Apothecary: The Mane Event
Soon, Viagra won’t be the only way to catch a ride in the proverbial way-back machine.
L’Oréal Paris is taking youth restoratives into the hair zone, with a potentially revolutionary patent that promises to prevent hair from ever going grey.
Although L’Oréal is keeping a lid on the actual mechanics (pill or potion) and the release date, we know the new system will only work on hair that hasn’t as yet started to fade. Ergo, hair colouring will remain a fact of life for those of us who choose to do so. Until the magic recipe is finally – if ever – marketed, best to focus on the essentials.
Nourish hair with a weekly mask. Many treatments contain oil for lubrication, but only coconut oil and palm kernel oil molecules are the right size and shape to penetrate the hair’s cortex. This is achieved, says cosmetic chemist and TheBeautyBrains.com editor Randy Schueller, by “slipping in between the intercellular spaces in the hair’s cuticle layer” for suppleness and breakage-resistance. Try Kevin Murphy Young Again Masque ($49) or Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment ($37). On a budget? There’s Lush Shine So Bright Split End Treatment ($10).
Here’s the kicker: your hair can be moisturized on the inside, but if the outer cuticle layer isn’t smooth, it will look dull. Heavy-duty serums can make hair lank, so try ones containing cyclopentasiloxane. It’s light-weight and “gives ‘slip’ to wet hair but quickly evaporates so it doesn’t leave behind heavy residue,” explains Schueller. Ones to try are Wella Oil Reflections Smoothing Oil ($34), Wen Sweet Almond Mint Styling Crème ($30), and Dove Style+Care Frizz-Proof Cream-Serum ($8).
“Maybe 30 years ago, women felt they had to cut their hair when they reached a certain age,” says McKnight, citing model Kristen McMenamy (pictured on first page), now 46, who elegantly refutes that notion. “Her long, white hair is magnificent.”
Pale hair needs scrupulous maintenance: clarifying shampoos remove yellowy deposits from pollution and hard water while violet shampoos and colour-boosting balms impart a glow to silver and blond heads.We like Pantene Silver Expressions shampoo ($6) and Shu Uemura Color Lustre Shades Reviving Balm in Cool Blonde ($50) —Liza Herz