You know it when it happens because you start to look washed out and tired – your hair color isn’t working. To say it isn’t flattering is probably an understatement. Are the things you’re doing to hide the grey hairs aging you? That’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

Is the color you are using designed to make you look younger or older? Yes; there are even younger people looking for the gravitas endowed by grey hair. Weird.

So, this is a list of the most common hair color mistakes made by women over 50 and how to fix them. It isn’t rocket science – or even hairdressing.

Hair Color for Older Women Mistake #1: Using Too Dark a Color

Using too dark a color creates the illusion of more fine lines and wrinkles! Also, the clear line that appears when your color grows out and the grey makes a re-appearance is not a good look and you should not espouse it.

Instead of an overall dark color – and don’t forget natural hair is never one solid color – try a warm tone which is a shade or two lighter and adds light reflection to your skin. Another alternative are subtle highlights which create dimension to an all-over dark hue.

Read chapter III in Grey Hair & You on “Five Coloring Tips for Grey Hair.

Mistake #2: Using Too Much Ash

Your hair, blonde or brunette, should not have an ashy appearance. If you’re of a paler complexion, the smoky look will make you look washed out. Add some warmth to brighten your skin.

Mistake #3: Trying to Be Too Trendy

Forego the chance to have tips everywhere which can make your face look bigger. Better to go lighter all over or have strategically placed highlights. For example, if you have a narrow forehead, have brighter pieces towards the top of your head. Talk to your hairdresser to improve your look.

Mistake #4: Looking Too Brassy

Your hair can look dull and damaged if it is too orange or reddish. Now is the time to start using an ash toner! Brassy hair makes your skin look redder and tired, and it puts years to your age.

Ban the brass by using a purple shampoo to eliminate the yellow. The two neutralise each other. I use purple shampoo every day because my hair pulls red when it’s bleached!

Mistake #5: Going Too Light

If your face isn’t ready for it, being too light can be as aging as being too dark. Again, hair is not one color all over, and it’s important to maintain a level of contrast.

If your hair is too light it looks as washed out as your face. Add some color with lowlights that are a little lighter than your natural hair color.

Mistake #6: Using Too Many Highlights

Too many highlights can make your hair look damaged and tired. It may even look like wire wool. Don’t go for cool-toned highlights which work well when you’re young but not now. Golden tones around your face make you look more youthful because they add brightness.

Mistake #7: Going Too Red

I know a lot of women love all over red hair. But I think it is aging and old-fashioned. Your skin starts to lose pigment after 40, and the contrast between hair and skin is too much. Use a color-enhancing shampoo, or even a few highlights or a little copper to look more natural.

Mistake #8: Being Too Bold

Chunkiness often doesn’t work past 50. It looks too unnatural. Banish chunkiness by making sure the color is blended in; it’s a sophisticated look and an air of sophistication sits well on women our age.

The secret of chunky color is in the placement; such as a section in your fringe or around your hairline to frame your face. If you’re grey, experiment with pastel tones like pale pink or smoky blue. That can be very stylish.

If you want to know even more about hair that’s grey or greying, or if you have more Bad Hair Days than you have cups of tea in a month, get your copy of Grey Hair & You. Will it help? Yes!

Here are a couple of articles you may not have seen yet but contain some helpful tips and tricks and more information: Hot tips for hair with volume and Hairdressers; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Are you guilty of any of these hair color mistakes? Are you happy with your hair? Do you despair of ever having gorgeous locks again? Share some of your woes and triumphs; we love to hear from you!

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