Sunday, June 17, 2012

The secrets to young-looking hair

Discover the secrets to young-looking hair and have fab hair every day of your life
In the same way an out-of-date fashion accessory can tag you as “so 1985” (and not in the cool, retro kind of way), hair that’s thinning, in poor condition or cut in an unflattering style can label you as “mumsy”. On the other hand, having hair that’s full of vitality and in a colour and cut that suits you can shave off the years. To pull this off, you need to take a multifaceted approach – along with some expert help – to get you there.

Style her fabulous 
Shelene Shaer, head stylist and owner of Tanaz Hair, Body & Nails in Jo’burg recommends that you decide what works for you, like length at your chin, less height on top of your head, and work within that framework. “As celebrities go, Meg Ryan does this really well,” she comments. “Whether long or short, Meg keeps a heavy top and soft layers on her face – a brilliant example of someone who changes styles but always keeps to a structure that suits her.”She adds that you don’t need to change who you are (if you like length, you don’t need to suddenly cut it off) but you do need to modernise your look every so often. Says Shaer, if you feel like you keep walking out of the salon with more of the same, go for a consultation with another stylist at the salon or even try a different salon completely, and get a fresh take on your look. That said, don’t chop and change salons and stylists at every whim – your relationship with your stylist is important in keeping you happy.

Condition her fabulous
It’s vital to understand that you won’t keep the same hair type throughout your life, says Shaer. “You need to accept this change and choose products accordingly.” One of the problems is age-related thinning. “It’s called senile alopecia,” explains Dr Larry Gershowitz from Medical Hair Restoration in Cape Town, “and it happens to all of us.”
With time, the hair follicles shrink and the hairs growing out of the follicles become finer. Eventually, you can end up with that seethrough hair you notice on older women. However it’s not all blue rinse and walking frames. Shaer explains that colouring can bulk up the hair by 20 percent, and perming can add further volume and structure. Combine that with products that bulk up the hair shaft like Philip Kingsley Body Building Shampoo and Conditioner and a styling product like the Maximizer and you can actively change your hair texture.Another problem, adds Shaer, is that grey hair can be coarse and lack shine. “As you get older you need to choose products that add condition and artificial shine”. Great ranges to try include new Kérastase Age Premium, Schwarzkopf Bonacure Time Restore or Wella System Professional Hydrate. Then look at post-styling shine boosters like silicone serums such as ghd Polishing Serum which create that glassy sheen on the hair and will give coarse hair a smoother feel.
If you colour your hair, try new L’Oréal Professionnel Inoa, an innovative permanent hair colour that is oil-based (as opposed to many which are water-based), which means it conditions as it colours and leaves the hair shinier and softer, making it ideal for coarse, dull hair.

Colour her fabulous
We may spend our time and money trying to cheat the effects of time on our hair by colouring it, but nature knows what it’s doing says Shaer. Complexion-permitting, opting for colours that work with the grey palette rather than trying to completely paint over it could make your life easier. Shaer points out that usually, the older you get, the more yourcommitment to your hair increases, especially if you are colouring. “You have to make a choice – are you going to keep colouring your hair or are you going to allow it to go grey?” If you choose colouring, you need the help of a stylist and you need to understand that it’s afinancial and time commitment.

Treating hair thinning and loss
Hair loss is traumatic for men, so imagine how much more so it is for women, comments Dr Gershowitz. Fortunately, he says, female-pattern hair loss (or genetic hair loss, which is a diffuse thinning that’s especially noticeable on top of the head) only occurs in four to eight percent of women. There are a number of factors that can cause hair loss in women, he says. “Stress is the biggest reversible cause of hair loss – it’s actually normal.” (In fact it’s typical to lose between 50 and 150 hairs per day.) If your hair loss is stress-related, take heart from knowing that the stressful period in your life will pass, he says, and your hair will grow back. In fact, sometimes simply realising that it’s stress-related can go a long way to solving this issue, he adds.

Age is another contributing factor
Dr Sly Nedic of 8th Sense Aesthetic Medical Practice in Joburg says that thinning hair is a common concern in her peri- and post-menopausal patients. Diet and nutrition is also a consideration as extreme dieting or problems likeanaemia can cause hair loss. “I always screen patients for the underlying causes of hair loss, because hair loss is a complex problem and needs to be addressed not just as an aesthetic problem, but as a proper medical condition.” Whatever the cause, if you are concerned about hair loss, it’s worth your while seeing a doctor who specialises in anti-ageing or hair restoration to get to the bottom of the problem, even if it’s a temporary one.

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