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When people talk about “anti-aging,” they’re usually talking about the skin.
And yet, fashion’s favorite hairdresser, Sam McKnight, claims it’s your locks that betray your date of birth. He says wearing the same look, day in, day out, weighs on us for years.
You remember when in the early 1990s he learned and then cut Princess Diana’s hair, which caused her to lose her premature middle age—a revenge cut for that revenge dress.
As Sam tells me, “If you always wear the same style, it’s like being stuck in a time warp. You don’t wear the same outfit day after day, year after year, because it makes you look old-fashioned, old-fashioned and boring.
Sam McKnight learned, then cut Princess Diana’s hair from her face in the early 1990s, freeing her from premature middle age. Sam recently commissioned a survey that found that a third of British women wear the same thing every day: 44 percent of over-55s and more than half of over-65s.
“It’s the same with your haircut. Use it to keep your look modern and youthful.
“Your hair also changes as you get older. It becomes finer, drier, more prone to frizz and needs extra attention. The style that looked great five or ten years ago may not be as flattering now.’
Sam recently commissioned a survey that found that a third of British women wear the same thing every day: 44 percent of over-55s and more than half of over-65s.
“How long have you worn your hair like this?” he asks. “Since the age of three,” I confess.
“When I was 17, I had Carol Decker coated, which felt seismic. When I was 41, I had bangs, which lasted 20 minutes before I grabbed it again. Other than that, there have been no changes, except for that one sandwich in the bath.’
That’s 51 years with two minor variations. There is a tumbleweed moment as this sinks in.
Hannah (pictured) has revealed that even a little tweak to your haircut will keep you looking current
Even a small tweak — a tinkering rather than a dramatic cut — will keep you looking current. And a tweak is cheap.
First, you could ask your stylist to cut some layers around your face. “These can be transformative and rejuvenating,” says Sam. ‘They frame the face and give movement, volume and texture. When placed carefully, they can lift your whole style.”
He recently did just this for actress Jodie Comer, who stopped by his North London kitchen for a 90s-inspired refreshment.
Changing your goodbye is another great reboot. “If you always wear it on one side, flip it to the other side — you’ll be surprised how much of a difference this makes,” says Sam. “It also gives your hair extra volume.” That’s always a good thing, as it lifts your face up instead of dragging things down.
And if you haven’t worn a center part before, give it a try. It will make your hair look cooler, effortless and a little less groomed.”
Use Revolution Creaseless Clips (£6, revolutionbeauty.com) to hold hair in its new position while it dries without denting.
JVN Hair’s Complete Air Dry Cream (£7 for 30ml, spacenk.com) will help to finish off your style.
Having fun with texture is also a good way to keep things modern. “Experiment with heated straighteners, pliers and/or brushes,” encourages Sam. ‘The Babyliss Curling Tong (from £35, babyliss.com) is one of the most used devices in my kit.
‘Just try something different. If you don’t like it, you can brush it off.’
Go 90s supermodel with a set of hot rollers: Babyliss Thermo Ceramic Rollers (£50) are fantastic Claudia Schiffer.
For a budget, try the Sibel 61mm Velcro Rollers (£3.20 each, sallybeauty.co.uk) plus a Curlformers Softhood (£16.59). Scrunch in L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.ART Full Volume Extra Mousse (£10.50, lookfantastic.com) before drying and you’ll end up with the biggest bouncy curls.
Or go the heatless route with Sam McKnight’s Cool Girl Barely There Texture Mist (£25, sammcknight.com). Simply spray into the roots and through the lengths for an instant tousled indifference a la Kate Moss.
Or go really low tech and move things around a bit. Sam claims the best styling tools are your fingers – use them instead of a comb or brush. “Don’t strive for perfection,” he advises. ‘Perfect is boring. Play, experiment and enjoy your hair, because good hair is the ultimate accessory.’
RACING YOU TO IT
Kiehl’s Retinol Fast Release Wrinkle-Reducing Night Serum (£68, kiehls.co.uk) became a bestseller at its recent launch. It contains 0.3 percent pure retinol, which reduces fine lines in just five days. All study participants reported a reduction in wrinkles. Start with Kiehl’s Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum (£65) if you’re new to retinol.
MY ICON OF THE WEEK
Oprah Winfrey, 68, (pictured) loves natural hair care products from Carol’s Daughter (carolsdaughter.com)
The television star, 68, loves Carol’s Daughter (carols daughter.com) natural hair products, while U Beauty’s The Barrier Bioactive Treatment (£186, theubeauty.co.uk), which boosts skin renewal, recently won an Oprah award . She is also a fan of Anastasia Beverly Hills eyebrow products (anastasiabeverlyhills.com).
5 BANKING VACATION MULTITASKERS
A premium moisturizing cover-up that doubles as a base. It’s light enough to take anywhere.
The sheer color may look edgy but it is gorgeous as an eye gloss, lip highlighter and contour. Warm tones should give La Scene a try.
This hydrating formula provides the ultimate natural-looking blush for cheeks and lips. It’s also super portable.
Swipe over the inner lid and/or inner corner of the eye to open them. It is also great as a blended lip liner.
I love this powerful hydrator for lips, cuticles, eyebrows, elbows – anywhere that needs nourishment.
Inexpensive and easy to pocket, blotting papers to tackle midlife shine are back in vogue, especially under oily skin. They come from an era when cosmetics were considered inappropriate and noses were not allowed to be powdered in public.
Lehcaresor’s retro incarnations, Papier Poudre (£2.30, victoria health.com, right), are available in three shades of powder. The brand claims that the paper’s ingredients clean the pores; remove grease, dust and dirt from the skin; and soak up excess oil to keep faces fresh and natural.
But personally, I find Kiko’s uncolored Sebo Balance Papers (£6.99, kikocosmetics.com) even easier to dab my T-zone without a mirror.