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February 12, 2014

Turning heads, at any age

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

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Experts say that senior women often opt for shorter hairstyles that are easier to care for.

If our golden years are meant to be the best years of our lives, then it stands to reason that the older we get, the better we should look and feel.

Beauty secrets aren’t just for gals in their 20s. Senior women need their own tips and tricks to feel gorgeous, even though Mother Nature might be throwing a few extra curveballs their way.

Sherry Lopetrone has years of experience as a cosmetologist and esthetician. At New Visions salon in Grosse Pointe Woods, she spends her days catering to clients and tailoring beauty treatments to suit their unique needs. She said while many hair and skin treatments are largely the same for women of all ages, mature ladies need a little extra special attention.

“Seniors are the same as basically everyone else — you need a good shampoo and conditioner, and skin needs to be clean and moisturized,” said Lopetrone. “They’ve got to keep that moisture (in skin and hair) as they get older.”

She explained that a lot of common cosmetic gripes senior women have can be attributed to a loss of moisture in skin and hair. As we age, we lose natural moisture and oils faster than we did in earlier years. So, we have to replace that lost H20.

“I recommend a good regimen with an exfoliating cleanser that sloughs off dead skin cells, and then moisturizers of course. And wear sunscreen, it helps with age spots,” she said.

Conditioning treatments for hair, as well as frequent trims, can help keep hair soft and prevent breaking. Even hands can get in on the moisturizing action.

“Always use a good moisturizer on your hands. I tell clients to rub cuticle oil on their cuticles at night. It helps them grow in more moisturized so they don’t chip,” she said. “A lot of my senior clients complain because they had beautiful nails when they were younger and now they won’t grow.”

Perhaps most importantly, she said, make sure to drink plenty of water so you can moisturize from the inside out.

Maintaining a healthy, detoxified and moisturized complexion is something of a European tradition that’s just starting to gain momentum in the United States, according to Margot Kohler, owner of Margot’s European Day Spa in downtown Birmingham. As a classically trained esthetician, Margot said the key to keeping her senior clients glowing is fairly simple: repair years of damage, and go forward with a consistent upkeep regimen.

“Once we have mature age, we have to repair. We definitely have to go back to the basics,” said Kohler. “There are three steps to that: we cleanse, we tone and we definitely moisturize then revitalize at night.”

Kohler explained that estheticians can set their clients up with a custom skin care regimen that targets their individual needs. Most problems arise from — you guessed it — a lack of moisture in the skin, which depletes with age and years of exposure to harsh elements such as wind, sun and pollution.

When done right, she said, seniors can notice a difference in their complexion sooner than they might think.

“It always has to be an anti-aging product with an active ingredient like collagen or vitamin C, and it doesn’t always have to be expensive,” she said. “Many different ingredients can get the skin to where it can totally rejuvenate within a month. You don’t get it back to normal, but you can definitely repair. It’s about getting the right products and being consistent to get a result.”

Lopetrone said she likes to recommend the Bioelements skincare line to her New Visions clients, since there are so many products that can be combined for a couture skincare routine.

When it comes to hair, she said, the treatments aren’t as unique. Most mature clients will come to her with the same troubles: yellowing gray color and thinning strands. To beat the brass, she recommends getting a blue-hued shampoo to counter the yellow. As for thinning hair, she’s a big fan of Nioxin treatments. While it might not bring back lost hair, she said it will do a great job of helping senior women and men alike to keep the hair they’ve got left that might be falling out due to age or medications.

As for the cut and style, Lopetrone said most of her clients go for short and sweet.

“A lot of seniors go more for a wash-and-wear hairstyle that’s easy to care for, where it’s easy to wear and they don’t have to use a blow dryer or curling iron,” she said. “It grows healthier when it’s short, too. Plus, older women who might be having hot flashes might want the hair off their neck. The back of the neck seems to (cause) more irritation for them.”

For more on Margot’s European Day Spa, visit www.Margots.com. Call New Visions salon at (313) 884-0330.