Lately I've been really obsessing about my hair even though I've always had pretty good hair. It's soft, fairly manageable and there's lots of it. Also, so far I don't have a problem with grey hair. Sure, there's the occasional one, but I can go five months or so without worrying about my colour too much.
For many years, I wore my hair long and all one length. I never really did much with it, but somehow it didn't matter and I could get away with it. Then one day, several years ago, I decided to cut it. There was very little preparation on my part, I walked down to my stylist's salon, plopped myself in his chair and told him I wanted it cut. That's when the epiphany happened and I realized how much fun a shorter hair cut can be.
For one, I could actually wear it down. I stopped spending hours washing and drying it and I could start experimenting with colour, (yes, I went pink for a while). The best part was that I had suddenly reinvented myself. I felt freer than I had in a long time and there was a spring in my step. I must have looked happier because, as I left the salon, I received a spontaneous marriage proposal from some random guy on the street (true story).
When I look around, there are lots of women with really great hair, but there seem to be so many more with drab, no-style styles or those that insist on wearing their hair up, every single day. It seems like most women in that category fall into their late 30s to 40s. It's as if this is the age where we lose our direction.
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BEST HAIRSTYLES FOR YOUR 40s
HAIRSTYLE DOs (keep in mind there are exceptions to all of these points)
- Face flattering medium to short styles.
- All one length hair that's parted in the center can drag our features down and highlight facial asymmetries.
- Cuts that have some layers or that frame your face act like a natural face lift and can highlight your best features.
A choppy or wavy bob will create movement around your face and elongate a long neck. Adding bangs will give your style more fullness, but this is a cut that can look great on pretty much every face shape.
A layered bob is more classic, but won't require a lot of work in the morning. It can be longer or shorter, depending on your face shape.
Asymmetrical cut. Long in the front and short in the back or longer on one side and shorter on the other, an asymmetrical cut will look modern and edgy.
A lob (shoulder to collarbone) is slightly longer than bob and perfect for those that can't quite give up their long locks, but still want a change. Great for all types of hair, wear it parted to one side or with a wispy fringe or even fine curtain bangs. This is definitely a very versatile cut.
Of course, you can still wear a cut that's shoulder length or longer, even just make sure that you are getting long layers which will add lift and shape to your hair. The key is to not hide behind your hair, but rather let it show off your collarbones and decolletage.
Soft unstructured styles. Beware of any style that's too overdone and too perfect. Clean and sleek is always okay, but if you find that you are using half a bottle of hair spray each time you leave the house then this type of style will simply be aging you. Cases like this always remind me of my grandmother. Although she was a very elegant woman, she was representative of a time when you wore rollers, sprayed your hair within an inch of its life and it stayed exactly like that until your next wash.
Complexion flattering warm tones. There absolutely might be exceptions to this point, but generally cool tones will be harsher against your skin, while warmer ones will bring out the colour in your complexion.
Recently, I went home for a visit and met up with a high school friend. The first thing I noticed is just how fabulous she looked. Her hair was modern and her naturally blond hair was an absolutely stunning colour. The effect was that she looked sophisticated, vibrant, fresh and all 'round amazing. After all, that's exactly what your hair should say about you and how it should make you feel.
Part of the fun of getting a new cut is being able to reinvent yourself. Whether you decide to go short or long, it's important to remember that your ultimate hairstyle should be complimentary to both your hair type and your lifestyle. The right cut will pave the way for you to be able to reproduce the style that you had when walking out of the salon.
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