To love your hair you have to know it - the way it is today, not when you were in college. For instance, women in their 40's may complain about thinning, while those 50 and over lament Sahara - level dryness. I have outlined strategies for every decade to help you make the most of the locks you've got right now and more.
Your Mane Objective at 30
Enjoy what you've got.
Your hair may never look better than it does right now - so, wear it well. At this point your hair is looking pretty good. Like most women, you are taking better care of yourself than you did in your twenties. As a result, your hair will be healthier now than it was then. One potential pitfall is stress levels as women become more "life invested" than they were in their twenties. Becoming more serious about careers, often having babies, forces you to juggle the demands of work and family; the result is stress-induced hair loss. To combat the condition, exercise is a great reliever, as well as good eating habits, proper nutrition, and a good hair-wellness program of feeding and protecting your hair.
Start using a hydrating shampoo and conditioner even if your hair does not feel that dry. In our thirties, we start to lose lipids in our scalps similar to what is happening to our faces, so we need to up the ante on moisture. Establish good habits before your dryness issues start. There are anti-aging programs for hair just as there are for your skin so, consult a professional.
Buy a grownup hair brush, one with small boar-bristles, to stimulate the scalp by brushing forward and backward, and side to side for one minute daily. If your hair is wavy or curly, do this before shampooing.
Let your lifestyle dictate your hairstyle
Because you hair is probably in good condition, you have the luxury of a wide range of styles. You can wear a pixie because your skin is radiant and your neck is smooth. Or you can show off your enviable hair by letting it grow down your back. If your life is more hectic than it's ever been, you may want to consider a style more realistically maintained on your own, such as a mid-length style with light layers.
Consider Color (yep, this means you)
Many thirty-somethings notice that their color is becoming darker and duller or they spot their first grays. For natural blondes, the solution is simple; start highlighting. This camouflages the grays and at the same time brightens the mousiness. For red or dark hair that is sprinkled with silver try a semi-permanent to mask the gray. It is the kindergarten of color that supplies coverage without commitment.
Your Mane Objective at 40
Brace your hair for hormone havoc
In your forties, hair falls into the same category as reading glasses; some days your eyes seem fine and other days you can't read your horoscope. One morning your hair looks the same as always and the next day you swear your part is getting wider. The culprit is often hormone imbalance causing your hair strand to become skinnier and less plentiful. It is important to consult a doctor, a Trichologist, and a hair loss control specialist if you are concerned. With my experience, the key is intervention at this point. You can't turn back the clock but you can keep hair loss from getting worse; a good hair loss control program can make all the difference. The newest, fastest growing trend is at-home laser hair restoration treatment.
Choose Length based on hair health
In your thirties, your primary considerations in choosing a cut were your lifestyle and your willingness to spend time and money needed to maintain the look you chose. In your forties, the same strategies apply but also notice the general condition of your hair. If your hair is thinning, try cutting it to your shoulders or collarbone to make it look fuller instantly. If that is distasteful, choose hair extensions to improve the quality of your hair but don't cut too many layers if you see some thinning around the hairline or temples. Adding bangs that lay at an angle across the forehead or straight across can be an option too. If your hair looks great, by all means wear your hair as long as you like for as long as you can. Clip-on hair pieces, bangs, and pony tails are a popular alternative and are available in all densities with a wider array of colors in the market place. This will provide a professional or playful look in minutes.
Devise a game plan for grays
Most women will see gray by the end of this decade. While a semi-permanent color may suffice for those who see only a sprinkle of silver, most will have to graduate to permanent color. Almost everyone this age will benefit from going a little brighter around the face. Those who really resist lightening their hair may try subtly lifting the color at the hair line to create a sunnier and refreshed look while leaving the rest of the color dark. Or, you can apply clip-in highlights to accent your cut in seconds. Finally, women who have decided to embrace their silver strands may want to lighten their overall color a little while the grays grow in. The contrast between new and old growth is less obvious.
Your Mane Objective at 50
Give your tresses a pep talk
During this decade, most women go through menopause, which leaves hair dryer. Grays dominate making hair coarser and duller than it was 10 years ago. Most women will have some thinning by now (if you have battled unruly thick hair, this may be a welcome change). Consider health challenges, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol. The medications prescribed to control them can harm your hair's destiny. You can't turn back the clock but you can keep hair loss from getting worse. It is important to consult a dermatologist or Trichologist and a hair loss control specialist; a good hair loss control program can make all the difference. The newest and fastest growing trend is at-home laser hair restoration treatment.
Hydrate, Hydrate, and I did mention... hydrate?
For the most common complaint now, I recommend hydrating shampoo and conditioner that is light enough to still achieve body. Scalp treatment will keep hair follicles from clogging and impeding new growth.
Trust your decisions; keep your scalp and hair fed and exercise to reduce stress levels and exacerbate fall-out. See a dermatologist or hair loss control specialist to discuss more aggressive hair reviving measures, such as Minoxidil and laser hair therapy which is said to boost scalp-cell energy levels and maximize follicle activity.
Soften your style
The fifties should be all about softness. Go for a cut that has body and movement, anything with harsh lines will be aging. If you have never used rollers, now is the time. The goal is to lift the hair off the scalp. Long hair works if it has body; otherwise a chic style that is shoulder or collarbone length or a bolder shaggy pixie to a bob will look great. Enlist the help of your stylist when it comes to extensions or additions to accent color and the shape of your head, choosing those that are easiest to use with little or no damage on your hair. Good hair pieces should be like good plastic surgery; they elevate your look but are not obvious.
Add light around your face
No matter how good your skin is, having darker hair now looks harsh especially around your face. Imagine putting a photograph in a black frame... then envision the same photo in a cream frame. The lighter frame makes the photo look softer. Be careful not to go to the other end of the spectrum... too blonde will wash you out.
Your Mane Objective at 60
Relish your hair renaissance
After major hair changes in your fifties (dryness, an explosion of gray, and the feeling "Where did my hair go?") things are beginning to calm down with your hormones stabilizing. Women in their sixties are beginning to feel more comfortable with themselves and in this decade looking forward to retirement, travel, and making more time for themselves and their hair.
A good moisturizing and a weekly deep-conditioning mask should be in your lineup. Use a weightless conditioner to ensure maximum body, moisture, and shine. Take advantage by scaling back on shampooing to prevent over-stripping of the hair's natural oils and scalp lipids. Your hair will suffer less damage if you are not doing the whole blow-drying and styling routine daily. See a hair loss control specialist to discuss a good hair loss control program that can make all the difference by just shampooing 2 to 3 times a week. If that is not enough, stronger growth serums and laser hair restoration treatments yield better results.
Consider a chic short cut
Most stylists are unwilling to totally reject the idea of long hair after 60 and they are not willing to talk it up either. Usual suggestions are to have the style to the shoulders, lightly layered or very short. Consider simplicity... and having your desired style too. Dive into your roots in your early 70's by adding hair... this can be chic. True, a more casual style is desired and the market will deliver for you. As a hair loss control specialist I provide more hair additions for this group than for any other group and the highlights are stunningly white.
Lighter hair colors or highlighting will take years off your appearance and keep you looking fresh. Embracing your natural silver can also be beautiful; just be sure to wash twice a month with a purple shampoo to keep its shine or try a clear coat gloss once a month.
Get the help you need! Make the most of the locks you've got right now from a master stylist, doctor, or hair loss control specialist. Start loving your hair the way it is today, not what you remember it to be when you were in college. Use color, state of the art hair loss treatments, cut it, and add beautiful highlights and texture with hair additions. It is time to wrap your head around the entire industry dedicated to your hair!