Hairstyles That Make You Look Younger

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Shoulder-Length Is Flattering on Everyone, No Matter Their Age

Heidi Klum. Michael Loccisano for Getty

There's a huge trend in beauty journalism right now to stay away from wording like, "anti-aging" and "10 years younger." We want to empower women of all ages to feel great about themselves, we want to stop feeding into (media-created) insecurities that only youth equals beauty and we really, really want to stop the negativity that the word "aging" implies.

And here I've gone and titled this thing, "Hairstyles That Make You Look 10 Years Younger."

Because, well because the truth is most of us over 40 would like to look younger. And because the photos in this gallery really are great choices for anyone trying not to look dated or fuddy-duddy. And also because this is a beauty website wherein I try to help everyone look their very best right now, whether they are 15 or 50.

In this photo gallery, I share the most flattering, youthful hairstyles that work on women of all ages. I share my favorite products and I tell you exactly why these hairstyles work.

So let's begin, shall we?

Shoulder-Length is Flattering on Everyone, No Matter Their Age

If you want to look 10 years younger and you have relatively healthy hair that grows pretty fast, may I just suggest you consider growing out your short hair into a shoulder-length cut or cutting off your long hair to the shoulders?

This tousled, shoulder-length cut seen here on Heidi Klum would look great on a woman of any age. This particular look works best on hair that is mostly straight, however, if you have naturally wavy or curly hair, long layers cut to the shoulders or just above can be very flattering. Blow dry it straight or leave it curly — it will look great both ways. The secret is in the length.

The Best Products for This Hairstyle

What products you use depends on your hair texture.

  • If you have fine, limp hair, I recommend a volumizer. My favorite is Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray. ​Buy it from Amazon.com
  • For hair with some wave in it, you'll want to bring out the natural wave with a sea salt spray spritzed onto towel-dried hair and then air-dried or lightly blow-dried. I recommend Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, buy it from Amazon.
  • For curly hair, you'll want to straighten your hair by blow-drying and a flat-iron. Spray hair first with a thermal protectant otherwise, your hair could frizz. I recommend HSI PROFESSIONAL Thermal Protector, buy it from Amazon.

02
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The Right Bangs

Kate Capshaw. Getty Images: Gregg DeGuire and Rob Kim

Bangs are a phenomenal way to take years off your appearance. But there are so many ways to get bangs wrong. See Kate Capshaw's picture above? In the left photo, she looks like she's wearing a wig that's set too far back on her head. Or she went at her bangs with scissors herself. In the photo on the right, her bangs are pitch-perfect.

Here's how to avoid looking like Capshaw in the left photo:

  • If you are going for blunt or swingy bangs like Capshaw in the right photo, your bangs should skim your brows. Ask your stylist to cut them at the brow or just below.
  • Never cut bangs when wet because they shrink when they dry.
  • Bangs need subtle layering. Never just cut bangs straight across and call it a day. They also should be a bit longer on the sides than in the middle.
  • Learn to trim your own bangs to save trips to the salon. Find out how in How to Trim Your Own Bangs.
  • Most salons offer free bang trims. Take them up on their offer. But do keep in mind bangs cut right will grow out beautifully into side-swept bangs.

The Best Products for This Hairstyle

To get this look you need the right hairbrush. Do not, under any circumstances, dry your bangs with a round brush or you will have the very dated "bubble bangs."

Instead, use a boar's hair paddle brush when blow-drying bangs. Brush bangs to the left than to the right, aiming the blow dryer down onto bangs. The brush I swear by is from Mason Pearson. It's a worthy investment that will last a lifetime. Buy it from Amazon.

03
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Gwyneth's Pin-Straight Blonde Hair

Gwyneth Paltrow
Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Not everyone can get away with pin-straight hair with a center part, but women with round or square faces and naturally straight hair look great in this look. (Gwyneth has a square face). 

The Best Products for This Hairstyle

Even if you've been blessed with straight hair, you'll have to flat iron it to get it to look like this. The most popular flat iron right now is the HSI Professional 1 Ceramic Tourmaline, buy from Amazon.com.

04
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Romantic Waves on Andie MacDowell

Andie MacDowell. Slaven Vlasic for Getty

It's a big trend to let naturally curly hair go natural. Put away your irons and skip the professional straightening treatment and let your natural curls go. The trick is in the right haircut. Too short and your hair can pouf up. Too long and your hair can tangle into a mass of mess.

The Best Products for This Hairstyle

To keep curly hair from becoming a Christmas tree pouf, you need a smoothing mask or balm. I love Maskeratine Smooth-in-Motion Masque from Kerastase. Apply the mask to towel-dried hair from crown to ends. Massage into hair and leave for five minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Buy it from Amazon.com.

05
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Try a Center Part

Michelle Pfeiffer. Jesse Grant for Getty Images

Center parts are very flattering on women with square or round faces. But no matter your face shape, I recommend trying one and seeing if it works on you.

The key to the center part is to not make it exactly center, which can look too perfect and unnatural. Instead, aim for just a bit off to the left or right — wherever your natural part lies.

The Products You Need for This Look

To create a middle part, you'll need a rattail comb. I love this one from Amazon.com because it allows you to tease your hair beautifully as well. (Everyone needs a bit of volume at the crown from time to time).
 

