Mastering Great Hair – at any age

Anna Mooney.

Second Springers descended on the Merrion Hotel last night for a masterclass in hair health – and learned everything from how to preserve hair vitality as it ages to how to do a desk-to-dinner French twist up-do in ten minutes. (Well, uberstylist Helen Kenny made it look that easy!)

My Second Spring organises events for women facing symptoms of perimenopause and meneopause

My Second Spring organises events for women facing symptoms of perimenopause and meneopause

Canapés and chat gave way to some serious talk when leading trichologist Carol Johnson told us about her personal experience with hair loss following the birth of her children – and the number of cases of female hair loss (and the resulting self esteem issues) she sees in her Dublin practice daily.  

The cases and the causes are many and varied, but at menopause, women are particularly vulnerable - hair growth rate is reduced as hormone levels fall, and hair is not replacing itself as quickly as before.

Six steps for Hair Rescue

Carol’s six-point action plan for maintaining hair health and minimizing the risk of hair loss at midlife:

  1. Eat More Protein: it is essential for hair growth and repair.
  2. Minimize stress: it will negate hair growth. Feeling good will help your hair much more - have that glass of wine with a friend, get up, get moving.
  3. Be mindful with your grooming – treat hair as you would a silk shirt  - with care and respect. Limit the heated assaults on your hair where possible.
  4. Micronutrients can play an important role – and dietary supplementation such as Viviscal's may be necessary.
  5. Treat your scalp well. Use products that will create the illusion of thickness by all means – like Viviscal Volumising Hair Fibres,  which are lightly shaken into the hair parting - or a dry shampoo between washes. But make sure you wash gently and regularly to remove that product build up and let the scalp breathe. Try regular gentle massage, but not Indian head massage as it tends to involve too much friction.
  6. Brush your hair with a wide tooth comb or brush with natural bristle, not nylon. Brush from the base of the skull and hang the head upside down to encourage blood flow.

Work it Curl

Stylist Helen Kenny managed to skillfully transform two of the guests with a cut and a chic French twist while answering a stream of questions on everything from swimming-suitable products to the verdict on the 12 week blow-dry (She doesn't feel Irish women need it.)

Helen's top takeaways:

  1. Avoid excessive heat and over-use of styling tools– and if you have wavy hair, embrace the curl and work with it.
  2. Steer clear of the supermarket aisles when buying shampoo and conditioner, as they tend to be full of nasty Sodium Lauryl sulfates (SLSs) – that’s the cleaning agent that makes lots of lather and can be very hard on hair. Trade up for superior sulfate-free brands that reward hair.
  3. Move from solid, high maintenance colour to toned down highlights; it means less time in the salon chair and that gives hair a rest.
  4. Use lightweight serums to add sleekness without weighing the hair down - Helen is a big fan of Viviscal's Gorgeous Growth Densifying Elixir and Kerastase salon ranges.
  5. Avoid silicone-based conditioners – they can be heavy on hair weighing down fine or thinning hair and making it look lank.

More Masterclass insights from The Wardrobe Mistress Maura McDonald in our next blog post…..

For more information on how Viviscal can help with your hair issues, visit, or contact any of our Expert speakers below.

Thanks to our Experts

Carol Johnson, Consultant Trichologist

Carol is a Consultant Trichologist certified through affiliation with The International Association of Trichologists, is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and an Associate member of the World Trichology Society. She is also a Certified Service provider with the Trichotillomania Learning Centre in Santa Cruz.

As a mother of two school-going children who has experienced Alopecia in the past, she moved from the area of law into trichology from her own personal interest. What interests her most is hair loss and the impact it has on women and men in terms of their self esteem and she works to help those affected achieve the best results they can to retain their existing hair, promote new growth and arrest/slow down future hair loss.

Helen Kenny, Session Stylist, hair blogger

Helen is a top stylist with international experience spanning shoots and shows for Vogue, Nylon, GQ, The Sunday Times and New York Fashion Week.  She currently teaches in the LA College of Creative Arts, is in demand for her session and bridal work and is a regular contributor and hair blogger to a number of Irish media, including Stellar, Xpose, VIP as well as international bridal titles.


Maura McDonald, The Wardrobe Mistress

Maura has worked as a stylist for over 20 years, in New York and Dublin, and has spent much of her career on the set of film, TV and commercial productions. In true Second Spring style she has recently relaunched herself as The Wardrobe Mistress, offering personal shopping and styling services to clients. She can work wonders with any budget and any time frame.

CONTACT: Telephone 087 2780442.

Shona Sullivan, Brand Manager, Viviscal

Vivisscal is a global leader in hair loss and hair growth supplementation. For lots of inspiring real life stories and advice on hair loss and hair thinning, visit

Some feedback from Second Springers:

"Great event, well done - lots of food for thought on lots of fronts (dry shampoo!!) and I really like The Wardrobe Mistress" Jane

"Thank you so much for a lovely evening. I really enjoyed it and what a lovely bunch of women!" Laura

"What an achievement - top class presentations by gorgeous women. Thank you so much! Great success" Susan

"Fab night! Really well done and THANK YOU! Off to search Mango at the weekend for that belt, Warehouse for the skirt but shall give the Penny's nude sling backs a miss!" Vandra

"Thank-you for tonight. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Am going to use the products, buy the red skirt and come to the next evening." Sarah

"Great night, really informative. I am about to start using the Viviscal products! Well done!" Leon

"Super night! We all really enjoyed it. Well done on another successful night!" Catherine

"Amazing night Aisling!! Total success! I loved it! And thanks so much for the gorgeous goodies! We will all have glowing hair!" Enda

"Thanks for a great night! I used the Vivscal on my hair today and it turned out lovely and curly with the Elixir." Kay

"Thank you for a really lovely night. It was very informative and pleasant. I've used my Viviscal and already a friend commented on my hair!" Geraldine

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