The latest products and techniques can make your strands look fresher, fuller and a decade younger. Happy dance!
What is up with my hair?!
If it doesn't seem as healthy as it used to, blame it on…life. "Aging can make hair thinner, drier and less manageable," notes dermatologist Shani Francis, MD, director of the Hair Disorders Center of Excellence in Skokie, Ill. The trick is to restore hydration, add volume and replenish shine. Here's your total plan.
Bring Back Softness
"I love how dry and brittle my hair is!" said no one ever. There's a scientific explanation for why it's like that: “Since oil glands are mostly under hormonal control, they can become less active as your body changes over time," says Dr. Francis. Turning up the heat on your dryer or curling iron only adds to the parching problem.
Restore your hair's natural lipids with a weekly fix such as Kérastase Paris Resistance Masque Therapiste ($34; amazon.com), which packs hydrating plant sap plus peptides and amino acids to strengthen abused follicles.
Coat damp hair with a thermal protectant that hasceramides; they bind to hair and reduce breakage, found a study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science. Try Phyto Phytokeratine Repairing Thermal Protectant Spray ($32; sephora.com). The suppler your strands, the less breakage youll see.
RELATED: 6 Nutrients for Healthy Hair
Thinning often happens gradually, but for some of us, it seems to occur overnight. One day you look in the mirror andÂgasp!Âyou can see scalp. Or you notice your ponytail isnt as full. “Hair goes through growing cycles, and at a certain age, it can slow down,” says Dr. Francis. But all is not lost: Those sluggish follicles can be awakened.
OD'ing on products leaves behind buildup that can impede hair growth. ReGenesis Thickening Shampoo ($34; nordstrom.com) has willow bark to de-gunk and flax protein to plump strands. For significant thinning, the go-to ingredient is minoxidil. It's the only over-the- counter drug that's FDA-approved for stimulating hair growth in women. Find it in Women's Rogaine Hair Regrowth Treatment ($30 for a one-month supply; ulta.com). With daily use, you can expect results in as early as 12 weeks. Also FDA-approved to spur hair growth: low-level red-light laser therapy. The HairMax LaserComb Ultima 12 ($495; neimanmarcus.com) is an investment, but it can be as effective as minoxidil, says Dr. Francis, and more so if it's used in conjunction with the drug. Run the pronged wand over your scalp three times a week for eight minutes to see improvement in 12 weeks.
You guessed it—use volumizing spray. Try BloPro Blow Back Time Texture Spray ($20; blowpro.com), which infuses hair with specks of bulk-boosting powder. (No worries; its invisible.) Focus on the roots of dry hair, holding up 2-inch sections and spritzing them, says Nunzio Saviano, owner of the eponymous salon in New York City. “Brush through for more oomph.”
Next Page: Erase the Grays
[ pagebreak ]Getty Images
To go longer between salon visits, touch up your roots with a box color. Clairol Age Defy ($7; amazon.com ) hides silver and adds sheen.
When you spot annoying grays, hide them with a temporary fix like Redken Color Rebel Naturals Hair Makeup ($20; redken.com). It dries quickly and lasts through a couple of shampoos. For your hairline, use a Q-tip to apply. Later, roots!
Get a Whole Lot of Shine
When you want your hair to glow, “treat your scalp the same way you do your skin,” says Liz Cunnane Phillips, a trichologist at the New York Philip Kingsley Clinic. Lay off the drying products and help strands glisten with light.
Cut back on shampooingÂit strips hair of its natural oils and glossÂto once or twice a week. You also want to protect hair from shine-sapping UV rays. Try Rene Furterer Solaire Leave-In Moisturizing Spray ($22; amazon.com), which has jojoba wax and camelina oil along with a UV filter. For extra luster, consider a salon gloss (usually with a hint of tint) or glaze (typically clear), advises Jet Rhys, a Solana Beach, Calif., stylist to the stars. “It's like waxing your car,” she says. “You get a noticeable shine boost that lasts a couple of weeks.”
Make shine serum your final styling step. Try L'Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare Nutri-Gloss Mist ($10; amazon.com). “Apply a bit to the ends, which typically need the most TLC,” says Rhys. For extra de-frizzing, spritz your palms and run them over the length of your hair, avoiding roots.
Next Page: 3 Style Tricks for Younger Hair
[ pagebreak ]Getty Images
3 Style Tricks for Younger Hair
1. Zigzag your part.
“It can make hair appear fuller by hiding sparse spots,” says celeb stylist Jet Rhys. Use your finger to part instead of a comb for a natural look.
2. Go halfsies.
Pull just some of your hair back. “When you sweep the sides up toward the back of your head, it visually raises the cheekbones,” explains Rhys. Instant face-lift!
3. Do a high ponytail.
For a soft, flattering look, loosely brush hair back and up with a paddle brush, says Saviano, then secure with a ribbon hair elastic."