Articles, Beauty

What to Do About “Aging” Hair

A top hair question I receive from ladies is how to cope with their “aging” hair. I have no idea, so I took this question right to top NY hairstylist, Stephanie Alina! These are her expert tips on how to Benjamin Button our hair:

AG: Why does our hair change as we age?
SA: Melanin is what produces hair pigment. As we age, our hair follicle shrinks and less melanin is produced. Lack of melanin creates grey hair. As our hair follicle shrinks, our hair strand has no choice but to also constrict in size. This is what causes hair thinning with age. For some, hair loss may be hereditary. For others, it may be environmental, if the conditions you subject your hair to are not keeping it healthy.

AG: What are common “symptoms” of aging hair? I’ve had women mention to me that dryness and frizziness are top problems they experience. Do you find that to be true for your clients?
SA: Yes. Once the hair lacks melanin, the grey hairs can become coarse, and even wiry, due to lack of oil being produced by the sebaceous gland at the scalp. You need to over compensate for the lack of moisture! Chuck any product like those heavy gels or high alcohol sprays in the trash! You need to look for hydrating shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioners, oils, and creams.

AG: What exact products or remedies can we use to combat these problems?
SA: Environmental factors such as sun, extreme cold, and wind can weigh on our hair and leave it dehydrated so it is important to implement a Hydrating Styling Product into your styling regimen. Replenish your mid-lengths through to your ends with one of these products when you get out of the shower, before you apply heat. If you are one to heavily rely on heat styling tools, I suggest investing in a Heat Styling Protectant. Most will protect the hair up to 400 degrees but, if you already have dry and brittle hair, over styling will only reduce the moisture you’re trying to put back into it. Try to find new ways to style your hair using little to no heat. Chic ponytails, braids, beachy waves, and top knots are all trending. There are plenty of options to choose from.

If you feel the dryness is creating frizz, you should look for products that will control the frizz. A product like Moroccanoil Treatment is versatile because it implements moisture, restores elasticity and shine to hair, reduces frizz, and cuts blow dry time in half! If you are extremely blonde or have thin hair, opt for Moroccanoil Treatment Light. This is a product that I use on all of my clients when they get to my chair! If your frizz is completely out of control, due to wiry and grey hair, I suggest getting a keratin. If you like the texture of your hair, maybe your hairdresser can offer you a hairline keratin. This is where we keratin only around the face to get rid of pesky flyaways. If you get static from extreme cold, keep a dryer sheet handy and literally rub it over your hair. You can also spray static guard onto your hairbrushes before you use them.

Over use of product is another reason for hair loss. If the follicle is clogged and can’t breathe because it’s completely trapped and suffocated under constant product (heavy hairspray, hard gel, products that take a long time to lather up when being shampooed out), it eventually dies. Once the follicle is dead you can NOT revive it! So, if you feel you are a victim of this, use a good clarifying shampoo like Nioxin to cleanse your scalp and allow your pores to breathe.

Take your vitamins so your hair, skin, nails, and bones stay strong. I suggest a multivitamin. You can also dabble in the hair, skin, and nail pills. Make sure to chase those vitamins down with a glass of water and spread out at least 7 more 8 ounce cups throughout the day. As we age, our skin, hair, and nails become dehydrated. This is one of the easiest, cheapest ways to make sure we’re creating the healthiest environment for our hair to grow from.

Andrea Graye :)

Stephanie Alina is a 30-year-old hairstylist from Long Island. She works in the busy, upscale Bellmore salon, Bangz Hair & Color Lounge, freelances as a hair artist, and is a Moroccan Oil Educator. She is passionate about her craft, and is enthusiastic about sharing her insider beauty tips with us! See Stephanie’s work on Hair by Stephalina and WeddingWire. Connect with her on Instagram: @Hair_by_Stephalina.