As hair ages, elasticity is lost, hair follicles shrink, growth slows and sebum and keratin production diminishes, resulting in brittle, lifeless hair. Protein and melanin loss lead to the characteristic gray or silver hair in both males and females. And after menopause, women may notice their hair thinning around the crown.
To keep your hair looking young, the key is to treat it with care. Avoid over-exposure to harsh chemical treatments, and limit your use of heat-styling tools. If you're going to blow-dry, make sure to use a protective spray beforehand. Use snag-free ponytail holders and smooth clip barrettes only. Also, a natural bristle brush will help to gently detangle and smooth the hair while massaging the scalp.
In the shower, look for shampoos and conditioners that contain shea butter, panthenol, hydrolyzed yeast extract or sweet almond oil, which will respect the hair's natural moisture balance. Wash hair every 2 or 3 days, rather than every day.
Finally, use a deep-conditioning hair mask weekly to replenish lost moisture and protect the cuticle.