A lot changes as we age, some of it for the good – after all we get a lot smarter and savvier – and some of it not so good. One of the things most women tend to notice is that after their fortieth birthday has passed is that their hair starts to thin. In fact after wrinkles thinning hair is the second biggest complaint most women have about their appearance as they enter this new phase of their lives and the number one question they usually have when they visit the hairdresser is just what can I do to make my hair look fuller?
There are ways that you can indeed at least give your hair the illusion of volume by utilizing a few styling tricks and some hair products. It does take a little time and effort though. Not a huge amount of time, you won’t have to start getting up two hours earlier every morning but you should plan on adding 15-20 minutes a day to your basic routine.
Why Does Hair Thin as You Age?
Normally a single strand of hair actually actively grows for between three and seven years. At some point though, when it cannot grow anymore it “rests” for a period of about three months and then naturally falls out to make room for new hair that is coming to replace it.
Many people do have a genetic disposition to suffering from hair loss and as early as in their twenties their hair becomes more sensitive to the male testosterone hormones in their bodies and the hair starts to weaken. as estrogen levels begin to decrease after forty and headed towards menopause then the thinning of the hair becomes far more noticeable.
Dealing with Thinning Hair
These days there are medical procedures and even medications that can be used to help reduce the severity of a thinning hair problem. Whether or not a woman with thinning hair chooses to pursue these avenues is a very personal decision, especially since these are not inexpensive treatments at all. There are some things that can be done to at least disguise the problem though in the comfort of you own home or while you are in the chair at your hairdresser. Here are just a few of those things:
Back Combing – Many women think of back combing as an old fashioned styling technique that can only be used to create a 1950s style beehive, something that of course is hardly a very current look. That does not have to be the case though if you learn how to use backcombing properly. Here’s how its really done:
- Start with a small section of hair – no bigger than about a half inch and pull it out from your head, holding it rather taut.
- Using a fine toothed comb push some of the hair back to form a “matte” as close to the scalp as possible. Start at the base of your head and work your way up. If you start midway the end result with not be volume but a mess of tangles in the middle of your hair.
- Continue to do this to small sections of your hair where you want to add the volume.
- Comb over the “foundation” you have now built and then spritz lightly with hairspray. The end result should still look like your hairstyle, just with a sudden extra lift that will make a very noticeable difference.
Rollers – another “old fashioned” solution but still one that works. You can use hot rollers if you have less time, just make sure that you have all of your hair tucked around them to avoid an odd “fish hook” look at the ends. If you can stand sleeping in rollers velcro rollers work very well too, all you have to do is unwrap in the morning comb out and then add a little hairspray. You can also get a similar effect if you slowly blow dry your hair using a large round brush.
Using Color – Just the right color can help thinning hair look thicker as well. Opt for a professional dye job though as at home efforts tend to end up at least a little patchy which can make thin hair look even thinner.
Use a Scalp Shader – If you have patches of thinning hair you can create a daily illusion of more hair and volume using a simple cosmetic called a scalp shader. They work very much like a blush, except that they are applied to the scalp, not the cheeks! The effect is especially effective when used on thinning areas at the crown and its a five minute fix that lots of women don’t even know about!
Lastly, a note about volumizing products. There are a lot of these on the market today. Many of them do indeed temporarily plump up the hair shaft. But they also create tangles and can really weigh finer hair down so they should be used sparingly if you use them at all.
Elena is a hair care expert who loves to share her knowledge about hair fashion and hair care with women of all ages. You can find more of her advice for finding your perfect over 40 look here: http://hairspiration.org/finding-the-real-new-you-hairstyles-for-women-over-40/.
Or get some great ideas for hairstyles for women over 50 here: http://hairspiration.org/16-cool-hairstyles-for-women-over-50/