When we talk about anti-aging, the latest skincare ingredients and dermatologist procedures immediately come to mind. But, I think that your hairstyle is just as important. The perfect anti-aging hairstyle can shave years off your appearance, by enhancing your best features, brightening your skin tone and giving off a fresh, modern and youthful vibe. That said, you’d think that of all people, I, a seasoned beauty editor, would be on top of my hair maintenance routine. But, like all supermoms, time slips away faster than sand slips through your hands and suddenly it’s been forever since I’ve done anything to my hair. It was beyond BLAH. Not only was I in desperate need of some shaping and lightening, but I was ready for a transformational hair makeover. I’m over this winter. I’m over my same-old-same-old long haircut with sweeping bangs. I’m just over it all. Perhaps, the winter blues have beat me down afterall. I craved a fresh, new anti-aging hairstyle. But, I didn’t want to do anything so drastic that no one would recognize me, including myself.
So who did I run to for help? The amazing hair colorist Rita Hazan, who works with such amazing celebs as Jennifer Lopez, Michelle Williams and Beyoncé, to name just a few, and owner of one of NYC’s busiest salons, the Rita Hazan Salon. As soon as I arrived, Rita pulled over hairstylist Jennifer Matos, and together, they masterminded my anti-aging spring hair makeover. “If you can’t get into the salon to take care of your roots regularly, then let’s just work with it. I’ll keep your roots dark, but then add some brighter bits that’ll lighten up your face. It’ll be a more polished, sophisticated version of the beachy, surfer girl highlighted look,” said Rita. As for the cut, we all agreed I should try a shoulder-length cut with some long layers to add texture.
Whenever you change both your haircut and your hair color during the same salon visit, they should always work on your haircut first. This gives the colorist a clear vision of how to use color to play up and enhance the angles of the haircut. Jennifer sectioned off the front half of my hair, then snipped three inches off the back. Next, she cut the front sections, but left them a little bit longer for a cool, edgy asymmetrical effect. She also added long layers all over and cut in long bangs and cheekbone-level.
Next, Rita started working on my hair color. First, she applied a semi-permanent vegetable dye two shades darker than my natural hair color on my roots to soften the obvious demarcation of regrowth. She also pulled some of the dye down through the length of a few random sections of hair, creating lowlights that will enhance the depth of the overlook. The dye was left on for five minutes, then rinsed out. Next, she used bleach and foils to paint in brighter highlights all around, especially around my face. After 10 minutes, I went to get shampooed, conditioned and was ready for styling.
I wasn’t a big mousse user, until now. Jennifer massaged a palmful for Oribé Grandiose Plumping Mousse, $35, onto my roots and down the mid-length of my hair. Next, she rubbed a dime-size dab of Oribé Gold Lust Nourishing Oil, $46, onto my ends. “This will give your roots and face-framing pieces more volume and texture, but the ends will be soft and flexible,” she explained. Jennifer tackled blow-drying my bangs first, using a small natural bristle brush to minimize damage and tame the small fuzzy strands. (Metal bristles don’t bend as easily when you’re tugging on hair, so they often snap fragile, fine hair.)
Once my bangs were sleek and smooth, Jennifer switched to a large round natural bristle brush to smooth out the rest of my hair. To create more volume, she held the top layers straight up while pointing the nozzle directly onto my roots. Once she was done blowdrying my hair, I was really excited about my new look, but she wasn’t done just yet…
To create gorgeous, textured waves, Jennifer used a large one-and-a-quarter-inch curling. To do, take a one-inch section of hair, starting a few inches down from your roots, wrap it around the barrel of the curling iron. “Always wrap the hair away from your face so it falls very naturally and brings your face forward,” says Jennifer. Hold the hair around the curling iron for five seconds, release, then pull the ends of that section down for a few seconds. “This softens the curl to create a soft wave,” explains Jennifer.
The finishing touch: a misting for Oribé Dry Texturizing Spray, $42, to enhance the texture and give the style a bit of hold. “This spray is amazing because you can’t overdo it. It always leaves your hair soft and moveable,” says Jennifer.
And voila, what I now call the best anti-aging hairstyle ever, really. “The effect of softer roots growing into lighter highlights is a prettier, more age-appropriate version of the surfer look. So it’s youthful, but you don’t look like you’re trying too hard to look young. I looks expensive with a purpose,” says Rita. Best of all, because the roots are supposed to be on the dark side, this look will grow it nicely and I (hopefully) can go another four or five months without having to go back into the salon. Thank you Rita and Jennifer! Now, I’m ready to hit happy hour….