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The way a woman wears her hair is part of her identity. The cut, the color — even the way she parts it — contribute to her overall look. Like clothing and shoe styles, hairstyle trends change, and so does our hair’s texture and color as we age. Hairstyles that once brought out your eyes or enhanced the contours of your face may do the exact opposite now. Updating your look, making subtle changes, or choosing a whole new hairstyle, can enhance your appearance in ways you never expected.

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Super-long, one-length styles may make you look older

If your long hair is dry, thinning, or has no shape, your hairstyle may need an update. Or, if you pile your long hair in a bun on top of your head or pull it back in a tight ponytail every day, a new hairstyle may be a good idea. Long hair can also age you. Try a shorter haircut that brings back volume and gets rid of dry ends. The right cut flatters your face shape and brightens your skin tones. If you want to keep some length, opt for a long, layered bob or long layers that work with the natural pattern of your hair.

super long shape hair yuriyzhuravov / Getty Images
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Tight-perms damage hair health

Many women who’ve worn perms are choosing to ditch them as they get older. Instead of tight curls that require harsh chemicals, they’re opting for textured waves that use gentler chemicals and larger curling rollers. The result is a much softer, natural look that’s easy to style on your own once you’ve left the hairstylist’s chair. Textured waves make your hair look healthier, add just the right amount of volume, and can easily transition from a laid-back look to a more glamorous one. Plus, they work with longer styles as well as shorter and mid-length ones.

softer natural curl texture waves CoffeeAndMilk / Getty Images
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Blunt cuts and geometric styles may age you

Hairstyle gurus advise women to choose a cut that creates lift and movement around the face. Trimmed or choppy edges and layers accomplish the job and are easy to care for. Not all women can pull off blunt cuts and severe geometric styles like they did when the styles were at their peak. Tousled bobs soften facial contours. If you’re looking for a shorter cut, consider a French bob to add volume and texture.

blunt cuts trimmed french bob Hello World / Getty Images
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Try a different style of bangs

Different bang versions fall in and out of style. Chances are, you either love them, or you hate them. While bangs can be flattering, they can also accentuate wider faces. Audrey Hepburn’s baby bangs made a resurgence a decade ago, and then again in recent years, but they can be tough to pull off. Beautiful, thick, straight, big bangs like those Zooey Deschanel wears take a lot of work to keep them looking stylish. If you’ve always worn bangs and prefer to keep them, it may be time to go for a softer style. Consider a longer, side-swept version for a classic, sophisticated look that’s easier to style and maintain between trips to the salon.

softer side swept bangs ajr_images / Getty Images

Do away with complicated styling routines

There was a time when women suffered through long, difficult hair routines to create a specific look or to manage their everyday hairstyle. Weekly “set-and-style” trips to the beauty shop, sitting under a hairdryer, and using a can of hairspray were common practices. If it takes you an hour to style your hair every day, consider updating it with one that works well with scrunching and air-drying techniques, such as beach waves. Compact, structured styles add years to your appearance and hide your best features.

complicated styling techniques gaffera / Getty Images

Keep the mullet, but update it

If you think of the 80s mullet as an iconic hairstyle that should never go away, you’re not alone. This hairstyle has its own fan club, and modern style icons sport a wide array of fun and interesting versions today. But if your mullet looks more like Billy Ray Cyrus’ and less like Miley’s version, you probably need some changes. Texture, balanced choppiness, and a textured fringe create a modern twist to the traditional mullet cut. Keep the sides longer for more of a retro-70s, shaggier look.

80s iconic hairstyle mullet miley Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Change up perfectly straight parts

Straight, down-the-middle, and severe side parts are not very flattering on most people. Go for a soft, irregular version instead. Not only will a revamped part update your look, but it can also transform your appearance. If you’ve worn a symmetrical middle-part most of your adult life, try a new, relaxed side-part or transform it into an off-center, middle-part. Changing from a middle part to a side part can also add volume. If you normally wear a side-part, try changing it to a deeper part to add some dramatic appeal.

straight symmetrical middle side part PeopleImages / Getty Images

There is such a thing as too much volume

In the 1960s and 70s, big hair was iconic. Brigette Bardot, Raquel Welch, and a long list of supermodels inspired it. But the days of lacquered, teased-up hair have passed for the most part. While volume can be a good thing, overdoing it can cause women to look older than they are. Natural curls and waves enhance a woman’s hair texture and add movement and volume without all the fuss. Newer styling products are available that add oompf without causing stickiness or making your locks stiff and unmoving. Plus, they won’t damage your hair.

volume waves natural brunette Holubenko Nataliia / Getty Images

Refresh your Farrah Fawcett feathers

For decades, hairstylists have been updating and reimagining the flipped out, feathered locks that Farrah Fawcett unveiled on the television show, Charlie’s Angels. Because the style has re-emerged again and again each decade, some women have maintained the same look year after year. Without freshening it from time to time, your hairstyle may appear a bit dated. A medium-length cut, with a little volume at the roots and the sides flipped out, adds softness and revitalizes your look.

farrah flipped feathered medium redhead CoffeeAndMilk / Getty Images

The “V” shape cut isn’t always flattering

While some may claim the “V” cut is timeless, many stylists disagree. To achieve this style, the stylist layers the hair in shorter lengths in the front and tapers to longer strands in the back, which create the signature “V” look. The problem is, as it grows out, the cut quickly loses shape, and the numerous layers around the front weigh down the hair. The ends frizz and the hair in the back looks more like a tail. Instead, use layers throughout to achieve a more flattering style that isn’t hard to keep up between cuts.

shorter front tail back haircut eclipse_images / Getty Images

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