So many of us have been styling, cutting, and coloring our hair the same way for decades — it’s just easy when we have a routine. But as we age, the texture, tone, volume, and luster of both our skin and hair begins to shift, and that same-old routine may no longer be flattering. The good news: Anti-aging hair tweaks completely transform you and shed years from your look — no pricey age-defying products or treatments needed!
Bright Blond Locks
Blond highlights are great for blending in grays, but sunlight, pollution, and age can cause the lighter hue to oxidize and take on a brassy, orange tinge. This pulls out red tones in skin, leaving the complexion looking ruddy.
The hair tweak: “Adding a blue-tinted conditioner to your repertoire,” says colorist Gregory Patterson, who’s worked with Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore. “Since blue and orange are opposite on the color wheel, the blue neutralizes brass to brighten hair, illuminating skin for a radiant glow!” Simply apply a blue conditioner like Joico Color Balance Blue Conditioner (Buy from Ulta, $39.50) all over damp hair and let sit 3 minutes; rinse.
A Deep-set Side Part
Parting hair down the middle or slightly off to the side can slim the face. The caveat? That same symmetrical strand split can also emphasize a lack of volume in cheeks for a look that’s more drawn, says hairstylist Daniel Koye, who’s worked with Vanessa Williams and Jessica Chastain.
The hair tweak: “Move the part all the way over so it lines up with the arch of the brow,” says Koye. “This creates a more curved silhouette that adds visual volume to the face.” Then, to give hair (and thus the face) added oomph, loosely wrap various 3 inch sections of hair around a 2 inch curling iron and tease hair at the back of the crown; set with hair spray.
A Tapered Pixie
Since hair becomes finer in texture with age, a chinlength crop can start hanging lifelessly, says hairstylist Carrie Butterworth, who’s worked with Sigourney Weaver and Mena Suvari. These limp-looking locks end up pulling facial features down with them, emphasizing jowls and saggy neck skin.
The hair tweak: “A voluminous pixie,” says Butterworth. “It restores bounce to fine strands while pulling focus up and away from droopy skin.” Just ask your stylist for a pixie with light, blended layers that’s longer on top and shorter on the side. Then style in added volume by blow-drying 1 inch sections of hair with a small round brush, pulling hair up and out from the root, then brushing and smoothing the top layer toward the back.
Styling hair pin-straight may help tame frizz, but it also tends to look harsh against mature skin, emphasizing fine lines, says celebrity hairstylist Daniel Koye. And because hair lies flat against the head, it puts bald spots and thinning on full display.
The hair tweak: “Infuse hair with soft, buoyant waves,” says Koye. This creates youthful movement that takes the focus off of facial flaws. “Plus, the waves’ bounce helps hair appear much fuller!” His to-do: Wrap 1 inch sections of hair around a 1½ inch curling iron, having curls fall away from the face (this pulls the eye outward). After hair is all curled, comb through with fingers.
A Layered Crop
The vertical pull of a more one-dimensional shoulder-length cut directs focus downward, so eyes and cheeks look droopy, says celebrity hairstylist Carrie Butterworth. Plus, it masks the face’s natural curves, so it appears less structured and more puffy.
The hair tweak: “An ear-length crop with wispy layers,” says Butterworth. “The short style draws focus upward so features look lifted and youthful, while also visually elongating and slimming the face.
And the layers’ texture ensures the shorter style looks more modern than matronly.” Simply ask your stylist for an ear-length cut with soft, blended side bangs and choppy layers throughout. Then ensure the style has bounce by spritzing damp hair with a sea salt spray like Verb Sea Spray (Buy from Sephora, $20) and scrunching from roots to ends in 2 inch sections; let air-dry.
Darker color tends to cast shadows onto the face that magnify undereye hollows and creases, says celebrity colorist Gregory Patterson.
The hair tweak: Lighten up with superfine highlights that mimic the way the sun lightens a child’s hair. This bounces light onto skin, which instantly blurs and softens “sunken in” spots and wrinkles. To do: Grab a highlighting kit like Blond Brilliance Highlighting Kit (Buy from Sally Beauty, $17.59) and use the included brush to paint the formula onto various 1⁄4 inch sections around the face from roots to ends. Let process for 30 minutes, then rinse.
The downside to being a pro at styling and never shying away from a curling iron or blow-dryer? Years worth of heat-styling dries out strands and causes color to fade fast, resulting in brittle, lackluster locks.
The hair tweak: Incorporating a hair glaze into your shower routine once a month. The formula deposits semipermanent dye onto hair to restore vibrancy in minutes, says celebrity colorist Gregory Patterson. Plus, the latest crop of glazes like dpHUE Gloss+ (Buy from Ulta Beauty, $35, available in 10 different shades) come loaded with hair-nourishing humectants that deeply hydrate and repair damage to strands to boot.
A Bouncy Blowout
Styling in volume at the roots gives hair some added oomph, but the longer your hair is, and the thinner it becomes with age, the quicker it falls f lat everywhere else, defeating the purpose.
The hair tweak: A buoyant blowout! Simply work a dollop of a volumizing mousse like Pantene Volume Body Boosting Mousse (Buy from CVS, $6.19) through damp hair before blow-drying so it has grip. Next, blow-dry 2 inch sections of hair with a medium-size round brush, pulling hair up and out at the root and twisting slightly toward the ends for flippy texture.
Repeat until all of hair is dry. “This technique creates uniform fullness from roots to ends,” says celebrity hairstylist Carrie Butterworth, giving hair megavolume that lasts.
A long, fringeless cut opens up the face to highlight beautiful features. Too bad as we age, it also puts harsh focus on forehead furrows and sparse spots.
The hair tweak: “Snip in curtain bangs,” says hairstylist Daniel Koye. “They cover the majority of the forehead to instantly mask wrinkles. Plus, the way they swing open like a curtain over the temples conceals any thinning along the hairline.”
Just ask your stylist for full, brow-skimming curtain bangs that seamlessly blend into the rest of hair. And to keep bangs looking full and fresh, spritz them with dry shampoo like COLAB Original Dry Shampoo (Buy from Target, $5.69). This creates texture while absorbing volume-sapping oil. Not ready to commit to bangs?
Get the benefits temporarily with clip-in bangs like Hairdo Trendy Fringe (Buy from Wigs.com, $33.99; available in 13 different shades).
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.
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