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.
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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So, why exactly does your hair fill up with static in the winter? The lack of moisture in the air. Set up a humidifier by your desk or in your home to increase the humidity in the room and offer your hair the soothing it needs. Our recommendation? Crane Personal Ultrasonic Cool Must White Droplet Humidifier ($60). Available at well.ca.
Plastic will only make your hair more staticky as nylon fibres are clingy. Opt for a metal comb or a natural bore bristle brush for a more smoothing effect. Or, if you want something really innovative, try out a brush that will generate ions to reduce static. Our recommendation? The Ultimate Brush by InfinitiPro by CONAIR ($39.99). Available at major retailers.
Weird, right? Maybe. But these little wonders have proven to be very successful for the many victims of static (hey, they do the trick for laundry, so why not our hair?) Gently rub the sheets over strands of hair and watch those flyaways disappear. If you're not into that, run the dryer sheet on your pillow case before you go to sleep. Our recommendation? Bounce Fresh Linen Dryer Sheets ($6.49). Available at well.ca.
When applying a moisturizing conditioner, it is key to focus on the ends of your hair. This way, strands are kept healthy, shiny and under (frizz) control. Our recommendation? Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment ($27). Available at Sephora.
Over-drying your hair is all kinds of bad. All hydration locked into your hair is lost, which just leaves locks feeling flat and sad. Leaving hair a bit damp is a simple way to keep hair looking smooth. If static attacks you mid-work day, keep a spray bottle of water by your desk to spritz your hair before the very important meeting.
Serum is the must-have elixir when it comes to hair. By running serum through the strands of your hair before heading out the door, you're giving your locks that smooth and polished look which is nearly impossible to achieve in the winter. Our recommendation? Ouidad Shine Glaze Serum ($20). Available at Sephora.
This one is a no-brainer. After blow-drying or straightening your hair, finish off your look with a finishing spray that has an anti-static formula. Buh-bye flyaways! Our recommendation? Alterna Haircare Bamboo Style Anti-Static Translucent Dry Conditioning Finishing Spray ($18). Available at Sephora.
If you're the kind of person who straightens her hair a few times a week, a ceramic tool is key to controlling any static that may result from the distributed heat. Titanium plates are crucial to minimizing frizz and flyaways, all while promoting shine. But remember, be gentle with all that heat you're using! Our recommendation? ghd Classic 1 Inch Styler ($225). Available at Sephora.
Rubber accumulates electrical charges, which contributes to staticky hair. #Science.
An ionic dryer will cancel out any occurring static by sealing cuticles. The ion-enriched air produced by the tool retains the hair's natural moisture, which is crucial. Our recommendation? T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer ($200). Available at Sephora.
Scheduled hair trims are an easy way to avoid static.You don't want dead ends lingering around for too long.
Your hair needs weekly therapy. For that, a leave-in mask will do wonders. Look for a mask with a deep conditioner which will also repair and soften inflamed locks. Our recommendation? Kevin.Murphy Young.Again.Masque ($35). Available at selected hair salons.
Okay, we know. Toques are crucial for the Canadian winter. But we blame them for the majority of our static woes, so we're opting to ditch them this season (in the name of good hair).
Because if you're looking for one hairstyle to lock all that static in this winter, tight boxer braids are the way to go.
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