10 Hair Habits That Might Be Making You Look Older, According to Hair Experts

Ever wonder why your hair seems dull, lifeless, or doesn’t quite frame your face the way it used to? While aging and genetics do play a role, there are certain hair habits that can unknowingly add years to your appearance.

These habits can damage your hair, making it appear thin, frizzy, or unhealthy, which can contribute to a prematurely aged look.

Here are 10 common hair mistakes stylists often see, along with tips to help you achieve healthier, younger-looking locks:

Mistake #1: Letting Your Hair Get Too Long (Especially for Thinning Hair)

While long, flowing hair is often associated with youth, there’s a fine line between flattering and aging. As we age, hair naturally loses volume and density due to hormonal changes and decreased hair follicle activity.

Long, heavy hair can weigh down thinning strands, making them appear even thinner and limp, highlighting the loss of volume and contributing to an aged appearance.


Consider a shoulder-length cut or even shorter depending on your face shape and personal preference. This removes weight and allows your hair to bounce back with more volume and bounce.

Layers throughout the hair can also add texture and movement, making it appear thicker and more youthful. Consulting with a hairstylist can help you determine the ideal length and style that flatters your face shape and complements your thinning hair.

Mistake #2: Going Too Dark or Too Light with Color (Especially with Harsh Contrasts)

While a well-chosen hair color can be incredibly flattering, drastic changes, especially going too dark or too light, can highlight wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Harsh contrasts between your hair color and your natural coloring can create an unflattering effect, drawing attention to wrinkles and fine lines around your face.


Opt for shades that complement your skin tone and natural coloring. Consider consulting with a colorist who specializes in mature hair.

They can help you achieve a natural, youthful look by recommending shades that enhance your natural beauty and soften facial features.

Highlights that are close to your base color can add dimension and brightness without creating a harsh contrast. Avoid going too dark or too light, as this can create an unnatural look and make wrinkles more noticeable.

Mistake #3: Over-styling with Heat Tools (Without Heat Protectant)

Heat styling tools like straighteners, curling irons, and blow dryers are convenient for achieving various hairstyles, but frequent use without proper protection can damage your hair, making it dry, brittle, and prone to breakage.

This can lead to frizzy, wispy hair that lacks volume and shine, contributing to an aged appearance.


Limit heat styling whenever possible. Opt for air-drying whenever you can, or use heat protectant spray before using any hot tools. Heat protectant spray creates a barrier between your hair and the heat, minimizing heat damage and helping to retain moisture.

Consider alternative styling methods like braids, buns, or headbands for a change. These styles can be just as versatile and stylish without subjecting your hair to heat damage.

Mistake #4: Neglecting Hydration (Dry, Frizzy Hair Can Age You)

As we age, our hair naturally loses moisture due to changes in sebum production and environmental factors. This can lead to dry, coarse, and frizzy hair that lacks elasticity and shine. Dry, frizzy hair can appear dull and lifeless, adding years to your appearance.


Invest in a good quality shampoo and conditioner formulated for your hair type. Look for products that are hydrating and moisturizing, especially if you have dry or frizzy hair.

Deep conditioning treatments once or twice a week can also help replenish moisture and improve manageability. Using leave-in conditioners and hair oils can add extra hydration and fight frizz.

Look for products that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, argan oil, or coconut oil, which are known for their moisturizing properties.

Mistake #5: Skipping Regular Trims (Split Ends Make Hair Look Unkempt)

Split ends can travel up the hair shaft, making your hair look unhealthy and unkempt. This can contribute to a prematurely aged appearance. Split ends can also make it difficult to style your hair and can lead to further breakage.


Get regular trims, even if you prefer longer styles. The frequency of trims will depend on your hair growth rate and how quickly you develop split ends. Generally, every 6-8 weeks is a good starting point.

Regular trims remove split ends, keeping your hair looking healthy and polished. This can make a significant difference in the overall appearance of your hair and contribute to a more youthful look.

Mistake #6: Not Embracing Your Natural Texture (Fighting Curls or Waves Can Damage Hair)

Fighting your natural hair texture can be damaging and time-consuming. Using harsh straightening or curling methods to achieve a different texture can damage your hair and make it look frizzy or unhealthy.

This can not only be frustrating but can also contribute to an aged appearance.


