9 Ways Your Hair Is Aging You
5. Redo Your Hue
Whether you hit the salon or take the DIY route, subtle tweaks to your color can make a huge difference. "A woman's complexion lightens and becomes more translucent as she ages, so what looked great when she was 25 may not look so good when she's 50," explains Arrojo. Think about the hair you had as a child, suggests Brad Johns, color director at the Salon & Spa at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York. "Go back to that color family, whether it was blond, brunette, or red. Anything monotone looks severe and aging, so add highlights and multiple tones throughout." When in doubt, err on the lighter side — dark hues create too harsh a contrast with paling skin.
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6. Get Fringe Benefits
Bangs can camouflage forehead lines (the "Bangtox" effect), but not all do it equally well. "A blunt bang that hangs straight across the forehead isn't for everyone. It can emphasize aging features and more mature skin," says Sarah Potempa, stylist for Aussie Haircare. "Opt for a side-swept fringe with layers that blend into the rest of your hair; it'll make your features look soft and youthful." Be sure that bangs are in proportion to your cut; they work best on shoulder-length styles (any shorter, and your fringe may not stand out from the rest of your hair).
7. Gray Gracefully
Before ditching the dye, determine if gray will be flattering. "When a brunette turns gray, it looks silvery and pretty. But blonds tend to go white, which can make them look pale," says Johns. Wait until hair is at least 75% gray before growing it out: "Otherwise, it will look like you forgot to color it." Then, use smoothing stylers. "Gray hair is wiry and frizzy. Smooth strands make the color look vibrant," says Rhys. We like:Clairol Professional Smooth Leave-In Balm ($9, Sally Beauty).
8. Upgrade Your Products
"As your hair texture changes with age, you need a different formula," explains Potempa. "Strands get drier and coarser, so switch to moisturizing products and avoid anything stripping, like clarifying shampoos." Plus, there are new ingredients and technology in stylers, so it's worth experimenting. Try shine enhancers, a newer category of products with reflective ingredients that add luster and smooth the cuticle. Apply on dry tresses as a final styling step. Try Joico Super Shine Glossing Polish ($16, joico.com for salons), with microcrystals.