Back in the dark ages, you had products aimed at normal, dry or greasy hair, then came volumising, straightening and curling versions, next up were the colour specific ranges for blondes, brunettes or redheads.
But now we’re seeing an increasing number of haircare ranges whose labelling would seem far more at home on a pot of face cream: Charles Worthington Time Defy, Frederic Fekkai Ageless and Alterna Caviar Anti-Ageing are just some of the products at the forefront of what appears to be a growing beauty trend.
That’s right, anti-ageing haircare. You can see how, to the marketing men, anti-ageing products make perfect sense.
After all, between 2002 and 2007 the fastest-growing sector of the facial skincare market was anti-ageing, increasing by 67 per cent to reach a value of $14.9billion (£13 billion) globally, so why wouldn’t the haircare industry want to cash in on our quest for eternal youth?
The difference is that hair is dead cells and has a lifespan of four to five years at the very most.
Essentially, if a 25-year-old and a 50-year-old both have hair that’s ten inches long, the tips of their hair will all be pretty much the same age - approximately 20 months, given that, on average, hair grows half an inch a month.
But according to Sara Botham, of Alterna, you don’t have to be old to use anti-ageing haircare.
‘When we talk about ageing hair, we’re not necessarily talking about the age of the person,’ she explains.
‘Hair can be aged in a number of ways - there’s the environment, UV damage and pollution, which can damage hair; there are chemical factors, such as straightening and colouring, and then there’s chronological ageing as well.’
She explains that treatments, such as colouring, can leave hair dry and damaged, but that anti-ageing hair products help to replenish this moisture and improve the condition of hair.
All this makes sense, but it still doesn’t explain what distinguishes an anti-ageing product from something that, in the old days, would have been called a product for dry or damaged hair.