In the same way we develop wrinkles and age spots on our skin as years go by, our hair experiences a similar aging process.
“In the case of hair, we experience loss of elasticity and exposure to damaging factors of nature which will slow down blood circulation,” explains Vasken Demirjian, award winning hair health and color expert and owner of Vasken Salon. He went on to explain that there are steps women can take to make the aging process slower and gentler. In short: it is possible to age gracefully and we should all strive to do just that.
I spoke with three stylists, including Demirjian, and asked them all the same question: What are the three most common aging hair concerns they deal with in their salons? Their answers were all identical: graying hair, a change in texture, and thinning. To combat these common aging hair concerns, they all agreed that the best thing you can do is treat your body with respect. That translates to a healthy diet, frequent exercise and practicing restraint when it comes to chemicals and heating products. In addition, they did offer advice on these three aging hair issues.
Combat Graying Hair
There’s no shame in gray hair. In fact, a crown of silvery white or peppered locks is often considered regal and sophisticated. The problem is when gray hair comes in splotchy or with an odd tint. Also, some women simply prefer to show no gray at all.
If your goal is to cover up patches — or an entire head — of gray hair, Meghan Lee, stylist at Ceron Salon Houston, strongly advises visiting the salon. Gray hair is more resistant to absorbing color and many boxed products won’t do you any good. That’s true whether you’re doing all over color or just highlights, which are an excellent way to mask patchy gray hair without doing a full dye.
Lee also suggests being careful with over processing from color and bleach, which can just turn gray hair into a coarser, more unruly version of itself. “If you get highlights, talk with your stylist about non-bleach options,” she says.
Combat Thinning Hair
Despite the assumption that only men deal with hair loss, many women are faced with thinning hair as they grow older. This fact of life cannot be avoided, but there are ways you can create the illusion of thicker hair (outside of hair plugs and wigs).
“Get your hair cut in a stye that helps make it appear more voluminous,” advises Gayle Giacomo, creator of GG Gatsby haircare line and owner of Jerseylicious’ The Gatsby Salon.
In addition to choosing the right style for your hair, she recommends using volumizing haircare products. Such products lift hair off the scalp, creating a more fuller-looking coiffure.
Combat Coarse, Dry Hair
One of the most common issues women deal with in regard to aging locks is change in texture. The best thing you can do for this issue is to make sure you’re getting all your necessary vitamins and minerals and consuming enough protein. Your appearance — including hair and skin — is often a direct correlation to what you put in your body. Both Lee and Giacomo recommended a new dietary supplement that benefits hair called Viviscal, an oral pill taken daily.
In addition to proper nutrition, weekly deep conditioning also makes hair softer. You can deep condition with store-bought goods or natural products, such as olive oil, avocado or egg yolk. Basically, anything fatty is great for moisturizing your hair. Give your scalp a good massage when you shampoo/condition to get blood circulating.
Lastly, “Take it easy on the hair tools,” says Giacomo. “Let your hair be au naturel during the weekend and air dry it.”
To conclude, I’ll leave you with some wise words from Demirjian: “Work on staying healthy, keep a healthy lifestyle and by virtue of following these steps, so shall your hair remain healthy. All this requires commitment to oneself, not just your hair. Commit to your whole existence.”