Don't Make These Hairstyle Mistakes
Very light blonde shades don't work for many women, and can actually age you by making you appear washed out. "For example, Olivia Wilde's beautiful eyes really pop and her complexion looks brighter when her hair has some darker tones as compared to when it is very light," says Oded Gabay, celebrity hair stylist and owner of New York's Lovella salons.
Skipping Deep Conditioner
It doesn't matter how fabulous your cut is when your tresses are fried. "Shiny, glossy hair is a sign of youth," says Gabay. To keep hair from looking frizzy and old, it's important to use a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week. Gabay recommends Repêchage's newly-launched Hair Spa Seaweed Mask. It revitalizes brittle hair with 18 amino acids, 12 vitamins and 42 trace elements.
Bonus: The ingredients are all paraben- and sulfate-free. ($55; Repechage.com)
Bangs That Don't Flatter Your Face
Bangs always help accentuate the eyes, but can actually work against you if you're trying to downplay certain other features. For example, Zooey Dashanel's straight-cut, blunt bangs make her amazing eyes stand out even more, but they also draw attention to her nose. While this works for her, it could be problematic for others. "If you don't have an amazing nose, than you should do wispy bangs instead of straight across in order to keep the attention on your eyes," says Gabay.
Copying a Celebrity Cut
It's a good idea to show your stylist pictures of cuts you like because it gives him or her a visual to work with. However, don't expect your hair to morph into Jessica Simpon's long, blonde locks if yours better resembles Ashley Judd's short and dark tresses. "You may not have the same face shape or hair texture," says Gabay. "The key is to find a hairstyle that maximizes your unique look and features." Work with your stylist to tailor certain aspects of the look you want. For example, you may see a celebrity with a sharp bob, but cutting locks at a severe angle may not flatter your jaw line. A hair pro can soften the cut so it's wispier, or snip it to a length that's perfect for you.
Going Too Dark
Jet-black hair is very severe, and can make you look pale and accentuate flaws such as under-eye circles. "Kim Kardashian's complexion looks dull when her hair gets too dark, but her skin begins to glow again when she goes a few shades lighter," says Gabay. "That's because black can overpower features while dark brown adds some warmth to skin tones."
Getting Highlights Post Hair Straightening
"If you arrive for highlights and don't tell your stylist that you had your hair relaxed three months ago, it could break, or get lighter 10 times quicker than it would with virgin hair," says Gabay. "Chemical processes like relaxing treatments or highlights weaken the structure of the cuticles, which never go back to the same strength until you grow in new hair." This is why it's essential to tell your stylist all about your hair-history, or to find a hairdresser that asks these questions.
Crossing Your Legs During a Cut
It may be tempting to read a magazine at the salon, but it's important to keep from hunching forward. Be sure to leave your limbs uncrossed, and keep your head still in order to get the most accurate, precise cut.
Forgetting To Take Notes
At the beginning of any cut, ask your stylist for tips on how to recreate the look yourself. "You should never have to wait a week or two for your haircut to grow out in order for it to look its best," says Gabay. "Ask your stylist to give you the directions and tools you need to look as good at home as you do when you walk out of the salon." And you won't offend anyone if you write them down — it'll only make it easier for you to remember later!