By: Allison Czarnecki
How long have you had your current haircut? One year? Five? Ten? An outdated hairstyle can age you far more than sunspots and crow’s feet (plus, it’s much easier to remedy). And a hairstyle that’s ahead of your time — as in too “old-looking” for your age — can be even worse. Just the act of shaking things up and making a change can add a youthful look to your appearance. Here are five aging and unflattering looks to watch out for.
1. Long Locks
We’ve all seen her — the otherwise beautiful woman at the grocery store with stringy hair cascading down her back. It’s one thing to have an enviable head of healthy hair. It’s quite another to have a Rapunzel-esque mane that looks like you’re trying to recapture the golden days of your youth. Very few women over the age of 25 can pull off really long hair, and while you might feel like you’ll look younger with the long locks you rocked as a college student, it will most likely have the opposite effect. So consider a cut (more about that below).
2. Faded and/or Graying Hair Color
Some women are fortunate to have a beautiful, natural hair color from the cradle to the grave. The other 99.9 percent of us need help in the coloring department. Boosting what was once your natural shade is a great way to stay current, because you can choose a color that’s already been proven to flatter your skin tone. Nice highlights also go a long way toward lifting and lightening your face.
Also, going gray can be done gracefully. Talk to your stylist about easing into the look, using a professional combination of your natural gray and added color while your silver strands grow in. If left untouched, however, gray can seriously age you. It’s amazing what a little bit of touch-up color at the roots can do to take years off, so consider the best way to go gray — or not. Just don’t let those roots start to come in unkempt.
3. Limp Locks
Not all of us have thick, voluminous hair, but that’s no excuse to walk around with limp locks. Greasy, stringy hair can make you look exhausted and disheveled, regardless of your hair type. Solve the problem by taking a few inches off, adding some face framing layers and using the right volumizing hair products for your type of hair. Pantene’s Age Defy collection is great for adding volume to thinning hair. You’ll be surprised how far bouncier hair can go toward making you look more refreshed — and youthful.
4. A Bad Cut
There’s nothing worse than a bad “mom cut” — a bunch of choppy, spiked-up back layers with a round bob in the front. Avoid this look at all costs, ladies. There’s no need to spend a lot of money to get a good haircut, you just have to know what works on you based on your age, face shape and hair type. If you have thick hair and a round face, a face-framing bob probably won’t be flattering. Thin haired women shouldn’t try to grow out a long flowing mane — it just won’t flow. Find a stylist you trust (go slow at first) and make an appointment for a consultation so you can be sure to get a cut that’s right for you.
5. The Puffy ’Do
It’s shocking to me every time I see it: a woman in her 30s with the haircut of an 80-year-old grandmother. Just as a long, stringy style will make you look older than your mother, having a short, puffy hairdo — like the lovely ladies at the retirement home — isn’t going to do you any favors, either. There’s nothing criminal about having short hair, in fact it’s the saving grace of thin-haired women everywhere, but there’s no reason to get crazy with a pouf.
Allison is both founder and editor of Petit Elefant, and runs the gamut from granola to glamor and loves everything in between.