Ageing Hair: How Weathering Damages Your Hair and How to Stop It.
The ageing or ‘weathering’ of your hair not only depends on how old it is, but also what is done to it on a daily basis and how well it’s looked after. The appearance of your hair, and its reflective quality, depends a lot on your hair type, but also relies heavily on the condition of your hair’s cuticle, or protective layer. When your hair’s cuticle is smooth and intact it is reflective and gives your hair sought after shine and glossiness. However, over your hair’s lifetime, each hair will be shampooed consistently; brushed, combed and backcombed; cut and styled using dryers, rollers, tongs, straightening irons etc; exposed to the elements – sun and wind – and perhaps the sea and/ swimming pools. It may also be processed with colour treatments, perms, reverse perms or relaxers. We term all of this ‘weathering’ or ‘ageing’. Although weathering rarely affects the growth cycle of hair, it can cause damage to the hair shaft and therefore diminish your hair’s shine, glossiness and youthful appearance.
Weathering of your hair is unavoidable, even if you don’t process or straighten it etc. However, there are ways for all us of to minimize the damage that weathering causes to our hair.
- Correct Blow Drying: Hold the blow dryer at least 6 inches away. Start on a high speed and high temperature, and as the hair begins to dry, gradually reduce the heat. Always stop blow-drying when your hair is ‘just dry’ or damage, breakage and therefore weathering can occur.
- Sun Protection: Your hair and scalp need protection from the sun as well as your skin. The sun can burn your scalp and also weathers your hair by drying it out and causing brittleness. If sitting in the sun for a prolonged period of time, use a protective cream, such as Philip Kingsley Swimcap Cream, to prevent damage and dryness.
- Chlorine/Sea/Salt water protection: Chlorine and salt water can both dry out your hair and cause excessive weathering. Chlorine can also discolour blonde hair. Use a protective product, such as Swimcap, to prevent this damage to your hair.
- Brushing correctly: If you use a brush for styling, choose one made of soft, pliable plastic and use it gently. A brush can do more damage than a hairdryer if used incorrectly and too vigorously. Philip Kingsley Styling Brushes are both gentle on the hair and scalp and also vented to minimize heat damage.
- Remove tangles and knots gently: Using a wide tooth comb, carefully remove tangles, working from the tips of your hair up to the roots. Being too rough can cause breakage, split-ends and avoidable weathering of the hair.
- Use the correct styling tools: If using hair rollers, look for smooth or foam covered rollers without spikes. They should preferably not have a Velcro covering. Such rollers only tangle the hair and can be impossible to remove without breaking off some hair.
- Conditioning: Try to use an intensive pre-shampoo conditioning treatment at least once a week, depending on your hair texture and condition. Pre-shampoo conditioning treatments, such as the multi-award winning Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, help to reverse and prevent the signs of weathering. They deeply condition the hair, improve its elasticity, smooth the cuticle and therefore help to create bounce, shine and glossiness. It is also important to condition your hair after every shampoo. This also smoothes the hairs’ cuticle and moisturizes the hair.