Whether you get a good trim or a whole new head of hair with extensions, switching up your style can make you look years younger. These expert tips can help you get started.
Restore the shine that's been lost over the years.
According to celebrity hairstylist Edward Tricomi of Warren Tricomi Salon, as we age, our hair loses shine from sun damage, over-coloring it or not coloring it correctly—it also becomes drier and weakens. “Doing a gloss every six or seven weeks to revive your color can make a big difference in how healthy and shiny your hair looks,” says Tricomi. Deep-conditioning masks once a week to add moisture back into the hair can help, too. We like The One by Frédéric Fekkai The Ultimate One Repair Mask ($42), which uses nutrient-rich minerals to help repair damage and revive dull hair.
The type of brush you use also plays a role. “Using a Mason Pearson or a boar bristle hair brush will add shine to the hair that you won’t get from other brushes,” explains Tricomi.
Change up your signature style.
If you always wear your hair straight, try adding soft, effortless-looking waves, which can make you look younger. Celebrity hairstylist Emmett Cooper suggests using a curling wand to curl sections of hair from the mid-lengths down, holding each one to the count of 10. “When your whole head is done, gently loosen the hair with your fingers; don’t brush it.”
If curling irons, especially clamp-free wands, intimidate you, Cooper says you can get a similar look by misting a texture spray—try Feel BEACHY Complete Texture Mist ($28)—on your strands and then braiding them in large sections before bed. “When you wake up and take out the braids, you’ll have beautiful, wavy hair.”
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If your hair has lost its youthful volume, give it a boost with extensions.
Celebrity hairstylist Adel Chabbi of Adel Atelier Salon says hair extensions can totally upgrade your look. “Hair extensions come in different types such as tape-ins and keratin fusions, and they can add length, fullness and texture depending on what works for your everyday lifestyle,” he explains. “Tape-ins are temporary and need to be changed every four weeks, whereas keratin fusions last about four to six months.”
For those with thinning hair, Chabbi recommends choosing extensions with some wave and body to them, which can make your hair look even thicker. If you can't make it to the salon or the cost is out of your budget, a great DIY option is Hairdo 23” Wavy Clip-In Extensions ($99), which give hair instant texture and natural-looking fullness.
Enhance your color by covering pesky grays.
When concealing grays around your hairline with a root cover-up product, celebrity colorist Michael Canalé recommends using one that’s a shade lighter than your hair. “The hairline always grabs darker. I prefer powder touch-up products for covering grays—they’re a lot more accurate, especially around the face. When there’s a lot of regrowth, sprays can be a good option, but make sure to spray at least six inches away from where you are aiming for a natural result.”
For an easy, at-home option, try EVERPRO Gray Away Root Touch-Up Magnetic Powder ($9), which blends seamlessly into your roots.
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Be mindful of your length.
If you’ve decided to embrace longer locks as you get older rather than “going short” (the often-debated social standard), there is a fine line between maintaining a healthy look and a thinning, frayed one. “I tell my middle-age clients that long hair is fine, but it shouldn’t hit below your bra,” says celebrity hairstylist Anthony Pazos. The way you style it can also make a big difference in your overall look. “Fringed bangs and face-framing layers add a sophisticated twist to longer hair as you age,” he adds.
To keep long hair in optimal condition, Pazos recommends cutting it every six to eight weeks to get rid of split ends, and taking a biotin supplement, like HUM Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair gummies ($20).