I always see articles in magazines warning me about getting in a hairstyle “rut,” or keeping a certain hairstyle for too long – long past the time it flatters my features. These articles warn that not changing your hair can make your face look older, your wrinkles more pronounced and your hair unhealthy. Okay… so how am I supposed to tell if it’s just not working?
If you’re anything like me, you have probably had the same hairstyle for 10 years or more. Sorry, rushing from my kids’ swim lessons to work to the grocery store and back again doesn’t leave me much time to think about it. Plus, I was always of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school of thought. Well, as it turns out, your hairstyle might be more broken than you think. Here are some easy indicators that can tell you when it’s time to switch up your style.
You have the same hair as your favorite ’90s sitcom star
Sure, “The Rachel” became famous for a reason, but if you followed the trend in the ’90s and you still resemble Jennifer Aniston’s character on “Friends,” it’s time to switch it up. Same goes for any other style you got during the Clinton administration – as a rule of thumb, you should switch your style at least every five years. Even if this just means adding bangs or growing them out, it will help you figure out what works best and adapt to any changes in your face shape. Did you lose weight? Gain a few pounds? Your face shape can change, and your hairstyle should adapt to make it look its best.
If you always wear it up
Sure, you loved having long hair in your 20s, but if you find yourself pulling it up into a ponytail every day, it’s probably time for a change. Whether you go super-short (a cut you physically cannot wear up) or simply add in a few shorter layers, you might find yourself wearing it down and styled more often if you try something new. Getting a shorter cut might also help if you hate how long it takes to style your hair.
Trim ends, trim years from your age
My personal hair rut is characterized by getting the same style year after year at the salon. Other times, I simply haven’t gotten around to making an appointment, and find myself struggling through my hair routine because of split ends. Split ends may be kind of annoying and unattractive when you’re young, but when you get to be my age, they can age your hair (thus aging YOU!) This is a whole other kind of hair rut – one that is easily remedied, luckily!
Always make an appointment for another cut (even if it’s just a trim) for six to eight weeks when you visit the salon. Keeping the ends neat makes your hair look healthier overall, trimming years from your estimated age.
Do you like it in your cut rut?
Okay, maybe you’ve had the same general haircut for more than five years, but it still really flatters your face, you love styling it and it’s healthy as can be. Still want a change? Choose one that doesn’t involve scissors.
Getting a few highlights can brighten up your face and make your tresses look more energetic, but a whole color change can be fun to try, too. If you want a temporary change, head for the heat styling tools. Soft, loose waves always look carefree and youthful, and can easily achieved with a 2-inch curling iron. If your hair is naturally curly, try straightening it for a refreshing change.