These 25 Hair Mistakes Are Making You Look Older

Hair is a personal thing: What might work on one woman might not fit another. There are so many variables that make a style look "good." It all depends on your face shape, your bone structure, and most importantly, your attitude. While one woman might look incredible in a pixie cut, another might look stunning in waist-length gray hair. And depending on her attitude, these looks can make her look youthful and bright. 

1. Ignoring Thin Hair

As women get older, their hair naturally begins to thin. If you're experiencing that thinness but are still wearing the same hairstyles you did decades before, you might feel unsatisfied with the change. Long hair can look stringy, and even short hair with the wrong haircut can look straggly. Don't ignore your thinning hair, and instead have an in-depth talk with your stylist to see what would look best. They might have ideas about layers, angles, and lengths that would work well with your new texture.

2. Forgetting Layers

Don't forget layers! While some woman can totally pull off the one-length look, it often requires a lot of work not to look drab. Sleek, straight hair in one length looks chic, but if you're not one to stand in front of the mirror for an hour perfecting your hairstyle, then this could be a tricky look to pull off. Thinning hair has more volume with layers, and it adds texture and bounce to the look. It makes your hairstyle lighter and more complimentary.

3. Having Too Short Layers

Well-placed layers can help thinning hair have more volume, mainly because your hair won't hang as heavily as it would if it was all one length. But you have to get the correct kind of layers to avoid dowdiness. Having too short layers can make your hair look even thinner and give it a choppy quality, which is quite aging. You want to get hidden layers around your hair, and avoid short ones around the crown. This will add volume and natural texture.

4. Heavy Bangs

Some women love heavy bangs, and if you're one of them, keep on doing it! Bangs are a personal look, and their effect varies depending on your face shape and bone structure, so it just might be perfect for you. But if you've got forehead-hiding bangs and feel like they make you look older than you are, there's a good reason for that. Heavy bangs tend to close off the face and make your eyes appear smaller. Plus, the blunt chop creates a hard line, which isn't as flattering as wispy, face-framing fringe.

5. Going Too Dark

Choosing your hair color depends on your skin tone — women with darker complexions look beautiful with dark hair, but that same shade can look severe on women with fair skin. Lighter hair, on all skin tones, looks more youthful because it brightens your complexion and is a gentler look. Plus, if you're not ready to grow out your silver hair yet, dark hair really accentuates any gray hairs growing out. It's just easier all around to choose a lighter hair color.

6. You Have No Highlights

Not everyone colors their hair. But if you do color your hair, try to avoid going with just one tone all over. Whether it's a dark hair color or blonde shade, skipping highlights can make your hair look flat and severe. Highlights help to give your hair movement, brighten your complexion, and frame your face beautifully. They are like contouring for your hair, and those highlights can make your hair appear fuller, more vibrant, and younger. One flat color can wash you out.

7. Using Ashy Tones

No matter which hair color you choose, there are certain tones that will make your complexion look dull or faded. While that's not a good look on any age group of women, having the appearance of dull skin when you're older adds unnecessary years to your complexion.  Because of that, try to avoid ashy tones when coloring your hair. The ashy colors can create a grayish cast, whereas warm colors create more light and shine. So avoid those cool shades!

8. Too Much Volume

Bouncy, voluminous hair is beautiful, but beware of having too much of a good thing. Since hair gets thinner as we age, many women believe they need lots of volume to combat that look. But when you over-tease your hair or add too much height at the crown, the hairstyle is instantly aging. It looks old-fashioned and matronly, especially when most of the volume is concentrated at the crown. You don't want to look like you're wearing your hair like a hat — instead you want to look like your hair is full and healthy.

9. Too Little Volume

On the other end of the spectrum, you also don't want to have too little volume and have your hair plastered to your head. Flat hair can look too severe, and it can also call more attention to prominent facial features. If you love a bold, drastic look, then have at it! There are plenty of women who can pull off a look like this effortlessly. But if you tried this style and feel like it's aging you, try to add a little more volume and see if that changes things. Blow dry your hair upside down, use mousse, and tease your hair a little around the crown to add just a little bit of volume.

10. You Stick With Dated Styles

You might have loved the Farrah Fawcett look from the '70s or the big, bold hair of the '80s, but if you're still wearing those looks in the 2020s, then you're going to look dated. And wearing old-fashioned hair from decades past definitely adds years. If you're not one to experiment with hairstyles each year, try picking a classic cut that has a timeless quality, like a bob or a lob. It still looks contemporary, while giving you the stability you crave.

11. You Have No Face Framing Layers

Your hair should help to soften your face, which is why face framing layers are key to looking vibrant. When you don't have any, your cut can look severe and also pull your face down. If you ask for face framing layers that begin around your cheekbones, they will not only help your cheekbones pop, but they will also act like an instant face lift. The layers will add body around your face, and help frame your best features beautifully and naturally.

