take on Mother Nature so we can beat her at her own game!
As we age, our hair naturally thins -- the amount you lose is contingent up both genetics and hormone fluctuation/levels (read up here if neither of these things are your issue). The best thing you can do? Change your part if at all possible! Use a root lifter when blowing your hair dry and maybe even a dry shampoo (even on clean hair) to add volume without creating a stiff helmet. Big Sexy 's Root Pump Plus and Design.Me's foam dry shampoo are two of my most trusted thicker-hair secret weapons!
Aging hair is often is brittle; we need to keep in pliable so that it has movement and -- most importantly -- doesn't break! Olaplex has now released styling aids that treat the hair as well as provide great looks. Try out No 6 (their styling cream) and No 7 (their bonding oil). Both will keep hair soft and supple, plus helps to repair it.
Greying hair frequently has a double cuticle, which makes it more wiry, frizzy, and dry. Heaping on the hydration is key...aging hair needs more than a regular conditioner to get the job done! Giving your hair ample amounts of fatty acids and lowering it's pH is paramount -- and there is only one product I've ever seen consistently do this, and work for ALL hair types: Joico's Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm. Use it more frequently than you think you need to, and leave it on LONGER than you think you need to!
Aging hair can appear flat and dull. Even if you're not struggling with a lot of silver hair, our hair over time begins to look very matte and mousy. If you haven't considered a shine product, now might be a great time to experiment. Many have lighter formulations and won't make the hair greasy -- Big Sexy's Rose Elixir is my absolute favorite!
I'm not necessarily into promoting a "sensible haircut" for "women of a certain age." In fact, I have found that going a bit longer might be just what you need to take off 5-10 years! As long as your hair is thick enough to support the added length, I say why not! Going somewhere around the collarbone seems to universally flattering on my clients. You can soften your overall look by adding some layers, or even consider adding some bangs.
Styling your hair with texture is so helpful. Loose curls and beach waves soften up a look and add great versatility to your 'do. With the right products (dry shampoo, Olaplex No 6, texture spray), your Monday morning texture style can easily last you 3-5 days with very little daily maintenance!
Keep your hair color dimensional. Keeping various tones in the hair will help to confuse the eye of the onlooker and help to camouflage any aging-related flaws that we're concerned about.
Highlights should be no more than 3-4 levels lighter than your base color...and your base color needs to be within 1-2 levels of your natural color. Opt for a softer color look and less of a high-contrast palette.
If you're more than 50% grey, and don't want to deal with higher-maintenance, total grey-coverage looks, grey-blending can be a great option! Finely weaving in a soft, lighter brown or mid-tone blonde in with your silver strands and natural color can be a great option to change up your look.
But which colors to pick? Remember, as we age we lose pigment in both our hair and our skin! Adding back the rich undertones you're missing will give you an overall healthier, more youthful glow. Regardless of how light you're wanting to go, be sure to add gold to blonde formulas. If you're a brunette, you have the option of adding gold or red or both tones to your color. Ash blonde is a pretty severe color on most of us, and quite honestly will read as "grey" if a) your pigmented hair is going "mousy" and/or b) you have a fair amount of natural silver in your hair. I know ash blonde has been H.O.T. for a while, but I recommend that most us opt out of the platinum trend.
Redheads, I didn't forget about you! Gingers don't go grey, they go "drab," and they find their way to the salon to boost up their copper tones. But if you're wanting a lower-maintenance look, blonde highlights in cornsilk or natural tones are KEY, not ash. The green undertones of the ash/platinum shade will clash with the copper undertones in the natural hair. It's also impossible to remove all of the pheomelanin (the pigment that give red hair its distinctive color), so keeping it ashy it will be a never-ending struggle. Embrace the warmer tones -- it's healthier for the hair and infinitely more flattering.
Okay, that was A LOT! Were there any a-ha moments for you, maybe something that you'll be trying out at home....or requesting at your next salon visit?
Leave a comment down below and let me know what YOUR strategy will to beat Mother Nature at her own game!