Even though I listened to my own advice and have been taking supplements, using coconut oil and hair masks etc etc; my hair continued to break at an impossible rate. Unless a pro with loads of serum, talent and patience, gave it a jolly good blowy, my hair remained frizzy and embarrassing. Seeing as I model, this was beginning to possibly cost me work, so DRASTIC ACTION had to be taken – cutting it all off was simply not an option.
The Brazilian blow dry.
I had heard of it years ago, when it first took our hairdressing salons by waves. A mystery wonder treatment that burnt keratin into your hair and left it shiny and straight for a good 3-6 months…for which, some salons were charging as much as £300. Luckily non-menopausal me didn’t need it at that time.
However, times change…having battled for the last year with seriously depleting locks, that snapped, broke and split at every possible moment, I was beginning to truly despair. Until a friend politely suggested I had a Brazilian. So I went and got myself one. Two weeks later (and several washes, with the specified paraben and sulphate free shampoo and conditioner), it is still SO MUCH BETTER than it was. It doesn’t break every time I sneeze, it doesn’t look nearly as bad as it used to, after my lame attempts at drying it nicely. I’m not embarrassed by it. In fact, I love it.
I will continue to take my supplements, as underneath that lovely keratin lies some troubled tresses and I genuinely think they help. I will also continue to try and care for my hair in the best possible ways, including using decent shampoos and oils etc. So if you’re like me and are about to give up and give it a big chop then maybe a Brazilian will delay the cutting it all off a little longer.
Having worked as a model for over 30 years, I’ve got to know many other models, so I decided to ask them all what their top 3 beauty products are; what they absolutely would not be without. Virtually all of them (I asked over 20 girls) said at least one of these three things – a good SPF, vaseline or the equivalent for lips and coconut oil – for everything, hair, face, nails the lot.
“This is my every day body moisturiser. I don’t use anything else. Come winter or summer, it leaves skin feeling amazingly soft, silky and nourished. Totally organic and natural too. If you think of it this way – everything we put on our skin goes into our blood stream, so it might as well be something natural! Great for a hair mask or natural moisture mask, too. Feeds the nails and keeps them nourished and strong.”
Kendra agrees, saying, “Coconut Oil is great for absolutely everything!”
What was surprising that despite the wealth of products available out there, a handful were mentioned time and time again. Which in my head, means THEY MUST BE GOOD. These were the unquestionable winners.
What Nalintha says, “Ultrasun anti-pigmentation does not leave a white/grey cast on my brown skin! Usually my issue with all SPF of a higher factor. Has antioxidants in it, and does not block my pores. Have seen a huge difference in my skin now that I commit to using sun screen all year round and at a higher protection. Has definitely help to fade any marks and pigmentation on my skin and the overall clarity of it.”
Pirjo says, “My lips used to be so dry and uncomfortable. Since using Lip Lift, my lips feel soft, supple and gorgeous. I can’t go to sleep without putting some on at night, even if that means fumbling around the bedside table in the dark, until I find that little stick of magic.”
Of course beauty is also largely down to a healthy diet, drinking water, sleep, genes and many other factors: but it seems to me that as long as you’ve got some organic Coconut Oil, a pot of vaseline and a good SPF then you’re pretty much sorted.
Thanks to all my gorgeous model friends who took the time to tell me their top beauty must-haves: sorry I didn’t mention all of you, but everyone’s input was as equally valuable, thanks so much girls! Frankie x
Nothing escapes the menopause; collagen loss; more flab and folds; hearing loss; sight loss; hormone blah and hormone blob; but – to top it all – our former crowning glory steadily dissolves into a dull and lifeless, frizzy, fuzz.
And it happens quick. Once barely able to get a large hair tie around my ponytail, I can now wrap a small tie around at least 3 times.
My ponytail has become a punytail.
Obviously I blame my sons, but in fairness, its not all down to them. I would be on this dissipated, stringy strand now anyway: why? Because I’m on the chuffing meno-train.
However, at least I am lucky enough to be working in the beauty industry and, as a result, have happened upon several hair-carers; all of whom promise thickening, strengthening and lustre.
And, oh how we love lustre (aka ‘youth’?) Almost as much as we love coffee, and that’s the key. Unfortunately its not drinking coffee that helps our tresses, but caffeine – applied topically.
There are, of course, many brands that claim to help nurture the hair you have, make it stronger (therefore lasts longer), fuller, thicker, shinier etc; but there are some that are better than others and with ALL of them, you must be patient (we all know how long our hair takes to grow) and you MUST USE the products exactly as advised on the packaging.
Nothing works if you don’t persistently use it.
HAIRFIX is a brand born to treat women exactly our age. It’s a clever recipe that includes time-release caffeine, which works throughout the night to really get down deep in those follicles. It’s a cost-effective serum (as you use only a small amount), which you rub into your scalp 3/4 times a week, at night, wherever your concerns with your thinning hair are.
But you also need to be a lot more clever and considerate than you were in your earlies, in order to get that lustre back (or near to it at any rate) and there are several other things you can do which all help.
Drink plenty of WATER (yes watereven helps your hair)
Make sure you get enough Vitamin B12 (poultry, salmon, fortified cereal)
BIOTIN – also known as Vitamin H, a great supplement for the hair (and skin)
Take Viviscal – a supplement containing AminoMar C (shark and mollusk powder, an organic form of silica)
DON’T use HIGH HEAT tools on your hair (I’m guilty of this one) – no more than 150 degrees centigrade, if you can help it.
HRT Estrogen, estrogen, estrogen. You need it. Go and get some (via the Doctor), because your body stops producing it, (maybe because its banking on you dying at about 65; but that’s not necessarily the case these days) and, our hair needs it. (obvs consult your Dr on this one).
SILK PILLOWCASES – these have added benefit of less wrinkles on the face too, and believe me the difference they make to my hair is immeasurable. (I must get some more, my old ones have died)
SOFT WATER – If you live in a hard water area, see if you can invest in a filter even if its just one that you put in the shower (like this one)
Try not to wash your hair too often. I sometimes just brush my thoroughly through, let it get wet in the shower and then add conditioner. By doing this, you’re not stripping your hair of too many natural oils, whilst still giving it a lovely freshen up.
Hair Masks: use them. Whether you make your own (some great recipes here) or use shop-bought ones, they truly make a difference.
Treatments: DITTO. this is a great one easy to fit into any routine. Just apply onto damp hair for as long as possible before washing out
SO girls, don’t be defeated by bad hair. You can have a good hair day if you just take a little bit more time and give your hair some much needed TLC. Even if its just egg, honey, olive oil and avocado mushed together and slapped on for an hour or so once a week when no one is looking….just remember, you’re very much worth it.