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We asked celebrity hairstylists to reveal their best tips to keep hair looking its best at any age-whether you're experimenting with new styles in your 20s or maintaining a sophisticated look in your 50s. Keep reading to see their steps to great strands at every stage.
If your teen years were riddled with hair risks you'd rather forget, redeem yourself by finding out what flatters you now. "A lot of experimenting goes on in the twenties, from finding the right hue and style, to trying out bangs and layers," said hairstylist Cervando Maldonado, who works with Nina Dobrev. "This is the time to find a look that suits you and your lifestyle." Take your face shape, hair texture and personality into account when choosing your best look. Maldonado recommends pumping up your already voluminous locks with mousse for an extra boost. Run the product from mid-lengths to ends while hair is still damp, then blow-dry with a round boar bristle brush.
Your hair is still thick and youthful, but now is the time to get your color in check. "Many women in their 30s find that their natural hair color starts to get a little dull, so add subtle highlights to soften your face and skin tone," said Maldonado. "Using a deep conditioning mask once a week, like Frederic Fekkai's RX Anti-Breakage Treatment ($30; fekkai.com), will keep your strands looking fresh and shiny," added Gwyneth Paltrow's hairstylist Adir Abergel.
In your 40s put an emphasis on the overall health of your hair, so take time to deep-condition and schedule regular trims. "At this age, your strands become drier and less shiny, so you need to cut it frequently to keep it healthy," said hairstylist Marcus Francis, who has worked with Salma Hayek. Also, don't be afraid to try layers, highlights, or a shorter crop to avoid falling into a hair rut. "There are so many great styles suitable for women in their 40s. A vibrant color or highlights around the front can brighten up your face and give you a fresh look," said Josè Eber, whose salon clients include Selma Blair.
Even the occasional gray strand can be aging to women in their 50s. "When covering grays at the salon, avoid single-process color treatments as they tend to look too severe," said Catherine Zeta-Jones's hairstylist Patrick Melville. "Add soft highlights or lowlights to break up your hair and create a youthful shine." Opt for Clairol's Root Touch-Up kit ($6; ulta.com) between salon visits to keep your color fresh.