Taming the Midlife Hairball


If looking like a troll doll is not your dream, well, it’s not ours, either. (Ours is a cross between Jane Fonda and Betsey Johnson, if you must know.) Taming the dry, frizzy hairball is the midlife woman’s lot. Hair becomes more curly, too, which can be fun—or not-fun, as in what we like to call “The Flying Nun” look. Where’s my wimple, damn it!

But, you say, what about the approximately 10,000 hair products that aim to tame dry and damaged hair? That’s very nice, but postmenopause hair is not like the other hair. First of all, it’s not necessarily “damaged.” You may never use a flat iron or haircolor, but, darn it, the hair is still deprived of hormones. Second, “repair” is not your goal. You cannot repair postmenopause hair.

What you can do is moisturize and soften it. For postmenopause hair, you need particular products and the patience to try them until you find one that works.

We at MizMaude are not yet experts on all things hair. However, here are products we’ve tried:

  • Pureology Hydrate Shine Max: Works extremely well and is easy to get just right.
  • Matrix Biolage Advanced Spray: Made with keratin, which seems to help. You can spray on wet or dry hair, and it is almost impossible to overdo it. Bonus: Your hair will smell delightful, just like it used to.
  • Pssst! Sheer Finishing Dry Oil Spray: This surprisingly rudimentary product is very effective, especially for those extra-dry hair ends. It can be overdone, but you’d have to use a LOT. Handy to just carry it around for touch-ups. We like this brand, but others are available.
  • Argan oil: It’s all-natural and available from a bazillion different producers. Be advised that the fine line between “soft and manageable” and “hideous grease pile” is easily crossed, so use with caution.
  • Coconut oil: Also all-natural and is great for some kinds of hair, but not all. You could try using it in between other products.
  • John Frieda Frizz-Ease: Some people swear by Frieda products, but perhaps they work better on younger hair than on ours. Several options are available, including Original Six Effects Serum that is very popular.
  • Paul Mitchell Leave-In Conditioner: This will not solve all of your hair problems, but it definitely helps. You might try some of the many other leave-in conditioners, preferably one with keratin.
  • It’s a 10 miracle leave-in condition with keratinThe efficacy of this product depends entirely on getting it into your hair when it is at the perfect level of dampness. It works pretty well.
  • Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Blow Dry Straight Balm: We love this product for those special days that require a smooth, professional look produced by someone who lacks styling skeelz.

What up with keratin?

If collecting a pile of hair products isn’t your thing, you could simply get a long-lasting keratin treatment at a salon. A keratin treatment allegedly puts protein back into your dry, porous hair the way one might fix a road with 5 million potholes. The end result is smooth, straight hair that is easily styled. The effect lasts about 3 months and costs $250-$450 or so, depending on the salon.

A bunch of other stuff you could try

We haven’t tried these, but who knows—they might be terrific.

  • Nexxus Botanluxe Nourishing Botanical Leave-In Conditioner
  • Kerastase Discipline Fluidissime Spray
  • Redken all soft heavy cream
  • Maple Holistics Silk 18 Conditioner
  • Styling Cream: Living Proof ‘No Frizz” Nourishing
  • Alterna CAVIAR Anti-Aging® Replenishing Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Defrizzer Oil: Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil
  • Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask
  • Pantene Damage Detox Shampoo and Rehab Crème
  • L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm
  • Aussie 3-Minutes Miracle

We’re not done covering this topic that is so is critical for the survival of humanity. Stay tuned for updates on our hair-saving research.

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