Top haircare and styling tips when you are over 50
Whether our hair is straight, curly, wavy, frizzy, grey, salt and pepper, dyed, or all of the above (we've been there too), we all want it look fabulous - after all, it makes a big impression.
Opening his flagship Belgravia salon in 1998, Errol Douglas MBE worked in the salon industry for more than two decades, and as a stylist to the stars he's worked with notables like Diana Ross, Cindy Crawford, Barbara Streisand, and Christy Turlington. He shares his top 10 tips for making your hair look fabulous at any (and every) age.
It's ALL about the cut
Invest above all in the cut: A great cut will not only be manageable and stylish between salon visits, but really can ensure that best features are enhanced and the complexion softened. A cut to a look reflects lifestyle, personality and exactly who you are will bring a freshness overall.
Don’t allow 'age length' rules to dictate your style: I don’t subscribe to the idea that 'mature' ladies must go short - it’s not that black and white. If condition is good then a shoulder skimming length for example can frame the face beautifully. Ignoring 'shoulds' at any age is a liberating attitude, and a good stylist cuts to suit the whole person not the hair in the chair.
Refresh your view of layers: Forget Farrah flicks, the technique has evolved so much and comes in many incarnations! Equally, there are varying lengths within 'short'. If my older clients are reluctant to let go of length, I advise face framing layers that soften the face and break up the coarser texture of hair as we grow older. It’s when the hair isn't layered that the bulk appearance of its texture is more.
The importance of condition
Condition becomes more important: It’s the changing texture of the hair that is the age giveaway not the principle of another birthday. If the texture of more mature hair isn’t managed and the hair is long, logically more of it can be unflattering. Here lies the origin of the generalisation that short hair after a certain age is a must. Healthy, good condition hair has versatility in the length you can go for. Invest in regular salon visits and weekly at-home hydrating masks - the latter isn’t just a pamper, it’s the difference between a flat (harsh) or glossy finish.
Commit to an inside and out approach: Make the new year a time to really invest in a glossy healthy finish with a double approach - inside and out. My clients love the results from Viviscal Professional hair growth supplements. They help nourish thinning hair and promote healthy hair growth from within, so it’s a great way to start the year. Also, don’t underestimate upping water intake - like skin it remains the best overall hydrator for hair too.
Colour clever and watch the curls...
Use colour cleverly: The right undertone in a colour palette can be a game changer. Avoid block colours that can be harsh on the complexion. Phase out former all over shades and replace with freehand bespoke colour applied by an experienced colourist that adds an amalgam of warm hues - subtle mixes of blonde, brunette and red tones can create an overall colour theme without a harsh result. Warmer hand painted tones around the face really lift the complexion. Dramatic difference from a subtle technique. Above all don’t go too dark, it washes out a complexion and can add years.
Easy on the product: Don't overload the hair with product - less is more. Too much makes the hair separate and appear 'stringy' a day or two after blow drying which can be aging. A small amount of Moroccanoil Frizz Control mixed with Moroccanoil Treatment will give that polished finish and a shine we associate with being young.
Other things you might like...
Easy on the curls: We do tend to associate curls with youth, and sometimes too bouncy a style as we get older can insist upon itself a little. If you’ve naturally curly hair, as the texture becomes coarser, aim to loosen them with styling and a good cut. For 'going out' curls on straight hair, aim for loose waves that frame the face.
Be careful with up-dos: A harshly scraped back bun can look very matronly, so be very careful to keep the finish loose when wearing the hair up, again have loose pieces that frame the face.
But above all...
Be you: I’m not comfortable with the 'anti' in ageing, it shouldn’t be a fight. Experience, wisdom and knowing your own style is a very potent kind of attractive, and I love how Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, Debra Messing, Karren Brady, Jane Fonda and Sophia Loren (to name a few) rock it. Have hair that encapsulates the most attractive factor in getting older - we know ourselves and our personalities so much better. Some short styles scream playful at any age and aren’t just for the young (softly cut pixie and gamine cuts), beautifully layered and polished nape to just above shoulder cuts are classy and flattering.
To find out more about Errol or to treat yourself to the ultimate professional cut check out his website Errol Douglas