We can all concede that getting older is better than the alternative, but that doesn’t have to apply to your hair – up top, you’ve got options.
Brands are savvy to your changing needs (no surprise, given a huge study by Unilever Personal Care found women aged 45+ use more hair treatments than any other group) so care and colour technology has not only caught up with our hair’s ageing process, but outfoxed it entirely.
The days of mandatory dryness and mad wiry greys are over, instead we can preserve and improve the quality of our hair so it looks, behaves and feels just how we want it to. Your best hair days are yet to come.
Hair Colour Shades that will help you look younger
“One of the main noticeable signs of hair ageing is greying.” says Unilever Hair Expert Francesca Rapolla, “Melanin is the pigment that gives our hair colour, and as we age, the hair follicle produces less and less melanin, leading to a less rich colour and eventually a complete loss of pigment.” You don’t need me to tell you that colouring is the fix, but there are some clever new options out there. If you DIY, E-Salon Custom Hair Colour, £18, is an absolute game-changer.
Create an online profile by answering questions on your eye colour, hair history and lots more, upload a photo then await your bespoke hair colour kit in the post, with professional tools and personalised instructions. If you’re a salon colour fan, a mixture of lighter tones are flatteringly youthful and blend greys like a dream. The technique to know now is Blush Lights at Charles Worthington Salons, from £75.
Free-hand balayage is painted on lower sections for haphazard (so ostensibly natural) tones, then miniscule foiled highlights go through the top and front to ‘lift’ around the face. Whichever way you colour, THE product to keep that fabulous new shade in excellent nick is Dove Advanced Hair Series Youthful Vitality BB Cream, £6.99. This light cream formula is packed with strength rebuilding proteins, deeply hydrating coconut oil plus heat and UV protection to prevent colour fade.
Can’t find hair colour shades you want? Don’t be afraid to go grey!
There’s no rule that says greys must be battled; a glossy, nicely maintained head of silver is just as fabulous as any expensive dye job, and you’ll love what ditching the dye does for your condition. “To make the transition I would recommend embracing grey partially at first, mixing in other shades that complement the skin tone will keep the look youthful.” says Josh Wood Atelier’s Sibi Bolan.
“At home opt for a semi-permanent colour, which is less opaque than permanent so feels less blocky and easier to grow out.” If you’ve already embraced grey, a healthy shine is your number one goal to counteract pigmentless strands’ lack of light reflection. TRESemmé Youth Boost Youth Correcting Essence, £9.99 boosts shine and boosts lost fullness to boot with a blend of omega-3 oils and antioxidants.
Foamy Rita Hazan True Colour Ultimate Shine Gloss in Clear, £21, goes on between your shampoo and conditioner to add a reflective coating. Finish with a few drops of Charlotte Mensah Manketti Hair Oil, £42, a new find that smells utterly delicious, is spot-on for Afro and natural texture, but used sparingly gives sparkling shine to any hair type.
How to look after your chosen hair colour shade
“Over 40, hair is almost a mirror of your skin and needs hydration,” says Bolan, “A thick or curly hair type will need more moisture, fine or lighter hair needs hydration and strengthening.” You can thank slowing sebum production for that, and as with skin ‘miracle’ masks are a false economy. Consistent day-to-day care is what’ll really keep it in good nick. If you wouldn’t wash your face with soap, it’s also worth spending a bit more on shampoo to avoid harsh detergents. Micellar water gently cleans without stripping, find it in Charles Worthington Everyday Gentle Micellar Shampoo, £5.99, super-light for fine hair, or try low-foaming Schwarzkopf BC Micellar Cleansing Conditioner, £13.50, for thick or textured hair.
Percy & Reed Wonder Care Conditioner, £18, boldly claims to adapt to
your hair type, and definitely softened, detangled and moisturised my
fine hair as well as a friend’s curls. Treatment-wise, Rossano Ferretti Vita, £42,
at Space NK, is the silkiest of serums. Not cheap, granted, but one
bottle lasts six months minimum, contains hyaluronic acid and creates a
protective protein film to stop moisture escaping.