1. Keeping Cat-lady Long Hair
As you get older, your hair will thin out and lose its strength. Keeping your hair too long will only make this problem worse, as it has to contend with its own weight and gravity. This makes long, unkempt hair sit flat against the scalp as damage accumulates at the roots from split ends and damage from your environment.
2. Getting a uniform length cut
While blunted ends are a great style, having one, uniform length cut is going to make your head seem boxy. It doesn’t take advantage of the fact hair is three-dimensional and layered, instead it creates a single shape and plonks it on your head like a hat. Just buy a hat if you fancy that, don’t take it out on the hair.
3. Never Changing Your Hairstyle
There are many out there, much stronger than us, who have tried to fight the tides of time. Entire civilizations have fallen because they clung to the past instead of embracing the advancement of humanity. You don’t need a perm in the 2020s is the key takeaway here. There will be modern styles you’ll love, just go out and find them.
4. Going Too Dark
It can be tempting to cover your hair in pitch after discovering a few grays, but dark dyes are often a massive over-correction for hair that seem to fade over time. Darker colors will visually weigh your hair down and can make your skin seem washed out and pale. A few white hairs aren’t the end of the world and gentle highlights can fix the problem.
5. Making A Straight Line Down The Middle Part
While there is nothing inherently wrong with the style, despite it being a holdover from the 90s, it can be more hassle than it’s worth for aging hair. It relies on a decent amount of natural volume to hold its shape without losing your morning to styling time. It also draws a lot of attention to the forehead, which many people would rather avoid.
6. Teasing Up Your Hair
Extreme volume is best left to the emo and scene kids that keep the hairspray industry alive. It’s a hassle to put together in the first place and involves heat, strong chemicals, and a lot of aggressive treatment, which is just going to be a nightmare for hair that’s losing its strength.
7. Falling Too Flat
On the opposite end of the spectrum, hair that falls too flat is also something you’re also going to want to avoid. Not only will it frame your face in an unflattering way, but it’s also going to make your hair look lifeless and dull! You can do a lot for naturally flatter hair, including root-boost serums, shampoos, and layering.
8. Using The Wrong Shampoos
The shelves at drugstores have 600 bottles of shampoo for a reason, mostly. You’re forgiven for your sins if you have ever used a two-in-one, but now is the time to start paying attention to your hair care, and shampoo is the first step. Find one that works for your hair type, whether that’s straight, curly, thick, or thin. Look out for moisturizing ingredients.
9. Keeping Your Hair Unhealthy
Life gets busy, and it’s easy to put off that much-needed haircut when you start to notice some wear and tear. Much like any health issue, you should try to intervene as early as possible to prevent lasting damage. Get regular appointments to trim split ends, or learn how to do it yourself! Use hair masks or conditioners as needed for a little added lift.
10. Cool It On The Accessories
Fascinators and bobbles both have their time and place, functioning somewhere between style and practicality. Just remember, everything in moderation. The key thing to have in mind when it comes to accessorizing is that if you cross that line and overdo it, you run the risk of overcomplicating your whole outfit. Worse still, you may look like you’re forcing yourself to appear younger.
11. Mismatching your style and face shape
There aren’t any true rules in beauty, just guidelines you can follow if you need a hand. Face shapes fall into a few broad categories based on your jaw, cheekbones, and forehead, and certain styles can flatter these shapes better than others! The wrong combination, like bangs for a rounded face, can frame the wrong ages and, in turn, age you.
12. Bright, unnatural colors
While there’s no shame in going extreme with your look, you should either commit to the change or find another direction. Often people who opt for a drastic transformation are distracting themselves from deeper problems in their life – so have a long, hard think about if this is really the change for you. It can wash you out, clash with your wardrobe, and damage your hair to the point of breakage.
13. Chasing trends
The best way to make sure you’re styling for your age is to be confident in who you are. That means keeping on top of how your hair grows and what styles look best over time for you. If you’re switching up your style, constantly chasing the hottest look that may not even work for you, it’s going to age you more than any timeless cut.
14. Don’t over oil
Oils should become an essential part of your hair routine as you age, helping to replenish moisture loss and keep everything looking shiny. There is such a thing as over oiling though. Of course, your scalp naturally produces oils to protect and care for the hair, so check how oily it is before adding more. Oily hair sits heavy and ages the face.
15. Ignoring thinning
One of the first places hair can start thinning is at the hairline. This will mean your lighter patches will show themselves whenever you tie your hair up, or your parting could look more drastically defined. Luckily, there are a few things you can do in this situation. Many stylists swear by scalp topics and derma rollers, which stimulate hair growth through stimulation and nourishment.
