Something happens beyond our 40s and we focus more on anti-ageing from head to toe! Rather like skin, the texture of our hair changes, too. Almost overnight, you start to see that anti-ageing matters for your hair too, as you start to get those wilful side whiskers that seem impossible to tame, your hair loses all its body and colour, not to mention it becomes drier, duller and coarse.
We take a look at the best anti-ageing hair tricks you need to know now.
The anti-ageing hairstyling trick
“Good hair is the ultimate anti-ageing trick. It can make you look and feel sexier,” says trichologist Philip Kingsley. “But if it misbehaves, you can feel unattractive, irrespective of what clothes you’re wearing. Hair is the most deeply psychological part of the human anatomy, and is key to our emotions because of its unique sexual connotations. Female hair is seen as seductive, and an important part of you that is flaunted in public.”
To make your hair work every day, ask for a more manageable cut and tell your hairdresser about your styling limits. Use Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo, R499, to revive your style and remove impurities so you can wash it less often.
Is my short hair feminine enough? “Ask for it to be cut a little wispier and choppier like Jennifer Lawrence or Helen Mirren’s,” says hairstylist George Northwood. “This will make it look much more feminine, and not hard or solid.”
Try these anti-ageing hair tricks to look and feel your best
Wash your hair less
“Over-washing strips away the lipids [oils] that, with age, you now need more than ever to boost shine and prevent breakage,” says hairstylist Nicky Clarke. “This is often problematic after menopause, when many women find that their scalp produces less oil. So now’s the time to update your haircare routine.”
Instead of washing your hair every day, Nicky recommends washing it every second or third day to keep it looking its best. Hair is at its most fragile when it’s wet, so take more care when you’re washing and combing it. Use a conditioning mask as often as required to maintain great shine. Try five minutes with Body Shop’s Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Hair Mask, R180.
Nourish scalp, hair follicles and dry ends with the lightweight Kevin Murphy Leave-In Repair Treatment, R650.
Smooth with serum
Additionally, if frizz is truly ruling your hair, “the best thing is a keratin treatment,” says George. Try Carlton’s Keratherapy treatment, from R550, which is a keratin smoothing treatment designed to lock in moisture and repair damaged hair follicles. It also helps to eliminate frizz and seal in colour.
Tame frizz fast
John Frieda Frizz Ease Original 6 Effects Serum, R115, is a firm favourite as it’s a one-stop hair multitasker. It smooths, softens and protects against humidity and heat – all in one application.
Get a lift, quick!
Go easy on colour
As we age, our skin loses pigmentation, so it’s important to stay away from too-dark or very light tones, and opt for gentler hues instead.
As a general rule, “If you have blonde hair, you should avoid platinum – try a warm, honey-blonde shade,” says Nicky. “Applying a more golden tone will add a glow to your skin. If you have red hair, I would advise steering clear of fiery hues. Instead, opt for an auburn tone for a softer look. When it comes to brunettes, I’d recommend a lighter brown or chocolate shade.”
“When retouching roots, it’s really important not to overlap on previously coloured hair,” says Paula Halsey. “Use a permanent dye to completely cover any grey, but don’t use it through your entire head of hair, as it will make it more porous and dry. Use a semi-permanent instead.”
Boost the condition of your colour with Schwarzkopf BC pH 4.5 Color Freeze Treatment, R99 for 30ml, which leaves a protective shield on hair to prevent colour fade.
Or lavish it with the super-conditioning Dove Nutritive Solutions Deep Treatment Mask Intensive Repair, R74,99 for 200ml.
Still haven’t checked out FHI Heat Hair Veil Light Blonde Powder Hair Filler, R279? The little compact is great for root touch-ups and to stretch out hair appointments, and lasts forever!
“When you need body, you need to rough-dry hair all over, so that it doesn’t feel in any way damp to the touch,” says Simon. This also reduces the amount of heat used on your hair, which is less damaging, and it dries quicker, too.
Want big hair without the bounce? Use a root-boosting spray – try Sorbet Drybar Heavy Duty Strong Hold & Volumizing Hair Spray, R79 for 200ml – or try to backcomb at the roots and crown for understated volume. Dry the front first. “It’s the bit you look at the most, and hence the most important part to you,” says Simon. “Then finish each section by using the cold button to set hair around the brush.”
Change your hairbrush. “Ceramic-based models flatten hair – choose a wood-base bristle brush instead,” Simon advises. We recommend BaByliss Boar Bristle Wooden Radial Hair Brush, R230.