Learn to embrace your natural waves, curls, or straight strands. There are many products and techniques available to help you style your hair in a way that enhances your natural texture and flatters your face shape.

For example, if you have curly hair, consider using curl-defining products and techniques to embrace your natural curls and waves.

If you have straight hair, explore styling options that add volume and texture, such as blow-drying with a diffuser or using texturizing sprays.

Embracing your natural texture not only saves time and effort but also celebrates your unique beauty and can contribute to a more youthful and confident appearance.

Mistake #7: Using Heavy Styling Products on Thinning Hair (Can Weigh Hair Down)

Heavy styling products like gels, mousses, and hairsprays can weigh down thinning hair, making it look even thinner and lifeless. These products can coat the hair shaft, making it appear clumpy and dull, further highlighting the lack of volume associated with thinning hair.


Opt for lightweight styling products formulated for fine or thinning hair. These products will provide hold and definition without weighing your hair down.

Look for products labeled as “volumizing” or ” thickening” as they are specifically designed to add body and lift to fine hair.

Consider using mousse or styling creams instead of gels or hairsprays, as they tend to be lighter and less likely to weigh down your hair.

Mistake #8: Having Hair That Is Either Very Long or Very Short (Finding the Right Balance is Key)

While both very long and very short hairstyles can be flattering, they may not be suitable for everyone, especially as we age. Very long hair on individuals with thinning hair can exacerbate the issue of volume loss, while very short cuts can draw attention to certain facial features that you may want to soften.


Finding the right length for your face shape and hair type is crucial. Consider a medium-length cut that flatters your features and allows for versatility in styling.

This length can provide enough weight to add volume and movement while still being manageable and youthful. A skilled hairstylist can help you determine the ideal length and style that complements your unique features and hair type.

Mistake #9: Forgetting About Hair Health During Coloring (Chemical Processes Can Damage Hair)

While coloring your hair can be a fun way to express yourself and cover grays, frequent chemical processing can damage your hair, making it dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. This can lead to hair loss, thinning, and a dull, lifeless appearance, all of which can contribute to an aged look.


Space out your coloring appointments and use gentle, color-safe products to minimize damage. Consider using demi-permanent or gloss color options, as they are less damaging than permanent colors.

If possible, extend the time between touch-ups by focusing on covering grays at the roots and blending the color throughout the rest of the hair.

Consider using temporary hair color options or natural dyes if you want to minimize chemical processing and protect the health of your hair.

Mistake #10: Ignoring Scalp Care (A Healthy Scalp Leads to Healthy Hair)

A healthy scalp is essential for healthy hair growth. Neglecting scalp care can lead to dandruff, dryness, and even hair loss, all of which can contribute to an aged appearance.

A dry, flaky scalp can be itchy and uncomfortable, while hair loss can significantly impact your confidence and self-esteem.


Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner that cleanses your scalp without stripping it of its natural oils. Look for products that are formulated for your scalp type, whether it be oily, dry, or sensitive.

Exfoliate your scalp regularly to remove dead skin cells and promote healthy hair growth. You can use a scalp scrub or simply massage your scalp with your fingertips while shampooing.

Maintaining a healthy scalp environment creates the foundation for healthy hair growth and can contribute to a more youthful and vibrant appearance.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Healthy, Youthful Hair:

  • Minimize stress: Chronic stress can contribute to hair loss and other hair problems. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time in nature.
  • Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is essential for overall health, including hair health. Aim to drink eight glasses of water per day.
  • Protect your hair from the sun: Sun exposure can damage hair, making it dry and brittle. Wear a hat or use a leave-in conditioner with SPF protection when spending time outdoors.
  • Be gentle with your hair: Avoid harsh brushing, pulling, or tight hairstyles that can damage hair.
  • Consider hair supplements: If you have concerns about nutrient deficiencies, consult with a doctor or dermatologist about hair supplements that may be beneficial for your specific needs.

By following these tips and addressing the common hair mistakes mentioned above, you can achieve healthier, younger-looking hair that complements your features and helps you feel confident and beautiful at any age.

Remember, healthy hair is not just about aesthetics; it’s a reflection of your overall well-being. Taking care of your hair is an investment in your health and confidence, allowing you to embrace your natural beauty and shine from the inside out.

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