As we age, we are more prone to the effects of thinning, over-coloured, dry and damaged hair. Thanks to Philip Kingsley and Aveda, you can reverse these effects so hair looks fuller thicker and healthier.
Philip Kingsley was an internationally renowned trichologist who dedicated his career to understanding hair and scalp health and creating a bestselling product range that really cares for your hair. We caught up with his predecessor and daughter Anabel Kinglsey who answers your most common haircare concerns.
What is the most frequently asked question from older women that you have to answer at Philip Kinglsey?
The most frequently asked question from older women is ‘what can I do to make my hair thicker?’
There is almost always a way to improve hair growth and quality. Exact treatment will in large part depend on the cause, but a holistic approach is always key. There is usually more than one thing affecting a hair loss issue. For instance, it could be due to genetics and nutrition, or stress and general health. Sometimes it is a combination of all of these. Breakage and poor styling habits are also often at play. At our Clinics in London and New York we investigate and target every possible factor that might be affecting hair quality. We then tailor a bespoke hair and scalp regime for our clients to help them achieve their best hair possible.
Why does hair change as we age?
Our hair ages, like any tissue. Just as we don’t have the same suppleness of skin in our 40s or 50s as we did in our 20s, our hair quality and hair follicles change too.
Like our skin, our hair doesn’t age overnight. It is a gradual process. In terms of what happens to our hair, follicles on our scalp slowly become smaller and produce strands that are slightly finer in diameter and shorter in length with each passing hair growth cycle. Why this happens is in large part down to hormonal shifts that occur. Leading up to, during and after menopause, our oestrogen levels drop and the percentage of circulating androgens (male hormones) rises in relation to them. Androgens are not very hair friendly and can shorten the hair growth cycle. The extent to which our hair loses volume is in large part due to our genes. If you have a strong genetic predisposition to hair thinning, whereby scalp hair follicles are sensitive to normal levels of circulating male hormones, density changes can be very pronounced. If you have little genetic susceptibility, shifts in hair diameter are less obvious.
What should older women be worried about if their hair starts to thin?
Try not to worry if you notice your strands are starting to thin. This is easier said than done, as hair holds vast psychological importance. However, stress can exacerbate hair loss. There is also almost always something that can be done to help. Being pro-active is the most helpful thing to do. Hair thinning is progressive, so it is important to act as soon as you notice it to get the best out of treatment.
What has the most impact on the health of hair?
Hair is very sensitive to our internal environment. Everything from diet, nutritional deficiencies, stress levels and general health can impact the hair growth cycle. This is because our hair is non-essential tissue and, as such, our body gives it last priority. Because of our hair’s physiological dispensability, it is often the first part of us to suffer when something is amiss.
External stressors can also take their toll on hair health. For instance, sun, salt and chlorinated water exposure, chemical processing, heat styling and trauma from brushing can weaken strands and cause breakage.
Scalp health is also very important. A healthy scalp will help encourage healthy hair growth, while a scalp that is flaky or irritated can cause or worsen hair loss. If you notice flakes, or experience itching, use a targeted anti-microbial shampoo, such as our award-winning Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo.
Do hair colourants/dyes have a damaging effect on hair or scalp health?
Hair colouring does not cause hair loss. However, any permanent colour will damage the structure of the hair to a certain extent. This can result in breakage, brittleness and split ends. The bigger the colour change, and the lighter the colour you choose, the greater the damage is likely to be.
Colouring may also burn or irritate the scalp if it is applied incorrectly, or if someone has a sensitivity or allergy to the colouring agent being used. In terms of allergies/sensitivities, this is why a ‘patch test’ is always recommended.
My biggest piece of advice to those who have their hair coloured is to speak up if you feel your scalp is burning. Pain is never a normal part of colouring and should not be dismissed as such. If you feel uncomfortable, insist on being seen.
What are the best products to improve hair texture?
Using a weekly pre-shampoo conditioning treatment can do a world of good for parched and brittle hair. I recommend our multi-award-winning Elasticizer. It plumps the hair shaft with moisture, improving strength, shine, bounce and manageability. Very importantly, Elasticizer will not weigh down fine hair. As excess heavy residue is shampooed away, you are simply left with the benefits.
If you heat-style your hair, a heat protective spray is an absolute must. Your hair can burn just like your skin – you simply cannot feel it. I recommend applying our Daily Damage Defence conditioning spray to your mid-lengths and ends before blow drying your hair.
