Like skin, hair loses moisture with age, and with it, lustre and bounce. Here’s how to counter these effects:
1. Use a mild shampoo that contains fatty acids, balsams, moisturisers or protein. Although these proteinrich products can’t actually feed the dead keratin cells that make up your hair, they can ‘glue down’ and protect the outer layer.
2. Switch shampoo brands every six to eight months to avoid stripping away the same type of oil.
3. Don’t shampoo twice — this advice is geared only towards selling more product. You may even want to dilute the shampoo by half for gentler cleaning and shampoo less often. Rinse well to avoid residue that can make hair limp.
4. Apply conditioner only from the ears down, not on the scalp, where it can clog pores and overcondition hair, making it dull. Your scalp secretes enough oil to condition the first 7 cm of hair.
5. Seal hair cuticles by rinsing with cold water.
6. Play it cool by minimising use of blow-dryers and curling irons to avoid drying out the hair and causing split ends. Hold your dryer 15–20 cm from your hair.
7. Avoid products that contain alcohol, which parches the hair.
8. Limit the use of shine products that contain silicone, which over time creates a build-up that can leave hair dull and limp.
9. Trim hair every four to six weeks to get rid of split ends.
10. Eat a diet rich in zinc, magnesium, potassium, iron and lean protein, all of which support healthy hair.