Make no mistake. Our hair, our crowning glory, is important to us ladies. And when we find a hairdo (and hairstylist) that we love and feel good about, you can bet your bottom dollar that we’re sticking with it for as long as we can.
Be that as it may, hair experts will tell you that it is important not to inadvertently fall into a style rut and to make the effort to update your look with little alterations to the colour and the cut as the years go by. Because what looked fabulous during your uni years may not be as flattering when you are 30. Sometimes the twenty-something haircut you rocked can—eek—add another few more years to your 40-something self!
To keep that from happening to you, here are seven common hair errors to avoid so that you can look younger than ever.
Sticking to an Outdated Do
If your 40-year-old sweet self is still sporting the same do from 10 years ago, it may be time for a hair intervention. If you are still hanging on to the Rachel-do, know that it is officially old-fashioned and is absolutely dating you.
This rule, however, doesn’t apply 100 per cent to any and all haircuts. It is important to differentiate between trends and the classics. Classics never go out of style. If you have a signature cut that is timeless, it may only require a few tweaks (highlights and a trim, perhaps) to keep things fresh and updated. Have an honest conversation with your stylist about that.
Cutting It Short Because You’re Supposed To
There was a time when it was practically a custom to go short once you are past a certain age, but not anymore. Throw the old rules out of the window. If anything, the wrong short hairdo can be quite severe and end up making you look older.
You are allowed to rock long grey locks even at 99, if that’s the way you like it. It isn’t the length of hair that matters, but the health and quality of it. If your hair is strong, healthy and full, feel free to go long.
Neglecting Scalp Health
Keep your scalp and hair healthy and you can do pretty much what you want with your hair, whatever your age. To combat the effects of ageing, you should be taking care of your scalp as much as you care for your complexion. A dry and flaky scalp, for instance, can mean split ends, breakage and dull, lifeless locks. So make sure to keep your scalp and tresses well-moisturized and healthy with the right shampoos, conditioners and treatments.
Letting Your Hair Hang Flatly
As you age your hair can tend toward the dull and flat, pulling down your face and instantly ageing you. So while it may have worked to have your long hair all at the same length in your glorious youth, it is best to update your tresses with a cut that creates more lift and movement.
Side-swept bangs and face-framing layers will add bounce to long hair (and hide the lines on your forehead!). Alternatively, you can consider taking several inches off and have some fun with a concave bob.
Keeping Colour Monotone
When hair is one solid colour, it tends to make you look older. To add movement and dimension, go for more than one tone or play with highlights. In general, go about one to two shades lighter or darker than your natural hair colour.
When it comes to the choice of colour, your facial features should be considered. Lighter tones will help to soften your features and make your skin appear more youthful. It can also help to camouflage thinning hair as the lightening process thickens the hair follicles and makes hair look fuller. Though if you have a round face, darker tones can help make create more flattering contours around your face.
Ignoring the Grey
To be clear, we are not advocating covering up your grey strands at all. If you love them, flaunt them! But it’s important to know what to do with your greys to keep it looking fresh and youthful.
Enhance the grey with a gloss or shampoo and consider a fun and bold new hairstyle to celebrate the natural hue. But if you do want to hide the greys for now, that’s fine too. One expert tip is to make sure that your roots are coloured a darker tone than the hair ends to mimic the way hair naturally grows and looks.
Pull Your Hair Back Tightly
Yes, a tight ballerina bun or ponytail may look neat and elegant, and perhaps even provide an instant facelift, but it can also be too severe and draws the eye to all the lines on your face. By all means, wear your hair up but create a softer, more forgiving feel by keeping hair loose and even letting a few face-framing pieces fall where they may.