Most people don't bat an eye at shelling out big bucks to update skin care routines with the latest anti-aging products that address new issues that develop over time like fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. While that's great (and taking care of your skin is an investment that has long-term payoff), what about your hair?
Just like skin, your hair ages with you. Hair requires focused and intentional care to keep it looking and feeling its best.
"Your hair, nails and skin are made up of the same components, but when we think about anti-aging, we just think about skin. We don't think that your hair goes along with that as well," explained hairstylist Courtney Foster.
How to manage aging hair, according to stylists
Stylists are in agreement that, as we get older, hair tends to lose shine, elasticity and volume. Before buying every product on the shelf that addresses these issues, though, you might benefit from looking inward first.
To start, Salon 120 West hairstylist Kasey Bertucci recommends making sure you're drinking enough water every day (a little over 11 cups, according to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine). You should also prioritize getting enough sleep — between seven to nine hours each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation — to reduce stress-induced hair loss.
Rita Sanders, owner and stylist at Tousled Hair Salon in Jersey City, New Jersey, said a clever way to stay one step ahead of aging hair is to make sure you have proper night care for your hair the way you would for your skin. An easy way to do that? Satin pillowcases!
"When you sleep, the friction of the tossing and turning [doesn't] cause the hair to knot up or tangle up or dry out from the products that you used maybe earlier in the day," Sanders told Shop TODAY.
Another culprit for damaged hair? Shampooing too often. “Think about how often you’re washing your hair,” said Bertucci. “If you’re washing or brushing it excessively, you might experience excess hair loss.”
Amy Abramite, creative director, salon educator and stylist at Maxine Salon, advises to shampoo “as often as necessary” and to do what makes sense for your scalp and hair. Specifically, you'll want to use products that are designed to work with your hair type and are free of damaging ingredients like silicones and waxes, as they cause buildup instead of removing it.
Finally, all of the stylists stressed the importance of treating your scalp as well as the rest of your head. "If your scalp is healthy, then your overall hair is healthy," Foster said.
Best anti-aging hair products, according to stylists
Alterna is a favorite of Foster's for mature hair care because the brand holds the philosophy that just as your skin ages, so does your hair. She particularly likes that it's made with vitamins A and C, which help target natural signs of aging like brittleness and moisture loss.
"If I have a client that is looking for [an anti-aging treatment], that's one of the things that I offer," she said. She also recommends the matching conditioner to complete the set.
Abramite raved about this scalp and hair serum from Kérastase. “It’s going to plump up the hair, reduce breakage and make the hair feel softer, shinier and thicker,” she told us.
While most serums tend to be associated with greasier formulas, Abramite emphasized the fact that this one is non-greasy and has a smoother, milkier consistency. She recommends using this product on stressed or recessed areas of your hair and continuing with your regular styling process, ending with a bit of heat.
New York City-based hairstylist Jasmine Burnside called this Oribe texturizing spray one of her go-to favorites to give the appearance of fuller hair. "I feel like it really gives a lot of grit and texture where you can actually feel it in the hair," she said.
The L'anza Keratin Healing Oil shampoo and conditioner is another favorite of Foster's. "It feels like luxury," she said.
Foster raved about its wonderful scent and noted that these products have a keratin base, which is what gives our natural hair bounce, body and shine. It's also designed to cleanse the hair yet still leave it feeling soft and silky, all while protecting your color.
This hair treatment line is another personal favorite of Bertucci's. The line is designed to stimulate new hair growth, thanks to ingredients like mint, capsicum and botanical extracts. Apply it to the scalp twice a day and massage it in to receive maximum benefits, according to the brand's instructions.
This Bumble and Bumble pre-styling spray is a favorite of Burnside's. Apply it to damp, clean hair and follow up with your preferred hair tools to give the appearance of added volume.
If you want to increase shine, Sanders recommends looking for a lighter serum that will sit on top of the hair like this sesame oil. It has over 1,100 verified perfect five-star ratings.
"[Sesame oil] is a sealing oil that will sit on top of the hair and give it a really nice shine," she explained.
For a lightweight product, Burnside calls this dry shampoo powder a personal favorite. She describes it as "not as gritty as a texturizing spray" but good for soaking up excess oils and sebum. "It really refreshes second day or post-workout hair," she said.
"It gives you instant root lift and grip so you can, at your leisure, spray it at your roots or at your ends so it really, really fluffs up and gives your hair a lot of volume," Burnside said about this Oribe volumizer. The spray application also helps reduce the typical mess from a hair powder.
"The Olaplex line is very good for the dullness problem and if you're having any brittleness or breakage just to make sure that it's really putting the protein back into your hair," Bertucci told us.
She specifically recommends this Olaplex repairing treatment, which is designed to not only address the damage in your hair, but also to restore its healthy appearance and texture.
Abramite recommends pairing Kérastase's Initialiste serum with the brand's Densifique shampoo and conditioner. She likes this duo because it helps prevent breakage and will deep clean your hair while removing buildup.
Most mousses have a reputation for being sticky and weighing hair down, but Abramite likes this one from Kérastase because it does the exact opposite. She regards this product as a "softer mousse that you don't have to worry about" in terms of stressing your hair or it becoming sticky or crunchy.