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9 Haircuts That’ll Make You Look Younger at 40 and Beyond

The secret to turning back the clock without breaking the bank? Making tiny tweaks to your hair cut, style or color! Here, celebrity hair pros reveal the changes that will completely transform your look in an instant.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.


Subtract Years: Nicole Kidman's Soft, Voluminous Waves

BEFORE: “Beachy” waves may be easy to achieve, but the unkempt style leaves hair looking dry, frizzy and stringy, says celebrity hairstylist Gina Rivera.

NOW: “Smooth, oversize waves distribute hair’s natural sheen so locks look soft and lustrous,” explains Rivera. Even better, the beautiful bounce gives the illusion of instant depth and dimension for thicker-looking tresses.

GET THE LOOK: Wrap one-inch sections of hair around a 1 1/2-inch curling iron, alternating the way curls fall (one section away from the face and the other toward the face) for added movement. Once all of hair has been curled, gently brush through strands with fingers to break up any tighter coils. Set with hairspray.

AGE-DEFYING BONUS: The glimmer of a jeweled neckline reflects light up onto hair to enhance shine.


Subtract Years: Gabrielle Union's Asymmetrical Crop

BEFORE: Ultra-long textured locks that cascade past the bust cause the eye to scan all over, emphasizing a fuller face for a more bloated appearance.

NOW: An uneven bob that’s beveled on one side causes the eye to scan vertically to stretch and slim, shedding “pounds” and years from the face, says hairstylist Daniel Koye, who’s worked with Jessica Chastain and Vanessa Williams. And the angular cut “chisels” cheekbones and infuses strands with youthful edge.

GET THE LOOK: Ask your stylist for a blunt asymmetrical bob with lightly textured ends and sideswept bangs.

AGE-DEFYING BONUS: Brush on a rosy blush. The pop of color on cheeks directs the eye up for an instant face-slimming effect.


Subtract Years: Mary Steenburgen's Bouncy Bob

BEFORE: Too much hair hanging heavy on the temples, brow and near the mouth acts like an arrow pointing directly at fine lines and wrinkles around the face, says hairstylist Carrie Butterworth, who has worked with Sigourney Weaver and Mena Suvari. Plus, the weight of overly textured strands tends to cast dark shadows onto skin, adding years to the complexion.

NOW: The soft movement of a light, swingy bob directs focus away from any aging facial flaws. What’s more, lighter, wispier bangs open up the face, allowing light to reflect onto skin to brighten the complexion and blur lines.

GET THE LOOK: Ask your stylist for a bob with long, blended layers that rest one inch under the chin with angled ends and soft, brow-skimming fringe.

AGE-DEFYING BONUS: Work a shine serum into hair. The added luster helps hair look silky, plus reflects light onto skin to boost radiance.


Subtract Years: Sharon Stone's Plumped Pixie

BEFORE: A frizzy one-length cut that fans out from cheek to jawline pulls the eye from side to side, creating the illusion of width that makes the face look fuller and the neck appear thicker. Plus, the lack of dimension causes hair to fall flat, leaving locks that look thin and limp.

NOW: Cropping tresses into an ear-length pixie directs the eye vertically, optically elongating the face and neck. And the more layered style infuses fine tresses with volume-boosting dimension.

GET THE LOOK: Ask your stylist for a pixie with wispy, graduating layers that are long enough on the sides to be tucked behind ears.

AGE-DEFYING BONUS: The open style of a V-neck top “extends” the area so the neck looks longer and leaner.


Subtract Years: Rita Moreno's Piecey, Feathery Layers