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How Hair Ages

June 05, 2020

How Hair Ages

It follows that I think about how hair ages. Why healthy roots become thin, dry, dull and split at the ends, before their time. The principles are the same with the rest of our bodies, in that we have what we are given, but even more so with hair, it’s the lifestyle factors that accelerate the ageing process once it’s out of the scalp. And if that hair is decimated through lack of care, there’s no going back until it is replaced by new hair. You see, once hair leaves the scalp it’s no longer connected to the metabolism so cannot repair itself.

Fully protected and cared for hair is very durable, as seen on some thousands year old Mummies kept away from the sun, silicone and the flat irons. So for hair and our whole bodies, the key is to eliminate the factors that accelerate ageing, AND then inject some extra love and care.

These three images speed through from healthy roots to shattered ends. It doesn’t have to be this way.

1. The first image from the microscope shows a healthy hair shaft. Full, complete, and with the outer cuticle lying flat. This will reflect light better, hence shiny hair. The healthy protein structure will hold 3% water giving it flexibility.

2. The second image shows dehydration and breakdown of the protein structure and the outer cuticle lifting away exposing the inner core. This accelerates loss of hair mass. The raised cuticle will feel rough and harder to comb, and absorb more light hence be less reflective and shiny. It will have started to become noticeably thinner and be more difficult to style. Colours will fade quicker too as the molecules leach out.

3. The third image shows the structure so weakened, dehydrated and brittle that the ends shear apart. This is called a split end. Much hair in this poor condition will also snap off lower down before it gets a chance to split.

Keeping the hair structure hydrated and complete is the key to slowing down the ageing process. Nothing I’ve come across in 42 years of hairdressing does this as well as regular application of our LifeSaver Prewash Treatment and the supporting Cashmere Protein Shampoo & Conditioner.

If you wear your hair very short then much of this is irrelevant. Inch long hair is replaced every two months and unless you are really destructive with say, colour changes every week, then your hair will cope with most of what life throws at it. But any longer lengths will be around for enough time to suffer the ageing effects of:

  • Silicones and dehydrating oils
  • Aggressive blowdrying
  • Swimming pool water
  • Chemical treatments
  • Harsh hair products
  • UV rays from sun
  • Seawater
  • Hot styling tongs
  • Poor quality brushes and combs

LifeSaver Prewash Treatment from £9

 Michael Van Clarke

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