A Hair Makeover at Any Age

Nine women in their 20s, 40s, and 60s polish their looks with new haircuts and hair colors.
By Hilary Sterne


Elinor CarucciElinor Carucci

Before: Leigh Torretta, 26

"My whole life I've had one hairstyle," says Leigh, an advertising account manager. Partly, this was because her fine strands seemed to do only one thing: hang straight. "I have a hard time doing anything with it"-curls won't hold for more than half an hour, she says. But, she adds, she wasn't doing much to help the situation: "I've been the same blond for years." In other words, she was stuck in a rut. (Her T-shirt by Splendid.)

Related: Sexy, Short Hairstyles






Elinor CarucciElinor Carucci
After: Leigh Torretta

Fighting Mother Nature was ill-advised in this case, decided the team from Cutler/Redken. Instead, stylist Heather Packer lopped off just enough to give a lift to Leigh's locks and to offset the fullness in her face. She layered only the ends of the resulting long bob to give the hair some swing, while colorist Shannon Foreman swapped out Leigh's somewhat brash blond for a softer honey hue. "This cut frames my face better," says Leigh, who adds, "I feel younger, more fun."

Best for: Pear-shaped faces; straight hair with fine texture.


Styling tip: To get hair that's sleek but not flat, use Fekkai Coiff Bouffant Lifting and Texturizing Spray Gel ($25; drugstore.com), concentrating it at the roots to give hair body, and blow-dry with a flat brush. Spray on a bit of Cutler Specialist Shine Tattoo ($23, beautyofasite.com) to make hair extra glossy.

Want to see how this cut would look on you? Try it on in our virtual makeover tool.

Related: Styling Tips for Straight or Curly Hair




Elinor CarucciElinor CarucciBefore: Julia Reed, 27

"I've always had issues with my hair," says Julia, an executive recruiter, who despairs that her basic-brown strands fall flat no matter how she styles them or what products she uses. "I'd be happy to spend 20 to 30 minutes every morning to make my hair look fuller." But Julia doesn't want to sacrifice length for more body: She often has to be at work by 7:30 a.m. and likes that she can just put her hair up in a ponytail and run out the door. (Her T-shirt by Splendid.)


Related: Three Easy Steps for Blowdrying Your Hair




Elinor CarucciElinor Carucci

After: Julia Reed

Julia's strong features needed some balance, which stylist Dean Holcombe achieved by creating a long shag-the tousled layers helped to soften her long, angled jaw and her Roman nose. The cut also created the fullness she craved-just a bit of spray wax kept the layers piece-y without weighing them down-while chunky toffee highlights, applied by colorist Paola Veron, lent even more dimension to the edgy style. "And I can still wear it in a ponytail," she says of the new look, which she describes as "really cute and fun."

Best for: Diamond-shaped faces; fine to medium hair with straight to wavy texture.
Styling tip: Wrapping hair around a large round brush while blow-drying it will add body. When hair is 80 percent dry, work in a bit of Redken Tousle Whip ($18, amazon.com) cream wax for texture and separation.



Elinor CarucciElinor Carucci


Before: Colleen Phelps, 27


Colleen is drawn to shorter cuts-she thinks Ginnifer Goodwin's crop looks incredible-but she found her current style too aging. "I'm the first one of my friends to have kids," says the church music director and mother of a 2-year-old boy, "so I already feel older than they are without the Mom hair!" (Her T-shirt by Lilla P.)








You Might Also Like:

Click to see more Hair Makeovers at Any Age

20 Gorgeously Simple Hairstyles

Pony Hairstyles at Any Age