Look younger in an hour with simple changes to the style and color of your hair. Check out these tress transformations, compliments of the pros at the Rita Hazan Salon in New York City, and learn how to turn back the clock—today!
Catherine Winters, 58, writer
Before: Catherine’s too-blunt bangs overpowered her beautiful blue eyes and bone structure, and her naturally almost jet- black shade was too severe against her fair skin—highlighting every wrinkle and brown spot.
“The color makes me feel sophisticated yet spunky.”
After: Graduated layers at the crown create fullness and help highlight her features. “Fine hair can look flat and straggly if it isn’t layered,” says stylist Luden Henriquez. To warm up her complexion and take the focus off her freckles, colorist Adrian Wallace applied a slightly lighter base color and caramel highlights. “It’s not a big difference, just enough to make her look softer and younger—but still allow her eyes to pop.” Says Catherine, “This layering gives my fine hair volume—and a touch of mischief.” Bonus: Because dye swells the hair shaft, her tresses look thicker too.
Maria Perez, 56, legal assistant
Before: Maria’s hair was long but shapeless and hard for her to style (that’s the reason she often wore it pulled back). Its orangy tone—a common scenario when women with dark hair go lighter—made her warm, olive skin sallow.
“My husband jokes that I look so much younger, he feels like a cradle robber.”
After: Face-framing layers add softness and accentuate Maria’s eyes and cheekbones, while longer layers throughout the rest of her hair build youthful body and movement. “The fullness also gives her face a little lift—not that she needs it,” says Henriquez. To counteract brassiness, Wallace brought Maria’s hair back to her natural rich brunette color but wove in golden highlights to boost brightness and keep the hair color from looking flat. “The depth of the shade makes her skin more radiant and her eye color more intense,” Wallace says. In fact, Maria’s fabulous results disprove the general rule that you should always go lighter as you get older.
Eileen Gorzelic, 55, executive secretary
Before: Eileen’s blunt bob was a bit staid and didn’t show off her newly prominent cheekbones—the result of her 20-pound weight loss. And as often happens when blondes highlight their hair, Eileen’s had become too light, and the lack of contrast washed out her fair skin.
“I love my new color! I don’t want to sound vain, but people have said it makes me look younger.”
After: “Taking the length up a notch and adding layers updated and softened her look,” says stylist Juan Carlos Maciques. Rich, buttery highlights and subtle midtone lowlights create depth and the illusion of thickness. “That same fine-tuning also gave her skin a lovely glow,” says colorist John Whelan.
Leslie Egan, 40, homemaker
Before: After wearing her hair the same way for 30-plus years, Leslie was ready for anything with her makeover—even lopping off her long locks! Stylist Eugene Toye nixed that idea—”It’s too gorgeous!”—and instead gave her ‘do a sexy update.
“Even my daughter told me how much she loved my hair. Not a common thing to hear from a 12-year-old!”
Before: Toye first layered the blunt, heavy ends to create sexy swing, then cut stronger bangs (wispy can be aging because it looks like hair is thinning). Plus, as Leslie (happily!) notes, a fuller fringe “is better at hiding forehead furrows.” A base shade of rich chestnut brown and a smattering of caramel highlights brighten Leslie’s skin tone but are close enough to her natural color to make maintenance easy—a must for busy moms, says colorist Carrie McCard.