Looking like a twenty year old is not the goal. The goal is to look amazing and up-to-date, not fusty and old. (And if you shave five or ten years off by tweaking your hair, so much the better.)
We asked hair stylists to give us the biggest mistakes women make that make them look older and how to avoid them. If you are guilty of any of these, get thee to a stylist and embrace a younger looking you.
Mess It Up
“Hair today has a lived in look. Beachy waves, hair that moves. And that style is hard for women over a certain age to embrace. They resist giving up the hairspray and fixed hair look. But that tight to the head hair, with no movement is really dated,” says D’Leigh Black, stylist with Studio Gaven.
D’Leigh says the key word here is movement.
“I don’t expect a women over 60 to rock long hair like Giselle, though if they can, go for it. But even a short haircut needs to be slightly mussed and move. If every hair is in place, with tons of hairspray, you need to look at other styling products that can give you control without stiffness,” says Black.
All One Tone
No more all over color. Adding highlights (and lowlights) give your hair dimension and if your hair is thinning gives the illusion of more hair.
“We also need to gradually lighten as we mature. Just a touch, maybe face framing highlights. It gives a softness that is flattering to everyone,” says Black.
As your hair color changes, so should the color of your brows. Black says that keeping the bold dark brow you had in your youth may need to soften to match those flattering lowlights.
Your hair length isn’t dictated by your age but by a variety of other factors. Wearing it long is still an option. But short can be youthful and chic too.
“If a woman is tiny and has good hair, I say wear it long. But if your hair is thinning, or if you have curves and a few extra pounds, then shorter hair is a better fit,” says Gaven Smith, owner of Studio Gaven and The Studio, who says the old adage that demanded women over 50 opt for short hair is wrong.
Your stylist should help you find a shorter cut that works with your face shape and build. And try to avoid the lightbulb haircut.
“Sometimes women keep cutting their hair until it is a round pouf on top and tapers really close to the neck. It looks like the shape of a lightbulb. Going short can mean a bob or short shag. It doesn’t have to be a dated haircut,” says Black.
Product Pick Up
Make sure the products you are using is working with the hair you have today. If your hair is thinning, look for products designed to address those concerns. And move away from the can a day hairspray habit.
“Some older women will tease and spray their hair into a helmet. Their hair has gotten thinner and they think that is the only way to give the hair volume and hold. But there are so many styling products on the market today that will give you volume and movement,” says Black.
Shake It Up
Both Black and Smith say shaking things up can give you a more youthful look.
“Give yourself permission to try something new. Even if it is styling your hair different for one day. Stylists love to give their clients a new look. Next time they ask if you want the same style, ask them for a few other options. Keeping the same hairstyle and color for decades is almost always going to date your look,” says Black.