Ever notice how the sun sparkles on a young girls’ hair? We were all so fortunate once, but sadly, as we age our hair becomes dry, dull and eventually grey. Compound natural aging with blow-drying, styling, poor diet, stress — it’s a wonder more women don’t lose their hair altogether!

To help keep our manes marvellous for years to come, I’ve enlisted the help of Michael Shaun Corby, Global Creative Director of products and Stephen Russell, Master Colourist at in Toronto’s Toni Salon in Yorkville.

Q. Looking at younger women, I realize my hair is not nearly as lustrous as it was when I was their age. It also breaks easily — something it never used to do. How can I bring the shine and strength back?

Michael Shaun Corby: Hair ages in several different ways — naturally (due to natural aging), chemically (from styling), and environmentally (from the sun and harsh weather/temperatures.) Hair lacks strength, vibrancy and elasticity as it ages and loses that youthful shine and silkiness. Aging hair needs more than simple shampoo and conditioner to look healthy, so more complex products are necessary. Use collections of hair care products that helps minimize the signs of aging and improves the overall appearance of the hair.

Michael’s product recommendations: Alterna’s Caviar Anti-Aging products are infused with a patented technology called the Age Control Complex, which incorporates 3 key ingredients: Caviar Extract, a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids; Vitamin C, a proven anti-oxidant; and Cytokines to encourage microcirculation. These ingredients change the way the hair grows, making it healthier, not just look better.

Q. Turning 50 this year … what do I do with waist long hair, which is thinning, which I’ve had since university (25yrs ago) but I’m scared to cut off yet want to have a gorgeous maintenance free coiff . . . Do you have advice for me regarding how to approach the hair change and what to do ?

MSC: Shorter cuts that are at least above the shoulder are best for thinning hair. Layers can add volume and camouflage thinning hair by adding texture and depth. Waist-long hair will only accentuate the issue, so take the length up quite a bit and experiment with different styles. There are many thickening products on the market.

Michael’s product recommendations: Alterna’s Hemp Thickening Compound actually increases the hair’s density while adding extra body. After applying a thickening product, blowdry hair for the most body and volume. You can also try to treat your hair with a product designed for thinning hair. Alterna’s LIFE Restore collection combines Gingko Biloba and Guarana along with advanced active ingredients to address all of the primary factors of hair loss.

Go grey gracefully on the next page …

Longing for bangs? Find out what type suit you best Q. How do I go grey gracefully? I’m dying my hair with semi-permanent for now. I really do not want to use permanent as I would eventually want to stay grey. How do I make that transition? Also, is there a product that I can use myself to dye the grey out of my eyebrows?

Stephen Russel: Unfortunately there is no way to go grey gracefully. The growing out stage is very difficult. This whole process can take up to a year to a year and a half depending on the length. If this process is wanted, you must be willing to wait and grow it out.

Eyebrows: I would hope you allow a professional to do because of the element of blindness that can be caused by this product. When working around the eyes it is important to be very careful.

Q. I am a natural redhead with lots of grey hair I would like to know what would be the best colour for my hair?

SR: Natural redhead colours are usually in the levels between 5 to 8. Colours in this range would be light copper brown 5.4 to light copper blonde 8.4, with a full range in between depending on secondary shading. Secondary shading could be red, copper, copper brown, intense copper, very light copper or blonde. As a rule of thumb, it is important to always pick a desired level to strive for. Also mix natural shading to cover grey plus secondary tone for your copper shade.

Alterna products are available in fine salons across Canada, notably:

Hype Hair Studio
2695 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6K 1P8
(604) 732-4973

84 Yorkville Ave,Toronto, ON M5R 1B9
(416) 960-5545

Anton Designs
227 Place Frontenac, Pointe Claire, QC H9R 4Z7
(514) 694-1884