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Taking Care of Your Aging Hair

Taking Care of Your Aging Hair
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By Susan Hornik

After 50, it’s more important than ever to take care of your aging hair. Years of coloring may have taken its toll… Or you may have noticed extra hair in your brush due to dry or thinning hair. What does a beautiful 50 something gal/guy do?! Fiftyisthenewfifty’scom’s Susan Hornik talked to Hollywood experts about the best way to preserve your lovely hairstyle!

“Unfortunately, aging hair can tend to be brittle hair naturally, especially if it is gray,” acknowledged Erick Orellana, a West Hollywood colorist at STUDIO 6 @ Salon Republic (www.erickorellana.com). “Gray hair is naturally coarse and wirey, due to a loss in pigment.”

Nevertheless, don’t lose faith–There definitely are a number of ways to help prevent further damaging your hair!

When coloring your hair, try to stay away from over processing, Orellana said. “This stresses out the hair and actually blows the hair cuticle open, leaving the hair dry, brittle and dull. Talk to your stylist about less damaging options with your hair to avoid this.”

Orellana pointed out that wearing a hat during the hot, summer months is imperative. “By doing so, you will not only protect your hair from sun damage, which can dehydrate it and fade out your color, but you are also protecting your skin from the aging harmful rays of the sun.”

He continued: “Using heat protectants on your hair will help seal in the moisture of your hair. Since aging hair tends to be more dry, you want to make sure you keep as much moisture in as possible.”

Orellana recommends people not wait until a salon visit to take care of this.

“Using a moist replenishing treatment at home is a MUST. With so many shampoo and conditioners out there that help protect your hair, still two of my favorite all natural, moisture replenishing treatments are coconut oil, for those of you with thicker hair; and jojoba oil, for finer hair. By implementing these treatments every one to two weeks, you can aid in keeping your hair from looking dull. Healthy and shiny hair—don’t we all like the sound of that?!” he quipped.

In terms of color trends for women over 50, Orellana is seeing a “less is more” approach to hair. “One dimensional haircololor is very popular and stresses out the hair less, since it requires less processing. Subtle highlights are also very popular, which help give you a little time between touch ups. These break up dark color and can mask your gray growing in.”

Alternatively, the latest trend has been to actually stop coloring your hair completely!

“If you are almost 100% gray, you can also just let it grow out. I personally have helped some of my clients get back to their natural gray by low lighting with blonde tones, until their hair fully grows out. Or if they are darker, I slowly start highlighting their hair, instead of doing dark bases. With time we are able to finally just let it go gray.”

If you are coloring at home, washing your hair with cold water is a great way to take care of the scalp and hair. “It closes the hair cuticle locking in the color and moisture,” Orellana said.

Nicolas Flores, a hair stylist at Sally Hershberger Salon, believes that women and men over 50 should be shampooing less often.

“Be sure to not over-wash the hair. Continuous cleansing of the scalp will cause your natural oils to be stripped, therefore drying out your hair cuticle. Try and stretch your shampoos by using dry shampoo products.”

When you are getting your hair cut in the salon, Flores believes a layered look is more flattering. “Be sure to add in layers. Face framing layers as well as overall layers looks good, especially if your hair is on the fuller side. For women who have fine hair, simple face frame layers will add enough movement. Layers create movement and volume for a more youthful look.

Flores noted that gray hair will often grow in more frizzy. “Try Keratin. It’s a frizz taming treatment that will literally save you time on styling as well as add in smoothness and shine. I highly recommend it to my clients who are having a hard time with frizz, dryness, or even lacking smoothness.”

When your roots are starting to show and you want a quick color boost without heading to a salon, you can try Joico’s new Tint Shot Root Concealer. The custom blend Tint Shot Root Concealers are a shot of transfer- and humidity-resistant micro-pigments that instantly conceal new growth, for that answer to your in-between-appointment times with your colorists. Colors available are Black, Dark Brown and Light Brown.

And one last tip—head to your nearest vitamin store and ask them what you should be taking that will make your hair look the best it can be!

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Susan Hornik
Susan Hornik is a writer who is a contributor to Canada's Chatelaine, UK's Look, Health, Maxim, HGTV's FrontDoor.com, IndustryM, Hollywood Reporter, Dish, Discover Hollywood, J-14, Twist