written by JULYNE DERRICK & BECCI VALIS
Instead of charging to the dermatologists and demanding fillers at the first sign of wrinkles or investing a small fortune on miracle creams, maybe give your hairdresser a call instead. Tell them your issues (the hair ones) about what you think is making you look older, and then let them get scissor-happy.
A Universally-Flattering Cut
The universally-flattering shoulder-length cut is a celebrity favorite. It’s also super customizable, meaning your hairstylist can work with you to create the perfect layers or face-framing look.
“Shoulder-skimming styles are super flattering, as they graze the décolletage and gently frame the face,” says Sam Burnett, owner of Hare & Bone salon. “It’s also worth flagging that thinning hair, especially in younger women, is on the rise, and lobs are one of the best ways to create the illusion of thicker, fuller hair, which is incredibly youth-boosting. Fewer layers and breaking up the blunt outline with some freehand cutting keeps it fresh and modern.”
The Right Bangs
Bangs are a phenomenal way to take years off your appearance. But, bangs that are too short can actually draw more attention to fine lines than you may want.
“A full, blunt fringe can be dramatic, but it will hide lines and can completely frame your face and draw attention to your eyes,” reveals Marc Trinder, owner of Trinder Hair Studios. A foreword on fringes, though. Unless you have a long or oval face shape, go for a softer gradient, says Trinder. “Fringes that curve around and frame the cheekbones will give contour and lift.” So you can pack away that highlighting and bronzing kit right now.
A tip on drying, though: you need the right hairbrush. Don’t wrap your bangs with a round brush or you will have the very dated “bubble bangs.”
Instead, use a boar’s hair paddle brush when blow-drying bangs. Brush bangs to the left than to the right, aiming the blow dryer down onto bangs. The brush our editors swear by is from Mason Pearson. It’s a worthy investment that will last a lifetime.
Keep It Natural
Put away your irons and skip the professional straightening treatment and let your natural curls go. Moisturizing products with oils like argan will help keep frizz at bay while making sure your natural texture isn’t weighed down. Moisturized hair is the key to keeping curls defined.
Try a Center Part
The key to the center part is to not make it exactly center, which can look too perfect and unnatural. Instead, aim for just a bit off to the left or right—wherever your natural part lies.
“If you’ve had your parting in the same place for a long time, it can make your hair sit extremely flat,” flags up Trinder. “If you normally wear it straight, try combing your hair back at a diagonal angle, and allow the hair to fall down in a new position.” Use the power of your nozzle to push and direct it into place if you need to.
Opt for a Bob
“Going shorter will automatically give you a more confident and youthful look,” says Burnett. “The modern bob has a defined outline that sits around the jawline framing your face and directing the eyes towards your best features. Textured layers and a choppy fringe just above your eyebrows create even more of a playful feeling.”
Try Out a Pixie
Funky short cuts are great on women no matter their age, but beware — you do have to have some confidence to pull off such an attention-grabbing style. For pixie styles, a decent molding paste or wax can mean the difference between awesome hair and “meh” hair. Without it, your hairstyle could fall flat to your head like a helmet or billow from your head in puffs of frizz.
Be Gentle With Color-Treated Hair
While natural color may fade or become duller over time, you can always color your hair whatever hue you like. Dyeing your hair can take a toll on it, so it’s always a good idea to use products that will help your new color stay in your hair, like a color-protecting shampoo. If you’re not into going for a full-on color, maybe try some highlights or lowlights first. If color maintenance is too much trouble, skip it altogether and let your natural color fly.
Just the Right Amount of Layers
Layered hair is controversial. Too much can leave you with a dated look. But the right kind of layers can add body and fullness to otherwise limp locks. This is a great layered look. Note the texture and the gorgeous color.
“Layers that are too short can instantly make a haircut look old-fashioned due to the roundness in shape that it creates,” explains Trinder. “If you feel you need layers due to thickness or you like the texture they create, keep them long, and have the weight removed using slicing or razoring techniques that will create a more, natural graduated effect.”