As female baby boomers age, they're focusing more on personal fulfillment and overall health. As part of that trend, more women are letting their hair turn gray naturally but still want hairstyles that are chic and attractive. Many choose shorter styles partly to suit their active lifestyles and because they can be easier to take care of, but what are the best short cuts for gray hair?
Fine and Thinning Hair
To minimize thinning hair, try a short bob cut with side-swept bangs, which also can help hide forehead wrinkles or a high forehead. Bobs are easy maintenance, requiring only gentle blow-drying after shampooing.
Minimizing Expression or Sagging Jaw Lines
Cut your hair in layers that are shorter around your face than in back to soften your facial features and any expression lines. Style the layers up and away from your face with a round brush to add lift to a drooping jaw line.
Camouflaging an Aging Neck Line
Choose a style that keeps hair long near year ears and in back down to your shoulders, which will help soften a drawn neck area. Such a style also accentuates features like sparkling eyes or high cheek bones by diverting attention away from the neck.
Using Face Shape
Although gray hair structure is slightly thicker and coarser, the main difference between pigmented and gray hair is simply the presence (or lack) of color. Therefore, you can think about gray hair as just another color and just chose styles that flatter your face shape.
A square face has a wide forehead and strong wide jawline and can appear rectangular if your face is narrow. With a side square face, choose a style that adds height to the top and low volume on the sides. To soften the corners, use bangs or a forehead fringe, along with a gentle curl inward at the jawline. With a narrow square face, add curls on the side to give the illusion of wideness. Basically, with both shapes think width and volume.
A pear-shaped face has a narrow forehead and wide jawline, lending itself to shorter, voluminous hairstyles. Layered cuts with lots of curl and lift on top provide balance. A graduated bob that falls to the chin is a good choice, or try a wispy design to soften edges. Tuck hair behind behind your ear to avoid drawing attention to your cheeks.
Diamond-shaped faces have a wide forehead and narrow jawline and chin. Choose a style with fringe or bangs, a blunt cut around the chin and some waviness to balance out your face.
Round faces are wider at the cheeks with softer corners along the jawline and forehead. Use a layered style with maximum lift on top and minimum volume on the side to lengthen a rounder face. Shag is a good style or choose sideburn wisps
Faces shaped like hearts are wide at the temples and narrow at the jawline, with a small, delicate chin.This shape requires a softer, curlier style, and chin-length cuts work well. Side-slanted bangs will draw attention away from your jaw.
Oval faces are wider at the cheekbones than the forehead or jaw and are flattered by almost any style.
Hair Care Tips
Choose a moisturizing shampoo to soften and smooth gray hair, making it appear lustrous. And use a a formula geared for gray once a week to counteract yellowing caused by sun, pollutants, hard water, and smoke--but no more than once a week because those formulas contain a blue tint that can cause hair to look purple.
Get a deep-conditioning treatment at your salon regularly and follow up at home with a weekly deep-conditioning treatment. Choose rich, moisturizing formulas made for color-treated hair.
Use a clear gloss or glaze monthly to coat the cuticle and help boost shine. Choose gels and mousses that are clear because the dyes in colored styling products can tarnish gray hair.
If your gray hair is healthy, use a flatiron or a dryer and a round brush to style it straight and create shine. Otherwise, avoid heat styling as much as possible, as well as perming, hair accessories and any other rough treatment.