Tips For 'Anti-Aging' Your Hair

Can you make your hair look younger, and other vital questions for the holiday season ahead

Maye Musk at The Fashion Awards 2016 in London. Picture / Getty

The temptation to blow-dry the hell out of your hair, ladle on products in a last-ditch attempt to recapture some youthful shine, then sit around bitching about how useless it is, is always strong, particularly at this time of year.

People saying things like “Trump, Brexit, wars - how can you be worrying about your highlights?” are missing the point. Modern grooming’s a saga. Standards are vertiginously high. Hair is required to be youthful, perky, groomed, tousled, chic.

The good news? Youthful hair should appear spontaneous. Ponytails are loose, back-combing a bit rough, layers skilfully “haphazard”.

“Be bold,” counsels 69-year-old Maye Musk, who looked ravishing at the Fashion Awards in London. “If it feels right, go a bit punk in the styling, especially if you’re grey.”

Alternatively, adopt a classic sculpture, a la Vogue Brazil contributor Costanza Pascolato. Or wear it in loose waves, like Franca Sozzani, Italian Vogue’s editor-in-chief. Go with your natural assets. The most ageing thing you can do to your hair, I’m reliably informed, is pay it too much attention.

How do I make my hair look thicker?
“There’s too much focus on volume. You can whoosh up hair with as many thickeners and volumisers as you want,” says superstylist Joel Concalves, “but you’re simply creating space between the strands where light gets through, so hair ends up looking thinner. Don’t try to smooth it too much as that will flatten it.”

What makes a good modern cut?
“One that doesn’t require lots of madame-y blow-drying,” says Concalves. As one of the best stylists in the world, he tends to rough-dry as he goes along. Never blow-dry from wet. That’s bad for hair health. “Focus on the areas you want to define, rather than on creating an entire head of big hair. If you have a fringe, start there and see where you need to go next. Use your fingers to tweak hair at strategic points that flatter your face and only go for volume where it’s sustainable.”

A great cut takes note of your dress and your personality. If your stylist is so busy you feel you’re on a conveyor belt, you’re unlikely to end up with something individual. “A good cut doesn’t just flatter, it looks current,” adds Luke Hersheson, creative director for Hersheson’s and John Frieda products. “You wouldn’t wear outdated clothes. Outdated hairstyles are just as ageing.”

What’s a good length after 40?
“There are no rules any more,” says Hersheson. “Shape’s much more important. We’ve created a new rebellious bob where the length is what suits the client. It flatters any woman, any age, any hair type.”

How long is long enough to spend on your hair?
“There’s long-term maintenance,” says trichologist Annabel Kingsley, “and the daily kind. Treat your scalp the way you treat your face, washing it daily. Not shampooing regularly creates a build-up of excess oils, sweat and dirt.”

Depending on thickness and length, you should be able to style your hair in as little as 10-15 minutes, including drying. Tonging takes longer, but fashionable tousled waves can be easily achieved on all but very long tresses, by wrapping your hair round your fingers or a narrow spiral brush, as you dry.

- The Daily Telegraph

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