As we get older, hair can get gray, thin and lifeless, while nails can go thin and brittle. Follow these tips to keep your hair and nails look their best, no matter what your age.
Battling the gray
Gray hair is probably the most obvious sign of aging. Hair color is caused by pigment called melanin that is produced in your hair follicles. As we age, the follicles begin to produce less melanin. In many women, gray hair starts to appear in the 30s, but this isn't always the case. Some women (and men) begin to gray in their teens, while other fortunate souls have a headful of colored hair well into their 60s or 70s. Gray hair often first appears at the temples and hairline at the forehead, then extends to the top of the head. You might hear about vitamins and minerals that can slow down graying, but they really don't work. The tendency toward gray hair is genetic, and you can't stop it. Fortunately, though, you can cover it up.
Store-bought hair dyes are usually effective at coloring gray hair for six to eight weeks, while salon hair color may do the trick for a little longer. If you don't mind your gray hair, flaunt it. Many women look beautiful with all-over gray.
Your hair might not just be getting gray: It might be getting a whole lot thinner, too. Men aren't the only ones who deal with hair loss. With aging, the rate of hair growth slows, and some hair follicles stop producing new hair completely. Therefore, when a hair falls out naturally, it may not be replaced. The results? Hair becomes less dense all over the head; in some women, the scalp becomes visible.
Hair extensions can add volume to your hair as well as length. Many older women nowadays turn to extensions to give their hair density a boost, rather than covering up with a wig.
The right haircut can help make thin hair appear thicker, too. Look for a stylist with experience dealing with thinning hair. By adding texture to the crown or leaving full, sideswept bangs, you can disguise the appearance of thinning hair.
Your nails also change as you age, right along with your hair. Fingernails tend to grow more slowly and become weak, dull and brittle. Though you can't stop the problem altogether, you can take some measures to help your nails stay strong.