If you’re one of the lucky ones, you still have a full head of thick, shiny, healthy-looking hair. But, if you’re starting to notice more and more gray strands popping up, and your hair is going from bouncy to brittle, you can take steps to get it back into shape.
Understanding why the four hair hexes have come to visit will help you know how to banish them!
HEX #1 DULLNESS
Dry brittle hair is dull, frizzy and lifeless-looking hair. No luster. No sheen. Here’s why: Hair consists of three layers. When hair is healthy, the outer layer thoroughly protects the inner layers. Natural oils in the outer layer also reflect light, making your hair shiny. When hair is dry, the outer layer breaks down, which causes the hair to appear dull and unhealthy.
Our oil glands also shrink over time, and stop producing oil efficiently, so less oil is traveling down the hair follicle to naturally coat the hair like it did when we were teenagers.
DON’T use certain hairstyling products, like mousse and aerosol sprays, that contain a lot of alcohol, which can make your hair even duller looking. Some moisturizing shampoos contain harsh sulfates and sodium chloride, which can strip protective oils from your hair. And, avoid high heat that further contributes to depletion of oils.
DO add oils to your hair, to return moisture and get back the youthful shine you remember.
HEX #2 THINNESS
Yep, hormonal changes can affect hair growth patterns, so it’s not uncommon for menopausal women to experience thinning hair, even hair loss, at the same time. What’s more, our hair follicles get smaller and produce hair that you can’t even detect.
DON’T try to hide bald spots by “arranging” your hair over them. It’s not a great look.
DO use shampoos and conditioners designed to pump up the volume. Look for ingredients such as keratin, niacin and biotin to help bring back a thick appearance. There also are many supplements for hair, skin and nails that contain these ingredients. Some treatments will help strengthen existing hair, which makes it look fuller.
If you’ve experienced more drastic hair loss, consider getting a partial hair piece that will do wonders for your look, physically and emotionally. Hairpieces are available in a range of styles and prices.
HEX #3 GRAYING
As we age, the pigment cells in our hair follicle gradually die. With fewer pigment cells, a strand of hair will take on a more transparent color, such as silver, gray or white, as it grows. Smoking also is linked to an increase in the rate of graying, and anemia, generally poor nutrition, insufficient B vitamins, and untreated thyroid conditions can also speed the rate of graying.
Gray hair is coarser and more porous than hair filled with lots of pigment, so it’s harder for it to keep the color that’s applied in the salon. Sometimes it seems like the gray starts appearing hours after we leave the colorist’s chair, but running back for touch ups is timely and costly.
DON’T spend so much time and money at the hair salon to cover gray.
DO hide your gray roots, quickly and easily, with a temporary root concealer like Gray Away. Available in three shades (lightest brown/medium blonde, light brown, and dark brown/black), the spray lets you cover your gray in 10 seconds or less. Keep a bottle in your purse, and this will be your best beauty secret yet. The spray will easily wash out with shampoo in the shower.
HEX #4 DRYNESS, BRITTLENESS AND LESS ELASTICITY
We may have used hot combs, curling irons and blow dryers to keep our hair looking great over the last few decades, but all that heat played havoc on the elasticity of our tresses, likely leaving us with straight dry ends that won’t curl when water hits them. Breaks in the cuticle of the hair also create porous strands that lack moisture and snap easily when they’re stretched.
DON’T let dry brittle, hair grow long. It won’t do your face any favors. And cut back on those sessions with the hair dryer or curling iron.
DO cut your hair short if you have extensive brittleness and limpness, so healthier hair grows in.
Also, consistently use moisture-based products and conditioners, if your hair is dry and brittle. Avoid becoming addicted to these products, however, because soft supple strands can still break if the hair doesn’t have a solid structure. If your hair is dull, weak and stretches excessively when wet, you should incorporate more protein-based conditioners into your regimen.
This post is sponsored by Gray Away. Thanks for supporting FabOverFifty!