Women all over are always looking for ways in which to stay ‘younger looking’ as they grow older.
Some women are fortunate in that the sands of time seem to slow or even stop when it comes to their looks. Others work hard at and make
careful choices to help maintain a more-youthful appearance. Because of this, one of the most common questions I get from clients is:
“What’s the best hairstyle for an older woman, to help her look younger?”
The answer is – unfortunately – not a cut-and-dried situation. There is no “one” hairstyle that
will magically make every woman look younger. What there is is a variety of simple guidelines and tips that generally help women
minimize the looks that come as a result of aging. So let’s look at some common aging issues (and the mistakes women make) and
hairstyle tips that will help combat them.
Aging Issue: Lines, Common Mistake: Too Much Curl
SOLUTION: Soft Curves and Waves
Curly hair styles are terrific for many situations. They can help draw attention from too-prominent
or over-large features, and can be easy care and quick-styling, too. But for many women, who are developing the creases and prominent lines in their face
as they grow older, a curlier style – one with a lot of movement or sharply defined curls - can make these lines stand out.
As an example, let’s look at the images of Dana Delany here. In this photo from May 2003, we
see Ms. Delany with a neck-length, layered cut styled with lots of curl. The hair has lots of clearly-defined twists and turns and
it’s almost as if the lines of the curl are echoed in her face. Each seems to accentuate the other.
However, in the subsequent photos taken in 2006 and 2008, we see that the longer look with a focus
on waves and sweeping curves instead of curls creates a balancing effect that minimizes the look of age lines. Just remember that going
too far in the other direction will make an equally bad mistake. Of the three looks Dana Delany is shown wearing, the most flattering,
and the one that makes her look youngest is the one from 2006 because it is a softer, curvy style that breaks up the lines of the face.
The latter photo is not as harsh as the first, but the long, straighter styling creates strong lines of its own, which again enhance the lines of the face.
Aging Issue: Gray Hair and Fine Wrinkles, Common Mistake: Color Choices
SOLUTION: Soft Color
As women and men age, one of the common accompanying effects is the graying of the hair and the
development of fine lines around the eyes and mouth. The first is usually immediately addressed by attempting to cover the colorless
hair using a color that matches the rest of the hair which still has pigment. Unfortunately, what happens is that the color is
deposited on both unpigmented hair and pigmented hair alike. The unpigmented hair may return to its previous level of color, but
the already colored hair usually becomes darker still.
Since the natural process of aging lightens the color of the hair anyway, this added color only
serves to enhance the other effects of aging. Therefore the fine wrinkles suddenly appear more visible. And it isn’t just brunettes for whom this is an issue.