Invest in a hair friendly hair brush. Being a tool we use every day – and often multiple times a day – the wrong brush can really wreak havoc on our strands. Choose a brush with rounded, plastic prongs and a gentle, vented cushioned base. Avoid boar bristle brushes as these can tear into the hair cuticle.
What's the best way to have shiny healthy looking hair?
Use a weekly pre-shampoo conditioning treatment, like our Elasticizer. It smoothes down the outer hair cuticle, which allows strands to reflect light brilliantly.
Shampoo frequently – daily to every other day if you can. Clean hair is naturally more shiny than dirty hair. For best results, use a shampoo formulated specifically for your hair texture.
Be mindful of how you heat-style. Over-time, heat damage can leave strands looking frazzled and dull. Let your hair air-dry when you have a lazy day at home. When you do blow-dry, use a medium to low heat setting and don’t hold the hairdryer too close to your hair.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet. What you eat will not affect the quality of existing hair, but it will 100% impact the quality of new hairs that are forming. Hair is made of protein, making a protein-rich diet incredibly important. I suggest including at least a palm-sized portion of a protein-packed food with breakfast and lunch. Eggs, fish, low-fat cottage cheese, poultry, lean meat and quinoa are all excellent options. You may also wish to take a daily protein supplement that contains all essential amino acids (proteins), providing your hair with an extra boost of essential building blocks.
Short or long hair? Should we cut our hair as we age to improve hair strength or is this just a decision depending on personal choice/lifestyle?
It is completely a question of personal preference! Go for a hairstyle that makes you feel most confident and comfortable.
Aveda also addresses ageing hair and created the Aveda Invati range that helps to restore hair health so it looks fuller, thicker and healthier. Here's how it works.
Launched originally in 2012, Invati™ Solutions for Thinning Hair quickly became the best-selling global franchise from Aveda™ The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essences. It is a consistent award-winner internationally and every second, there are 2 people using an Invati™ product.
NEW 98% naturally derived Invati Advanced™ Solutions for Thinning Hair is an innovative 3-step system composed of an Exfoliating Shampoo, Thickening Conditioner and Scalp Revitalizer that now reduces hair loss due to breakage and instantly thickens the look of hair with a more simplified usage routine of just once daily, compared to twice when launching in 2012. Inspired by Ayurveda, the ancient Indian art of renewal, this system features an invigorating blend of Ayurvedic herbs and helps keep the hair you have longer.
1. EXFOLIATE: Invati Advanced™ Exfoliating Shampoo
Gently exfoliates, cleanses and renews the scalp with wintergreen-derived salicylic acid, removing build-up that can clog pores. This nourishing formula cleanses the hair and detangles to help protect from breakage during shampooing, creating the optimum foundation for thicker, fuller-looking hair.
2. THICKEN: Invati Advanced™ Thickening Conditioner
Instantly thickens the look of hair, with fullness that lasts all day. Naturally derived* amino acids mimic hair’s building blocks to help strengthen hair from root to ends, leaving it looking thicker with fullness that lasts all day.
3. ACTIVATE: Invati Advanced™ Scalp Revitalizer
Reduces hair loss to help keep the hair you have for longer. Now, when applied just once daily (compared to twice a day when it first debuted in 2012) this new invigorating formula featuring tangerine peel and Japanese knotweed, penetrates the surface to help improve the look of thinning hair. When massaged in, our patented energy ferment and Ayurvedic herb blend including ginseng and certified organic turmeric invigorate the scalp, whilst certified organic amla leaves the hair looking instantly thicker with lift at the root.
Top tips for ticker looking hair from Michel Lendon , Aveda Advanced Master Creative Director.
• Try to avoid towel-drying the hair too aggressively as this can be destructive to the hair’s cuticles and the outer layer of each strand of hair which can become vulnerable.
• Ensure you are avoiding leaving hair to air dry – thin hair can be prone to drying quickly and it’s important to work to build in volume and body before it has a chance to dry flat and appear thinner.
• Dry hair on a medium heat and low airspeed in sections: lifting from the roots before moving onto the mid-shaft and ends for maximum volume and control.
• Opt for Thickening Highlights – keep the highlights finer through the top of the hair and chunkier underneath to give the illusion of thicker, fullness with extra bulk and depth.
• Keep the roots of the hair darker: this helps the hair look more solid at the scalp.
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