Time for a hair revamp?

Posted on: 08 October 2013 by 50connect editorial

Nichole Sweetsur talks to hair care expert Denise McAdam about how to add volume and shine to your greying locks.

Hair care for older womenA recent poll found that once women reach their forties their hair lacks volume and shine and a third say they are fighting a losing battle with grey. Sound familiar? Celebrity hairdresser, Denise McAdam agrees that keeping our hair in top notch condition gets harder as we age: ‘as we hit our forties and fifties, looking good takes a little more time and effort, you need to learn some new tricks and give your hair routine a ‘youthover’ and use age specific products.’

So, why does our crowning glory fade with age? Typically a lot of change is down to hormones, which affect the hair growth cycle. There are three stages in the cycle: the growing phase, which lasts between five to seven years; the dying phase and the shedding phase. As we get older the growing phase becomes shorter and at any one time, we have more hair in the shedding phase. As Iain Sallis, a leading trichologist explains: ‘one of the main effects of ageing on hair is when oestrogen is reduced in the body, which means testosterone has a bigger effect on the hair cycle. Increased testosterone activity causes the hair cycle to shrink, making hairs finer, thinner and grow for less time.’

As well as loss of volume, mature women also complain about the grey hairs that start to appear anytime from the mid thirties, or even earlier. In fact, grey hair is a misnomer, as Denise explains there is no such thing as grey hair. ‘When hair loses its pigment it goes white but the appearance is grey as it’s mixed in with hair that has retained its colour.’ Hair tends to become dry or even coarse when it looses its colour, which Iain suggests is due to the fact that the pigment melanin may have a conditioning effect on the hair.

So, with hair feeling dry and looking less than its best, what can we do to bring back a youthful shine?  Iain suggests a hybrid shampoo, one that moisturises hair but also gives volume, he says: ‘get into a good hair care regime just like you do with your skin. This includes regular washing, conditioning and weekly hair masques to add  that extra moisture boost.’ Cuts and colour are also important. ‘If your hair is well cut and styled it will radiate health and vitality. The years will fall away,’ advises Denise who also urges woman to be confident in their looks and make a statement with your cut so you don’t appear out of date. ‘White hair looks brilliant in a short, edgy style. Or try a fabulous sharp bob. But hair needs to be in tip-top condition to keep it looking shiny so make sure your shampoo and conditioner are hydrating. I am in love with the new nurture replenish nourishing care conditioner. A little goes a long way and leaves hair really shiny’.

Highlights can really add the illusion of thickness to thinning hair, but Denise explains that we should choose your colour carefully as skin tone does change with age. Semi-permanent colour adds extra shine with the extra benefit of volume. The colour swells the hair cuticle, making each hair feel thicker.

Of course it’s not just about what you put on your hair that counts. Iain advises anyone with seriously thinning hair to seek help from a trichologist and explains: ‘underlying medical conditions or low levels of vitamin and minerals can affect the growth of hair so it is very important to ensure your health is not affecting your hair.

‘Supplements do play a part in hair growth, as we all have hectic lives now and we really need some help with getting the dietary balance right.

Iron is important as is good protein for hair growth and the Nurture Skincare hair and nail strengthener supplement is a good product as is Philip Kingsley’ PK4Hair. Both are excellent choices for that extra boost for hair growth.’

Denise’s top three products for mature hair:

L’Oreal Kerastase Age premium range “Masque Substantif” Rejuvenating Masque, encourages cellular renewal.

Nurture Replenish full volume shampoo is really creamy which I love, plus is rinses easily and I can feel the volume when I style my hair.

I am a lover of dry shampoos and especially original Batiste Dry Shampoo, No more hot night hair - eliminate oil at the roots. Your style last a day longer - Volume boost for lifeless hair!




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