A good hairstyle can give you a timeless look, but a bad haircut can diminish that confidence and make you look older. Fortunately, some hairstylists have revealed some of the biggest hair mistakes women are making and tips on how to fix them.
1. Keeping Cat-lady Long Hair
Stylists agree that all women can rock long hair to a point, but "too long always ages a woman," says celebrity stylist Mitch Stone. "I'm not talking past-your-shoulders long, but cat-lady long." Once your hair has grown past your ribs, it officially makes you look older than you are. Stone recommends a timeless long bob or a short haircut that goes an inch or 2 past your chin. They are styles that are hot no matter your age.
2. Keeping The Same Length
Finding the most flattering hairstyle for your face shape is a lifelong search. Stylist Damian Santiago, co-owner of Mizu New York salon advises haircut with layers and depth, saying "the classic hairstyle that makes a woman look older and dowdy is the cut where everything is the same length all over, a few inches long." Damian recommends long layers or short pixie cuts.
3. Never Changing Your Hairstyle
Hair stylist Jenna Mast thinks the biggest hair mistake women make is keeping the same haircut for years. "If you are 50 years old, the chances are high that you've been going to a salon for over 25 years and like the way your hair looked in 1992," she said. Like everything else, hairdressing has evolved dramatically, so it's important to evolve your hairstyle.
4. Going Too Dark
Stone advises to stick with softer colors such as golden blondes and gorgeous reds because the darker hues are too severe and can add years to your face. "Your hair color should complement your skin tone," explains Marissa Villa, Sam Villa Show Ambassador. "If you have fair skin, jet black is not the best choice, and it's always a good idea to have more than one color to add depth and dimension."
5. Making A Straight Down The Middle Part
Expert stylists say small tweaks can make a huge difference and choosing the wrong parting can age you. "Straight down the middle doesn't work for everyone, but you also don't want to have a severe side part either," Sam Villa Show Ambassador, Marissa Villa adds. "A soft irregular part could be flattering, and don't forget about bangs; in some cases, they can make you look younger."
6. Teasing Up Your Hair
Our hair thins as we age, so many tend to use a great volumizing shampoo or keep flattering layers. Unfortunately, going overboard will only age us. Damian Santiago, co-owner of Mizu New York salon says many clients get too much volume in the wrong places. "Teased up hair can make anyone look older. Volume is different and can look modern and elegant."
7. Falling Too Flat
While too much volume and hairspray reads very '80s, not having enough thickness in your hair is still a large pitfall. "Many women and men with long hair often age themselves unnecessarily by allowing their hair to fall too flat on their face, either by combing it down too much or not using mousse or similar when blow-drying," Murat Evin, creative director at The London School of Make-Up explains. Therefore, do not weigh your hair down with too much product and don't brush it too much either.
8. Using Wrong Shampoos
The shampoo you use affects your hair and may make you look older. Shampoos for "normal hair types" are not the best choice for everyone. "Grey and aging hair has unique characteristics that require a mask once a week, color protecting shampoo, thermal protectant, and more effort in the fight against frizz," says Marissa Villa, Sam Villa Show Ambassador. "You have to have the right tools and products for gorgeous hair."
9. Keeping Your Hair Unhealthy
Unhealthy hair always makes the owners look older than they are. To keep up your natural sheen, it is important to take good care of your locks. If you notice lots of split ends, go to a salon for a cut. "If you want long hair and your hair just isn't healthy enough, get extensions to create fullness or length that looks healthy and shiny," recommends Marissa Villa, Sam Villa Show Ambassador. "When you look good, you feel good, and you're only as young as you feel!"
10. Cooling It On The Accessories
Some people assume falling back on the styles we wore when we were young may help us show off a more youthful look. However, dated accessories like scrunchies and hair clips will only show you off as a fashion dinosaur. "If you prefer long hair, wearing it tied low, loose and to the side is more elegant and youthful than a tight ponytail in the middle back or high up on your head," recommends celebrity hair stylist Vernon Francois.
11. Beware Of Helmet Head
Our hair thins as we age, so some people turn to hairspray for some serious volume. However, too much hairspray gives you a stiff '80s appearance, instead of a youthful look. "When clients ask for a cut like this, I am always honest with them, letting them know that a stiff hairstyle will always make you look years older," says celebrity hair stylist Scott Yance. He prefers to avoid any traditional hairspray, or use more versatile products that still allow your hair to move.
12. Keeping Slicked Back Styles
Pulling your hair back into tight knots also makes you look older. "While hair that's loosely pulled back can be very flattering, tightly pulled buns and ponytails tend to put any wrinkles or imperfections front and center," explains Scott Yance. "As we age, it's best to work with your hair stylist to find a haircut and style that frames your face and plays up your best features."
13. Covering Up Your Gray
When the gray hairs begin to take over, many tend to rush to their colorist to cover them up. However, not everyone needs to do so. "There are a few lucky ladies with perfect, enviable silver," explains stylist Julie Featherman. "Talk to your stylist about how you can show off your gray with panache." She recommends accentuating your gray with 'pepper' lowlights, silver glosses, and of course the right haircut.
14. Your Hair Should Reflect Your Lifestyle
Hair stylist Julie Featherman also reminds us to choose a haircut that fits our current lifestyle. For instance, if you are retired from a corporate job and pursuing a yoga certification, your hairstyle should reflect that. "A former polished corporate 'do' will no longer work on the mat and your life of new found endeavors," Featherman says. "Switch out the polished put together with something more textured and less structured."
15. Putting Too Much Makeup
Although a gorgeous hairstyle will make you look youthful, if your makeup ages you, nobody will pay attention to your haircut. Clients are often seen aging themselves with too much makeup. "When skin starts to age, make-up can exaggerate lines and wrinkles if not put on correctly," celebrity stylist Mitch Stone explains. "Go slow and accentuate your eyes and lips, use a light base and take it slow."