Hello, I’m Penny, a 56-year-old model in Melbourne, Australia, and someone who is an advocate for embracing age naturally, with style and confidence. My hair is shiny and bouncy because I eventually found the right stylist and a hair-care routine that fits me perfectly. Keep reading to know all my secrets to healthy hair!
My hair is currently medium length, which is a new look for me, from the funky cropped hair I wore for 16 years. I’ve had to reacquaint myself with a hairbrush, as I never needed to brush my hair when it was short. To describe my hair, I would say it is straight, with a bit of movement, fairly fine, and it is very healthy.
Moving in a new direction with my style and color has been so much fun, and going blonde three or so years ago was a great choice for me, simply because it was so much easier to blend my ever-increasing gray hair and hide the regrowth.
Recently, I’ve embarked on another change… I’ve started to transition to my natural hair color, which I am excited about! This collage shows my two-year transition from pixie cut to blonde bob:
You’re probably curious how I started my transition and who inspired me. It happened very spontaneously! My hairstylist, Natalie, suggested that I start integrating my natural “white hair” (gray hair, really, but I do like this description better!) into my colored hair. I will never forget the reaction I was getting. The suggestion was unexpected and exciting! I always thought that when, and if, I decided to stop coloring my hair, I would have to endure the painful and obvious look of a major regrowth as I grew out the blonde color from my hair.
Natalie explained how beautiful my natural white hair was, and she could follow the natural color growth of my white hair and design it in a way to complement and enhance my overall color. This process has been so subtle, it’s hard to believe that I haven’t had any regrowth tinting for more than eight months.
Today, I am proud to say that I’m almost completely color-free, loving my style and healthy hair.
Now, I pride myself on only needing to cleanse my hair two or three times a week, as it is in the best condition it’s been in for ages. I do the three-step cleansing routine: shampoo, condition and moisturize. And, because it is in such good condition, I only use Olaplex #3 maybe once every two weeks to keep the ends of my hair strong with elasticity.
Products I love and use for cleansing are:
I do feel lucky to have one of Melbourne’s Top Hair Stylists, and an expert in healthy hair – Natalie Varrasso (@retreat_hair). She is a unique hair stylist, who is so knowledgeable about hair and how it changes as we age. Natalie has taught me how to recognize what my hair is needing, and she always does a hair analysis on me to be sure we are in the right place with the products I use.
I find my hair care products simple and very effective, and the best part is that they are super easy to use.
I use a light volumizing root-lift mousse and blast my hair dry with my blow dryer, which gives me nice height and support at the roots; it also helps hold any back-combing, if I want a little more volume and pop.
If I decide to go a step further, I will style either a polished smooth shape or maybe some soft waves, using my hair straightener, but always spray each section with a thermal protect spray to be sure I am totally keeping my hair in a healthy state.
Products I use for styling are:
For daytime, I generally wear my hair styled straight, but sometimes I’ll go with a beach-wave look or a messy pony/bun. And, if I’m not wearing my polished smooth style, I love a messy updo for parties.
I have always been passionate about aging gracefully. I believe that, by looking after myself, I have been able to show other women and my daughters the positive side of embracing age, feeling vibrant and feeling good about yourself. Learning how powerful it is to have a great hairstylist that understands hair, and how it evolves with age, has given me the perfect confidence to feel complete and empowered in my passion. It’s exciting to embrace aging naturally, and my mindset about this is to accept the process boldly, without feeling like I want to change anything. I’m only changing the way I perceive aging! And, that’s enough. A culture change, regarding attitudes toward aging, is gradually happening, and, hopefully, the focus will shift from a fear of aging to an acceptance and genuine embracing of it! And, I love magazines like The Right Hairstyles that help women to see alternatives, to meet their true selves!
If my experience resonates with you, follow my Instagram account, which is a storyboard of style, fun, life and feeling great, naturally.