Welcome to Dressed for My Day! Today I’m turning from my usual focus on all things fashion and attempting to share a little about my hairstyle, some struggles I’ve had with my hair, my own hair goals for 2021 and some recommendations I can bring to the table. I don’t claim to be an expert in this area at all, but I can share my experience. Even so, you can expect this to be a fairly short post. Ha! Let’s talk …briefly…about hair for women over 50.
When I recently got my hair cut, I asked my stylist a few questions about women over 50 and our hair. I always ask her lots of questions. I suggest you do the same if you have a good hairdresser. In fact, let’s start there…with your hairdresser.
I think we’ll do this in a Q&A format, just to keep me organized and moving along. Here goes!
Q – How do you find a good hairdresser?
I’ve moved a lot, so I’ve had to locate good hairdressers with each move. And maybe that’s a good thing. It’s kept me from getting in a rut or becoming loyal to a stylist who wasn’t doing me any favors. And everywhere I’ve lived I’ve been blessed with wonderful hairstylists who “learn my hair” and serve me well.
Truly, not all hairstylists are the same. I suggest you look for a stylist who stays current, keeps up with the trends, but also knows how to work with your kind of hair. How do you do that?
Every time I’ve moved I’ve looked for women whose hair looks somewhat like mine in texture and whose style I like. I look for someone whose hair looks current and well cared for and nicely colored (if that’s something I want, too). Then I stop that woman (in Target, at church, at the mall, wherever) and ask her who does her hair. In other words, I let the stylist’s work speak for itself and follow up from there. That’s worked for me every time.
Q – Have you experienced thinning of your hair?
Yes, I have. About two and half years ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and prescribed levothyroxine. I didn’t know it at the time, but I now believe that medication caused me to experience significant hair loss. While the hair loss was temporary (as it usually is when taking levothyroxine), it took almost a year and a half for me to feel like my hair had grown back in to close to what it used to be. I’d always had fairly fine hair, but a lot of it. I’m still on the medication, but I don’t seem to be losing hair now.
It turns out that all sorts of things can cause hair loss, and it’s not uncommon for women our age to experience it for these reasons. Some of the culprits of hair loss are (but not limited to):
- genetics – the most common cause of hair loss among aging women is a hereditary condition which usually looks like a thinning along the crown of the scalp.
- hormonal changes – menopause doesn’t always cause hair loss, but it can.
- medications and supplements – Hair loss can be a side effect of certain drugs, such as those used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout and high blood pressure…and evidently hypothyroidism.
- a very stressful event – I think stress also potentially contributed to my hair loss, as it occurred right after my husband suddenly lost his job. But I’ve also heard of many women losing significant hair three to six months after surgery. My daughter experienced this when she was just 21.
- significant weight loss
- vitamin deficiency, such as Vitamin B
- medical conditions – These include but are not limited to hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Hodgkin’s disease, hypopituitarism, Hashimoto disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, Addison’s disease and celiac disease.
If you experience hair loss it’s important to talk with your healthcare provider because it can be a symptom of an undiagnosed issue. So you’ll want to share any other vital information and undergo a series of blood tests potentially.
Q – What can you do about hair loss?
Seeing your healthcare provider is the first step, and hopefully they can provide answers or at least hope. Otherwise, the best advice I can give is to stay calm and carry on. And that’s easier said than done.
When I began to lose hair I didn’t feel calm. I felt a little desperate, honestly. But I do know that stress only exacerbates the situation. So I advise talking with your healthcare professional about increasing your vitamin intake, improving your diet overall, and getting plenty of sleep, all of which are important for hair growth.
Be aware, too, that once your hair stops shedding, it will take months for it to feel like it is filling out again. Thus, carrying on is part of the plan. It’s really the only “work” you can do to help hair grow. I did try some products. I tried Keranique FullerHair Kit, but I don’t know that it helped. Maybe it did? I can’t say definitively. My hair got fuller in time, but I wasn’t especially faithful using the system, so I don’t necessarily credit it with the re-growth.
You can also get a new hair cut and learn to style it in ways that makes your hair appear fuller. That was part of my motive for letting my hair go curly for a while. I figured it would look fuller and it would be better for my hair, too.
Q – I liked your hair curly. Why did you stop doing your hair that way?
Initially I went with the curly hairstyle because I wanted a more youthful look and I wanted to be able to spend less time on it. You may be surprised to learn that I’m really a very low maintenance woman. Ha! I don’t like spending time on my hair or makeup or nails, etc. So I want all the short cuts!
But, while I generally liked the looser, curly style, it actually required more work. To achieve that very “natural” look, I had to put in a lot of effort. I had to apply extra lotions and potions to get it moisturized enough to hold curl. I had to “bounce it” with a cotton t-shirt after getting out of the shower with it sopping wet. Then I’d let it dry naturally for a little while. And then I’d finish drying it with a diffuser. But even then I generally had to finish it off with a curling iron.
And the next day I would wake up and it would be matted to my head. Ugh. I’m more of a wake up and go kinda gal. So that exhausted me.
Q – I love your sassy new do. How is it cut?
When I realized the curly thing wasn’t going to work for me, I reverted back to my blunt bob. But that began to feel dated. Not that all bobs are dated. I love a chic bob on many women. But mine was beginning to pull me down. And I needed something fresh and with more body.
