Over Fifty ?

A friend told me that on the morning his wife turned Fifty, she put her arms around him and snuggled up to him as they lay in bed. He turned and said: “Now I know what it feels like to have old age creep up on me.” 

I hope he had a very big present waiting for his lovely wife, or a very thick skull.

For those of us over Fifty, we are often surprised and wonder ‘when did that happen?’ For those of you under Fifty, you might wonder ‘how will it feel?’

I have many clients over Fifty, more over Sixty, and a lot over forty who simply don’t look or act their age. They go ski-ing trips to Switzerland, hiking holidays in Australia and camping on the Blackdowns – in all weathers.

A good mental attitude is as important as looking after your health, your diet and exercising regularly. But there is one area many people neglect as they get older and that is their hair.  Oddly, it’s the one part of you which is so obvious and visible and which can make you look older than you feel or indeed are.

Here are my tips for making sure your hair still looks fantastic at Forty, fabulous over Fifty and super over Sixty.

Are you in the right salon?

Loyalty between customer and client is important as it builds relationship, trust and understanding over the years. But ask yourself if you’re really just stuck in a groove because you’ve always gone to the same salon and stylist. Don’t be scared to change.

As you get older, your personality changes along with your hair condition. Make sure your stylist is someone you trust to tell you what suits you and what doesn’t. There should be a two way conversation, not just you telling what you want or the stylist forcing you to take a cut or colour that just isn’t you.

Choosing a stylist

If you go elsewhere, ask a few simple questions. Could friends or family recommend a salon? Ask to have a look round the salon. Is it tidy, busy or over-busy?  Do staff take time to consult or are clients rushed through a conveyor-belt of robes, washing, drying and stuck in front of a mirror for the first available stylist? Are the magazines three months out of date? If so, head for the exit or better still, don’t even go in!

Condition is key

One of the biggest factors affecting your is the menopause. Hair becomes thinner, more brittle and dehydrated. My one big tip for over fifty (s) hair is to ensure you properly condition it. If shampoo makes your hair clean, conditioning is the soft, fluffy towel your wrap around it.

Good conditioning will protect and strengthen your hair in between cuts. That’s why you need a good, personal stylist who knows you and your lifestyle. They will advise on the right conditioner for you, not just try to flog you the most expensive one on the shelf.

It’s important you watch your caffeine and alcohol intake and get the right amount of sleep. All of these also have a huge effect on your hair as you get older.

The cut

I hear conflicting advice about whether women over Fifty, or even Forty, should automatically have their hair cut shorter. Certainly, long and untidy hair, often with a middle parting, can age you terribly. Add on the grey factor and you can look much older than you are or actually feel.

Many of my clients opt to keep their hair long once they reach Fifty. I advise them to have it trimmed regularly and to avoid block colours that also age. Embrace your hair’s changing colours with lowlights and highlights to avoid the two tone fiasco. Combers colour experts, Nick Martin, says, “Its not just about selecting the correct colour choice from a palate of the finest hair colours for hair, its about how much, where and what direction to place the colour to achieve a colour that looks natural and compliments you, our guest. For example horizontal sections would create fullness and movement for someone with fine hair, and vertical sections create length and reduce fullness. Then we consider the more subtle variations of diagonal forward or backward depending on how you choose to wear your hair”

Look at people such as Anna Wintour, 65, editor of US Vogue, or Cindy Crawford, 49. They haven’t run scared of grey and gone for a block colour which they naturally had when they were in their twenties. Colour expert at Combers, Beckie Lyons says “If lowlights and highlights are fused professionally and in a way to suit your individual look, the result is wonderful. You’ll have people guessing your age and always going under what you really are. They’ll wonder how you’ve managed to keep it so young looking – and only you and your stylist will know the secret.

Other factors.

There are many factors affecting your hair condition. In winter, the cold weather and heavier materials, scarves and hats, can all act as abrasives on your hair. So too can pillows and worn brushes and hairdryers. Check out all these factors and change what needs to be changed. Treat yourself to better equipment – and better does not always mean expensive.

The key factors are confidence and knowledge and a little help from your stylist. Stick to these rules and you’ll never look a day over fabulous!