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Hair and the Older Woman

      We all know the quote: "Time waits for no man." Well, it waits for no woman, either. Aging is a fact of life, and as we age, our bodies change. Most of the changes are ones we've come to expect - slowing metabolism, loss of skin elasticity, the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and the development of gray hair.
 
bob hairstyle for a middle aged woman       Yet, along with gray comes other changes in the hair. As we age, our hair loses some of its elasticity, density and may develop changes in texture and wave pattern. (Gray hair almost always has a different texture.) Your hair will need more moisture than in your youth, and you may find that your hair doesn't hold a style as well as it used to.
 
      There's also the question of styles for older women. There used to be a school of thought that as a woman grew older, her hair should be shorter. Many older women of our mothers' and grandmothers' generations have short, layered styles and many of them prefer roller styles. I believe the attitude that older women should have shorter hair came from two sources: One is convenience, because shorter hair tends to be easier to style and care for. The other is (probably) that many short hairstyles are flattering to older women.
 
      But there's no reason for women to feel restricted to shorter hairstyles as they get older. The important thing is that the style be flattering, and that it is appropriate to the type of hair you have. In other words, a classic hairstyle that would look good on you at 25-30 would probably look good on you at 50.
 
      The key is to avoid "trendy" hairstyles. When you see a style you like that is being worn by someone considerably younger than you are in a magazine, you don't necessarily have to dismiss it as an option. Rather, you should take the picture to your stylist and discuss with him (or her) the elements you like in the style. Your stylist can then offer you a style that uses those elements, but which will suit you much more. Doing this can allow you to keep your look updated, without looking as if you are trying to look young.
 
      Here are some other tips for caring for your hair as you get older:
 
Conditioning:
 
      Conditioning is important for everyone, regardless of age, but older women may find that their hair is drier than when they were younger. For older women it is a good idea to have a deep conditioning treatment every week to keep up the moisture level in your hair. You'll also want to make sure to use shampoos and rinse-through conditioners that are formulated for extra-moisturizing protection, especially if you heat-style your hair.
 
      Your hair also loses elasticity as you age, so a once-a-month protein pack treatment will help to restore strength to your hair making it easier to style and help styles to last longer. Also, by using an anti-frizz serum, you can help to smooth out the cuticle layer of the hair and prevent loss of moisture and proteins. Many shampoo and conditioning products are now made in "sleek and smooth" formulas that help to close the cuticle layer and leave hair silky and shiny.
 
aging hair graphic

Scalp Care:
 
      The fact that many women lose hair density as they age often leads to a problem that many women fail to anticipate until it's too late - sunburn on the scalp. Older women who notice that their hair has begun to thin should look for conditioners with sun-block in them, or else use a separate sun-block applied carefully to the scalp while the hair is wet, then dry the hair and style as desired.
 
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