From crow’s feet to pigmentation, we’re well versed in the early signs of ageing, but when it comes to hair, what exactly should we be looking out for? Read on to discover the four tell-tale signs your hair is ageing and how to turn back the clock...
As trichologist Anabel Kingsley explains, “Hair looks more vibrant and youthful when it’s elastic, shiny and hydrated.” But that can be a tricky feat as we age, as our body’s production of sebum slows down, causing strands to lose elasticity and glossiness. To counteract dryness and promote shine, try incorporating oils into your haircare regime – whether it’s an oil-infused shampoo or a post-conditioning oil spray, anything from argan to coconut oil will have a significant impact on dry hair. To restore elasticity, try using a weekly pre-shampoo treatment – we love Philip Kingsley’s cult Elasticizer, £31.
As we age, the cells that form part of the hair’s outer protective layer become fragile and keratin levels plummet, leaving the hair weak and brittle, which can lead to frizz. To maintain a smooth head of hair, invest in a hydrating, sulphate-free shampoo and be wary when it comes to styling – always use a wide-tooth detangling comb to brush through wet hair, and when blow-drying, make sure the nozzle on your hairdryer is facing down the hair shaft, which will help to smooth any stray hairs or frizz. And while keratin treatments may seem like the easy option, many cheaper versions are packed with chemicals, which can damage hair in the long-run.
The appearance of grey hairs is one of the first and most noticeable signs of ageing and for some women, can occur as early as their 20s. By the time you reach your 50s, most women will have 50% more grey hairs than in their youth. While nutrition, hormones and stress can affect how soon and quickly you go grey, it’s predominantly genetic. Trichologist Madeleine Preston explains that caucasian people seem to go grey earlier, and that some health conditions such as diabetes and thyroid problems can cause premature greying too. She also advises taking a multivitamin supplement such as Seven Seas Perfect7, £10.49, which contains Omega-3s to reduce dryness, and copper to prevent the onset of greying by boosting melanin production. If you’ve made the decision to go grey, keep yours in top condition with a silver shampoo to counteract brassiness and boost shine.
Hair loss can become an issue for women as soon as they have children, with post-partum hair loss occurring in approximately 50% of women six to 12 weeks after giving birth or stopping breastfeeding. Protein and iron deficiencies and crash dieting are also common triggers, but hair thinning is often a genetic issue too – one that can be exacerbated by hormone levels, stress, the Pill and menopause. While it’s normal to lose some hair every day, if you’re losing excessive amounts for more than three months, it’s worth visiting your doctor and seeing a trichologist to discuss your options – as the sooner you address it, the better the outlook. If thinning strands are an issue, try Philip Kingsley’s Trichotherapy Regime 3-Piece Kit, £120, and hero supplement Viviscal, £49.95.
5 Golden Rules For Slowing Down Hair Ageing
Minimise damage: Avoid the use of tight hairbands or styles that pull excessively on the hair, like plaits, buns and tight ponytails. Constant pulling on the hair can cause snapping, making hair appear thinner over time, and traction alopecia; potentially permanent hair loss.
Avoid excessive heat: It’s no surprise that the heat damage caused by straighteners and dryers can cause hair to dry out more quickly, so protect your strands by using heat protective serums and sprays, and keeping heat styling to a minimum.
Try protein treatments: As keratin and sebum levels decrease as we age, hair becomes more prone to damage. Regular protein and moisture treatments will nourish and strengthen.
Get a smart cut: Consult your hairdresser about adding layers and colour to your hair to add volume and shine.
See a trichologist: If you’re concerned with hair loss, make an appointment to see a trichologist, such as the Philip Kingsley Clinic, where an expert will be able to examine your hair and scalp and recommend treatments and products to help.
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