As these A-listers prove, all it takes to erase 10 years from your look is a small update to a same-old cut, color, or style. And their celebrity hairstyles can make you look younger, too.
Imagine if you could smooth wrinkles, illuminate skin and erase dark circles and crows feet without shelling out a dime on pricey anti-aging potions. Great news! You absolutely can — with one of these hair makeovers.
Mary Steenburgen: Babylights
A dark, one-dimensional hair hue has a way of magnifying shadowy creases on the face from crow’s-feet to laugh lines.
- THE HAIR TWEAK: Thin, subtle highlights reflect light onto skin to blur any shadows or fine lines on the face, says colorist Mike Petrizzi, who’s worked with Joan Jett and Mandy Moore. Plus, they blend easily with grays so you can go even longer between colorings.
- GET THE LOOK: Use a clean baby toothbrush to paint on the formula from a highlighting kit onto 1⁄4″ sections from mid-length to ends. Let sit 30 minutes; rinse.
- TRY: Clairol Nice’n Easy Balayage for Brunettes, $14.99, Buy at Ulta
Courtney Thorne-Smith: Side-Parted Fringe
When parted in the middle, bangs not only put forehead furrows on display, they act like an arrow pointing down, putting unwanted attention on harsh features like an angular jawline.
- THE HAIR TWEAK: Parted to the side, the sweeping curtain of bangs masks brow lines and creates a curved silhouette that visually softens the jaw, says hairstylist Bridget Brager, who’s worked with Jennifer Garner and Kristen Bell. Plus, a side part covers more of the hairline to conceal thinning or sparse spots for a fuller-looking head of hair.
- GET THE LOOK: Swoop the heavier side of a side part diagonally over the arch of the opposite brow. Then, wrap 1″ sections of hair around a 1″ curling iron. Brush through curls; set with hair spray.
- TRY: InfinitiPro by Conair Nano Tourmaline Ceramic 1-inch Curling Iron, $21.50, Buy at Amazon
Kerry Washington: A Beveled Bob
Hair that lacks any layers, no matter how thick it may be, often ends up appearing limp and lifeless. And that long, hanging look can drag the eyes, cheeks and neck right down with it, adding years to one’s look.
- THE HAIR TWEAK: “A slanted bob has such a fresh, youthful feel,” says hairstylist Kim Kimble, who has worked with Angela Bassett and Gabrielle Union. “And the slightly uneven style directs focus diagonally so features get an age-defying lift!” Bonus? The uneven cut removes a lot of hair’s bulk and adds beautiful bounce and movement for a more lightweight appearance.
- GET THE LOOK: Ask your stylist for an asymmetrical bob with choppy, blended layers throughout. To style in buoyant beachy waves, mist damp hair with a sea salt spray which gives strands added bounce and texture. Then, scrunch hair from ends to roots in 2″ sections and blow-dry using a diffuser attachment.
- TRY: Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray, $6.99, Buy at Ulta
Debra Messing: Revived Color
Sun exposure, over-washing and heat styling can all cause color to fade fast so it looks dull and lackluster. Plus, since hair produces less natural oils to keep it adequately moisturized as we get older, all that damage fast-tracks drying so you end up with an unhealthy head full of frizzy, straw like strands.
- THE HAIR TWEAK: “A color-depositing glaze restores vibrancy and richness to hair’s hue in minutes,” says Mike Petrizzi, colorist and artistic director with AGEbeautiful hair color. Plus, these at-home glazes are packed with hair-nourishing nutrients like antioxidants that deep-condition hair to amp up hydration, increase shine and repair damage. The result? Lustrous hair that not only looks healthy, but reflects light onto the face for a more luminous complexion to boot!
- GET THE LOOK: Apply a glaze in the shade closest to yours all over damp hair. Let sit on hair for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing. Use once a month to maintain results.
- TRY: Kristin Ess Signature Hair Gloss available in 13 different shades, from $21.30, Buy at Amazon
Nicole Kidman: Shoulder-Sweeping Shag
The vertical pull of overly long locks exacerbates the volume-sapping effect that gravity has on facial features, says hairstylist Marcus Francis, who’s worked with celebrities like Julianne Moore and Cindy Crawford. This, along with the wrinkle-magnifying look of dry hair and split, scraggly ends easily adds years onto the complexion.
- THE HAIR TWEAK: “Simply snipping hair to a collarbone-grazing length and adding in subtle layers that frame the face directs attention up to the fullest part of the face instantly ‘filling in’ and ‘contouring’ cheeks for a more youthful, voluminous appearance,” says Francis.
- GET THE LOOK: Ask your stylist for a crop that hits right at collarbone with point-cut ends throughout and graduating layers that begin right below the cheekbones. And for added hair-boosting bounce and texture, wrap random 2″ sections of hair around a 1 1⁄2-inch curling iron, leaving ends out for less structured-looking waves. Gently comb through hair with fingertips, then set the style with hair spray.