16. Cutting it too short
There are shorter, age-appropriate cuts for pretty much everybody, but certain styles do tend to be more suited to older individuals. Medium-length bobs are seen as unfashionable, and similarly, a spiked pixie cut or an undercut can age you if it doesn’t match the rest of your look.
17. Going for a bottom-heavy look
These styles are better suited to much younger faces, as they can deal with the visual weight being carried lower down. Sadly, we lose that privilege as our faces mature, but there are still plenty of ways to emulate the look. Having your thicker curls cut a little shorter will spring everything up while keeping the same basic silhouette.
18. Not framing your jaw
Having a cut that sits well along the jaw and cheeks is one of the easiest ways to look younger. By not taking advantage of this stylish, and always fashionable concept, you’re missing out on some easy wins. You can use layers perpendicular to the jawline to create visual slopes and lines in all the right places.
19. Hiding your eyes
Whether it’s a side fringe that naturally falls over your face, or some bangs that you’ve left too long in between trims, hair covering your eyes is going to age you poorly. They should be visible no matter how your hair falls. It can be distracting to yourself and others to keep fiddling with it, taking the attention away from one of your best features.
20. Using strong elastic
Bobbles are endlessly useful – even if you seem to lose every single one whenever you need them. Putting your hair up with strong, elasticated ties will put a lot of pressure on the follicles and scalp. This, in turn, restricts blood flow, slows down your hair growth, and damages your existing hair.
21. Not massaging the scalp
You can do this while you shower, lounge around, or even during moments of stress – you’ll feel the results even more so. Scalp stimulation, on top of feeling wonderful and inducing a euphoric sense of calm, will encourage blood flow to your hair and promote natural growth as well as the production of natural oils.
22. Not drinking enough water
You shouldn’t need another reason to drink more water but here’s one anyway – just in case you still think the water content in Diet Coke counts as hydration. The skin on your scalp ages many times faster than your other body parts, and relies on healthy blood flow and maintenance from elsewhere. Drinking more water will slow down thinning and other signs of damage.
23. Conditioning your roots
Many people are guilty of over conditioning since it’s so tempting to have that impossible softness and enticing aroma cover your entire head. Sadly, conditioner doesn’t work like that. It smooths hair by closing off follicles and helping them reflect more light, which will flatten your roots and give them no room to breathe.
24. Washing with matted hair
It’s a good idea to brush before doing anything with your hair, from washing to styling. Hair that is full of knots and twists will be difficult to clean properly, as a lot of the hair is hidden among the tangles. This also means that it won’t absorb any of the wonderful ingredients in your fancy new shampoo, which is just throwing money away.
25. Smothering your ends in shampoo
On the flip side to conditioning your roots, you don’t want to be drowning your hair ends in shampoo. The scalp and roots are obviously ground zero for oils, and the ends rarely get this kind of build-up. You want a little shampoo to clean them, but the ends are where the conditioner quite literally shines.
26. Using a plastic brush
Hair brushes fall into that strange pricing category, something so cheap you don’t even bother buying a new one when yours starts falling apart. The cheapest of the cheap are usually plastic, and we have enough of that in our systems as is. Plastic combs can generate a lot of static electricity, which is going to frizz your hair out and age you.
27. Too much heat
At 20, you can sort of get away with melting your hair under a shower of molten lava, then blow drying, straightening, then backcombing it within an inch of its life before a Depeche Mode concert. Perhaps the cruelest thing time has done is take that away from us, but we play the cards we’re dealt. Heat and maturing hair are mortal enemies.
28. Not spacing out treatments properly
Your hair isn’t made of straw, it can absolutely take heat, color, and chemical treatments – presuming you take the before and aftercare seriously! These are important, not just to help your hair recover after aggressive treatments, but get it back in a condition where it can take the torture again. Regardless of what you’re having done, all treatments should be spaced out with plenty of time between.
29. Poor quality extensions
Extensions are useful tools in many stylists’ kits but, as a consumer product, they are often cheap and easy to produce. They have absolutely zero industry standards, so it’s easy to get hoodwinked and end up causing damage to your hair. Any kind of adhesive stronger than a clip-on should only be used on hair under professional supervision.
30. Choosing a high-maintenance cut
Some styles are just too beautiful to say no to, but keep your expectations in check. If you don’t have the time it takes to style and take care of the hair as it demands, go for something simpler. A cut that clearly yearns to be more than it is, screaming out for volume and definition, is going to make you seem visually quite tired.
