There is no shortage of products aimed at tackling wrinkles and other aging-related skincare issues, yet the beauty market is just now starting to target women with products designed to turn back the clock on hair. Naturally, a good amount of marketing fluff is associated with this growing product category, so we turned to Rodney Cutler, Redken brand ambassador and owner of Cutler/Redken Salons in New York City, to find out exactly what we can do to help extend the life of our precious strands.
theFashionSpot: What does anti-aging haircare actually mean?
Rodney Cutler: The anti-aging movement in the haircare world is a relatively new concept. As women strive to look and feel better as they age, the marketplace has become inundated with lotions and potions for skin, hair and wellness. As we grow older, our hair naturally loses its elasticity, protein, and melanin depletion leads to gray hair. When you see products advertised as “anti-aging,” they usually contain certain ingredients to restore these lost nutrients and produce more volume, shine and thickness.
tFS: Can you elaborate on what exactly causes hair to age?
RC: The loss of pigment in our hair strands is one of the primary causes of hair aging. As hair turns gray and the texture changes, it becomes more tenacious and wiry, which can create a frayed, excessively brittle appearance. The natural sebum from our scalp also slows the production of oils, leading to a loss of moisture and a drier landscape from which our hair grows.
tFS: Is there a difference in how men’s and women’s hair ages?
RC: While men genetically experience hair loss and thinning hair at an increased rate (aka male pattern baldness), women tend to notice the changes in their hair texture more frequently due to the amount of importance women place on their hair. Women also have the added stress of using heat styling tools and chemical services throughout their lives, which can lead to compromised, aging hair.
tFS: What are your non-product related suggestions to prevent hair aging?
RC: Diet can usually have a large impact in the sebum production and essential oil distribution on older hair. Some of the essential nutrients you should increase if you are experiencing aging hair are omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium (which can assist with hair growth) and vitamin A (essential for increasing sebum/oil production). Avocados, walnuts, fish (especially salmon and halibut), carrots and spinach are all great hair boosters!
Another great trick is to use cool water when washing and rinsing your hair. Colder water will automatically seal the cuticle, protecting it from heat styling damage and the elements, leading to easier combability and shine.
tFS: What are your top product recommendations for aging hair?
RC: Using a pH-balanced moisturizing shampoo and conditioner is essential to restore the lost oils and retain elasticity. I recommend using Redken’s Cerafill Defy Shampoo and Conditioner. Also, a densifying styling product, like Redken’s Cerafill Dense FX Hair Diameter Thickening Treatment or Texture Effect, instantly creates the illusion of thicker, fuller hair and is ideal for those who lack volume in their hair. Also, work with your stylist to develop a great haircut that suits your natural features without requiring excessive heat styling tools.