Is your hair your crowning glory or your crow’s nest?
Top tips for women who want great hair after 40
As we progress into our forties and beyond, our hair begins to show our age. Hormonal change means it can get thinner, dryer, frizzier, fluffier.
Serums and conditioners abound - but the one thing these cannot overcome is going grey. Bad hair days are more common. Until a pill is created to return the melanin to our follicles, grey is an inevitability. If you have thick, dark hair, that change probably began earlier than your blonde friends.
There are certainly Sassistas out there who wear their grey with elegant pride and look fantastic. However, most of us equate grey hair with ageing, paling, looks-waning decline into old age. Ironically, the latest ‘look’ is grey. But when a twenty-year old sashays into the room with a luxurious head of blue-grey hair, we know it is a statement of fashion. When she is fifty, it is a statement of confidence.
And what if you do not have the confidence? If dye is your thing, you need to get it right.
So first – the big no-no’s.
1. Dyeing all your hair bright blue or pink in an attempt to look ‘cool’ is not cool. Those bright colours are meant for the young (look at the package). You look like a mad woman!
2. If you went through your twenties as a natural, dark brunette, do not try to turn back the clock to the same shade. Your skin has lightened and you will end up looking like Morticia from the Addams Family.
3. Trying to go blonde when your natural colour is dark will send you carrot-orange unless you spend a fortune on bleaching out all colour first and suffer the consequence of brittle hair.
4. Keeping long hair in the belief it will make you look young. Some women, like Jerry Hall, can wear her hair long. That’s because she looks twenty years younger than she is and has a full entourage of image consultants, hairdressers and ‘looks artistes’. Most of us are in danger of looking straggly. Also, hair over your face creates shadows which can be ageing.
5. The badger line. Badgers have a white line down their head for a reason – to ward off predators. A white line of roots down your head will ward off compliments. Even worse, if you have significant roots and sit under a light you will look bald. If you have combined this with ‘no-no 1’ – well, there are no words for this.
A well-coloured, well-cut head of hair will take years off you and boost confidence. So we pulled in our Sassista hairdressing consultant for a few practical tips.
1. Get professional advice. Hair colourists are trained to match colour to skin and hair tone.
2. Get a great haircut – short and sassy is good. If you can wear it long you are lucky, but get the opinion of someone you trust to be honest.
3. Insist on low or no-ammonia dyes as these will not strip out the oils and make you go frizzy.
4. Use a natural base – linked to your natural hair colour.
5. If you had brown hair, use a blue base, often called ‘ash’. Ash blonde and ash brown have a blue base and will avoid you fading to an alarming shade of carrot.
6. Avoid using one blanket colour. It can look like a hat. Instead ask your hairdresser to use foils to add in another colour or two to give your hair shades and movement.
7. If you want to be more adventurous, opt for burgundy or copper low-lights depending on the base colour.
8. Never, never, never let those white roots grow unless you want to look like that badger. There is a raft of options which take away any excuses.
- For a quick fix, keep one of the following in your bag: L’Oreal Magic Touch Up, Josh Wood Colour Wand
- For a more thorough job in your bathroom try Charles Worthington Powder or Colour-Wow powder
- For a permanent colour which will get you through to the next proper due-job then Clairol Nice ‘n Easy root touch up is a must.
Last tip. If you are in the throws of hot flushes which make your face drip, opt for Clairol. Sasissta One used a handbag quick-fix and found herself looking more like a Jellicle cat than a sassy-cat on a hot day last week!