When you gaze into the mirror, and the reflection says “‘old,” it’s probably because your hair looks as dull as dishwater. Where did that youthful luster go, and how can you get it back? Guest contributor, hairstylist Chris Maclachlan has some tips for women over 40 to make their hair soft and shiny.
Chris: Clients ask me all the time why their hair gets so much duller as they age. The simple truth is that older hair loses color and moisture and therefore looks flatter and less shiny. Healthy, unprocessed hair is ideal, but who are we kidding? We need grey coverage!! Here are some simple tricks to get shiny, healthy hair, no matter what we put out hair through.
A deep conditioning treatment or “gloss” in a salon 3 to 4 times a year is your best bet. If you want to do it yourself, try an old favorite, Alberto VO 5 hot oil (no, I’m not kidding)
Once a month, use a clarifying shampoo. Aveda Detoxifier or Neutrogena are great ones. It helps to reduce product and pollution buildup and makes hair squeaky clean.
3. Blow-dry Smart
One of the best tips I know for making your hair shiny and smooth is to position the angle of your blow dryer just right. You want the hot air going DOWN the hair shaft (from root to tip). Pay attention next time. I bet you blow-dry from the ends up, creating frizz and diminishing shine. Also, sectioning your hair, as the pros do, will give you a way better result. It may take longer and a little practice, but that is why your hair looks so shiny when you leave the salon.
A smoothing or shine product can really help. Only use a little, it goes a long way, and too much will weigh your hair down. Another way to make your hair shine…….? Go easy on the hair spray!
Darker hair has more shine. Bleaching is the single quickest way to make your hair look dryer and more damaged. If you are a blond, try a slightly darker shade, with bright highlights around your face.
A ceramic round brush when you blow-dry is great for smoothing hair and conducts heat better than a metal brush. A boar bristle hairbrush like a Mason Pearson is the best brush on dry hair for distributing oil from the scalp to ends, and it really smoothes the cuticle layer. Hairstylists swear by it to give your hair beautiful brilliance (and there’s no better brush for creating a smooth ponytail too.) As for hot irons, if you are one often to straighten or curl, it is essential to use a heat protecting spray on dry hair before you iron.
7. Shampoo Less
The more you wash, the more you dry out your scalp. If your hair gets oily quickly, that’s the reason. As you strip your scalp of natural oils, your body will compensate by producing more. My tip for how to get shiny hair at home is to get your shampooing routine down to twice a week at the most. Start by skipping a day between shampoos and just wetting your hair and scrubbing your scalp with water. Read the back of your shampoo bottle, and you will see the first ingredient is water, a great cleanser on its own without the stripping properties.
8. Get Regular Trims
Removing the split ends from your hair at least every 12 weeks is a must. If you don’t, the hair shaft will fray and split all the way up, giving you a frizzy halo all around your head. Think Crystal Gayle. Not a good look!! Managing your hair can take a little time, money, and effort but remember, you wear it every day, and it deserves your attention. In my opinion, it is one of the easiest ways to look chic, youthful, and stylish.
Chris Maclachlan is a hairstylist and wardrobe consultant with over 15 years of experience in the industry. She is passionate about helping women find their own style and feel their best, no matter their age, shape, or size.