The 8 Hair Mistakes That Make You Look Older

A bad hairstyle isn’t always so easy to identify—and, chances are, if you don’t have a total hacksaw job, you probably think you are doing everything right with your current look (hello, high school yearbook photo).

But, according to Aaron Grenia, owner at IGK salons, which recently opened its first Manhattan outpost at the Dream Downtown, there are certain mistakes you may be making without even knowing it. Scarier still? These strand snafus may be making you look a lot older.

Here are eight mistakes that might be costing you.

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Mistake 1: Letting it Grow Out too Long

According to Grenia, there is one common style mistake that he sees women make time and time again: not getting a haircut often enough. “Even just a trim will keep hair in its best shape. Split ends climb up the hair, so, for long hair especially, I recommend a trim every seven weeks.”

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Mistake 2: Sporting a Color That Washes You Out

Sure, color is a totally separate category that could go on for endless contents in the story of hairstyles, but the ultimate way you can add years to your look: sporting hair color that is way too blond.

“It can wash out a woman’s skin tone,” Grenia says. “Having a natural root base with subtle balayage highlights around the face and ends will bring out your eyes and skin.”

Mistake 3: Out-of-Date Do

Even if you’ve kicked your hairspray obsession and mile-high bangs to the curb, chances are you may still be making a very common hair mistake that looks more tired than on trend.

The biggest don’t, according to Grenia: a dated, over-layered haircut and bad, stripy highlights.

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Mistake 4: Not Refreshing Your Bangs

What is the fastest thing you can do to update your hairstyle? Change your fringe. “It is an easy fix for updating your hairstyle,” Grenia says. “Or, simply switch up how you part your hair—it can change the feel of a cut.”

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Mistake 5: Trying to Recreate the Look You Got at the Salon—Minus the Proper Tools

This one is a little hard to get your head (or hair, literally) wrapped around. If you like the look you get at the salon, you should still like it when you get home and do the same thing, right? Jasmine Anna Galazka, leading stylist at the Warren Tricomi Flagship Salon in the Plaza Hotel, NYC and educator for Shu Uemura and Kerastase, says it's not that simple—especially when it comes to operating the almighty hot tool. "The biggest mistake people make is when they try to recreate what their stylists have done in the salon at home without being taught the proper way, especially when it comes to using hot tools. Those perfect hair-sprayed-to-death 'prom curls,' as I like to call them, are a complete no-no. Not only are they circa '92, but they are super unnatural. Instead, use a curling iron to create a bend to the hair, instead of an actual curl from roots to ends."

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Mistake 6: Not Properly Drying Your Hair in the Morning

Galazka says doing a bad blow-dry can sometimes really backfire. "It can leave your ends looking frizzy or lead to unwanted volume if you have curly hair. Having the right tools—the proper brush, blow-dryer and product—and being patient will lead you to success."

Mistake 7: Faded Color

It's not really new information that color can be really hard to keep up with. "Faded color might appear aged," Galazka says. "Instead, opt for revitalizing your shade by going to your colorist for a gloss in-between visits. But we also walk a fine line between wanting a rooted color and then, not coloring your hair for three-months-plus." Her tip: If your natural root color exceeds more then four inches, it's aging and it's time to color that mane. 

Mistake 8: Ends That Are Fried

Keeping the ends of your hair fresh will always make you look younger and more polished. "A lot of times we do so much mechanical damage to our hair, we forget to treat it," Galazka says, and suggests that, if you aren't ready for a trim, revitalizing the midshaft to ends by going to the salon once a month and doing a deep-conditioning treatment. "Not only will this keep your strands looking shiny but younger-looking as well."

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  • Moi
    Posted on

    I have very light skin and I went gray and am very happy with it. Everybody says it took ten years off. My gray hair is so soft and healthy, I'd forgotten what natural hair felt like after coloring it for so long. Dye can make your hair stiff and dull and it ages you and is a rats nest when you wash it. However with gray hair a good cut and maintenance is crucial. I do have it styled more and wear more makeup with gray hair. Also, no roots, and I'm not adding toxins to the environment.

  • Kim
    Posted on

    Great article! Very well thought out and written with detailed info. Also I agree about the dyed black --well said!! Enjoyed all the comments except the one about never dying your hair. So ignorant

  • Dana Delikat
    Posted on

    Great article! I am going to be 57 this year. I had my hair color blonde and it had grown out somewhat longer, with white hair in the front of my crown. I went yesterday to get white/platinum highlights so my growth would blind in. I also told my hairdresser (as she could see with the grown seam in the back) my hair underneath had become a slate like color. I refreshed my hair with a long stack in the back, and staying longer in the front, with low lights and some platinum highlights. It is darker than I wanted, and I am afraid it is aging me. I am fair skinned. Wondering if I should add more highlights. Thoughts?

  • 4Gigi4
    Posted on

    I think as you age there are several factors that determine if you color or don't color. The biggest being your skin color. If your skin is darker and more olive, and your natural gray is a pretty color gray, then GO GRAY. But remember, fair to medium completions, with no olive tones, look washed out with gray hair. If your one of the lucky ones that your gray is a beautiful rich shade with darker tones....Lucky you. If not, your going to need to use a toner to get a pretty, attractive color. I know older men who use a toner every time they shower to take away brassy tones. (just takes a little squirt applied to hair, then towel dry). End result have beautiful hair after 50, your most likely going to need to color in some way. Just a fact of like. And don't let pics of older models with beautiful gray hair fool you, it's NOT their natural color....they are models, they have been sitting in a stylists chair for at least 2 hours before the photos of them were taken, their makeup is applies with shades and tones to highlight the hair. Nothing you'd do on a daily basis!!

  • Neena sharma
    Posted on

    wow! I liked this blog. Impressive information shared, I really dont know about this.But I am worried about my white hair please provide me some information, how to rid from it. I will be very thankful to you. Thank you so much

  • Liz
    Posted on

    Both my mother (may she rest in peace) and my husband (who is very much alive) have very, very dark or black hair that is fading to very light gray or white. The effect is AMAZING, in a good way. IMHO. I've dyed my hair with Manic Panic, or other natural dyes that, while not "permanent", are very very gentle on hair and actually condition and make hair BETTER (unless you bleach your hair.) I occasionally use a box dye, but I despise the ammonia smell and the slight burning sensation (as I have sensitive, pale skin), so it's not my go-to way to accomplish my desired color. I'm over 35. I'm not going to stop dying my hair unnatural colors. :)

  • susan
    Posted on

    don't color. your natural color is what's best for you at any age. color is so bad for your hair and just doesn't look real - no mater how expensive or talented your artist is.

  • terri
    Posted on

    I do have to agree with you, dark hair and roots that are ageing grey? yes, bad look for us, even if we are not that old, so is there a solution? I have been coloring my hair at least every two months, crazy, yes my own daughter says mom your hair is going to fall out from coloring it so much is she right? is there a better way for coloring hair with ageing hair that shows up every month or two?

  • Jay
    Posted on

    You forgot to mention the ageing effect of black hair. There is NOTHING worse than dyed black hair in anyone over 35. The skin colour fades & it so the hair colour looks ridiculous. To say nothing of the pale roots against jet black hair -looks as though they are balding -totally gross!

  • Katie
    Posted on

    Good one!!!!!👏😕☺️😌

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