5 Ways to Keep Your Hairstyle Fresh
Since asking friends or turning to the internet doesn't always yield the best result, we asked actual pros for hair best practices after 40.
Rehydrate your hair
It happens to everyone, says stylist Adir Abergel (who has worked with Sandra Bullock, Marisa Tomei and Diane Lane). “As you lose pigment, you lose moisture,” says Abergel. Add hair color and wonky hormones to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for wiry strands. To mitigate moisture loss, Abergel recommends using a hair mask, such as the Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask, twice a week. And try to lay off the heat-styling appliances, recommends Rebekah Forecast, a stylist who has worked with Cynthia Nixon and Alison Brie. “I have one 70-year-old client with rockin’ hair who literally won’t let me blow it dry,” says Forecast. She advises using hydrating stylers, such as Hair Food Coconut Sulfate Free Smoothing & Nourishing Hair Oil, to achieve the looks you used to with your dryer instead.
“People say to avoid the extremes,” says Forecast. “But you can go really short or really long if you’re prepared to own it.” Do, however, consider losing some length if you’re just holding onto “long strings,” as Forecast calls thin, scraggly locks that fall past your shoulders. As long as your hair is healthy and shiny, your hairstyle should be more about how you want to portray yourself to the world than about rules. Put another way, “If you have a cool, modern hairstyle, people will see you as cool and modern,” says Forecast.
Make the most of what you've got
Arm yourself to handle the hair you have, not the hair you had. The diameter of each hair fiber becomes smaller as we age. Also, we don’t grow hair as readily as we used to (on our heads anyway; hair growth where we don’t want it is a totally separate discussion). So not only may you need to address patchiness, but you may also have to face finer hair. For volume loss, dry shampoo, such as Sachajuan Dry Powder Shampoo, sprayed into your roots—or just into the ends of your ponytail—can work wonders. For hair that is becoming sparse, you may be ready to have the Minoxidil talk with your doctor. But for a quick temporary fix, Abergel likes to hide bald spots by dusting an Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo right onto the scalp. The powders come in myriad colors and cling tenaciously to skin.
“If you have a large forehead or receding hairline, side-swept bangs are a nice option,” says Abergel. (Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry have both sported this look, says Abergel.) Ask your stylist to create feathering at the ends of your bangs to keep them soft and wispy rather than hard and blunt by cutting into them vertically rather than horizontally.
Embrace your inner blue-haired lady
“As you age, you lose color in your skin, no matter how dark or fair you started,” says Forecast. “That’s why gray hair tends to complement your complexion.” Thanks, Mother Nature! Still, “many people just equate gray with old,” says Forecast, so coloring your hair is, of course, a choice. If you’re aiming for something that doesn’t scream “I color my hair,” Forecast advises not going more than one shade darker or three shades lighter than what you were born with. Having said that, she adds that dying your hair a wacky, not-found-in-nature shade is easier when you’re starting with gray (unpigmented) hair since you don’t need to strip away another color first. So, you may want to reconsider your stance on blue hair.