The Mistake: French Twist
Why it ages you: "This classic style can look very matronly if it's too slicked back and severe," says hairstylist Hailey Adickes. Think of it this way: "Rigidity is a hallmark of age, while flexibility is the sign of youth," adds salon owner Janine Jarman.
Do this instead: Update updos by giving your hair some texture before pulling it back, whether you're twisting it or not. Mist a texturising spray at your roots and loosely curl the rest of your hair with a large barrel curling iron before pulling it back, and don't secure it so tightly that it pulls at your hairline. The result: a more relaxed, youthful look, Adickes says.
The Mistake: Straight Strands
Why it ages you: Board-straight, single-length hair does nothing to soften the more angular look your face gets as you mature and lose fat beneath your skin, explains hairstylist David Gardner. "It highlights every imperfection, which we all have, regardless of age," he adds. It also exaggerates the limp quality hair gets after years of colouring and heat processing, says Dr Julia Tzu.
Do this instead: To soften the look, you'll want to frame your face - something you can do without visiting the salon. Create the illusion of layers by dividing the hair into three separate sections before blowing dry. Beginning with the bottom layer, use a paddle brush to roll hair back and away from your face so it looks like layers have been cut into the hair.
The Mistake: A Severe Centre Part
Why it ages you: "As you age, gravity's effect can draw the face down; the center part draws attention to that pulled-down look," Dujic says.
Do this instead: Part your hair a little further down the side of the hairline. You can ease into it by taking it a centimetre or two from the normal centre part, or, if you're feeling adventurous, go a whole inch to whichever side you find flatters you best, which will add volume at the part since the hair there isn't used to falling in that direction. If your hair refuses to stay put, bobby pin a bit of hair behind your ear until it's ready to cooperate.
The Mistake: Ballerina Bun
Why it ages you: With nothing to frame your face or soften the hairline, this look will draw attention to every line and wrinkles, explains Jarman. And if the bun itself is too small, it can make your face look bigger and hair thinner, she adds.
Do this instead: The key is to loosen it up for a more flattering, carefree effect. Using the thin end of a comb, lightly pull out some shorter hairs around the hairline to soften the look. As for a bigger bun, try a bulk-adding mesh bun shaper. The extra volume will slim your face, making it appear more petite and young, Jarman says.
The Mistake: Tight Ringlets
Why it ages you: Tight ringlets look dated - and all the product it takes to create them gives your look a stiff vibe instead of a fresh, youthful one, says Adickes.
Do this instead: Making naturally curly hair flatter your face at any age is all about the right product. "Instead of using a hard-hold mousse, try a curl cream," Adickes suggests. Scrunch a lighter option like Moroccan Oil into wet hair and blow dry with a diffuser nozzle. This simple routine will give your curls the bounce you want but with a softer hold.
The Mistake: Half-Up Ponytail
Why it ages you: If you're not careful, this style can backfire by making it seem like you're trying too hard to look young, says Adickes. A neatly clipped-back style has a school-girl association, and too much volume up top can give you a dated bouffant bump, she adds. "You want to find a happy medium where it doesn't look too contrived and is just a soft, simple style."
Do this instead: Leave a part in your hair for a more grown-up version of the half-up, half-down look, and leave most of your hair completely down, keeping the sections nearest your hairline from falling into your face. And when securing it in the back, be sure to use either small clear elastics or bobby pins for a subtle, sophisticated finish.
The Mistake: Overly Teased Hair
Why it ages you: Hair teased within an inch of its life crosses the line from "retro" to just plain dated, says Dujic.
Do this instead: Of course, voluptuous hair is flattering, but there are plenty of ways to do it without reaching for your teasing comb. For modern volume, use a round brush to lift hair at the root from the crown of your head through the ends of your hair as you blow dry, Dujic says. Immediately after drying, wrap sections of your hair around large Velcro rollers as it cools to lock in a smooth, bouncy effect.
The Mistake: Curled-Under Ends
Why it ages you: "It makes your face look wider and larger," says Gardner. The effect works against you because, as women age, the bottom portion of the face becomes fuller, Tzu says. The temples and cheekbones recede and the tip of the nose slopes downward, thanks to a combo of gravity and a lack of skin elasticity.
Do this instead: Draw attention upward by creating slimming volume at the top of the head, not the lower half of your face. Use a round brush to lift roots at the crown as you blow dry, but don't brush through to the ends to avoid the unflattering curled-under effect.