How not to look old, part 3–lighten your hair

March 6, 2010 at 3:58 pm in Fashion & Beauty by SusanTolles

Ugh, the roots. I shudder to think what my hair would look like without my good friend Feria #58. Without L’Oreal, I would be dull and gray, and would look years older than I really am. Fortunately, we have so many options at our fingertips today (literally) and rich, vibrant hair is just 20 minutes and $10 away.

In her book How Not to Look Old, Charla Krupp has started out with how to look younger quickly by simply changing your hair. In a previous article on taking years off your looks, I wrote how she recommends cutting bangs for an instant update that she says will make you look five years younger. And, according to Brad Johns, global color director at Clairol, “the older you get, the lighter you go.” Almost everyone looks better with lightness around her face. “Whatever your current shade, go just two shades lighter than your natural color, and you’ll be collecting compliments about how young and hip you look. A lighter color around your face will create a halo of warmth, illuminating your skin tone and giving you an all-over glow.”

Give your hair some depth and interest with a few highlights around your face. You can start with subtle changes at first, just a couple of shades off your natural or colored hair. If you don’t like it, then just color over it and you can try something different. Think of your hair as a palette of color to use in creating a frame around your face. Nothing crazy, just a few hints of tone variation at first, then bolder as you get used to the change.

A great way to try out color virtually is  at Clairol’s Try It On Studio where you can upload one of your photos and experiment with colors and styles. This is an easy and fun way to go from blond to brunette to gray without risking a giant mistake. If you are thinking about becoming a “silver fox” and going all gray, this is a perfect way to test the look to see if you have what it takes to look chic with platinum hair.

Other hair color musts:

  • Protect your investment. Once you have spent the money on hair color, whether it’s by a professional or do-it-yourself, you need to make it last. Use shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair, and don’t wash too often.
  • Be proactive, especially in the summer. Sun and chlorine can make color-treated hair even drier, so be diligent about using UV protection on your hair.  Get a spray like Pureology UV Color Defense Spray online at Folica.com or Amazon Marketplace
  • Be seasonal. Adjust your hair color to reflect the season, lighter in the summer to reflect the sunlight and darker in the winter for a richer look to match heavier fabrics. Use fall and winter highlights more sparingly and make sure they are in warmer tones; summer highlights can be light and bright.
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