Choosing a Hairstyle for the Mature Woman
Modern society is dominated by a culture that celebrates youth and youthful appearances. Cosmetics that hide signs of aging, treatments that prevent or reverse the signs of aging, and even surgical procedures to reverse the effects of aging are all too commonplace, and represent multi-billion dollar industries.
Most of these industries' efforts are targeted at mature women, with the aim of selling them not only their products, but also the idea that there is no greater transgression than looking your age.
In order to make the best choices in hair styling for a mature woman, let's look at the areas that are most affected by aging. These areas are the color and texture of the hair, and the lines and wrinkles in the face, particularly around the eyes. These wrinkles can be counteracted with a clever haircut, even to the point of minimizing their appearance.
We will focus on these three categories and call them Flattering, Color, and Texture. These categories often interact with one another, and should be considered together to ensure that the choices you make are the correct ones.
When we say “flattering” in this context, we are referring to the idea of cutting and styling the hair so as to minimize the appearance of lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging. I don't mean trying to emulate "young styles," but rather using style elements that can either minimize the signs of aging or make them less noticeable.
When an older individual begins wearing a hairstyle that is generally better suited to younger people, the end result is usually that the individual looks even older than before. However, by adjusting the hairstyle to compensate in one or two areas, you can often create a more youthful appearance in no time.
For instance: When a woman begins to age, one of the first signs of aging is the skin's gradual loss of elasticity and collagen. This means that the skin loses its plumpness and begins to appear crepey with fine lines and wrinkles in areas around the facial features: the eye sockets and lids, the bridge of the nose, or the planes of the forehead.
The loss of plumpness makes the skin appear slightly looser over the skull. When these fine lines and wrinkles are most prominent around the upper section of the head and face, you can actually help to change the way they look by pulling the hair back from the face and securing it tightly with a ponytail holder or other hair accessory. This pulls the skin tight, and mimics the look of younger, plumper skin.
It's important to remember, however, that trying to tighten the skin in this way is not something that will work indefinitely. It's really only useful in the early signs of aging. When the inevitable happens, and the fine lines and wrinkles don’t respond to these tricks, it’s time to take a different approach. At this point, we turn to camouflage and style the hair in such a way as to either hide the offending feature or distract from it.
For instance: when the eyes are lined with crow’s feet or the laugh lines in the forehead are permanently set, try incorporating bangs into the hairstyle, and/or add layers along the front edge of the style around the face. Use a razor or scissors to heavily texturize these layers, and style them to fall gently over the areas to be hidden with soft, wispy edges. You can adjust the length and density of the layers as desired, and by keeping the style softer, you can prevent hard lines which only exaggerate an aging appearance.
The haircut can also work to camouflage problem areas on the lower face as well. If aging has caused your jawline to sag or your ears to droop, longer hairstyles make it easy to hide these problem features. And if the problem area is somewhere that can't be readily "disguised," use styling techniques to draw focus away from it.
When the area of the neck under the chin has become sagging and formed the dreaded "wattle," then incorporating elements like an asymmetrical fringe or accent curls into otherwise smooth locks will keep the attention on the hair and not the face.
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