ge has taught me never to underestimate the importance of a first rate haircut. Having ricocheted from tonsorial catastrophe to another in my youth – including a do-it-yourself mohawk – I’ve found my signature style (a shoulder-length bob) & I’m sticking to it.
As I can testify, hair loses pigment, changes texture & becomes thinner as they get older; it fundamentally needs more looking after which is why, presumably, older ladies tend to lop it all off. But while grey hair is coarser & dryer, the coarser bit can be handy when it comes to styling – it’s key to make definite your hair is in tip-top condition. “The older you get, the weaker your hair can be,” says hairdresser & Pureology & Redken ambassador George Northwood, whose A-list clients include Alexa Chung & Gwyneth Paltrow. “Ends get damaged, so it’s best to invest in a trim every eight weeks.”
Some hairdressers recommend a change of hairstyle for a speedy age-defying boost & this can be a brilliant way to revitalise your picture, but having a timeless cut that can be worn in a lot of ways – I can tie my bob in to a top knot – is my preferred option. Here are of the best ageless hairstyles:

A longer life

 As outlined above, there’s a belief that as you get older, hair ought to become shorter – that long hair equates to being either a try-hard cougar or a slovenly elderly hag. I’m a firm believer in doing (and wearing) what you like, than following generic rules and anyway, there's plenty of elegant ladies with incredible long hair to disprove this notion. In the grey-corner: Professor Wendy Dagworthy, stylist and beauty entrepreneur Linda Rodin, artist Helen Storey and model Daphne Selfe. In the non-grey corner: actors Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep, designer Vera Wang and inventive director at US Vogue Grace Coddington

Julianne Moore
  Long hair has to be in nice condition, as the celebrated colourist Josh Wood advises: "Hair treatments, masks, conditioners – whatever you need to call them - are a must in my book. Coloured hair needs to be treated like cashmere and washed with a delicate touch. Grey hair needs to look supple and shiny." When I spoke to Wood on the phone and baulked at his suggestion of adding a every week treatment to my low maintenance beauty regime, they rightly suggested that I could’ve been treating my hair while they were speaking. Point taken. As Woods continues: "Go simple on the appliances, keep away from strong a heat when using a hairdryer, and keep the use of tongs and irons to a maximum. The better you treat your hair, the better the condition and the better you feel."
 Get the look with: Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme, Josh Wood Glossing Mask,Kérastase’s Age Recharge range. & George Northwood recommends “switching up your regime” with Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo & Conditioner, & Pureology Strength Cure Brilliant Lengths, for long hair liable to breakage

The tousled bob

Helen Mirren with her grown out bob
 Anna Wintour’s power bob may have ruled the fashion world for lots of years but the shorter, choppier version of this classic style feels fresher right now. Helen Mirren has a novel twist on the bob, which may even be messed up if the above feels a tiny staid: “This is the perfect way to update the traditional bob,” advises Northwood. “But it needs a lot of volume and texture. I would start by using a root-lifting spray on towel-dried hair and then rough drying the hair forwards. If you have a pair of tongs, just apply to a few random sections, then rub a finishing paste in your hands and apply through the lengths and ends to give a messy, matte finish. This is all about creating a textured DIY look.”

The grown-up crop

Mia Farrow
Chic as you like, the grown-up crop is another timeless option. Think Mia Farrow’s Vidal Sassoon cut in the 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby, Isabella Rossellini’s signature style and Julie Walters at the Baftas. “And Dame Judi is great example of an older woman who isn’t afraid of changing her style,” comments Andy Heasman, artistic director at Rush Hair. “Her pixie crop has been cut into a shorter style that gives her a cool edge. To create texture and movement, use a texturising paste and then work a bit of serum through the ends to give that red carpet shine.” Before going for the chop, Heasman recommends having a consultation with your hairdresser first. “It’s important to discuss what would suit your face shape and lifestyle before you take the plunge.” And it’s important to consider that although shorter, cropped styles have an effortless, wash-and-go appearance, they do require more upkeep. “Cropped styles grow out quite quickly and this means more visits to the hairdresser. To keep the style sharp, you’re probably looking at once a month.”

Kristin Scott Thomas
 For added versatility, the longer, more Parisian version of the crop worn by Kristin Scott Thomas and French photographer Garance Doré looks equally glamorous. Heasman recommends a root lifting product to damp hair and using a round brush to generate volume and lift on top, while ensuring the sides stay flat “It’s all about volume,” adds Heasman. “And this look shows that red-carpet hair doesn’t need to be long and flowing.”
Get the look with: KMS Hair Play, Moroccan Oil
Alyson Walsh blogs as That’s Not My Age @thatsntmyage and is the author of Style Forever: the grown-up guide to looking fabulous published by Hardie Grant 13 March 2015

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