We’re a society obsessed with stopping the clock, or at least slowing it down, with the global anti-ageing beauty market worth an estimated US$141 billion. But have you ever thought about the age of your hair?
“People change their skincare as they age and it should be the same with your hair. As your hair changes, you need to reassess or have your hairdresser reassess what it is you need to have the best hair possible,” says Richi Grissilo, creative director for System Professional ANZ and co-creative director of Academie Salon.
Changes in texture, colour and density are all very normal and aren’t cause for a mid-life meltdown. With the right cut, colour and products you can keep your hair looking beautiful at any age. Here Richi shares his top tips on how to do just that.
1. Avoid block colours
The glossy all-over black or block blonde we rocked in our teens and 20s is less flattering as our complexion and skin texture changes.
“A solid colour from roots to end can have a wiglike appearance,” says Richi. “It’s good to have something to break it up and soften everything.” The good news is no colour is off limits.
“You can use balayage or foiling to add that soft variation to break up a solid colour,” says Richi. “It doesn’t matter how light or dark you go, as long as the undertones compliment your skin tone you can do anything.”
2. Make friends with micro-foils
Micro-foils – a delicate, fine wafer thin foil of just a few strands of hair – is a colour technique that works a treat when greys start appearing.
“When you’re ready to start enhancing greys rather than hiding them, micro-foils give it more purpose,” says Richi. “Some hairline micro-foils make it look like you’ve got a beautiful buttery blonde silver coming through, rather than a few rogue slivers of silver.”
3. Scale back layers on fine hair
A loss of volume is common, especially in lighter hair, which means your old faithful layered LOB may need an update. “Cutting layers to create volume removes density from that baseline and it can end up looking wispier and exacerbate the issue,” says Richi.
If you’re opting for a really textured style, layers are fine but if you’re wearing it long, keep layers to a minimum. “If there’s not enough hair to work with, you need to keep as much hair as possible to keep it looking thick,” Richi says.
4. Pump up the volume
Flatness or even thinning are common but it’s nothing the latest volumising products – from dusts and powders to sprays and pastes – can’t fix.
“There have been so many technological advances in the last 10 years. Volumising products used to rough the cuticle and use a strong astringent to swell the cuticle of the hair, but today’s products are much kinder,” says Richi.
Long, lank hair can drag the face down, so a little extra oomph can go a long way. “Make sure what you’re using is high quality so it’s not damaging the cuticle of the hair. Look for products that use more natural ingredients like bran fibre to plump up and fill the hair shaft or bamboo extracts to add flex and hold.”
5. Focus on shine
One common complaint, especially with greying hair, is a loss of shine. “It doesn’t matter what colour your hair is, if it’s shiny it looks glossy and full of life,” says Richi. “In-salon treatments are the best way to boost shine, but you can maintain it at home using a mask with a light oil base.”
For extra shine, invest in styling products with a care benefit to them. “The better the condition, the healthier it will look,” says Richi.
6. Update your shampoo and conditioner
A change really can be as good as a holiday your shampoo and conditioner.
“People expect a lot from their styling products, but they neglect what they’re using in the shower to make styling their hair easier,” says Richi. “Healthy hair always sits better. Because it’s not seeking moisture it’s not going to respond to humidity as much it’s easier to maintain, blowdry and style.”
If your hair is getting coarser, use a shampoo and conditioner that calms and soothes the cuticle. “Use the right shampoo and conditioner and you won’t need to use as much styling product because you’ve already started the process in the shower.”
7. You do you
Whatever your age, don’t get sucked into the latest trend just because it’s in fashion. The most important thing is wearing a cut and colour that really makes you feel fabulous.
“Hair is the accessory you can’t take off. So as long as it compliments what personal style and confidence, you can’t go wrong,” says Richi. “It’s a confidence thing, it’s not about age and I think that’s where a lot of people get caught up. Whether you’re 100 or 20, it’s about what makes you feel good.”
8. Ignore the old “rules”
Similarly, don’t listen to old adages around what is and isn’t age appropriate. “Those old sayings that you shouldn’t have long hair past a certain age or wear bangs are just that – old-fashioned,” says Richi. “A fringe covers wrinkles and helps to hide a solid parting, instead of having a dead straight line where greys will be exposed. Bangs can halve the length of your part and add longevity to your colour.”
9. Embrace change
Whatever changes are happening, roll with the punches rather than rallying against. “Some women, usually blonder hair types, will thin out, while darker hair can get darker and coarser,” says Richi. “Working with what you’ve got rather than fighting against it will keep your hair in the best condition.”