31. Doing too much with wet hair
The only thing wet hair should be doing is absorbing mousse and drying gently. Avoid brushing through wet hair, tying it up to dry, and absolutely under no circumstances use any heat on wet hair! All of these things can lead to breakage and longer-term conditions like alopecia. Gently towel drying your hair is always the best option.
32. Washing in the morning
While the question of morning or evening showers remains open, you want to give your hair time to marinate in its oils for its long-lasting health. Washing in the morning strips your hair of its protective oils before you go out and spend your day surrounded by pollutants and irritants. Let the protective barrier do its thing, then wash at night.
33. Ignoring the three-step process
It’s lather, rinse, repeat. Not everybody needs to do this each time they wash, but if you have a specific shampoo that’s tailored to fix an issue like color or texture, two washes are a good idea. The first one will mostly be stripping hair of oil, the second allows the product to soak in and do its job.
34. Getting layers in thinner hair
This usually happens when a stylist doesn’t pay attention to the hair texture and depth when the client asks for layers. Without too much direction, the default is usually whatever layered styles are in trend, which could be a little too severe for thin or thinning hair. The results can be disastrous, especially after a wash when your hair settles.
35. Not styling for the occasion
There’s safety in comfort, and a go-to style takes a lot of pressure off your shoulders, which frees you up to panic about your outfit instead. That’s how you get complacent though, and getting the most out of your hair requires experimentation. It gives you a chance to learn more about your hair and how it holds shape, and what styles fit your face.
36. Washed-out highlights
Highlights enhance so many gorgeous looks, so they’re not an issue at all in isolation. The problem comes when they naturally begin to fade through cleaning, which leaves them looking desaturated, limp, and lifeless. This ages you in quite a literal sense in that people can tell when you last got a touch-up. Faded colors also wash out the face.
37. Going for a style that suits somebody else
There’s nothing at all wrong with a little inspiration, but using say a model’s photo as your hair inspiration is setting up unreasonable standards for yourself. That’s someone with a whole team to make them look good 24/7, in addition to professional photographers and editors fine-tuning any tiny details. Go for a style you think would look great on yourself, not anybody else.
38. Over straightening sections
There’s usually a reason one section of hair isn’t cooperating with you, and blasting it with 400 degrees of induction heat over and over again, surprisingly, won’t help. It could be the way it dried or that you didn’t apply any heat protection, and the first pass has frazzled it a little. The result is hair that looks aged beyond your face.
39. Using styles that cause breakage
Any style that relies on twists or tight pulls away from the scalp will affect the areas around your hairline. The extra tension causes hair to tear, split and at worst just be yanked from your head. This is where some of the most visible signs of facial aging occur, and damaged hair is only going to contribute to that.
40. Avoid whatever the new ‘crimper’ is
Trend-led shopping habits, especially with new gadgets, are everywhere. There are examples of this in every industry on earth – hairstyling is no different. Crimping irons were all the rage in the 90s and early 2000s, and some still use them today! Overall though, it’s mostly just a waste of money and space to own one. You don’t need a straightener/hairdryer/curling iron combo, it won’t fit in the drawer.
41. Over trimming
It’s an incredibly common misconception that trimming the hair makes it grow back quicker. It likely evolved from people just having worse quality razors, that just blunt the hair instead of cutting it cleanly. The next day you feel these rough bumps and assume they appeared overnight. Give your hair a chance to grow naturally. Put down the scissors.
42. Getting the wrong bangs
One of the most common hair mistakes is going to a fringe that’s either too long, too short, parted at the wrong side, or otherwise just doesn’t suit your beautiful face. Bangs are one of the easiest styles for framing the face in a complimentary way, avoid full bangs with a rounder face, and keep your fringe in proportion with the rest of your hair.
43. Going stick straight
Certain styles tend to emphasize a completely uniform texture and look, and while this can be visually distinctive it’s important to remember what variation does for you. Hair that is too straight can come across as limp and thin and heavy, which will weigh down and highlight any existing fine lines on the face.
44. Ignoring the width
Aging will naturally elongate the face a little as it loses some elasticity. Plenty of people chase a longer face shape for its slimming effect – without realizing they’re already there! This leads to focusing on hair length for a downward pull when what you should be thinking about is the width. The volume will counteract gravity and give your face a lift.
45. Parting incorrectly
There are people out there who will go their entire lives without messing with their parting and that’s just no way to live your life. Your natural partings depend on how and from where your hair grows, but you can adjust and experiment with it to control the shape of your hairline, create volume from the roots, and completely change your look.
