We already knew the hair shaft gets thinner and more brittle with age, but new findings from Japan’s Gifu University put a finer point on the issue: Aging strands can’t repair themselves as efficiently, since damage makes it all the way to the hair’s inner cuticle instead of just roughing up the surface.
Protect your assets with this damage-minimizing strategy from Nicole Rogers, a hair-transplant surgeon and Tulane University assistant clinical professor of dermatology:
1. Prep for straightening or curling with a spray containing silicone or dimethicone: Both absorb damaging heat. One to try: Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Rapid Repair Spray ($30, amazon.com).
2. Use wands, irons, and dryers (the nozzle should be 6 inches away from strands) at the lowest possible heat settings.
3. To blend grays, pick low-maintenance partial highlights instead of all-over color, which is highly drying. Or go a few shades lighter so you don’t have to touch it up as often.