We tend to focus a lot of our time, money and attention on keeping our skin looking radiant and youthful, but the way our hair is styled also plays a pretty determinant role in how old or young we look.
We’ve all been there; chopping our locks off in the hopes of achieving that sleek pixie style, because we pandered to the social norms of going shorter after hitting a certain age (and also because our hairdresser said it’ll make us look younger… Darn those lies) only to end up looking more mature than we’d expected. The truth is, you can make simple hair changes that’ll leave you looking instantly fresh-faced. Coming up, 9 simple tips to switch up your hairstyle and shave years off your appearance.
ALSO READ: 10 TIPS TO PREVENT HAIR FALL
Most of us aren’t ready to embrace bangs; we’re pretty sure the term ‘hit or miss’ was invented solely for it in the first place. It feels like there are too many risks involved in getting our bangs wrong; too thin and wispy (which, FYI, will age you), too blunt, too short, too swingy… You get the point.
But when done right, bangs are a phenomenal way to take years off your appearance. The key here is to go for fuller looking bangs that skim your brows. Bangs also need subtle layering for a softer look; never just cut your bangs straight across as this can look too harsh, you should always leave the length longer towards the ears to frame your face.
If you’re craving some #bangspiration, see how Carrie Wong pulls off a classic girl-next-door look with her roseate bangs.
Photo: Instagram / Carrie Wong
Contrary to popular belief, long hair doesn’t make you look older – but a limp, volume-less hairdo does. The downside to longer hair is the weight which leads to lesser volume at the root. To avoid this and achieve voluminous to-die-for locks like Michelle Chia, reach for volumising products such as Percy & Reed’s hair volumising styling set ($34) or Phil Smith’s volume boosting conditioner ($22) to give your hair a youthful tousle.
You can also add subtle layers to your do, or get a soft perm to achieve natural looking beach waves that’ll eliminate all flat hair days for good.
Photo: Instagram / Michelle Chia
You may not get wrinkles and dark spots on your hair, but it ages all the same. Sure, a gray hair here and there is natural. But when lackluster and the beginnings of thinning strands start to pay you a visit in your late twenties, it can get alarming.
If you’ve lost all faith in ever being able to restore your hair’s natural luster and texture, look to Sachajuan best selling hair spray ($38) or OUAI’s texturising hair spray ($39) to achieve an off-duty model look like Rainie Yang.
Photo: Instagram / Rainie Yang
Dull hair’s always a drag. Oh, what we’d give to attain a polished mane like that of Rebecca Lim. Healthier hair takes years off your appearance by enhancing the colour intensity of your hair and ultimately boosting lustre and glossiness.
Photo: Instagram / Rebecca Lim
Overwashing your hair strips it off its natural oils which can cause unwanted split ends and brittle hair. The idea is to not wash your hair too often – thrice a week would suffice. Or try washing your hair on alternate days for a change.
Another good measure to keep your hair healthy is to shampoo strategically – only at the roots (the oiliest part), that is. Only condition from the middle shaft of the hair downwards to show your ends a little more love.
To soften your features and brighten up your entire face, consider getting warm-toned highlights and lowlights in a caramel shade. Multidimensional tone-on-tone strands will add movement to your do instead of a one-toned look which could look dated. Go for natural looking shades which aren’t too light to give your tresses a fuller, richer-coloured look.
At the same time, there is such a thing as too much when it comes to highlights. Too many streaks of highlights may cause it to look artificial and fake; not the look we’re going for here. As shown here by Tong Bing Yu, what we want is a pretty base colour with a few accents for a sophisticated and youthful look.
Photo: Instagram / Tong Bing Yu
The wavy bob has been cropping up everywhere on celebrities such as Song Hye Kyo of late, and we’re not surprised. Not too short and not too long, this romantic, feminine style is perfect for hot-weather days. The soft relaxed waves will also give you a youthful edge while framing your features further to imbue a look of girlish innocence.
Photo: Instagram / Song Hye Kyo
An easy loose chignon like Jeanette Aw’s will give you that effortless edge that stuffy, perfectly coiffed hairstyles tend to lack. Consider it one of life’s greatest ironies then – that the most undone beauty looks usually pull off the most chic.
To nail the perfect tousled messy bun, you have to first slick your hair back in a loose ponytail. Then separate the ponytail into two or three sections and tease it for extra volume. Twist up and wrap the sections in opposite directions and secure your hair with a bobby pin while leaving about an inch of the ends frayed around the bun for that messy effect.
Photo: Instagram / Jeanette Aw
The difference between looking younger and older lies in the styling of your hair; combing it back away from your face sometimes emphasises every wrinkle and fine line whereas scattering your hair loosely makes you look more nonchalant and effortless in contrast (a prime example would be Belinda Lee’s sweet demeanour seen here).
Wear your hair in a side-swept dishevelled braid to give your face a fun and fresh lift. Loose braids look the best with a flyaways and loose strands here and there, so don’t be afraid to muss things up a little by blow-drying and curling your hair beforehand.
Photo: Instagram / Belinda Lee