The Best Haircare Routine for Your 40s and Beyond
Even with a crystal ball and a set of tarot cards, it's impossible to fully predict what your life will be like 10 years from now, but what is certain is that your hair will change as you get older.
While shedding, textural changes, and going gray are all natural parts of the aging process. Not to mention, they're also influenced by external factors, such as hormone shifts, and external ones, like regular chemical treatments. However, it is possible to maintain healthy, shiny, glossy hair at every age — with the right haircare routine.
Your hair starts to age as early as your 20s, but these changes are typically most prevalent in your 40s. This is due to the body preparing itself for menopause and changes in your scalp's natural oil production.
"Thinning, dryness, and graying are the main changes in hair with women in their 40s and 50s," says Dr. Gaby Longsworth, Ph.D. scientist, certified hair practitioner and owner/ founder of Absolutely Everything Curly. "With age and declining hormone levels (menopause), hair loses density, shine, and pigment, and the sebaceous glands in the scalp produce less sebum." She points out that sebum production decreases by 50 percent between the ages of 45 to 60 in the average woman.
As for gray hair, it's actually not gray at all. "Gray hair isn't white, but transparent like glass," Dr. Longsworth explains. "It generally has higher dye uptake (semi-permanent or permanent) during hair coloring treatments. This is potentially due to the higher level of porosity and surface roughness, which facilitates the penetration of chemicals."
Texture also comes into play. "The cuticles of gray hair are rougher and drier than pigmented hair," Dr. Longsworth adds. "And gray curly hair can be drier and coarser than pigmented curly hair."
With these main hair shifts in mind, we've compiled your go-to guide to picking the right products for your 40+ haircare routine, including tips from Dr. Longsworth and celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein.
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