Pump Up The Hair Volume – Healthier, Fuller-Looking Hair After 40

Great hair waves leaving the house that become flat hair by the time I arrive at the party 10 minutes later?

If you can relate to this situation, you are not alone! For the majority of women, hair volume reduction (be it thinner hair or fewer hairs) becomes a noticeable reality as we reach our 40s. The science behind this is straightforward. It is simply part of our body’s aging process: over time, hair follicles gradually produce thinner, smaller hairs, or none at all, resulting in limp, finer hair.

Given that flat hair is such a common challenge (and that I am such a hair fanatic!), I brought up the topic during one evening out with my girlfriends. I am amazed at how knowledgeable we become with age when it comes to making our hair look healthy and its best (and did I mention that we have a dermatologist and a stylist in the group?).

I diligently took notes that night, and for the past 6 months, I have been trying the most promising tips from “our list” for healthier hair that looks and feels more voluminous, which I share below. The changes in my hair have been so amazing that I have even been asked if I had gotten hair extensions - once by my husband!

Start at the Root

First and foremost, cleanse the scalp. This was a new step and a game-changer in my hair care routine. I discovered that to get volume and allow healthy hair growth, it is key to use a scalp cleanser to remove residues that weigh hair down and clog scalp pores.

Gentle Shampooing, Tailored Conditioning

Washing our hair with a gentle volumizing shampoo and not doing it daily is essential if we want our hair to stay healthy and have tons of body. Follow with a volumizing conditioner that will give enough moisture and shine to the hair but that is also specifically designed to not weigh it down. Use conditioner sparingly, if at all, in your roots. And always use sulfate-free products!

Style & Spray, The Right Way

To immediately improve the appearance of my hair thickness, I started spritzing in a thickening spray when I got out of the shower. This has worked wonders both when air and blow-drying my hair. So it is time to stop using the volume slayers: heavy and drying hairsprays and styling products. A bonus: you’ll get extra space in the bath cabinet by getting rid of them!

In addition, and contrary to what I used to do, I am not styling my hair as often. I used to think of my curling iron and my hairdryer as the best helpers to oomph my limp hair, but instead, the heat has been further weakening my hair over time. I still blow-dry my hair for special occasions, but I always apply a heat protector first and use the lowest temperature setting. Drying my hair with my head upside down gives it maximum volume.

Hair Care From Inside Out

Healthy hair starts on the inside. This means eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and managing our stress levels and hormones. Altogether, they will keep hair supple and more resistant to breakage. So go ahead and splurge on foods rich in Vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids, which help blood circulation and promote cell and tissue growth.

And For That Extra Lift…

  • Choose a brush that is gentle to prevent hair breakage. The best are natural boar bristle brushes or made of flexible nylon. They glide through more easily and will not overheat.
  • Get a layered haircut to give volume and movement, especially around the face.
  • Move your hair part from time to time to help keep your roots lifted and your hair looking fuller.

I invite you to try some or all of these tips for healthier and fuller-looking hair, incorporating a pumping hairstyle into your routine. You might just end up like me: bouncing around my previously flat hair while dancing to a favorite tune. Like in one of those happy commercials, but in my case, while walking the dog, strolling the aisles in the supermarket, or getting ready for a party.

Want to dig deeper into hair health after 40? Join the conversation on our Facebook group.