Recently, a friend told me she was sick of having to color her grays away every 4 weeks and was thinking about letting it go au natural, aka gray. I asked her if she was ready to look years older than she does right now. Of course, her answer was a resounding NO! Though a very small percentage of women can pull off the look without having it age them considerably, for most women gray hair is just one of those things that screams old. But, when it comes to aging you and your hair, gray doesn’t stand alone as there are numerous ways your hair could be aging you. Want to erase some years? Here are 5 easy ways to do just that:
1) COLOR THOSE GRAYS AND DON’T GO TOO DARK OR TOO LIGHT
When hair is a solid shade of black or dark brown it can play up any lines, bags and shadows on your face, not a flattering look for anyone. It can also make thinning more noticeable. If you’re hell-bent on keeping your dark shade, do yourself a favor and go two to three shades lighter or add some softer-toned highlights around your face to break up all that darkness.
On the flip-side, going too light is just as unflattering as it can make your complexion look sallow. Avoid ashy tones and stick with warm golden, buttery or caramel tones instead or opt for a darker base tone before adding in some warm honey-hued highlights.
2) IMPROVE HAIR HEALTH
Older hair is more fragile so you’ll want to treat it with kid gloves to decrease potential damage. Give your hair a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week to add moisture back. You’ll also want to gently detangle with a wide tooth comb and conditioner while you’re in the shower, always use a heat protectant spray before using your blowdryer and any other hot styling tool, and get frequent trims to prevent small split ends from working their way up your hair shaft. You can also prevent breakage at the root and the look of a receding hairline by never pulling your hair back tightly since this puts additional stress on your roots.
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Pre Shampoo Treatment ($51) has a cult following because almost nothing can compare to the boost of moisture to the hair’s cuticle that this pre-shampoo conditioning treatment delivers. Use it to minimize breakage, bring back strength and improve elasticity and shine. After just one application you’ll also notice an increase in your hair’s suppleness and bounce. Made with castor oil and olive oil to lock in moisture and shine, silicones to smooth strands, elastin to increase hair health and resilience, and glycerin and glycol to help hair retain moisture. Work it into damp hair from mid-length to ends, concentrating product on dry broken areas. After 20 minutes massage into locks again before rinsing clean. For extreme damage, it can also be used as an overnight treatment.
3) BOOST VOLUME
Thanks to hormonal issues as we age, it is normal to have a change in hair patterns which means that thinning hair and even hair loss is often part of the territory. Thicker hair just looks younger, so boost what you’ve got with thickening or volumizing shampoos, conditioners and styling products. Another solution is getting highlights to plump up the hair shaft and add dimension and texture. For a quick fix when needed you can also spray dry shampoo at the roots and massage it in a bit to add volume and make hair appear thicker and fuller.
Sally Hershberger 24K Supreme Body Volumizing Mousse ($32) delivers tons of body and volume in a hydrating, flexible, heat-protective mousse formula. This perfect primer is formulated with silk amino acids to strengthen hair, natural plant proteins to hydrate and flexible co-polymers to give your style staying power with movement. Simply apply to palms and rake fingertips through damp hair before blow drying.
4) CUT LONG LAYERS
Hair that’s one length can weigh hair down and also draw the eye down. If you like the look of medium to long hair but don’t want to sacrifice length, cutting long layers throughout will lift the eye up and highlight the cheekbone and mid-face area instead. A layered cut also creates movement and visually softens your facial features. If short hair is more your thing, a side-swept fringe softens your overall look and keeps you looking fresh-faced.
5) ADD MEGA SHINE
Older looking hair is often dull and lackluster, but it’s easy to bring on the shine for more youthful looking locks. You can add moisture back with weekly deep conditioning treatments, get salon glosses, add bright face-framing highlights, and use a shine-enhancing serum.
Vernon Francois Dazz~Ling Spritz Shine Spray ($24) moisturizes and protects while it provides subtle shimmer and a radiant finish. This weightless non-aerosol finishing spray is formulated with Ubuntu Mongongo Oil and Baobab Seed Oil to hydrate, smooth, protect and nourish, and has a light, clean scent you’ll love.
NOTE: All beauty products were purchased or tested in store. Opinions are my own.