Choosing a Hairstyle for the Mature Woman
Modern society is dominated by a culture that celebrates youth and youthful looks. Cosmetics that hide signs of aging, treatments that prevent or reverse the signs of aging, and even surgical procedures to reverse the results of aging are all too commonplace, and represent multi-billion dollar industries.
Most of the efforts of these industries are targeted at maturing women, with the aim of selling them not only their products, but also the idea that no transgression is worse than that of 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 affected by aging most notably. These areas are the color and texture of the hair, and the lines and wrinkles in the face, most notably around the eyes. These wrinkles can be counterbalanced with a clever haircut, even to the point of minimizing the appearance of wrinkles.
We’ll 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 make sure that the choices you make are the right 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 aging signs, or make them less noticeable.
When an individual who is older begins wearing a hairstyle that is generally best suited to younger persons, the end result is usually that the individual begins looking 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 short order.
For instance: when a woman begins to age, one of the first signs of aging comes from the skin’s gradual loss of elasticity and collagen. This means that the skin loses its plumpness and begins to appear crepe-like 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 snugly with a ponytail holder or other hair accessory. This pulls the skin taut, and mimics the look of younger, plumper skin.
It’s important to remember however, that trying to tighten up the skin in this way is not something that will work indefinitely. It’s really only useful in 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 fringe/bangs into the hairstyle, and/or add layers along the forward edge of the style around the face. Use a razor or scissors to texture these layers heavily, and style them to fall gently over the areas to be hidden in 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 hair cut can also work to camouflage problem areas on the lower face as well. If aging has caused your jaw line 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 them.
When the area of the neck under the chin has become sagged 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.