Trying a new hairstyle can be scary, especially if you’ve had the same one since, oh, high school. But there can be some serious benefits to stepping out of your comfort zone. Small changes—like saying goodbye to that sticky can of perma-hold hairspray—can take years off your look, even though they don’t require any dramatic (or traumatic) changes. Here, Lauren Thompson, a stylist at Nunzio Saviano Salon, suggests four ways to turn back the clock with your hair game.
1. Toss Heavy-Duty Hairspray
Styles that are frozen in place can look frozen in time, too. "Youthful, healthy hair is shiny and has lots of movement," says Thompson. If you're worried about humidity or your blowout losing shape, avoid strong-hold formulas that can dry out hair. Instead, reach for a hairspray like L'OrÃ©al Paris Advanced Hairstyle Lock It Fine Control Hairspray ($5, lorealparisusa.com), which offers great hold without giving you that shellacked look.
2. Get Face-Framing Layers
Unless you're going for a chic bob, steer clear of blunt cuts. It can drag the appearance of your face down—and if your ends are on the thinner side, your hair will seem unhealthy and frail. Instead, opt for layers. "Face-framing layering gives movement around the face, which instantly brings the eye up and away," says Thompson. "Plus, a long, side-swept bang can bring out the cheekbones." Just be careful about how much layering you get; cuts that are really short in the front but long in the back can make your locks look thinner.
Try this youthful-looking easy braided style:
3. Volumize Your Roots (Not Your Whole Head!)
We’re all about the va-va-va voom, but it’s easy to go overboard. The key is keeping the height at the top of your head. "Lots of volume at the crown is always a good idea because it gives you more height, which again draws the eye up, making you look younger," says Thompson. Reach for a dry texture spray like Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray ($44, oribe.com) that works on all hair types and keeps roots voluminous all day.
4. Moisturize, Moisturize, MoisturizeCurly and wavy strands in particular can be prone to frizz and breakage that leaves your locks looking like they've seen better days. Luckily, the key to keeping your au naturel strands looking youthful is easy. "Try using a hair mask instead of regular conditioner every time you wash your hair," says Thompson. "This gives it the extra moisture it needs—especially if your locks always feel dry."