46. Not knowing your own hair
Your hair isn’t consistent all over your head. You will have some areas, like around the temples and front of the hairline, where your hair can be naturally much thinner your entire life. You can also have areas that are thicker, or damaged either via heat or scalp irritation. These areas will need slightly different treatment to get them on board with your new style.
47. Don’t dry your bangs in one direction
While it’s still damp, use a brush and hairdryer if your locks can still take a little heat, and keep the fringe moving. Part it from different sides while brushing it down over the face, then brush up away from the scalp and apply heat in a different direction. Sounds chaotic, but you’re essentially prepping the hair to set wherever you put your product.
48. Not all perms are created equal
To get over the cultural stigma, it might help to think of a perm as a treatment over a style. If your hair is razor straight and you struggle with volume, a light body perm is going to build a strong foundational layer of soft curls/waves. From there you can style outward with the new options at your disposal and not worry about falling flat.
49. Not cleaning your hairbrush
If you use the same brush morning and night, it’s going to accumulate a lot of dirt from your hair. It gets worse if this also happens to be the brush you use after washing, since it’s just going to reintroduce grease and grime into your fresh, clean hair. A once-a-week de-tangle and hot water scrub is all it needs, usually.
50. Not washing
While shampooing too often can strip your hair of its essential and healthy oils, under washing your hair can cause a lot of issues too. Certain protein build-ups can damage the hair by closing cuticles, which will flatten your style and give it an oily sheen. You’re also allowing pollutants and free radicals to accumulate.
51. Using your hairdryer wrong
Heat is unquestionably bad for your hair, and knowing how to use them properly is going to be more useful than any fancy new hairdryer with special technology that cooks you a little slower. The airflow should be traveling down the length of the hair, not directly facing one section. This disperses the heat over a wider surface area.
52. Ignoring everyday friction
We tend to lose focus on the ends of our hair as we go about life. It’ll be thrown around, rub against chairs at work or on the commute, be caught up in purse and backpack straps, and all this damage does add up! Our hair ends are the most sensitive part of strands, and you can easily end up doing localized damage over time.
53. Keep track of hormone changes
Regardless of gender, our bodies produce both estrogen and testosterone at different levels, but there are a bunch of factors that can influence them. They also play a huge role in the health of our hair. During menopause, for example, estrogen production can plummet, and adrenal testosterone acts uncontested to thin and dry out hair. Experts consider it a kind of female-male pattern baldness.
54. Not dressing for your hair
One of the main ways people’s hair ages is when it doesn’t fit the same kind of design language as the rest of their look. Even if your style is eclectic and intentionally lacks cohesion, you should still build looks with purpose and put some unique spin on it. When the hair and outfit are just a little bit off, it’s more distracting than stylish.
55. Choosing a style that’s wrong for your texture
Almost everything about our hair changes with age. The general growth patterns might stay the same, but aside from that, hair sadly does lose texture, hold, height, color, and everything we hold dear on our hat racks. You probably wouldn’t go for the same style you had 30 years ago, it just wouldn’t fit you as you are now!
56. Panicking over grays
Do not show up to work one day with a clearly last-minute bathtub color job. It’s a siren, screaming to the world that you noticed your first gray hair in the mirror last night. Gray hair is in, it’s powerful, it’s sexy. If you follow the rest of this list, those grays are still going to be strong as steel regardless of color.
57. Bulking out the jaw
A lot of the (for better or worse) iconic styles of the 70s and 80s had an emphasis on widening the jaw. It was a celebration of blurring gender lines as equality, free love, and disco turned everyone into abstract, funky shapes. It’s still a great look if a little dated, but incorporating layers to think out that bulk makes a much more graceful frame.
58. Ignoring your roots
Looks that focus on building volume and visual interest along the lengths can look great, but that side volume is going to weigh down the crown area even more. The result is an optical squeeze, where the hair looks vertically flat and horizontally too wide. Building on strong, reinforced roots that boost off the scalp will even everything out.
59. Playing with your hair too much
Before fidget spinners and phones, it probably was necessary to shampoo every single day – hair was the only interesting thing for people to fiddle with. Nowadays we touch it less, of course, we’re far too busy on the internet, but it’s still easy to forget your hands are dirty before adjusting your hair. This is going to build excess oil and make it feel gross.
60. Ignoring chemistry
If you have used brighter colors in the past like platinum blondes, you might have noticed some areas of yellowing across your hair. It can even happen as your hair discolors naturally, and it’s all to do with the pH balance of your hair and scalp. The bleaches used to strip hair are highly alkaline and can be balanced out with neutral or acidic products.