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Anti-Aging Products Seek to Make Your Hair Look Less...Old

Update Date: Apr 04, 2013 01:57 PM EDT

A recent study found that women tend to have worse attitudes than men do about aging. Part of that is likely related to the number of products on store shelves nowadays that proclaim that aging is a bad thing. For years, skin products have attempted to minimize the signs of aging that women's skin betray. Now, hair products are attempting to join the crowd.

Along with the Baby Boomers, the American population is aging. In fact, there are 82 million people in this country who are between the ages of 45 and 64, according to a 2010 count; that is an increase of 32 percent over the previous decade alone. That leads to a problem for makers of hair care products: older women tend to wash their hair less often, The Wall Street Journal reports. That is due to a number of reasons: as women become older, they are more likely to color their hair and, as a result, do not want to rinse out their color more quickly. In addition, women's lifestyles change, leading to less of a need to wash their hair in the first place.

Hair care product companies have hit upon a recent solution: age-defying treatments. L'Oréal, Procter & Gamble and Unilever both market different products that seek to address the issues that women have with their hair as they become older. One company has a product that seeks to make hair seem fuller; another company wants to address the different texture of gray follicles.

The manufacturers have a point. Women's hair does change as they become older. Aside from the color change to gray, the strands of hair become more brittle and weak, as well as less shiny. Most of all, women's hair becomes thinner, the combination of fewer follicles and a smaller diameter to those that do exist.

Companies are responding to these concerns. Unilever, for example, has rolled out the Nexxus "Youth Renewal" line, which addresses eight concerns. For women with less severe hair thinning, Procter & Gamble has created the Pantene AgeDefy Advanced Thickening Treatment, which boasts to increase the thickness of each strand of hair by 5 percent. That is the equivalent of an increase of 6,500 hair strands on your head.

However, some experts are skeptical. Dr. Rita Pichardo-Geisinger, an assistant professor dermatology, believes that young women should work preventatively by using leave-in treatments that protect the follicles. Dr. George Cotsaleris advises young women to eat a lot of nutrients, stay out of the sun because UV rays are harmful to hair and to avoid tension and stress on hair, like aggressively brushing. 

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