As I mentioned in this video, 5 Mistakes that You May Be Making that are Making You Look Older, one of the best ways we could look more vibrant and current is to wear a more relaxed and current hairstyle. Over-styling can make us look older. And I felt like I was looking old.
My hairstylist tells me that my style is called an updated shag. If you want something like this, Shannon tells me you should ask for long layers or an updated shag. She used shears to cut in the layers and then took a razor to it for more body and lightening up. I love that I can style my hair multiple ways, sweeping it forward or brushing it back from my face. And I can wear it with the bangs down on my forehead or swept back. And it has a lot of body.
Q – What products do you use on your hair?
I asked Shannon what is the number one problem she sees women over 50 having with their hair and she immediately replied, “dryness.” We need to add a lot of moisture to our hair ladies. Because of hormone changes, medications we take and greying, our hair is desperate for moisture.
So I’m using the Hair Biology Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner. This line of hair products, available exclusively at Target, is created for the older woman’s unique biology. It combats these four issues specific to women in our stage of life: thinning, dryness, greying and hair quality.
Honestly, I’ve had some issues with one of the pumps, but other than that I’m loving these products.
Q – How do you style your hair?
Maybe I’ll do a video one of these days, but not anytime soon. I’ve got a few things I’ve got to work out first. But meanwhile here are the basic steps.
- I let it dry naturally while I put on my makeup and get dressed.
- When it’s almost dry, I spray a little of this Big Sexy Hair Root Pump Plus at the roots of my hair throughout and then work it through my hair with my hands or a comb.
- I clip the top two-thirds up on top of my head with a clip and dry the bottom layer while using a large round brush.
- After drying a layer, I go over my hair with a flat iron to make it straighter, shinier and more sleek. But I pull out and then down with the flat iron, so I don’t lose the body.
- Then I unclip the next one-third and the next, drying each layer with the round brush and my hair dryer, then straightening with the flat iron. (Yes, I do have a Dyson hairdryer. Don’t hate me. It was a splurge when I was feeling really desperate.)
- I just use the large round brush to direct my hair out and down, creating body at the roots but pulling it fairly close to my head as I go down. I don’t want a lot of poof in my hair, just body.
- To finish off I usually work just a few drops of Biosilk Silk Therapy through my hair. This gives it extra shine and that updated blow-away look. Then I spray a little Sebastian Shaper spray in it and crunch a little. This is a very light spray so it doesn’t weigh it down at all. But it does give it a little more texture.
- I only wash my hair about every four to five days. And I rarely have to do anything to it between washings.
Q – You mentioned hair goals?
I’ve colored my hair off and on for years, but for the most part I’ve just had highlights put in. I’m really a true dark blonde. And, according to Shannon and my previous hairstylist, Marilyn, my tone of grey that is coming in is light and expected to be a pretty silver. We’ll see.
But I have decided to stop coloring it at all. This last time I went to the hairdresser I simply had Shannon highlight it to get some of the yellow out that had gotten in with the last color we applied. She then applied a toner to it to further tone it down. But she believes I won’t have to do anything else to it and the grey should be able to blend in nicely with the rest of my hair as I let it grow.
So that’s my goal. Yes, I’m officially going grey. But to keep the brassiness out, I’m going to use Hair Biology’s Silver and Glowing silver shampoo and silver conditioner every other washing. Shannon thinks that should be sufficient.
Well that’s my effort to answer all the questions I frequently get about my hair. I suppose I really do get more questions about my hair than anything else. And yet I feel less confident about answering these questions than anything else, too. But I do hope I’ve provided a few answers today.
You know, this may sound silly, but hair is kind of a personal thing, isn’t it? First off, we all have very different hair textures and issues. I tease that I didn’t really learn how to style my hair until I was in my mid-forties. But that’s the honest truth. And about the time I figured out how to style it, it started falling out and turning grey. So it’s a struggle to stay confident about our hair.
All that to say, it’s a lot easier for me to make recommendations about clothing than it is hair. And I suppose the best bit of advice I can give is that very first tip I provided: find a good hairstylist. A good one is worth every penny you pay her…and a good Christmas bonus! Yep, don’t forget your stylist this Christmas. I gave Shannon a little extra in her payment and this candle.
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Blessed for My Day
The other day I Instagram messaged another blogger who is Jewish and asked her to share how celebrating Hanukkah made her feel. She had been sharing about the traditions of the Jewish holiday along with photos of her menorah. But she hadn’t shared anything about her own feelings surrounding the celebration. Also I had just watched a Hallmark movie called Love, Lights, Hanukkah! And while I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, I couldn’t grasp from it what the significance of the miracle of the oil has for Jewish people. And I genuinely would like to know.
But the blogger refused to answer my question. She said her feelings about Hanukkah are too personal to share and that she drew a line there. And that got me to thinking about my own feelings about Christmas. How do I feel about the celebration of Christmas? Why do I celebrate it? What’s the significance to me? I’m planning on sharing those things Saturday in an inner beauty post. But what I want to say today is that I have absolutely no problem sharing how Christmas makes me feel. And I hope you don’t either. Christmas is a holiday of good news. Dear friend, let’s not hesitate to share the good news whenever and wherever we can.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” ~ Luke 2:10-12