My hair has always been a way for me to play and express my style. I change my hair like the wind, going from pixie to bixie to bob to shag and back again. Lucky for me, my gal Siobhan Benson has been there for every snip. She’s cut my hair for a million years and is a fellow redhead. After an odyssey that took her to the UK and between many fashion shows, editorial shoots, and years of experience, she opened her own salon CutLoose in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and is the de facto choice of guys and girls in the know who want a cool cut without crossing the bridge.
We chatted all things hair over 50, and here’s what she said (I took notes, so you don’t have to).
As a tool fool, I don’t know how to use anything beyond a hairdryer and occasional flat iron. What tools are great for mature hair?
The Dyson dryer is worth the hype; it’s a more delicate way to do heat and can help avoid damage. If you must do a curling or flat iron, turn the heat down to keep your hair healthy. I also love the Dyson Air Wrap, an excellent brush tool that helps finish a home blowout like a pro.
“Take care of your hair as you would your skin”
What is the best way to flat iron my hair? My bob and I need to know.
A flat iron is a great tool to eliminate frizz and flyaways, but a good blow dry can also do that. PS: Never air dry and flat iron; you won’t get that sleek look unless you blow dry first. Incidentally, Shark makes a great dryer much cheaper than the Dyson if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option.
Besides tools, what else is good for keeping aging hair healthy?
I always say: take care of your hair as you would your skin; watching what you eat and your genetics play a role, as do shifting hormones. There are so many great products to ensure hair health, like Nutrafol or Vegamour for supplements, and products that help with growth and strength and, if you decide to go gray, keratin treatments are a great way to deal with the frizz and coarse texture of gray hair. On that note, deep conditioning gray hair is a great idea. Think blue or purple shampoos for vibrancy, and a shine spray can enhance the look of healthy hair. Splurging on a good haircut that embraces your natural texture is essential, too.
What about menopausal hair?
Menopause may cause hair to get finer and thinner so, again, supplements like Nutrafol or Vegamour can be helpful. Go easy on the heat styling and, for products, try thickening sprays. I love this one from Mr. Smith, or this rose spray from Christophe Robin that works great and smells even better. If your hair feels dry, a professional conditioning treatment like the K18 Conditioning Treatment that renews hair core structure, strength, and elasticity works wonders, as does moisture-rich shampoo and conditioner. If you’re going to do heat, try this heat protector from Ouai before you blow dry.
What hair trends are you spotting in BK and the beauty world that would work well on women of a certain age?
Bobs are back, and a shorter shag/bob/mullet combo is all over the runways (enter the shullet) and looks great on women of all ages. I love how Natasha Lyonne is embracing her natural texture these days, and Gabrielle Union has a great bixie (bob/pixie) that is super flattering and chic. I don’t think mature hair has to be old-fashioned. Cool women like Chloë Sevigny and Charlotte Gainsbourg lead the way with unkempt chic that is sexy and classic yet still on-trend. Regardless of age, you should handle your hair with care and do whatever makes you feel good.
And if you’re ever in NYC and want a cool cut and color, hit up CutLoose. Siobhan has created a great vibe with a disco ball and a matching soundtrack.
i think the jury is out on whether Nutrofol works and it’s expensive and you have to take too many pills a day….I looked into it at my salon where they sell it. I talked to some of the stylists and they all had differing opinions as to if it is working.
Taking care of hair as carefully as you do your skin is a must as we age. A regular, modern cut, simpler hair care routine, with quality products, and less heat, help keep hair healthy. Even if you go gray, deep conditioning keeps hair healthy.