It’s hard to believe summer is officially over and the winter holidays are around the corner. Another year bites the dust, and at a much too rapid rate. That means we’re not getting any younger.

The good news is there are a lot of things, big and small, available out there so that we don’t have to look or feel older. Yes, there’s plastic surgery. It is expensive. But a great haircut and color could make you look and feel 10 years younger for much less expense.

Besides that, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a slave to the salon. If your hair is done properly, you could look younger without breaking the bank.

The shape of the haircut is of utmost importance. The fullness of your style must be at your eyes and cheekbones in order to draw attention there – instead of the neck, chin and jowls.

Changing the shape of your haircut alone will turn back time. My theory of the upside-down triangle-shaped haircut stands firm. The widest part of your style needs to be at your eyes and cheekbones the narrowest part needs to be softening your chin.

Depending on the size of your forehead, a soft bang (or side bang if your forehead is not too small) will also soften your look, taking attention away from those little lines that sometimes the rear their ugly heads. No more Botox needed!

Another youth-enhancing option is color. Gray hair is an absence of color, washing out any kind of warmth in your skin and aging you. I don’t understand why anyone would let her hair go gray.

If highlights and or low lights are added, the color it will grow out gracefully, without the ugly stripe of grey that appears after a short time if you have your hair all one color. That’s not attractive and it does not look natural.

Add to that the fact that the more gray that is hiding under the color, the sooner it needs to be re-colored.

It’s understandable why you don’t want to color your hair. Many other things can be done to make it subtle, warmer, brighter and more youthful. Why wouldn’t anybody want that for Christmas? A new improved you is not that expensive if you go to the right places.

Eating right, exercising, and staying busy are all good recommendations to stay looking and feeling your best, but the No. 1 priority is what you see when you look at your face (and hair) in the mirror.

That will start your day the right way or the wrong way – you be the judge.

Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton. styleitsalon.com