MAKEOVER: Please help my hair get its oomph back

Emma HarrowingBaldness is a problem usually associated with men, but increasingly women are finding that as they get older their hair is thinning or finding that they are developing bald patches.Emma Harrowing

Baldness is a problem usually associated with men, but increasingly women are finding that as they get older their hair is thinning or finding that they are developing bald patches. Reader Penny Howes wrote to Life Matters to ask for help to make her thinning hair look thicker. EMMA HARROWING reports.

When a man starts to lose his hair it is seen as one of 'those things' that happens when you get older. Baldness in men is also considered sophisticated and attractive; look at Bruce Willis, Jason Statham and Michael Jordan.

Baldness and thinning hair on a woman is seen as the complete opposite.

It's a problem that many women worry about. Society dictates that bald patches and thin lank hair on a woman equals unattractiveness. This stigma can be difficult to handle and can lead to low self esteem and confidence issues.

Penny Howes has always had thin hair, however, recently her hair has started to fall out leaving very thin patches. Says Penny: 'My hair has always been fine, but as I'm approaching 60 I've noticed that my hair is so thin in places that you can see my scalp.

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'It's very distressing as I take pride in my appearance.'

To try and counteract her hair loss Penny has started to grow her hair longer believing that this will help make her hair look thicker. However, the weight of her style pulls her hair down making the thinning on top more noticeable.

Cue hair stylist Justin at Nigel Alexandre on Castle Street. 'Many women think that by growing their hair long they will disguise the fact that their hair is thinning out,' says Justin. 'In fact this will just draw attention to the problem.

'Having a well cut bob will give the hair body and volume making it look less flyaway and thin. The beauty of the bob is that it can be adapted to suit any face shape. For Penny, a jaw line length style will suit her face shape. By cutting a slightly graduated bob, without layers (as these thin out the hair) and curling under the back, Penny's hair will instantly look and feel a lot thicker.'

To make Penny's hair look even fuller, Justin replaced Penny's golden colour for a rich red based brown.

Justin says: 'The richness of the brunette will give Penny's complexion a boost. As she has a warm skin tone the warmness of the brown will make her look less tired and will knock years off her!'

Before blow drying Penny's hair, Justin used a volumising heat defence product to help thicken her hair. When blow drying he used a rounded hot brush to curl the hair under giving it more volume.

To finish off her new look Tina at Pampers beauty salon on Castle Street cleansed, toned and moisturised her skin before giving her a makeup lesson.

Penny loves her bright pink lipstick and never leaves home without putting on a coat or two.

'Penny's new hair colour really makes her eyes stand out,' says Tina. 'Therefore I want to really emphasise her eyes with definition and colour.

'When you wear makeup it's best to emphasise either the eyes or the lips. Never apply a lot of makeup to both as this will make you look too made up. Makeup is about enhancing your features not covering your face in a mask of makeup.'

To create Penny's new look Tina used the Bare Minerals range of makeup. The range is made from 100pc minerals making it completely natural.

Before applying the base, Tina used a concealer to cover any blemishes and redness, then a mineral foundation in the same colour as Penny's skin tone was applied using a brush.

Well Rested, a product that helps conceal dark circles around the eye area was applied before a warmer colour was used across the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin to add colour to Penny's face.

For the eyes Tina applied a pink eye shadow across the eye lids and created a subtle smoky eye effect by applying a dark purple eye shadow to the outer corner of the lids blending the two colours together with a brush.

Eye liner was applied along the top lid close to the lash line and along the bottom of the eye. Mascara was then applied to define the eyes and Penny's eye brows were defined by filling in any gaps with eye brow makeup.

To finish off Penny's new look Mineral Veil, a translucent powder, was lightly brushed over the face. Penny's lips were left looking natural with a coat of lip gloss.

The verdict

Penny says: 'I cannot believe how different I look. It doesn't look like me in the mirror! I like the makeup but I miss my pink lipstick, everyone who knows me knows me by my lipstick so I think I will go back to wearing it instead of the lip gloss.

'However my hair is fantastic. It looks and feels so much thicker and just goes to prove that if you get a good cut and advice you can get a completely new head of hair. I love it!'


Photographers: Bill Smith and James Bass

Special thanks to: Nigel Alexandre hair salon, for appointments call 01603 621516. Pampers beauty salon, for appointments call 01603 660385.