When it comes to anti-aging skin products, we all invest time, money, and effort – oh so much effort. But have you ever stopped to think about your hair? Our scalps are subject to exactly the same aging factors as our faces (it is skin, after all), which can result in everything from dull, dry locks to lack of hair density and even hair fall.
As we age, our oil glands shrink, our follicles get weaker and are able to grow less new hair, and hair fibers shrink so locks look and feel thinner – not what we want. So how do you tackle this one? Firstly, you need to understand how and why hair ages. “We have to consider two types of aging: aging of the scalp and aging of the fiber,” explains Jose Ginestar, Director of Research and Development at Sisley Paris.
“The skin on the scalp has the same structure as the skin on the rest of the body. It is composed by the same cell types, has the same external and internal aggressors – the likes of pollution, stress, and smoking – and suffers from the same aging phenomena.
For example, collagen fibers in the dermis of the scalp can be the target of free radicals or glycation, a reaction that disorganizes and stiffens the collagen network. On the skin, this glycation causes lack of firmness or wrinkles, but on the scalp, it leads to a loss of hair anchorage. Hair starts to fall and loses its density.”
“When it comes to hair fibers, the aging process is due to chemical, thermic, or mechanic treatments like hair dyes and brushing. Hair fibers are composed of cells rich in keratin and link one to the other thanks to a cement made of lipids, like ceramides. When the fibers are damaged, the keratin structure is degraded and there is also a lack of lipids, so hairs become rough, dull, and dry. They also break easily, and split ends can appear.
To prevent hair aging – and consequently hair loss – it is important to maintain a good sleep cycle and a diverse diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Foods that contain sulfur like meat, eggs, garlic, or cabbage are also beneficial. Good hair hygiene is also essential; use soft and gentle hair products that are suitable for your scalp and fibers, and limit aggressive treatments such as hair dyes.” The good news is that there’s a whole host of products that prevent and treat scalp and hair aging. Start with Savoir Flair’s favorites, below.
Sisley 'Revitalizing Smoothing Shampoo'
Wash your way to healthier hair with this gentle, fortifying shampoo. “To fight free radicals and treat the glycation problem, we chose a vitamin E derivative to restore strength and resistance from the root,” explains Ginsberg. “To strengthen and repair the hair fiber, we combined a ceramide-like active ingredient that repairs the lipid structure of damaged hair with cotton proteins, which restore the hair-protein structure in a powerful restructuring complex that offers actions against breakage and split ends.”
Sisley ‘Revitalizing Smoothing Shampoo’
Philip Kingsley 'Tricho 7' Treatment
Containing seven ingredients known for their repairing and protecting powers – including antioxidant-rich green tea extract, vitamin B6, zinc sulphate, and azelaic acid – this treatment works from scalp to hair tips to encourage blood circulation in order to boost hair texture and vitality. It also helps create the optimum scalp environment to promote healthy hair growth.
Philip Kingsley ‘Tricho 7 Treatment’
Alterna 'Caviar Anti-Aging' Conditioner
When it comes to the ultimate anti-aging conditioner, there really is no alterna-tive to this moisturizing formula. Made with highly potent ingredients such as black sturgeon caviar extract and algae to protect hair against daily damage, it’s also rich in lipids to continuously hydrate hair and help it retain moisture.
Alterna ‘Caviar Anti-Aging’ Conditioner
Kiehl's 'Magic Elixir'
Because our oil glands produce less and less oils as we age, we need to replenish our locks and scalp with nutrients. This product is just the ticket as it’s abundant in natural oils to penetrate the hair and scalp and restore moisture levels. There’s amino acid-rich rosemary oil, fatty acid-rich avocado oil, and super hydrating safflower oil to transform tresses from the inside out.
Kiehl’s ‘Magic Elixir’
StriVectin 'Densifying Foaming Treatment'
Working to rebuild strength and encourage the natural anchoring of hair, this densifying treatment is formulated with a patented complex that nourishes both the hair and the scalp. With every use, it thickens and re-densifies locks while reinforcing the hair cuticle to thicken and strengthen the hair shaft and strand.
StriVectin ‘Densifying Foaming Treatment’