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Behind the Chair: Top Hairdressers Answer Your Questions

Behind the Chair: Top Hairdressers Answer Your Questions

By Louis and Damien

Here are our answers to some fun questions about hair and appearance—and life! Keep them coming!

I am 75 and have a long face. My hair, gray and never colored, is cut in a bob. Has been for years. I am thinking about bangs. What do you think?

Generally speaking, bangs work best on women with long faces or wide foreheads. In your case, my immediate response would be “no” if your hair is curly and you like to wear it smooth and straight. Just be aware that bangs do require more maintenance than you might be accustomed to. Bangs are often associated with a more youthful look, as is hair that is colored rather than left gray.

My hair is full of tight curls. I wear it to my shoulders, and it is a bit all over the place. I am scared to color it, because I colored it once a long time ago and it came out greeninsh, but I am getting tired of the mousy brown gray it has turned since I turned 60. What can I do?

Don’t be afraid of hair color because of one bad experience a long time ago.  Mousy brown gray hair is a perfect base to work with by adding multiple tones of highlights and lowlights.  This will camouflage your grays while adding dimension and life to your mousy brown color. Highlights are maintained less often than an all over color and would be perfect in your case. As for your tight curls being all over the place, consider shampooing your hair less often and mix it up a bit by using shampoo one day and only using conditioner the next time. There are also many products, such as those from Milbon, designed to tame curly hair and minimize frizz.

My graying hair is colored a dark brown. I wore my hair rather severely for the 40 years that I was a banker--back and in a bun. Now that I have retired, I want to do something different. Elegant but more playful, less repressed. What would you do?

One style consideration would be cutting your hair in a shoulder length layered bob.  This would certainly be more playful yet give you the versatility to pull your hair back.  Adding highlights to your new style would give life to your dark brown color while accenting your new layers and create a soft dimensional feeling.

I am 66, and have been divorced for five years. I met a great guy on a dating app, and we’re having fun together. The only problem is, he wants me to have long hair.  At present, I have what used to be called a pixie cut. I really don’t want long hair, especially since it is turning gray and wiry. Is there something I can do to satisfy both of us?

The growing out process of hair that is gray, wiry and cut in a pixie style will be very long and difficult.  As it grows, wiry hair will begin to look wider rather than longer and stay that way for quite some time. Before you start growing out your hair, you need to have a goal in mind. How long is long? Pixie cuts can sometimes look severe so perhaps just growing it out a little will help to soften your look.

As much fun as you may be having with this great guy, you might want to make a change that could be exciting and agreeable to both of you!  How about starting out by coloring your hair? Color will soften the wiry nature of your hair and would absolutely enhance your short style.   

I have colored my hair for years because I didn’t like the color and I needed to look good for my advertising executive job. Now that I have retired, people tell me I should let my hair go gray, because otherwise I am trying to look younger. But when I stop coloring my hair, it turns a lifeless looking color, not the silvery look that some lucky people get. Is there a way to color it gray that looks natural but looks good--and obviously not as if I were trying to be young?

First, I need to ask you who is telling you to stop coloring your hair and why they are so concerned with you to look younger.  Looking your best at any age is a good thing. If coloring your hair makes you look and feel better about yourself, looking younger is just another fringe benefit!  Most people are not fortunate enough to go gray in that “silvery” way. Without growing out your color completely (a very long and hard process) or doing something more extreme like bleaching out your hair color and going lighter in stages, there is no easy way to work with your current hair color situation.  If you started growing out your hair and wanted to work towards a more “salt and pepper” look, there is always an option of doing lowlights.  

Damien Miano and Louis Viél are co-owners of Miano Viél Salon and Spa. They have had years of experience with all kinds of hair questions.

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