5 August 2014

Anti Ageing Hair Care Tips

by Kate Hanley

Aside from going gray, you may think hair doesn't really age. After all, it can't get wrinkles or start sagging — thank God. Yet your strands actually are changing right along with the rest of your body.

"As your hormones start changing, so does your hair," says Stephanie Tourles, licensed holistic esthetician and author of A Spa of Your Own. That means, starting in your 30s, hair gets drier. And the closer you get to menopause, the more it will change texture. It may lose some curl, develop new waves or just behave differently. You needn't resign yourself to cutting it all off or adopting helmet hair. The following strategies can keep your locks lustrous now and in the decades to come.

Massage Your Mane
Don't save scalp massages for the salon. Take matters in to your own hands, literally, and start giving yourself a scalp massage at least once a month — once a week is ideal.
"It's one of the most healthful things you can do for your hair," says Mary Beth Janssen, organic beauty expert and author of Naturally Healthy Hair. "It sloughs off build-up of dead skin cells, brings blood and nutrients to your roots, and stimulates growth." (All of which make your hair shiny, smooth, and gorgeous.)
To do it, put a little olive, sesame or sweet almond oil on your fingertips. Starting at the front of your hairline, rub your scalp with your finger pads in small circular motions, and work your way up to the crown of your head. Start again at your temples and go the very back of your head. Then move from behind your ears to the base of the skull. Done regularly, Janssen says the results are "astonishing." (If you are in the mood for a little extra treatment, you can wrap your head in a bandana or shower cap and sleep with the oil on your hair. Use regular shampoo to wash it out.)

Style with Care
You may think the flat iron is your hair's best friend, but use it every day and you're likely creating stressed tresses that eventually will look as shiny and vibrant as burnt toast. "The cuticle of the hair burns at about 130 degrees, and many flat irons go to 450 degrees," says Shelley Davis, founder of natural hair care company Kinky-Curly. "Hold a flat iron in place for too long and you can cause permanent damage in only one session."
If you want a straighter, shinier look, Janssen advises blotting hair with a highly absorbent towel to remove as much excess moisture as you can, then applying your choice of nourishing product. Next reach for your blow dryer, running it through your hair to keep the strands moving around (reducing the risk of burning) until the moisture level is only 5-10 percent. Only then should you pick up a brush and being styling. "Using a brush the entire time will only stretch and stress the hair," she says.
If you just can't quit, ask your stylist to give you a lesson in how to use a flat iron, Davis suggests. "Stylists know how to move it quickly through your hair without damaging the cuticle layer." And always use the lowest setting possible.

Condition Unconditionally
Older hair means drier hair. Counteract natural moisture loss with weekly deep conditioning treatments. Tourles suggests hot oil treatments. You can buy a packet at a pharmacy, salon or beauty supply store, and heat it by placing in warm water. (For really low-maintenance treatments, you can also place a small bottle of olive oil in warm – not boiling – water, or just warm some in your hands.) Apply the oil to dry hair, cover it with a shower cap or wrap it up in a towel, and leave it on long hair for an hour, short hair for 30 minutes. Miami stylist Oribe, who is also a fan of hot olive oil treatments, has a great rule of thumb for finding the time to do it every week. "Watch "American Idol" with it on your head." Meet you on the couch!

Pick Better Products
Time to face facts — the days of you randomly grabbing hair products off the shelf at the drugstore are over. Just as you can no longer get away with existing on a diet of junk food and expect to look and feel your best, you've got to start giving your hair products that feed it.
Davis recommends looking for products with ingredients that nourish as they style, including agave, honey, jojoba, almond, avocado and coconut oils. Tourles recommends using a conditioner that contains proteins from wheat, egg, or soy. "As you get older the protein structure of your hair changes, which leads to thinning, flyaway hair. A protein conditioner fills in any gaps in the cuticles, which leads to smoother, shinier hair."

Keep it Clean
Perhaps you're not quite to the point of only washing your hair once a week when you visit the salon for a shampoo and blowout. But if you're not washing your hair several times a week, you could be compromising the health of your hair. "Washing your hair helps clear off old skin cells from your scalp and removes product build-up, dust, dirt, and sweat," Davis says. "It promotes a healthy follicle, which means healthier, stronger hair." The trick is to use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo — sulfates are harsh foaming agents that can dry out the hair. Most shampoos contain them — read the label carefully to find one without.

The Right Cut
Finally, work with your stylist to find a cut that flatters you. "A style that has some softness around the face will look good down, up, and half-up, so you can look your best without having to overuse the blow dryer, flat iron, or heavy products," Oribe says. And beware the urge to go short. "Going super short can really age you. It can also complicate your life, because it often requires the right accessories and make-up to add some softness back in."

Brought to you by Style United

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