- TRY: Hot Tools Signature Series Gold Curling Iron/Wand 1 1/2-inch, $27.99 (was $46.04), Buy at Amazon
Laura Linney: A Rich Cocoa Gloss
“Hair that’s similar in tone to skin causes the complexion to look washed-out and pallid,” says celebrity colorist Rick Wellman, who’s worked with Brooke Shields and Mariska Hargitay. “It also lacks hair-volumizing depth.”
- THE HAIR TWEAK: Swapping a pale blond for a rich brown with a kaleidoscope of red and gold pigments. The colorful contrast against fair skin draws out the complexion’s warm undertones for a rosy, radiant glow, says Wellman. And the multi-tonal color gives depth and dimension to even the thinnest of tresses.
- GET THE LOOK: Look for a warm-toned brunette dye (the box will have descriptors like “golden”) that’s infused with avocado oil (it hydrates hair and propels dye molecules deeper into strands) for longer-lasting color. Apply the formula from roots to ends of dry hair, then brush through with a wide-tooth comb to evenly distribute dye. Let sit 35 minutes; rinse. For the most natural look when changing to a darker hair hue, Wellman suggests dying eyebrows one shade deeper than hair.
- TRY: Garnier Nutrisse Permanent Nourishing Color Creme in #43 Dark Golden Brown, $6.97, Buy at Walmart. Godefroy Instant Eyebrow Tint in Dark Brown, $14.89, Buy at Walmart.
Rita Moreno: Vibrant Silver Locks
The reason gray hair gets a bad rap? Over time, it tends to pick up tones from things like air pollutants, shower water and product residue that make the lighter-hued locks look more dirty than dazzling, says celebrity colorist Mike Petrizzi. Plus, that yellowish tinge on hair can cause skin to take on a sallow tone too.
- THE HAIR TWEAK: “A bright, shimmery shade of silver transforms gray hair so it has a healthy, luminous shine—helping the color look sharp and youthful,” says Petrizzi. “Plus, the more polished hair hue sparkles onto skin, enlivening the entire complexion for a lit-from-within glow.”
- GET THE LOOK: First, use a clarifying shampoo to remove dulling buildup on strands. Next, dry hair and, to cancel out any leftover yellow pigments, apply a blue-based toner all over hair; let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse. Use once a month to maintain results.
- TRY: Camille Rose Clean Rinse, $19.23, Buy at Amazon. AGEbeautiful Permanent Liqui-Creme Topcoat Toner in Silver Ash Blonde, $13.13, Buy at Amazon.
Diane Lane: Bouncy Waves
Pin-straight tresses can look harsh against aging skin as the rigid, structured style puts a spotlight on fine lines and wrinkles. The less flexible look is also a surefire way to make thinning hair appear that much thinner.
- THE HAIR TWEAK: Building in bouncy waves gives hair soft texture and beautiful movement that detracts from facial flaws, erasing optical years from the face, says celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble. And the bends and buoyancy of waves throughout creates the illusion of hair that’s two times fuller.
- GET THE LOOK: Curl 1″ sections of hair with a 1″ curling iron, alternating the direction curls fall (one section away from the face, the next toward the face) for added body and less contrived waves. Once hair is curled and cooled, gently comb through with fingers then set with a dry shampoo. This gives hair a gritty texture that ensures waves last all day.
- Try: Pantene Never Tell Dry Shampoo, $6.97, Buy at Amazon. InfinitiPro by Conair Nano Tourmaline Ceramic 1-inch Curling Iron, $21.50, Buy at Amazon.
Katie Couric: A Cheeky Chop
The lack of movement from a one-length lob (aka long bob) leaves hair hanging lifelessly near the shoulders, causing already fine hair to look thin and flat. It also highlights facial agers like saggy jowls and age spots for a more spent and less sensational appearance.
- THE HAIR TWEAK: Chopping off a few inches and building in layers restores body and life to hair for an optically thicker mane and more energized look overall, says hairstylist Julien Farel, who has worked with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Rachel Weisz. “And the texture created from layers keeps the focus on strands to take attention away from aging arghs.”
- GET THE LOOK: Ask your stylist for a rounded, jaw-length crop with long, blended layers and sideswept bangs. To boost the beautifying benefits, Farel advises styling the shorter ’do by first working a dollop of a volumizing mousse through damp hair from roots to ends. This “bulks up” finer strands. Next, use a blow-dryer and a medium-sized round brush on 1″ sections of hair until all of hair is dry. Finish by applying a dime-size amount of pomade through the ends of strands to define layers and create extra hair-thickening pizzazz.
- TRY: Herbal Essences Body Envy Volumizing Mousse, $2.68, Buy at Walmart. L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Hair Putty, $4.19, Buy at Amazon.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.