Your hair’s texture changes every seven years or so—but not entirely because of damage brought on by heated styling tools and monthly appointments with your colorist. Hormonal changes—using birth control, getting pregnant, and even simply aging—tends to weaken the hair as well. Think for a second: how many flyaway hairs did you have at 19 years old versus 28 years old? Or 38 years old, for that matter?
For anyone who has experienced damaged hair due to hormones or aging, it can be a huge let-down to test out some new product on the market with less-than-stellar ingredients, which claims to heal and protect your hair—but disregards the specific hormonal factors dehydrating or weakening your locks and therefore won’t work.
In response to the dearth of hormonally focused hair products available, Cindy Crawford has developed a new Meaningful Beauty line that addresses this issue specifically—a five-part collection called the Age-Proof Hair Care System. The system includes a shampoo, conditioner, scalp treatment, styling spray, and powder-based root touch-up, plus a new Beauty Sleep Supplement. Crawford herself said she’s encountered major changes in her hair over time; we found this fact not only intriguing, but also comforting in terms of her product’s credibility. W sat down with the style and beauty icon on Zoom to discuss her newest hair venture as well as a few timeless hair tips she’s picked up over the years as a supermodel and actress.
You’ve said your hair has gotten drier over the years due to postpartum and hormonal shifts. What else happened? Did your hair break more often, and was it harder to style? Did it thin out or respond to color in a different way?
Every single thing that you mentioned. As women, we know our skin is going to age—we hear from a very young age, “Just wait until you get wrinkles,” and you know gray hair is coming, but you also know there is a remedy for it. No one explained to me that my hair was going to age and change. I mean, of course, why wouldn’t it? Everything else was changing. I never thought about it because no one was having that conversation. After my first kid, I definitely lost some hair and my hair got much thinner. My hair stylist at the time was calling [this area] my “parking lot.” I thought to myself, “It will come back.” Then I had another kid, and it did come back, but not all the way. I started coloring my hair more because I had more gray, and my hair was just different; it was much harder to make it look smoother, shiny, and bouncy. It didn’t respond to styling as well. I noticed on shoots, [the hairstylists] would say, “Oh, could I put a few extensions in?” I never had extensions, because I always had a lot of hair. Three years ago, I said to myself, “I wonder if Meaningful Beauty and our hero ingredient—which is the melon super antioxidant extract—could apply to hair. Would those ingredients help our scalp and therefore create a better environment for our hair?” That was the idea and the goal for our research and development team. We had such amazing results from our user groups. Every single woman, 100 percent of the women who tried it, noticed results. After I shower, I lift my hair in little sections and apply the scalp product. It doesn’t weight your hair down—if anything, it gives you a little volume.
Do you then follow with the styling and protectant spray afterwards?
Yes, I do. Even if I am not going to style my hair, I use it because it’s like a leave in conditioner—it helps with detangling, smoothing, and protecting. I use it the day after I blow dry as a styling tool, to smooth the hair down and keep it sleek.
You spend a lot of time in two very humid places, Malibu and Cabo. How do you tame your hair? Do you blow out your own hair?
Yes, I do blow-dry my own hair—not as good as a professional can. Also, my hair is much wavier now, especially if I am in humid weather. The bottom of my hair has more wave in it, so I have two different ways to style it. One is using a round brush, sectioning off, and blow drying which takes me 15 minutes at least to do it right. Or I can let it air dry.
When you do either of the two drying techniques, your heat protectant product takes away the frizz too? It’s smoother even when you air dry?
Yes, and one of the things I learned along the way from a hairdresser is, if you let your hair air dry and you want that little bit of natural curl, don’t brush it a lot. I just take a wide-tooth comb and barely get it smooth, add the leave-in conditioner and let it set. Some people brush it, then brush again and again to get it to dry faster. That’s fine, but you’re going to pull out your natural wave. I like to air dry my hair and let my own waves appear. Sometimes, I can enhance it with a curling iron because the top of my head tends to be straighter.
If I wanted to treat the conditioner like a mask, could I leave it on overnight?
Yes, definitely. Sometimes, I’ll leave it on and go into the infrared sauna with the conditioner. If I know I am going to work out, or even if I’m just around the house, I will leave it on with my hair in a ponytail. As our hair ages, we need to give it a little more love. I’ll pin it up before I go to sleep, so it doesn’t get frizzy, and I sleep on a silk pillowcase. If you give your hair a little bit more as you get older it will give you back a little bit more.
Why did you decide to create a six-shade root touch-up kit in powder form?
I’m not always able to get my hair colored when it needs to be. I don’t like spray root touch-ups. But with the powder, I can get it right where I need it, and get an extra week before I have to go in for a professional color. It’s much easier to control than a spray, which can also weigh your hair down.
You’ve had so many indelible hair looks over the course of your career. Do you have an absolute favorite hair moment of all time?
I think I felt most comfortable in my hair—and I was photographed in this look a lot—with a smooth blow dry style using a round brush. I’d throw in the Velcro rollers, which gave smooth volume with bent ends. There was a specific couple of years in the ‘90s when I wore a big, voluminous style and I had this blonde chunk of hair, which Oribe was obsessed with. It happened to look really good in photographs because it would pick up the light in the right way, so when I see pictures from that time—like, when I did the first Pepsi commercial or even my exercise videos—I feel good. Even today, I still feel comfortable in a tamed version of it. We definitely don’t do the backcombing we used to do in the ‘90s—I used to love a good back comb—but no one does that anymore. Still, that’s the way my hair was styled the most when I was happening, when I was first getting covers and walking runways. I feel like that’s the iconic “Cindy” hair.