What Happens to Hair As You Age? Rē-Frame Aging as a Privilege, and Rējuvenate Hair Beginning with the Scalp
We asked supermodel Cindy Crawford and two experts to explain how.
Cindy Crawford is a globally recognized supermodel, but her experiences as a working mother and entrepreneur are surprisingly relatable. She is an advocate for women‘s self-care, giving them permission to view their beauty regimens as empowering. “[Beauty] is a tool for all of us to feel better when we look in the mirror, to have that confidence to get out the door and do whatever else; our real-life [becomes] better,” she tells rē•spin. “I know for me, if I have a fresh blow-dry, or I have a perfect pair of jeans, or my skin looks dewy, I have a little more spring in my step. So whatever I’m doing, I do with a little more enthusiasm, or I do better.”
The corporate beauty world is not always wellness-adjacent. But as the mind-body-spirit model of wellness implies, the right mindset can transform any activity into a self-care practice with the right intentions, even your beauty rituals. Crawford provides important validation to her fellow beauty-lovers and moms as to just how empowering beauty can be, rē-framing aging as a privilege. Her brand, Meaningful Beauty, now offers haircare that rējuvenates straight from the source — the scalp — offering up a new avenue through which to care for your hair.
Crawford rē-Frames Aging As A Privilege
Crawford gets that it’s not easy to take pause for self-care, especially as a working mom. “When you spend sometimes even five minutes, that’s more than you have for yourself. But when you take that time, it’s super important to remind yourself that it’s like putting your own oxygen mask on first. You’re also modeling good behavior for your children… I have a 19-year-old daughter [and it’s telling her that] it’s ok to take care of yourself, to be kind to yourself,” she says.
She is also passionate about encouraging women to be kinder to themselves, stating, “We have to treat ourselves the way we would treat our girlfriends. [Being hard on myself] is something I don’t want to pass on to my own daughter. I want her to be empowered; even getting older, it’s such a privilege. I take that responsibility very seriously.”
Meaningful Beauty: Does The Hair Age?
Now, consider the fact that your hair also changes as you age. Throughout Crawford’s career as a supermodel, her hair developed a cult-following of its own, fondly dubbed “Cindy hair” by fans. But its quality, texture, thickness, and color changed, with age and after having children. Celebrity hairstylist Richard Marin, who has worked with Crawford for thirty years, explains, “Usually the process of aging hair is slow, [where] your hair doesn’t have its normal sheen, doesn’t bounce, or won’t take to styling products as it has before. I’ve also heard people say to me their color has gone matte or their ponytail is thinner.” He noticed that in time, after having two kids and dyeing her hair, that Crawford’s hair took on a different quality. “I personally felt that it was taking longer to style, was not moving as it did in the past, and there was less volume,” Marin says.
But after Crawford began testing the products that became the Meaningful Beauty Age-Proof Haircare System, a stem cell-infused product line that addresses hair aging, Marin noticed a major change taking place. “About two years ago, we were on set shooting a commercial, and it was obvious to me that Cindy’s hair was feeling stronger, shiny, and bouncing as it used to,” he adds. “I asked her if she was doing something to her hair because it felt like her old, young hair that I knew very well. She told me she was testing [the new products for her line].”
rē-Emphasizing The Scalp As The Root of Hair Health
The key to rē-juvenating haircare might just lie in the scalp. “Scalp health is not a new subject, but how we are addressing it now is exciting,” Marin says of the line’s daily scalp treatment. “I’ve seen a significant change in someone’s hair health by simply taking care of their scalp by maintaining hydration and moisture. It’s like watering your plants; they revive.”
To better understand how the scalp holds the key to a better head of healthy, bouncy, shiny hair, we reached out to Bridgette Hill, certified trichologist and colorist, and the founder of Root Cause Scalp Analysis™ to explain the “scalp aging process” in technical terms. “As our understanding of scalp function increases, we now believe the culprit to aging skin on the body is oxidative stress,” she says, referring to the onslaught of free radicals (via various everyday stressors that range from diet, to smoking, to pollution) relative to the body’s store of antioxidants, which counter the free radical damage that leads to oxidative stress. “Oxidative stress affects the scalp function by disrupting the hair growth cycles, [decreasing] lipid production, which affects the shine, smoothness, and softness of hair fibers, and [through] changes in hormones as a result of menopause [affecting] the diameter of the hair fiber and making it thinner,” says Hill. She agrees with Marin that scalp health should absolutely become a part of your grooming regimens, through weekly treatments, self-massage, pre-shampooing oils, and more, offering up new practices to adopt your beauty regimens.
rē-claiming Beauty as a Self-Empowerment Practice
The notion of yet another form of anti-aging product can feel daunting, but not when used to rē-claim personal empowerment through beauty. It is completely normal to notice changes in your hair as you age, but try to rē-frame aging to be a privilege, the way that Crawford does. If your motivations are rooted in fear, it loses the essence of self-care… But the same activity, performed from a place of desire for self-connection, nourishment, and self-love, is where beauty and wellness overlap. Now, consider making “scalp care” the next step in your “self-care Sunday” plans.