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How to Have Younger-Looking Hair

It’s one of the maddening ironies of aging: Hair gets thinner where we want it — on our heads — and starts sprouting up in places we don’t.

Good trimmers and tweezers are all you need for the latter. But for the former? Try these tips — they can help make your locks look more like they did in your 20s.

In good condition

The key to younger-looking hair is condition, condition, condition. As we age, our production of sebum diminishes — by about 10% every decade. Because this is hair’s natural conditioner, it is not surprising it becomes less soft and shiny.

Get into the habit of using conditioner daily — you need to put back what’s missing. Also, try conditioning with olive oil or sesame oil once a week — put a few tablespoons in your hair and work through. Leave on for a few hours and then wash out with a gentle shampoo. It has a great super-conditioning effect!

Do it in style

As we age, our hair follicles shrink, which means our hair becomes thinner and finer — and that much harder to style. As we gray, the loss of melanin also makes hair coarser and more unmanageable. The temptation is to load hair with product but, beware, helmet hair will date you instantly. Today’s look is soft and tactile, not stiff and formal, so stick to lightweight styling aids.

Cut a dash

There is nothing more aging than being stuck in a time warp, with the same cut you’ve had for years. You needn’t make a dramatic change, but a few well-executed snips will modernize a dated cut and make you look younger in the process.

While going shorter can be a great choice for many women, it is also a sure sign that you have reached “a certain age”. Think about keeping your hair a little longer for as long as you can.

Color it beautiful

Gray hairs start to appear as our melanin production slows down. Tints, highlights, low-lights and semi-permanent color can disguise these tell-tale signs of age, but be careful how you use them. Too harsh a shade will leave you looking drained, even older.

Color as little as possible. All over color, every 6-8 weeks really burns up your hair. Try to do just touch-ups and let as much of your hair be treated as little as possible as it grows out.

Check your diet

Eat more salmon. Omega-3 rich foods like salmon and sardines help seal in shine. Distilled fish oils or DHA supplements will work, too.

Be a bran lover. Bran is rich in vitamin B, which may slow hair loss and promote hair growth. Other B-rich victuals include beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower, soybeans, nuts, and eggs.

Say yes to avocados. Avocados and avocado oil may prevent some funky stuff that kills hair follicles — dihydrotestosterone (DHT) — from getting where it needs to go.

Say no to animal fat — and red meat — if you're losing hair. They can lead to more DHT production and hair-follicle damage.

Stock up on green tea. Brew a strong pot, cool it, then give your head a rinse to help kill off dandruff-causing fungus. Incidentally, if you drink green tea, the caffeine in it may help slow balding, too.

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