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Long, thick, bouncy, beautifully voluminous hair tends to be a sign of vitality and youthfulness, as far as society is concerned, and often times, it just makes us feel pretty and feminine. So as long as my hair looks healthy, shiny, and full of life, I don’t care what age I am, I will keep it longer in length.
But as we age, so do our hairs, losing elasticity, thinning, and dulling more as each decade passes. In fact, natural changes that occur over time including our blood flow, the loss of cellular reproduction, hormone changes, and diet can all impact the health of our hair, according to Jodi Sawyer, RN in her article, Fight Dull, Thinning Hair as You Age.
Even those of us who are blessed with a thick head of hair have to put some effort into making it look good. And as I age, I want to maintain the quality and longevity of my hair, so I’ve been doing a little research on not only keeping my locks lustrous, but also to offer a little help to my fine haired friends as well.
Scroll through my 15 secrets to thick, bouncy, shiny, beautiful hair, now and forever!
1. Avoid brushing your hair when it’s wet
Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! The Brady girls had it all wrong! Never and I mean NEVER brush your hair when it’s wet! This is a rule of my own that I strictly follow and cringe at the hair salon as my stylist rips through my freshly highlighted and washed hair, then promptly adds heat to make matters worse. Wait until your hair is dry or almost dry if you need to brush through it, and always begin at the ends and work your way up! Opt for a large toothed comb to protect your hair from breaking.
* Side note: I rarely brush my hair even when it’s dry!
2. Skip the blow out
My rule of thumb is one heat styling product per wash. If I blow dry my hair, I try to skip the curling iron. But if I allow my hair to air dry, the following day I can use my curling iron to get soft pretty waves. The trick to making it “look” thicker, fuller, and shinier than it truly may be, is to use a ceramic curling iron. Make sure you curl “back” away from your face. You can try this hair tutorial if you need a little guidance.
3. Try in-salon treatments and out
At New York’s Butterfly Studio Salon, founder Kattia Solano swears by Kerastase Paris new Fusio-Dose In-Salon Treatment + Home Lab, available on Amazon for $200.00. The treatment volumizes fine hair with nutrients, such as ceramides, that reconstruct the hair fiber. In an article from Bazaar, she says her clients call it the “Miracle Worker” as it completely changes the look of their hair. You can also opt for the more affordable Kerastase Fusio-Dose Concentre Substantif Intensive Replenishing Treatment at home one time treatment, available on Amazon for $98.00.
4. Just don’t cut it
I make it a habit to get a “trim” every other time I visit my stylist which keeps my hair long and healthy. By the end of Summer, my ends are at their limit and I’m usually ready for a “new do” come Fall anyway. So save your hair “cut” for the end of Summer. And even then, if you’re still in the long hair game, don’t cut more than 2-1/2 to 3 inches. Tip: I usually ask for a long layers and to “clean up” the front. This assures my hair stays long and lays right, without chunky layers that never seem to stay put.
5. Use thickening, volumizing products
For truly fine hair, try John Frieda Luxurious Volume Touchably Full Shampoo (on Amazon for $4.79) and John Frieda Luxurious Volume Thickening Conditioner For Fine Hair (on Amazon for $4.99).They’re affordable and offer thickening, volume, and silkiness to your hair.
6. Go for an extra day dirty
Over washing your hair will strip the natural oils and cause it to look, feel, and be, dry and more akin to breakage. This not only makes it look unhealthy, it actually is unhealthy. I tend to wash my hair about 3 times a week on average but if I can go an extra day, I most certainly will! Not only does it save me time, but it keeps my hair healthier to boot. Grease got you down? Try a few different dry shampoos. My favorites are Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo Powder Spray (on Amazon for $11.00) and Keratin Complex Volumizing Dry Shampoo Lift Powder for blondes (on Amazon for $21.99) and for brunettes (on Amazon for $22.40).
7. Try the Pantene Pro-V Expert Collection
New to the market (and the affordable one at that) are anti-aging shampoos and conditioners with similar ingredients found in age-defying skin creams like vitamin E and panthenol. I’m excited to try Pantene Pro-V Expert Collection Agedefy Shampoo (on Amazon for $9.99), Pantene Pro-V Expert Collection Agedefy Conditioner (on Amazon for $6.31), or the Pantene Expert Collection Age Defy Starter Kit (on Amazon for $12.97).
8. Sleep in long, loose, tucked-in braids
This not only keeps your hairs hugging each other, but you’ll wake up with pretty waves in the morning and can skip heating tools all together! Try a small, clear elastic at your ends. Tip: swoop the bottom up into the elastic for a nice “curl” when you take it out. Find a tutorial for this braid here.
9. Infuse your strands with protein
Protein in products improves the hair’s elasticity and strength properties according to Proteins – A Necessity for Our Natural Hair, but what about eating more protein? I think that’s the ticket as well!
10. Skip the hair extensions
If you truly want naturally long, thick, shiny, and beautiful hair, extensions will only keep you from your goal longer. They may be a quick fix but will ravage your hairs in the long run! Try Clip in hair extensions to get the look without the damage!
11. Try Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo
A delicate formula that transforms quickly into a rich foam that effectively draws out the impurities and build-up on the scalp without stripping the natural oils. Leaves hair naturally radiant, soft, and in balanced state — both volumized and moisturized. Paraben and silicone free.
12. Stay away from elastics and rubber bands
As much as I love great big high ponytails, I only wear them on rare occasions and only a few times a year. Right there with brushing my hair when it’s wet, if I use a rubber band to create a high pony tail, I’m guaranteed to lose about 100 hairs in the process. Pulling your hair back tightly tends to also break your fragile hairs around the front of your face, so adding an elastic to hold it up all day, is just begging for trouble. If you notice a lot of short, fine, wispy hairs around your face, check your pony tail and rubber band usage and cut it out!
13. Instead, opt for soft buns and top knots
I love Goody Spin Pins (available on Amazon for $8.99) for keeping my high twists, buns, and knots afloat and looking pretty! For at home, I use a multitude of small and large jaw clips to keep it up by simply twisting and clipping. This keeps all my hairs intact and away from my face without breakage.
14. Try a Biolustre Treatment
Patrick Melville Salon at Rockefeller Center in NYC offers a Biolustre Conditioning Treatment for $175 and the Biolustre Revamp Smoothing Treatment for $450-$600. Their philosophy on healthy, beautiful hair both transcends and sets trends. Or opt for the more affordable, at-home hair therapy! Biolustre Instant Repair Kit (available on Amazon for $59.40) is not a deep conditioner or hot oil treatment, but enters the hair shaft and binds to the hair with a synthetic, restructuring polymer that is chemically similar to hair. Biolustre rebuilds hair to a virgin state. You may then style as usual.
15. Remember that beauty is from within
Think about what you’re putting into your body and it will show on the outside! Biotin, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Folic Acid as well as a multitude of B vitamins really boost your hair’s ability to grow and stay strong. I’ve definitely gulped down a cocktail of beauty vitamins on and off through the years and if you’re looking for hair “growth” they’re a must! You can scroll through this list of beauty vitamins and choose which you think you need or opt for an all-in-one vitamin like Viviscal Extra Strength tablets (available on Amazon for $29.43). The right food, vitamins, water intake, and even exercise offer a great deal of benefits to us overall. But even if only for vanity sake, if you take good care of your insides, it will show up in your hair, face, skin, and body. So worth it!