Shannon R., SELF magazine
We wouldn't blame you if you roll your eyes at the thought of putting your hair on an anti-aging regimen. I mean, first of all, Isn't hair dead? How can it get older?, and secondly, you may already be dealing with anti-aging serums and creams for your skin, and now you have to worry about your hair, too? Well, the truth is: Your skin isn't the only thing that changes as you age. Hair--despite it being "dead"--also goes through changes that may require you to treat it differently as you get older. Here's how best to deal with the top three culprits.
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Culprit: Gray hair. Since it's visible, this is the most obvious sign of aging hair. Some people start sprouting grays in their 20's while others may not turn gray until much later. Gray hair occurs when follicles no longer produce any melanin (color). Nobody knows for sure why hair stops producing melanin and unfortunately there is no way to prevent it.
Treatment: Well, you can choose to love your grays. Or if you're not quite ready for them, you can dye them. Root coloring kits provide small applicators to spot treat gray areas (like your hairline). If you have grays all over, you'll want a permanent dye.
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Culprit: Weakness. As hair ages, it also becomes weaker, making it more prone to breakage and damage.
Treatment: Minimize excessive heat styling and other damaging processes like coloring, straightening, relaxing, and perming. Be sure to condition and get regular trims to cut off damaged areas. You should also consider using hair care products with silicone. Silicone is a superstar ingredient in hair care - it provides shine, smoothness and may even enhance strength. Silicone coats the hair shaft to help protect the hair from damage and maintain an optimal moisture level. If you're worried about silcone weighing down your strands, look for cyclomethicone; it's light and won't make hair feel heavy!
Culprit: Thinness. Individual strands actually become thinner resulting in hair that feels finer all over.
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Treatment: While there isn't much you can do to permanently make hair thicker, there are some temporary fixes. Look for products that contain polymers, which can help add volume and some temporary bulk to the strands. Volumizing mousses and sprays are the most effective at providing light hold and oomph. Also, silicone (there it is again!) can coat the hair, making it feel thicker and less brittle. Again, look for lightweight silicones like cyclomethicone that won't weigh hair down.
Your hair does change as you grow older. It becomes drier, weaker and wiry. Keep hair well conditioned and remember that silicone isn't just for shine; it can actually enhance hair strength and flexibility, keeping hair looking and feeling younger!
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