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Ageless Tresses—Building the Complete Anti-aging Hair Care Line

By: Kathleen Maurer
Posted: November 30, 2011, from the December 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.
  • Graying is only one sign of aging hair; other signs include change in texture, diminished density, surface dullness, increased dryness and breakage/fragility.
  • Products in an anti-aging hair care line need to make up for the loss in natural sebum without weighing it down or leaving it greasy, need to be gentle and strengthen hair from within, and protect hair from environmental damage.
  • Replacing the outdated hair spray, an effective shine spray will pack a powerful punch—smoothing, holding and protecting hair to be the go-to styling product.

With the first wave of baby boomers turning 65, maintaining an active lifestyle is high on their priority list—as is maintaining a more youthful appearance. A recent report from Global Industry Analysts projects the anti-aging products market to reach $291 billion worldwide by 2015. Moreover, this market may be more recession-proof than others, as this population continues to seek the fountain of youth and shows no sign of abatement. There’s no better time than now to capitalize on this trend and provide them with hair care solutions specific to their needs.

The Life Cycle of Hair

According to the results of a recent poll by The Associated Press and LifeGoesStrong.com, almost one-third of baby boomers report they regularly color their hair (and more than half of female respondents say they do so). A full 73% of those who color their hair admit they do so to cover up the gray. However, gray or white color is only one sign of aging hair; other signs include a change in texture, diminished density, surface dullness, increased dryness and breakage/fragility. Some of these changes are due to the environment—years of blow-drying, straightening, ironing and brushing taking their toll—while other effects are simply due to the physiological changes of getting older. These transformations occur gradually over time:

  • 20s: Hair is at the peak of thickness and strength, with ample sebum and shine.
  • 30s: The external damage incurred during one’s 20s becomes visible, and a slight decline in sebum can cause hair to lose its natural luster.
  • 40s: The diameter of the hair shaft begins to shrink, leading hair to become thinner and more fragile; a decline in melanin levels can lead to gray hair.
  • 50s: Most women are 50% gray by the age of 50 due to a steep decline in melanin; follicles continue to shrink and leave hair thinner and even more fine.
  • 60s: Nearly 40% of women will experience some degree of hair loss by age 60, mostly around the crown; hair often appears thin and lackluster.

Clearly, a hair care line designed for the baby boomer population has different requirements than a line geared toward Millennials/Generation Y. Products in an anti-aging hair care line need to leave hair shiny to make up for the loss in natural sebum—but without weighing it down or leaving it greasy. They’ll need to be gentle on hair and strengthen it from the inside out.

And, they’ll need to protect hair from past environmental damage and the hair coloring process that’s likely to occur in the future (if it hasn’t started yet). It’s a tall order, but an effective anti-aging regimen can be broken down into four key steps.

Cleansing: Age-defying Shampoo and Conditioner