7 Hair Mistakes That Age You ...

The best thing about your hair is that it is as versatile as can be. Sadly, most of us are scared to experiment when it comes to hair. Check out guest contributor Barb Quinn's post to know if you've been committing these hair mistakes that age you!

Your hair is your crowning glory and it’s one of the first things people notice when meeting you. Don’t let these common mistakes take away your youthful appearance!

1. The Hairstyle

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Whether your hair is long, short, curly or straight, it will frame your face in a flattering (or not so flattering) way. The key to finding the right hairstyles that compliment your facial features lie in choosing styles that create balance or illusions. Nothing kills a youthful appeal faster than a hairstyle that accentuates the negative. This is where a good hairstylist comes into play.

In general, women with longer face shapes look good with layered or stacked mid-length hairstyles that add fullness and softness to the face. Those with more symmetrical face shapes, such as round or square faces, look good with styles with some height or softening face framing layers.

2. Dating Yourself

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If you’re holding onto a hairstyle because you received many compliments on it 5-10 years ago, it's time to heed Idina Menzel's advice and simply "let it go". Cars become classics after 20 years, but a trendy hairstyle from the '80s is just plain old. A good rule of thumb is to make some type of change to your hair from year to year; add bangs, change the bangs, add some layers or shorten it a bit. The change doesn’t need to be big, but it will go a long way in keeping your look fresh and updated.

That said, the one exception to this rule is a classic, timeless look that never goes out of style and therefore, becomes your signature look. Think American Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, who has rocked the same signature cut for a quarter of a century. When in doubt, ask your stylist what category your hairstyle falls into and if it's dated, let her know you are up for suggestions. Sometimes stylists can become passive, or of the mind that a client wants to keep the style they have, so encouragement from you could be a good thing.

3. Split Ends

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Now that you have the right hairstyle, be sure to keep it up. In general, hairstyles lose their shape in 4 to 6 weeks and ends can become brittle and frayed. Frizzy, damaged hair ages you quickly and lets the world know that your hair care routine needs an update. Fresh, vibrant hair on the other hand, has shine and body and still looks like the style it was originally meant to be. Have your stylist trim your ends every six to eight weeks and use products that keep your hair healthy and hydrated.

4. Severity

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Pulling the hair off the face is flattering for many women with various face shapes, but for some a style that is slicked back too tightly is harsh and severe looking. A style like this can be unforgiving and can call attention to every wrinkle, spot or fine line on your face. Keep it soft, feminine and forgiving by pulling the hair back gently and leaving a few small pieces at the front to frame the face.

5. Unnatural Highlights

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For those who are into bold, electric highlight colors like electric blue, purple, magenta, keep them to a minimum and talk to your stylist about where to place them. Highlights that frame the face offer a warm, youthful look. However, the highlights should only be one or two shades lighter than your base tone to appear natural.

6. Lighten up

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As a rule, if you color your hair, choose to lighten it up slightly as you age. Don’t get caught up in the belief that you need a dark hair color to cover the grays, or that because your hair was naturally a deep brunette that you should stay with that color. Our skin lightens as we age and hair color that is too dark looks harsh, accentuating lines and wrinkles. Choose a color that is one or two shades lighter than your base color. A warmer shade softens lighter skin tones and gives a more youthful appearance. Think medium to dark brown hair with caramel highlights or red hair with copper highlights.

7. The Flawed Gray

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More and more women are making the choice to ditch the dreaded, time consuming, expensive hair color routine for a more user friendly, natural look. Gray hair can be a beautiful thing for many reasons, but sometimes it needs some TLC or intervention in order to be all it can be. Bluing shampoos and rinses are available to whiten the grays that tend to yellow, or brighten the silver and give it added sheen. Shine serums and products with UV filters will also help to give dull looking grays a lift. A fabulous haircut and a good hair care routine can make boring gray hair stunning!

Have you been committing any of these hair mistakes? Remember ladies, when you look good, you feel good and what could be more age defying than that?!

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