Does Your Hair Make You Look Old?
When Thin Isn't In: Advice for Women with Thinning Hair continued...
Start with a volumizing shampoo; look for ingredients like rice or wheat proteins, which thicken strands. Try Sally Hershberger Supreme Head Shampoo for Normal to Thin Hair ($9.50, Walgreens) or Pureology PureVolume Shampoo ($26, pureology.com).
Ditch the stiff, maximum-hold hairsprays — they can fracture the hair shaft when you brush them out. "The new ‘flexible’ versions are less likely to cause breakage," says Dr. Draelos. We like Pantene Pro-V Classic Hairspray Flexible Hold ($4, drugstores) and Jonathan Finish Control High Shine Flexible Hairspray ($30, Sephora).
Avoid too-tight ponytails, teasing, or other styles that put excess tension on hair — you’ll just promote breakage, says Dr. Friedman. Disguise sparse areas with CRC Concealing Color ($28.50, qvc.com). For a fast, temporary fix, stipple the cream on with a brush to "blend" your scalp into your hair.
Keep in mind that dye or perming solutions penetrate thinner hair more rapidly, says Dr. Draelos. To avoid excess damage when touching up color at home, she recommends applying the dye just to the roots, and combing it through to the ends for only the last five minutes.
Antiaging Products for Your Hair
Like the ideal bathing suit or pair of jeans, the perfect shampoo gets tougher to find as you age. Volumizing formulas often skimp on the conditioning that drier hair desperately needs, while heavier, more moisturizing shampoos can leave fine locks limp. But new products targeted specifically at more mature hair claim to nourish without sacrificing volume, thanks to a mix of mild cleansers and lightweight moisturizers.
To find out if they work any better than the regular stuff, the Good Housekeeping Research Institute put five of the newest ones to the test with women between ages 40 and 60. The results: Our volunteers were impressed with the category as a whole, but L’Oréal Professionnel Série Expert Age Densiforce Shampoo ($20, us.lorealprofessionnel.com) and Masque ($30) earned top honors. Testers reported that the duo left their hair soft and delivered on the moisture-plus-body promise. "My hair looked great — shiny, manageable, and better than usual," said one woman. "The price is high, but this combo is worth the money." A budget-friendlier option, which ranked a close second: Dove Pro-Age Shampoo and Conditioner ($6 each, drugstores).