How to make your hair look younger - and you with it

Is your hair giving your age away? Whether it’s grey, dry or thin, there are ways to make it look younger…

Sadly, it’s a fact – as we get older, our hair gets thinner, more fine, drier and not to mention grey.

Why? As we age, the scalp products fewer and fewer natural oils, the things that keep hair glossy and hydrated. As for the greys, melanin production also slows down, causing the colour of your hair to falter.

[Read more: 9 tricks to combat thinning hair]

The hair experts at Farjo Hair Institute explain further: "Hair does not really age like the rest of the body, it is a dead appendage which means that the thing we call hair is really a collection of keratin fibres which are more akin to a piece of clothing rather than a part of your body.

"Your hair is eventually affected by age; the diameter of the hair becomes smaller and the hair growth phase also shortens (so your hair does not grow for as long); so to ‘prevent’ ageing is virtually impossible but the daily wear and tear we place our hair under may cause the hair to become dry, damaged and take on the appearance of aged hair."

Before you fall into a pit of despair, fear not – we’ve got the tricks to help give your hair a youthful makeover.

Get clever with colour

One shade does not fit all; a single all over colour is incredibly ageing as it has no depth or definition.

Jack Howard, International Colour Director, says: “I hate opaque coverage on hair, it’s incredibly aging. If you’re struggling with greys, I’d suggest opting for a luminous colour with varying tones as these are much more forgiving!

“Balayage (a French term meaning to sweep or paint and which allows for a sun-kissed natural looking hair colour) is versatile, long-lasting, youthful and modern. A little Balayage freehand highlighting goes a long way!”

Change your diet

What you eat affects your hair as much as it does your skin.

In basic terms, hair needs protein to stay healthy and strong so load up on salmon and chicken. If you’re already a protein fiend, try a hair supplement to give it an extra nudge.

Try Nanogen - which has a supplement specifically for pre and post-menopausal women - or Viviscal, both of which are designed to feed your hair and its follicles.

Massage it

There’s a reason your hair stylist gives you a scalp massage at the basin, and it’s not just because they feel good.

[Read more: Head massage: How to treat yourself to a scalp massage at home]

Regular scalp massages help to stimulate the scalp and hair follicles and improve circulation, meaning that great big rush of blood to the head you experience is actually encouraging your hair to grow. If you don’t have someone to tend to your every scalp whim, Gina Conway, Director of Gina Conway Aveda Lifestyle Salons and Spas, recommends an exfoliating product.

“I really recommend using Aveda’s Invati exfoliating shampoo, conditioner and treatment – they contain Ayurvedic herbs including tumeric and nourish the scalp for better hair growth. I can really see a difference on hair with this product.”

Or, try Philip Kingsley's Exfoliating Scalp Mask or Grow Gorgeous Scalp Detox.

Push your products

It’s hard to change the habits of a lifetime but when it comes to your hair, you need to upgrade, pronto. Try switching to a damage remedy shampoo and conditioner, like Oribe's Gold Lust Repair range, for a daily quick fix, or add a growth boost serum to your daily regime; we love Nanogen’s Growth Factor Treatment Serum.

Strip it

Before you think this sounds too harsh, a big factor in hair looking lacklustre is the build-up of products used over the years. While daily cleansing products only touch the service, there are many that cleanse the scalp of impurities while keeping the scalp healthy and moisturised. Look for lightweight cleansers like Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo.

Swap your parting

Your parting is the first place you’ll spot thinning hair. Wherever you part your hair, try somewhere different – to the middle, to the side or even a zig-zag part. You’ll also notice your hair feels much thicker for doing it.

Sort it out while you sleep

There’s a lot you can do to help your hair while you snooze. A satin or silk pillowcase, like Hairburst's Mulberry Silk Pillowcase, can shield your hair from tangles and reduce friction; sleeping with your hair down, instead of in a ponytail, will stop the strain on your locks and an overnight mask will give your hair a nurturing, deep treatment while hit you hit the hay.

More from BT