-5 Years: Conquer Frizz
Invest in humidity-resistant hair care (we like It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Potion Plus Keratin), and look for words like “smoothing” and “sleek” when shopping for shampoo and conditioner. You might be tempted to skip conditioner because you think it will weigh your hair down, but in-shower moisturizing is key for preventing frizz. (Yarok Feed Your Volume Conditioner is designed for this very purpose—lightweight frizz control.) After your shower, gently blot hair dry with a microfiber hair towel. Rubbing with a regular towel is a one-way ticket to Frizzville.
-8 Years: Stop the Split End Cycle
On the evolutionary scale of things, young hair is healthy enough to withstand daily wear-and-tear. As hair ages its thinner, stiffer texture can’t handle the same bending and stress. Ergo, broken, sticking-up pieces and fuzzy, frayed ends make your hair look older.
The only way to get rid of split ends is to cut them off, so step one: Schedule regular trims. We’re talking every six weeks. That alone will make your hair look infinitely healthier.
After that, minimize heat styling as best you can, and work deep conditioning hair masks into the rotation. Brush and comb delicately. Wet strands are more prone to breakage, so use a wide-tooth comb and gently work out the tangles out from the ends up. Tight ponytails in the same place every day can stretch the hair until strands snap. Let your hair down now and again, and never rip the bands out. Gently unwind, ok?
-10 Years: Switch Up Your Color
One of the hallmark signs of aging is gray hair, but at least it’s decently easy to cover, right?
If you want to cover grays, there are a few things to keep in mind. (And if you don’t, there are ways to go gray, gracefully.) If you dye your hair a uniform, dark color, be prepared for the upkeep. Hair grows a half an inch a month, so your roots will look like a beacon in the night against dark color. For more manageable maintenance, talk to your colorist about a lighter shade, or simply add some strategic highlights throughout your hair to help blend the gray.
Also, make friends with wash-out root touch-ups. Check your local beauty supply store or search online for brands such as Touchback and Gray Away. Root touch-ups come in marker form, spray-on and powder, so it will take some experimenting to find the formula that works best for you.
-15 Years: Tackle Thinning Strands
As much as 30 percent of women will experience some sort of hair thinning, usually first noticed with age as a skinnier ponytail or when you see more visible scalp peeking out. Thick hair screams “youth,” which makes thinning a tough pill to swallow.
Playing around with your haircut can mask the issue, so talk to your stylist about adding volume and bounce. Adding thickening products (such as Pantene AgeDefy Advanced Thickening Treatment) to your beauty arsenal can help, too. Then look to finding out the root of the problem (ooh, bad joke). A healthy-hair diet can work wonders on strengthening disappearing strands, as can certain supplements, such as biotin.