Good news! The "things-that-make-us-look-old" list is getting shorter. We're down to three: wrinkles, brown spots and a saggy body. There used to be five but whitening strips eliminated yellow teeth and now grey hair --the ultimate taboo --is a definite do, not a don't. It's so super-cool that even Madonna and Nicole Kidman were spotted recently with grey roots. The beauty chatter I've been hearing lately is from dye-hard fans, 50+, who can't wait to go grey. But here's the catch, they are unwillingly to do it without style and sex appeal! This is about aging aggressively not gracefully --you're in control. Role models include rock stars, actresses, models and politicians who are anything but frumpy. Find your way to grey in one of three ways:
GREY FOR AN EDGE. Short grey crops are irreverent and drop-dead sexy when they have long shaggy bangs like French pop star Francoise Hardy, 69. Second best is a spiky tousled cut like grey poster girl Jamie Lee Curtis. You want to keep it a little piece-y and gamine around the ears and nape. Run from any stylist who suggests shaving the nape, clipping around the ears.To look sexy your short grey hair has to move.
You should be able to run your hands through it and know it looks even better that way. Just grab your jeans, a leather jacket and go. Though, short doesn't get you off the maintenance hook. You may still need a blow-dryer and/or a mini flat-iron to style up --especially if your grey comes in coarse and is curly or frizz prone. Ramp up the eye makeup too!
GREY TO GO CLASSY. Short grey with some layers and volume looks worldly but modern. It's sophisticated without looking stuffy. I think Christine Lagarde, 57 chief of the International Monetary Fund does it by channeling Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestley in The Devil Wears Prada. Blow it smooth and glossy. A famous NYC hair pro, Gad Cohen, once told me you can't have wrinkled grey hair and lines on your face. Shampoo in shine and plump up smooth volume with a hydrating duo that contain protein, omega 3 essential fatty acids, keratin and protein. Try: Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Shampoo and Conditioner ($14.99 and 19.99, each, ulta.com).
GREY TO OWN YOUR LOOK. If you're in transition, blend grey with your real still-there color or faux highlights like Diane Keaton and Gloria Steinem do. It says you're totally comfortable in your own skin ...and hair. Keep the color mix looking healthy with an intense hydrating mask rich in panthenol (pro-Vitamin B3),
hyaluronic acid, omega 6 fatty acids and natural oils --once or twice a week. Eat leafy greens (like kale and spinach) for minerals and iron and protein from eggs, fish, soy, beans and lentils. Extreme diets can leave grey sparse, dull, dry and wimpy. Try: L' Oreal Paris Power Moisture Rush Mask ($6.99, ulta.com) or Davines Momo Moisturizing Revitalizing Cream ($19.20, drugstore.com).
Now if we can only get wrinkles to be cool (personally, I love them), the list will be down to two!
For more beauty and style tips for women 50+ check my new book: The Wardrobe Wakeup, Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age by Lois Joy Johnson ($13.64, amazon.com).
Francoise Hardy: afemmeduncertainage.blogspot.com
Christine Lagarde: www.financialpress.com
Diane Keaton: www.zimbio.com
Gloria Steinem: beauty.about.com
Also of Interest
- Lessons from 91 Year-Old Fashion Legend Iris Apfel
- 3 Eyebrow Tricks For Women 50+
- Join AARP: Savings, resources and news for your well-being
See the AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more