A great haircut has the power to transform your look. When you choose a style that softens your features and highlights all the right parts of your face, you’ll look younger than ever—but on the other hand, the wrong cut can instantly add years to your face.
If you’re considering heading to the salon for a fresh haircut and want to avoid a mistake that will age you, don’t worry. We’re here to help! We gathered insights from hair experts such as Gina Rivera, Celebrity Hairstylist and founder of Phenix Salon Suites, and expert stylist Holly Dear to point out two of the things you should avoid when seeking out a fresh, youthful hairstyle.
Rivera says the key to creating a youthful appearance with your haircut is to choose a style that softens your features. That’s why long, straight hair without any layers is one look that can instantly age you. “Long straight hair may sharpen the features rather than soften them,” Rivera explains.
Just as you may opt for skincare products that reduce wrinkles and sagging, it’s best to stick with hairstyles that distract from these signs of aging. Hair that is too long—especially if it lacks volume, waves, or face-framing layers—can have the opposite effect. “Always be mindful that there is a point where long straight hair can contribute to the features looking more prominent and drawn,” Rivera warns.
Scalp expert Philip B., founder of Philip B. Hair Care, echoes this sentiment: “When hair has no layers it can look flat and dull which can instantly age you.”
Cosmetologist Ghanima Abdula from The Right Hairstyles also notes that too much length should especially be avoided if you struggle with another sign of aging: thinning hair. She says long hair “looks even more thin, which can age you considerably.”
However, this doesn’t mean you have to jump straight to a pixie cut! Long hair is still an option that can look beautiful no matter how old you are, as long as you consider the style that will work best with your specific face shape and features.
Experts suggest opting for layered looks with lots of movement and face-framing if you want to keep your hair long. “The right amount of layers for long hair works to introduce balance to the face, movement, and volume, as well as helping to bounce or refract the light,” Philip B. explains.
You may even want to consider the ever-trendy shag haircut, which is perfect for creating volume and framing your features.
Another haircut mistake that could add years to your face is choosing a single-length, blunt bob that falls right at your jawline.
Expert hairstylist Holly Dear says that bobs have the ability to be very flattering when they’re the right length. However, a jaw-length cut may emphasize all the wrong parts of your face, such as the drooping skin around your jawline. “Bobs can be unflattering for people as they age because our skin tends to fall in these areas,” she explains.
The solution? Add a little length to your bob. Dear suggests going with a mid-length cut that rests just at the narrow part of your neck—some people refer to this flattering, youthful style as a “lob.” No matter what you call it, Dear says this cut will help “visually lift and lengthen the neck and pull visually everything up.”
Additionally, the same volume-enhancing style tip for long hair works for bobs and lobs too: when in doubt, go with layers and face-framing styles to soften your features and create a fresh, youthful look.
No matter what hairstyle you’re going for, there are ways to rock every length under the sun, even as you age. Just avoid these common pitfalls, stick with a stylist you trust, and above all, wear your hair with confidence!