If you want your hair choices to give off a youthful vibe, going back to what you wore in high school is definitely not the answer. That’s when you might have felt the most young, but it’s also a guaranteed recipe for looking dated. Eek!
Instead of opting for the perm your prom queen BFF would have loved, or even the thick side-swept bangs of the Laguna Beach era, test out one of these ageless looks below. From pixies to hair that hits below the collarbone, we chatted with a pro stylist to learn about a few hairstyles that’ll take years off your face. Get ready to get ID’d.
VIDEO: We Tried It: The Modern Perm
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“A lived-in pixie that has a little length around the face is a flattering style for short hair. It’s particularly youthful because it’s a no fuss hairstyle,” says Brian Zinno the Education Director at the Antonio Prieto Salon in New York City. He says it works on many face shapes, and is particularly low-maintenance, which means you don’t have to stress on styling it every single day. When looking for a celeb picture to bring to the salon, Zinno suggests actress Annette Bening, while we think this image of Kris Jenner is a no-fail option.
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If you’re most comfortable with bob-length hair, go for a chin-grazing style that incorporates layers. “It’s youthful because while it’s a bob length, the layers around the face keep it soft and flowing without the usual angular lines of a bob, and the layers in the crown or around the perimeter give lift and movement.” We love Viola Davis’s soft, layered, and tousled bob, while Zinno says that Helen Mirren is another example of this gorgeous look.
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“Jennifer Aniston has had this length, and what makes is look youthful is when the ends are shattered to keep it from looking blunt and heavy around the perimeter,” says Zinno of lob-length hair. He suggests longer angles around the face and below the jawline to keep the look flowing and soft.
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Eva Longoria has also demonstrated soft, shattered angles in the past, which she seamlessly wore between sleek and straight styles and in effortless, loose waves.
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“A favorite timeless hairstyle for long hair is cascading layers flowing from a shorter length around the face—a long fringe or side bang—to longer to the back,” says Zinno. “This creates movement in the style and opens up the face.” He suggests this cut styled in soft waves just like Julia Roberts.
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As far as how long is too long? Zinno suggests keeping your length around the breast bone area. Christie Brinkley is another example the InStyle team looks to in hair envy.
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“An updo that is always classic and never goes out of style is an upswept French twist that is kept casual,” suggests Zinno, who adds Meryl Streep often debuts this look at awards shows.
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Like Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman has debuted the modern, relaxed French twist on the red carpet.
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Zinno says that youthful-looking updos should be kept slightly undone and casual and never too tight or polished. We love this low coif seen recently on Keri Russell.