A haircut won't make a 45-year-old 25 again.
But the right haircut and an updated approach to skincare can, if nothing else, change how a person feels about their own appearance, and in the process make you feel more energized.
Looking to upgrade your look? Some local beauty professionals offered their tips for looking and feeling better ― and maybe even a few years younger.
First thing's first ― talk to your hair stylist.
Rachel Aidan at Aidan James Salon (36 Northwest Blvd. in Nashua, 598-0795, aidanjamessalon.com) said her number one tip for better hair is to have a thorough consultation ― about cut, about color and about maintenance. In particular, she said many people over-wash their hair and use products, like shampoos with surfactin, that are tough on hair.
“It can be really abrasive,” Aidan said of the chemical, which she equated to using dish soap in your hair.
For those looking to change color, she recommended staying within two to three color levels of your natural hair color to maintain a more natural look.
For a younger look, consider bangs, says Joni Stamoulis of Arcadya Salon and Day Spa (989 Cilley Road in Manchester, 644-1355, arcadyasalonanddayspa.com). A side sweeping bang is trendy and keeps focus away from fine lines (Google "side swept bangs" and you'll see examples on actresses such as Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston). Stamoulis also suggests considering highlights, which can soften your look and add dimension if they are strategically placed.
Stamoulis echoed advice of several experts when she stressed the importance of keeping hair hydrated and using restorative oils and deep conditioning treatments. (And, she added, use a protective agent when using hot hair styling tools.)
In addition to not skimping on the products, stylists recommended keeping a regular appointment with your salon.
“Our hair gets old as well, so if you skimp out on haircuts, it’s going to get damaged and frayed at the ends,” said Charsty Delangie of Not So Plain Jane's Salon and Spa (155 Dow St. No. 102 in Manchester, 622-5971, notsoplainjanes.com). “It’s going to be like a ribbon effect if you were to pull on it and it frays and looks jagged.”
Delangie also mentioned that your body and its hormones change and with it, your hair will change too. The volume or texture of your hair can be affected.
“It’s a no brainer,”
She recommends a regular haircut every six weeks and a regular reconstruction treatment every two months.
And when the cut and color are done, don't rush out of the salon. Mogi Zagdsuren of Mogi'z Hair Salon and Art Gallery (383 East Dunstable Road in Nashua, 204-5690, mogizalon.com) said sticking around for the blow dry is important, because it can show any problems with the cut or color that may then be able to be fixed on the spot.
Give them a hand
The "manny" might be a part of a trip to the salon, but hands can otherwise be forgotten. If you're looking to project a more youthful image, remember to consider this second most visible part of your body.
“A dead give away for age is your hands,” Stamoulis of Arcadya said.
According to Stamoulis, when a hand is exposed to sun you’ll be able to see the wrinkles and spots since the skin on your hand is very fine.
“Exfoliating is huge. It gets the dead skin off your hands and it’ll look smoother, younger and glowing.”
She recommends using a hand cream with an SPF of at least 30 and mixing in a bit of foundation to conceal any age spots on your hands. Also, when considering polish, stay away from blue tones as they can bring out veins in your hands.
Keeping your nails short and polished is what Stamoulis recommends. The new nail trend right now is a scuobal. Stamoulis said it is a cross between a square and oval shape.
Shellac nail polish was tops on the list of several stylists.
“The polish is cured in a UV light,” said Sonia Biddle of Cassandra’s Salon (225 Daniel Webster Hwy, Nashua, 888-3300, cassandrasalon.com).
Another proponent of moisturizing and sunscreen for hands, Biddle also recommended using a cuticle oil cream.
Beyond Lip Smackers
Between no makeup and stage-ready face paint there exists a happy medium that can accentuate your best features and help hide or soften the aspects of your face and skin you're less than thrilled with.
Danielle Bouthiette of Arcadya stresses the importance of matching skin tone and make-up tone to avoid that make-up-y line on the edge of your face. And, consider the occasion ― highlights and contouring (which make-up stylists at most salons can demonstrate and explain) can shape your face and match the level of dressiness (your everyday work look, for example, or a more formal evening look). She also suggests people pay attention to their eyebrows (fill in any gaps as the eyebrows shape your face and complete your look) and sticking to warmer tones ― such as an apricot blush ― for a younger look.
Adding to Bouthiette's advice about contouring, Biddle suggests under-eye highlights and bronzer (which a stylist can help you choose and learn to apply). Biddle also recommends mascara ― it adds oomph to eyes and helps them stand out a bit.
Show some skin
Good make-up, of course, starts with good skin, the pros agree.
“Washing your face is a significant part of the battle,” Aidan of Aidan James said. She and others recommended picking products suited specifically to your skin needs.
Hydration (i.e., drinking water), moisturizing and sun screen were on nearly everybody's list of musts for keeping your skin healthy and younger looking.
The pros also suggested treatments ― facials (everyone's recommendation) as well as peels, microdermabrasion and other salon treatments.
“Peels are great because they are non-invasive,” Bouthiette of Arcadya said.
Biddle of Cassandra's recommends the ultrasonic facial or the muscle toning treatment.
“[The muscle toning treatment] uses micro-currents to stimulate and tighten the muscles in your face,” Biddle said.
However, Biddle said that it’s imperative for people to take good care of their skin.
“The younger you start taking care of your skin, the better,” Biddle said. “It’s all about prevention.”
As seen in the January 9th, 2014 issue of The Hippo