12. Too Much Hairspray

As hair thins and it becomes more and more difficult to hold onto volume, many women give their hairstyle an extra spritz (or 12) of hairspray. But this isn't the '80s anymore, and having stiff and crunchy hair makes you look dated. Because of that, using too much hairspray can be very aging because it heralds back to an old-fashioned look. Body and movement are essential for beautiful hair, so go easy on the hairspray and look for formulas with flexible hold.

13. Too Much Frizz

Frizz can be quite appealing depending on your personality. If you're bohemian and carefree, that natural look can make you look beautiful and approachable. But if you have a sleek or tidy personality (and fashion sense,) frizz can just look out of place and unkempt. Lots of frizz signals drying, brittle hair, which is why it can age you if you don't take care of it. Make sure you moisturize your locks, give them plenty of hair masks, and then gloss your flyaways down before leaving the house. 

14. Blown Back Hair

Massive, blown back hair has the tendency to look like you just got out of a wind tunnel. Styles with such high volume tend to look matronly and old-fashioned, which is why they often add years to your look.

15. Wearing It Too Tight

On the flip side, wearing your hair too tight can also backfire. Don't get us wrong, there are plenty of women who can pull off the tight, slicked-back look while still looking elegant and fresh-faced. But like with most hairstyles, that all comes down to personality. If that's a look you enjoy, then keep on rocking it. If you tried it and feel like something is off, it just might not be the look for you. Tight hairstyles are severe and put all the focus on your face. A more subtle look softens your face — think shorter layers falling around your cheeks, or tendrils coming down from your temples. Half-up, half-down hairstyles are also extremely flattering.

16. Overly Stylized Hair

Overly stylized chignons and coiffures can make you look old fashioned because they offer no movement to the hair. The style looks stiff and frozen, and locked into place with a full can of hairspray. It negates any softness, and so can seem quite severe. A more youthful hairstyle is gentler, and doesn't have ceiling-reaching volume. Try to choose more subtle hairstyles that have a lot more movement. 

17. Highlight Positioning

It's not enough to slap a couple of highlights on your hair — their positioning matters, too. Highlights in your hair act a lot like highlighter for your face. Depending on where you put them, they can help brighten your complexion and bring focus to the features you love. The highlights around your face and crown should be the brightest, helping bring warmth to your complexion. The darker hair colors should be in the bottom and under the top layer of your hair to add dimension.

18. You Don't Take Care Of Your Split Ends

Smooth and glossy hair signifies healthy and youthful tresses, so walking around with brittle split ends broadcasts the opposite effect. The frailer your hair looks the older you look, so make sure to regularly trim your ends in order to avoid ragged split ends.

19. Over-Styling Your Layers

Layers are great because they add volume and movement to your hair. But you don't want to go to the extreme and over-style your layers. While flipping them out helps to add some volume, going overboard can make you look old-fashioned.

20. You Let Your Color Fade

Graying hair loses its color faster because it can't hold onto pigmentation like it used to. And faded color might appear aged and dull, which doesn't do you any favors. In order to combat this, request a gloss in between your hair appointments to help boost your hair color and add a dose of shine.

21. Going Too Short

Many women like to cut their hair shorter as they get older because it's easier to manage as the hair thins. But there is such a thing as cutting your hair too short. You have to keep your face shape in mind, and then choose the look that best suits you. Some women look better with longer hair, no matter their age, and that's what suits them. Some look amazing with short bobs, and others with pixie cuts. Don't cut your hair because you think long hair is inappropriate for your age group — do what's best for your face shape and what makes you happiest.

22. You Use Products With Alcohol

Since gray hair is naturally drier, you need to avoid hair products with alcohol in them to avoid drying out your hair further. Using hairspray and mousse with alcohol will make it look brittle and crunchy, which will add years to your hairstyle.

23. Tight Ringlets

Tight ringlets look dated, and their tight coils don't give hair the image of movement or softness. Instead, opt for softer waves that add bounce and flow to your hairstyle.

24. Stick Straight Hair

There's nothing wrong with stick straight hair — there are plenty of women that look beautiful in it, like Nicole Kidman or Demi Moore. But if you tried the look and felt 10 years older, there's a reason for that. The severe lines bring acute attention to your face, and don't help to soften your look. That's why a blowout with some bounce and volume is a much more flattering style.

25. Lacking Confidence

In the end, confidence in your hairstyle is the most youthful factor in rocking a new look. You can wear any kind of hairstyle you want — from doing a sleek bob, to wearing waist length hair, to finally trying pastel locks. All that matters is that the style brings you joy and makes you feel beautiful. If that's the case, then that confidence will make you glow, and that will make you look more youthful than any hairstyle from a salon. Enjoy experimenting, and land on what makes you happiest!