06
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Grow Out Your Bob Into a Long Bob

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Yolanda Foster. Frederick M. Brown for Getty Images

If you like the look of bobs considering growing yours out into a long bob. Long bobs that hit somewhere between the chin and the shoulders tend to be very flattering on women of all ages and with all face shapes.

Note how the back is a tad bit shorter than the front. Note also how Foster has long, side-swept bangs.

The Best Products for This Hairstyle

To get this perfectly smooth hairstyle, you'll need two brushes, a round brush, and a flat brush to finish the look. I recommend the Luxor Pro Royal Citrus Thermal Ceramic Round Brush, buy it from Amazon and Sephora's Paddle Brush (​buy it from Sephora).

If you have wavy or curly hair that you want to blow dry straight for your long bob, I recommend John Frieda Frizz Ease Straight Fixation Styling Crème, buy it from Amazon.

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A Funky Short Cut

Angela Bassett. Dave Kotinsky for Getty

Funky short cuts are great on women no matter their age, but beware — you do have to have some confidence to pull off such an attention-grabbing style.

The Best Products for This Hairstyle

For pixie styles, a decent molding paste or wax can mean the difference between awesome hair and "meh" hair. Without it, your hairstyle could fall flat to your head like a helmet or billow from your head in puffs of frizz.

I recommend ORIBE Hair Care Rough Luxury Soft Molding Paste, buy it from Amazon.

08
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Just Add Bangs to Change Up Your Appearance

Eva Padberg. Getty: Mathis Wienand & Target Presse Agentur

Bored with your one-length hair? Just add bangs and take 10 years off your appearance. I love the look of blunt bangs or side-swept bangs. Both will make your eyes pop. Just be careful not to cut in short bangs on curly hair, it's not a great look unless you plan on straightening your hair every day.

The Best Products for This Hairstyle

Bangs can get greasy and may need to be shampooed daily. You can avoid this with a good dry shampoo. I recommend Klorane Dry Shampoo (buy from Amazon) or Pssssst (buy from Amazon).

09
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A Super Short Pixie Shows Off a Gorgeous Face

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Cindy Leive, editor of Glamour Magazine. Larry Busacca (l), Laura Cavanaugh (m) for Getty Images

Nothing shows off a gorgeous face than a pixie. This cut is daring and edgy and not all women can get away with it. To carry it off well, you must have guts and confidence, although I'd argue that a haircut like this can make a woman feel more confident.

The Best Products for This Hairstyle

Super short pixies such as this one on Cindy Leive, editor of Glamour, require a mini flat-iron to perfect the look. I recommend BaBylissPro Nano Titanium 1/2" Mini Iron Blue.

10
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Muss Up A Pixie — Actually Muss Up Any Hairstyle

Kris Jenner arrives at Cosmopolitan Magazine's 50th Birthday Celebration at Ysabel on October 12, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Perfectly coiffed hairstyles can make one appear stuffy. When I get my hair cut, my stylist purposely musses it up sometimes to give me that lived-in, edgy, "cool" look that so in right now.

Here, Kris Jenner shows off a super youthful and fun hairstyle.

The Best Products for This Hairstyle

To get this mussy look on any length hairstyle, you need a great texturizing spray. My absolute favorite and the one I use on myself is ORIBE Hair Care Dry Texturizing Spray, buy it from Amazon.

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Brown Hair? Color It

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Catherine Keener. Cindy Ord for Getty

It's a myth that women over 50 can't wear their hair longer than their chin. And if you have naturally brunette hair, as Catherine Keener, pictured here, does, then skip the really fake blonde hair color or too dark hair color and go with an auburn or a chestnut brown that looks rich and shiny, or add in some lighter or darker highlights.

The Best Products for This Hairstyle

I don't recommend coloring your own hair red, but I do recommend shampooing your new red hair with shampoo specially-formulated for colored hair.

I recommend Laminates Cellophanes Shine and Color Protection Shampoo (For Redheads), buy it from Amazon.

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Double Goodness: Long, Side-swept Bangs Paired With Layers

Amy Poehler. Pascal Le Segretain for Getty

The best thing about this haircut is that it's wash and go. You can scrunch it up as it dries and it will look like this.

The Best Products for This Hairstyle

A few spritzes of salt spray on towel-dried hair will give your hair perfectly tousled waves. Try Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, buy it from Amazon.

13
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Cut Off Your Too Long Hair

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Nicole Kidman. Getty Images

Yes, an 18-year-old will look incredible in hair that grows well beyond her breastbone, but it's the rare 40-something who will. Super long hair is simply not that flattering on everyone. Cutting your hair into a shoulder-sweeping cut or a long bob will take years off your look.

The Best Products for This Hairstyle

The right ionic blow dryer can cut down on drying time and won't harm your hair. The Conair 1875 Watt Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Dryer is perhaps the most beloved affordable hair dryer on the market today and the one I use on myself. Buy it from Amazon.

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Just the Right Amount of Layers

Actress Lin Shaye. Photo by Barry King/Getty Images

Layered hair is controversial. Too much can leave you with a dated look. But the right kind of layers can add body and fullness to otherwise limp locks. This is a great layered look. Note the texture and the gorgeous color.

The Best Products for This Hairstyle

To get this look I recommend putting a nickel-size amount of texturizing or molding paste in your palm, rub your palms together and then palm the product through your hair. Try Jonathan Product Dirt Texturizing Paste, buy it from Amazon.