In Your 20s
WHAT’S GOING ON With your locks at their fullest and healthiest, “Now’s the time to experiment with modern, fashion forward hair,” says stylist Nick Arrojo of Arrojo Studio in New York City. Don’t fear color, heated appliances or styling products. In this decade, hair bounces back quickly. (A good conditioner, like Biolage Hydratherapie Conditioning Balm, and a heat protective spray, like Redken Hot Sets 22 Thermal Setting Mist, help, too.)
WHAT TO TRY Long locks, short crops and everything in-between. One-length styles (with few or no layers) tend to be more conservative, while shorter, layered choices are edgier. Visit your salon every six weeks to keep your cut and color fresh.
WHAT TO AVOID Anything too wild, if you work in a formal office. Take your cues from the women above you. “It’s important to choose a look that suits your workplace and career path,” says Aurelio Ayala, a Regis Creative Director.
In Your 30s
Easy does it
WHAT’S GOING ON If you’re juggling a career and kids, wash-and-wear hair is key. Accepting that your hair is curly (or straight) and working with it, not against it, will make styling quicker and easier.
WHAT TO TRY Short, choppy shags you can air-dry; shoulder-length styles with face-framing layers you can pull back. Hide the odd gray with a semi-permanent salon color, such as Sebastian Cellophanes. Do keep the hue natural.
WHAT TO AVOID High-maintenance styles that require too many products and tools; color that strays too far from your natural hue.
In Your 40s
WHAT’S GOING ON Your hair is finer, limper and, likely, grayer. No need to cut it all off-the “no long hair after 40″ rule is outdated. But working women may want a polished, short style.
WHAT TO TRY If your hair is still healthy, feel free to wear it just below the shoulders. Layers and bangs add volume and softness. If you’re quite gray, consider permanent color. (Try Pureology NanoWorks Shampoo and Hair Condition, with sunscreen and antioxidants, to extend the life of your color.)
WHAT TO AVOID Very long, one-length cuts will just drag down your features. A very dark or overly bright haircolor will wash you out.
Photos: Getty Images
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