More than 10 tips for styling your hair

Scruffy can become glamorous and glossy in a couple of hours. Nothing boosts a girl’s morale more than a new hairdo that works. For some it can take a lifetime to find the perfect style and if you are still not satisfied, around age 60 is a good time to make a dramatic change.

Last week I changed my hairstyle quite noticeably. The permanent colour plus too many blonde streaks had spoilt the condition. The colour was an uninteresting mousy blonde. The style was too puffed up and make me look top heavy. This week I have chestnut coloured hair with just a few copper/gold streaks. The style is short and sassy — barely any fringe and the condition will stay soft and shiny because the short length will prevent a build-up of chemicals. It is very different and I love it. Maintenance is much the same as usual.

What you want

1. Glossy, shiny hair
2. A stylish cut
3. Easy maintenance.

Glossy, shiny hair

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Only have one chemical process at any time. Either a permanent wave or a permanent colour. Both at once will create dull, lifeless hair. Go easy with foils over a permanent colour.

After rinsing off conditioner, finish with a short burst of cold water to close the hair cuticle. Makes hair smoother and shinier.

Sprinkle on some blow-dry product before drying. This is a diluted conditioner designed to speed up drying time and adds shine and condition.

If it can be done, give yourself a semi-permanent colour every few weeks. Gloss guaranteed!

Make the most of shine products — sprays, styling lotions and oils.

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Remember that dark hair will always look shinier than blonde hair.

A stylish cut

Short hair usually suits the older lady well. Opens up the face, emphasises the features, especially eyes and takes years off. My rule is, keep it above the ear lobes and that includes the bob.

Your hairdresser’s ideas and your ideas need to match. Put the time in and look at pictures in her style books. Discuss what you like as you go. Listen to her closely. She is the pro and she can see you front, back and sides. Be sure to discuss with your hairdresser how you will manage the style yourself. Are you prepared to blow dry it every morning? How will it look if you don’t?

A short hairstyle cut to suit your face can look great! Photo courtesy Margaret Woodberry.
A short hairstyle cut to suit your face can look great! Photo courtesy Margaret Woodberry.

The style and cut need to be able to cope with your lifestyle. You will want to look respectable after rain and wind, apres swim and apres small children!

Short, sharp styles need a trim every three to four weeks.

Ladies, keep it feminine — not too shaved up at the back and sides. Avoid the sticking up ‘electric shock’ effect.

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The old rule for wavy hair still holds — cut into the curl. Curly hair can be a challenge for you and your hairdresser, but you will both be used to it by now. Keep in mind how pretty and girlish curly hair is framing the face. A few fly-away tendrils always look good.

Use products to calm the frizz, soften tight curls and make curly hair manageable. Look out for products containing Moroccan oil and Keratin. Consider a salon treatment.

Very thick and very curly hair can benefit from a going-over with the thinning scissors.

Easy maintenance

You, like me, are probably over maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. But how can we keep it looking good easily?

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Let your hairdresser do the work

Have an appointment every three or four weeks for a light trim — hair grows about a centimetre each month and short styles need attention often.

If you colour your hair, have the roots touched-up every three to four weeks too.

Only shampoo every third or fourth day. Use a few velcro curlers daily to help keep the style going. Dampen hair and leave in for 20 minutes or so. A light mist of hairspray helps.

The result is nicely full rather than curly; a-la a blow dry.

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Money saving tips for hair maintenance

Transition to grey or white hair and use DIY products to enhance the colour. Grey and white hair cries out for a stylish cut, so continue professional trims.

Look out for salons that discount and have special offers now and again.

Let your hair grow, but avoid long and loose and the ponytail. Perfect the up do. The French roll, the chignon, curls swept up with combs. Coiled plaits can look distinctive. Long hair swept up is most flattering because the up, up, up gives excellent gravity lines. Be careful not to look all hair and top heavy.

Will you go natural, grey or white?

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Grey and white hair looks wonderful when thoughtfully cut and styled and the colour improved and evened-out with a rinse especially formulated for greys and whites.

You may like to deepen your hair tone with a colour-enhancing mousse. Easy to use, not permanent, but effective.

Try a semi-permanent rinse for ‘lifting’ the grey or white a shade or two.

Pale white or grey hair around the face can give the impression of a receding hairline. All the more reason to deepen the colour a touch. Adopt a style that gives a definite hairline bordering the face.

Not ready to go natural?

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Make sure your colour is age appropriate and flatters your complexion.

Choose a style without a part to prevent re-growth showing.

Coloured or blonde tips and foils work miracles — liven and lift the hair colour. Remember, not too many or you will lose condition.

Margaret’s top five tips

1. Arrange a fringe, spray with hairspray then don’t touch it again!
2. Use a hand mirror to check the back of your hair as you work on styling.
3. Dampen hair with a vodka spritz; made with water and dash of vodka. Adds a vibrant boost.
4. Miss the shampoo now and again; just rinse and condition. The result is as soft as if you had shampooed. Just a wee bit more body.
5. The mircofibre turban is useful for removing water from towel dried hair and cuts down blow drying time.

Age appropriate is the operative expression for hair around age 60 and 70. Let your hairdresser and modern hair products help you achieve thicker, more lustrous hair plus the perfect style to give you an overall polished appearance.

Are you happy with the hairstyle you are currently sporting? What’s the most daring hairstyle you’ve had?