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13 Hairstyle Mistakes That Age You the Most

From taking vitamins religiously to avoiding tans, you've done everything in your power to dodge the effects of aging. Why then, are you adding years to your face with the wrong hairstyle?

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The wrong length

Length is one of the biggest variables that can easily age your face. “[The wrong] length can drag down your overall appearance,” says Nunzio Saviano, one of New York’s top hair stylists. As an anti-aging hair care tip, he recommends adding volume by cutting long layers around the face to accentuate your features and cautions you to avoid “flat” styles that can look undone. Work with your stylist to decide on the perfect amount of layers and length that will compliment your hair type and face, he suggests. Use these best haircuts for your face shape as a guide.

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hair shades dyeStanislav71/Shutterstock

Overly dramatic hair color

Don’t opt for the darkest or lightest shades, which can drain your skin tone, Nunzio says. Instead, find a good middle ground. “Go for softer shades,” he suggests, as they add dimension and give off the appearance of young, radiant hair. Other than your hair color, these 50 things could be making you appear older.

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hair cutTyler Olson/Shutterstock

Scrimping on haircuts

“Super long, overgrown strands are always aging and should be left for teens,” says Giovanni Vaccaro, artistic director of Glamsquad. “I always recommend my older clients get frequent haircuts, ideally every two months. This will keep your strands looking fresh and healthy and give your style the necessary shape.” He further suggests adding layers or choosing a shorter style to help elongate the neck area as an anti-aging hair care tip.

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Keeping the same style for years

“Holding on to the hairstyle you had when you think you looked your best is one of the biggest hairstyle mistakes you can make,” says Ken Paves, Victoria Beckham’s hairstylist. Paves suggests letting go of old versions of ourselves and opting for a refreshed hairdo that is age appropriate, “Don’t go for old-fashioned, don’t go for too trendy. Current is a way better choice,” he recommends for people looking for anti-aging hair care tips.

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water glassDmitry Naumov/Shutterstock

Forgetting your H2O

“Dry, brittle hair can instantly pile on the years,” says Jillian Halouska, a New York-based stylist who works with Naomi Watts and Claire Foy. One of the anti-aging hair care tips she gives her clients is to hydrate hair from the inside out. She suggests drinking tons of water for starters, then in the shower, use moisture-heavy shampoos and conditioners and a weekly hair mask. When you’re styling your hair, spritz on a heat protectant first to prevent breakage. If you suspect your hair is parched, these hair masks will bring it back to life.

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hair trimt.max/Shutterstock

Going too dark

A common impulse after the first grey hair appears is to opt for darker hair color shades, but that’s a mistake. “Darkness around your face can make you feel and look older and it enhances fine lines and wrinkles,” says Cassondra Kaeding, a colorist whose client list reads like a who’s who of Hollywood. “As we age, we want softness around the face,” she continues. Plus, lighter, multi-tonal shades help to blend greys as they start to grow back in.

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hair bunVBStudio/Shutterstock

Tight buns

A go-to hairstyle when you need to be out the door is a messy bun. Nevertheless, international hairstylist Philip B. urges you to reconsider. “Hair tends to thin at the temples with age,” he says. “Pulling it back into a tight bun or ponytail can hasten breakage in that area, creating a dated look.” Instead of making it look like you have a receding hairline, go for a low, loose bun with wisps that frame the face. “It’s a softer, sexier and more youthful look,” he says, plus it’s gentler on the delicate temple area hairs, too.

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HAIR OILAgave Studio/Shutterstock

Wiry hair

It’s very natural for hair texture to become coarser as we age, while at the same time, a decline in oil production leaves hair looking fuzzy and parched. Philip B. suggests battling this common aging trait by using weekly moisturizing treatments like oils. “They can make all the difference—plumping up dry strands automatically restores natural body, creating a smoother, glossier surface.” Want to try some DIY anti-aging hair care? These at-home remedies for dry hair will do the trick.

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hair partRoman Kosolapov/Shutterstock

The wrong part

One of the most effective tricks for looking younger is simply changing your part. “The wrong hair part can age you significantly,” says Michael Canale, Penelope Cruz, and Jennifer Aniston’s go-to colorist. A middle part isn’t right for every face so he suggests seeing where your hair naturally falls. “Very often, an irregular part can be more flattering for your face shape and instantly makes you look younger,” he says. Find out the 38 secrets your hairstylist isn’t telling you.

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hair sprayOlegMemo/Shutterstock

Too much volume

We’ve all seen an unfortunate, outdated beehive on an otherwise youthful face. When it comes to volume, Canale urges you to find a balance. “Some clients think their hair must have height in order to look good. They then over-tease and add unnecessary hairspray, drastically aging their face.” He suggests talking to your hairstylist about volumizing shampoo and having him or her arm you with blow-drying tips that you can easily recreate at home.

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mature womanYAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/Shutterstock

Skipping bangs

“Bangs are a great, flattering choice for older women,” says Ricardo Dinis, global artistic director at Aveda. “They’re fun, creative and, most importantly, they frame your eyes.” In general, bangs should hit at the lower half of the brow, just above the eye. A huge plus for anti-aging hair care: bangs help hide wrinkles and severely receding hairlines and help to make your hair look thicker.

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barberDmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock

Not taking into account hair quantity

As unfortunate as it may be, hair gets thinner and breaks more easily as we get older. When we age, we need to recalibrate our hairstyles to account for both the quality and the quantity of the hair we currently have. Take inventory and consider a shorter style if you have experienced significant thinning. “Having a bob or a shorter cut will place hair at its thickest, fullest, and most manageable phase,” says Ricardo Dinis, hair stylist. “A classic pixie cut is one of my personal favorite styles for an older woman,” he concludes. If you suspect your hair is thinning at a rapid pace, your diet may be to blame.

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hair shampooKaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock

Using the wrong shampoo

Something as simple as using the wrong shampoo formula can add years to your face. “Always use shampoo and conditioner that color protects and moisturizes hair,” says Larisa Love of Joico. “A product that’s really nourishing to your hair is the key to giving your color a more shiny, youthful look.” Once you find the right shampoo, you’ll also want to make sure to avoid these common hair washing mistakes.

Priscila Martinez
Priscila is a luxury, lifestyle and beauty expert covering gift guides, product reviews, trends, etiquette, and other lifestyle news and features for A graduate of Pepperdine University, she’s also mother to her furry son Kingston.