"The angle, layering and overall style of the cut will either camouflage or accent someone's best features and catch the eye," says Elena Golesco of the New York Cosmetic Image Center in Great Neck, New York. "As for length -- it's highly individual… long, short or medium can work. Again, it's the cut and styling, which has to be right for the individual woman, that makes all the difference."
The right cut will draw attention to your face and highlight your best features -- big, gorgeous eyes, full lips, great skin, etc-- and it can also make up for facial flaws.
"Let's say you have a strong jaw line (a la Reese Witherspoon) and want to soften your overall look. Go for a cut with long layers and side-swept bangs," says Elena.
"I usually advise a client to go a lighter shade rather than a darker shade when hair is turning grey to brighten up the overall look," says Beverly Zunke, director of color at San Francisco's Vim and Vigor Salon and former educator for Goldwell. "I like to use a more translucent color to blend grey hair, which helps to soften the look as the hair starts to grow out. Using a matte color makes the regrowth more visible."
She also likes to add some lighter highlights throughout the hair, which helps with grey blending, and says, "When covering or blending grey hair on male clients, I generally use a demi-permanent color, which fades off over a period of a few weeks, instead of leaving a line of demarcation."
Celebrity hairstylist Francky L'Official always recommends that women keep their hair between the chin and shoulders with light layers or soft waves around the face with mega volume. One of the most common signs of aging is when the hair starts to fall out and the texture begins to change. For this, Francky recommends adding extensions to create fullness and volume the hair once had.
Layers apply to color as well: Francky says that lighter hair around the face with darker hair near the neck (think Barbara Walters) makes women look younger because it distracts from their aging necks and brings attention to their eyes and cheekbones.
'The older woman should also stick with simplicity when it comes to a cut such as a wedge bob,' says Don Bewle, long-term hair professional and founder of Eufora hair care. At least 70 percent of the hair should be one length because as we get older hair thins and heavily layered hair will only emphasize this. Also, if it is one length and shiny, light will bounce off of it giving it a youthful appearance.
If a woman is salt and pepper, go with reverse highlights. Have your stylist weave your darkest color throughout because it richens and brightens up hair, again giving it a youthful appearance. Your darkest color is usually found in the back. If you do this, you will only have to color once or twice a year, which prevents excess damage and drying from color that ages hair.
"Like a great makeup artist, a great hair stylist knows how to balance your features and create an illusion of perfection," Elena Golesco says. And after all, isn't that really what "perfection" is -- an illusion?
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