Expert's Opinion

The Perfect Haircut Over 40

By Philip Pelusi, Internationally recognized stylist and product artist | April 11, 2011

Products and styles can turn back the clock.

The big 4 – 0! At this point in life you know who you are and express yourself through your chic, sophisticated look and this includes your hair. But the stakes are higher now. Over 40, the quality of your haircut, hair color and hair fabric now play a major role in what you can pull off hair wise. A few simple tips can keep you looking 10 years younger!

First, steer clear of helmet-like non moving styles, too formal looking updo's, bangs that are too short and too straight across and block-like haircuts.The best way to get the best haircut and style for your face shape and bone structure is to go see a professional hair stylist. But to ask for the perfect look, keep these few tips in mind. The old adage to go shorter as you get older is just that, out of date!

Actually slightly longer styles are more youthful over 40. Severe short styles can only make an older face look even older. Soft, side-swept bangs are also a great way to look more youthful. Hair should have movement with a soft finish. Long layers and layers around the face are most flattering. Also hair trends are definitely worth following but they should be interpreted to fit your look and your age. Your hair fabric literally should be tailored to fit you! Your face and body shape, bone structure, skin tone, eye color and more should be taken into consideration when creating your most vibrant and youthful hairstyle.

Now if you happen to be getting your hair cut at one of our Philip Pelusi Salons or at Tela by Philip Pelusi Design Center in NYC, here are tips. Philip Pelusi created a revolutionary modern cutting system called Volumetrics. His cutting system maximizes volume and texture while customizing each cut to best fit each individuals face shape and hair growth pattern. The Volumetric term Reverse Radius means adding volume and build weight or stacking at the bottom of the haircut. While Release Radius reduces volume, release weight and create movement. And VoluSlicing adds texture and create varying layers within the cut.

And to keep your hair in top condition avoid any type of Razor Cutting over 40 as this tears the hair fabric. Or you can request that the razor only be used towards the ends of the hair to preserve most of the hair fabric from damage.

The products you use on your hair are of the upmost importance more than ever. No more messing around with any grocery store brand products. Instead, view your hair care regime just like your skin care regime. To look healthy and vibrant both hair and skin need to be in tip top shape. Choose products that make your hair look younger and feed your hair fabric with anti-aging ingredients like anti-oxidants, weightless moisturizers and strengthening proteins.

Look for ingredients such as organic Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), Chinese Foxglove (Rehmannia glutinosa),Wolfberry or Goji Berry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis), Ku Shen (Sophora flavescens) that are rich in proteins and polysaccharides that are moisturizing and possess natural antioxidants that protect hair against oxidation by both environmental pollutants and some chemical treatments.

Also look for organic Plantain, Marshmallow Root (Althea Officinalis), Solomon’s Seal (Polygonum multiflorum) and Mountain Ladybell (Adenophora polyantha) contain starches, sugars, and mucilage to maintain proper moisturization within the hair shaft.

Finally, look for Shea Butter (Karite) that helps prevent critical moisture loss by the creation of a hydrophobic barrier, especially at hair’s more damaged ends. Shea Butter will also help improve hair’s shine, manageability and overall appearance.

Also critical to the look of the haircut is your hair color. Hair color should also make you look more vibrant and youthful. Stay away from too dark, too solid, and gray roots. Seek the guidance of the professional colorist. Your color should most definitely be customized to your haircut, face shape, skin tone and eye color. To look younger, first get the right base hair color, meaning get great gray coverage without going too dark. Next, add lightness around the face and throughout the hair with 1-2 shades of highlights. Not necessarily blonde, but slightly lighter than your base color to create a multi-dimensional look.

Make sure to protect your investment and keep your color intact in between salon visits with the right shampoo, conditioner and styling products that not only groom but enhance your hair’s condition. Look for ingredients such as organic Milk Thistle, Bilberry, White Tea, Oolong Tea and Sunflower that contain powerful antioxidants to help protect hair color from fading.

Also knowing a few hair coloring terms will help you more accurately communicate with your stylist. Slicing is a foiling technique that creates larger chunky solid streaks of color. Weaving is a foiling technique that creates finer more natural looking pieces of color. And Gloss is an overall application of a nonpermanent hair color that just provides shine.

One last bit of advice. Don’t worry too much about using exact professional terminology and just simply describe their feelings and thoughts about their hair such as describing what their dream hair look like or the biggest styling problems they have. Also bringing the stylist a picture of a cut and color can be the best way to communicate with the stylist.

About the Author
Philip Pelusi is an internationally recognized stylist, photographer and product artist. Having gone from one salon to 13 locations as well as a magnificent industry centerpiece in New York City, Pelusi has created a philosophy, a product line, P2 by Philip Pelusi and systems for success.Philip created and trademarked, within the industry, the phrase “A Cut Above The Rest” to coincide with his creation of the registered Volumetric haircutting technique around which he built his empire.

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