About 65 percent of my clients are over age 50, and I really believe that 50 is the new 30.

We’re all aging more gracefully and gently than the generation before us, but I don’t think this means that we embrace aging. I think that we should look like we feel or want to feel.

Outdated haircuts and color can make us look older. This doesn’t mean that your hair has to be spiked, shaved or fuchsia. There’s a fine line between trying to stay younger looking and looking ridiculous.

Jane Fonda, Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters are striking, beautiful older women with great haircuts and color. I’m sure they wouldn’t look as beautiful if their hair wasn’t maintained and styled to suit them. Too short, unstylish, faded color or washed-out white are all DONT’S.

Instead of looking old or older, why not get a cut and-or color that can take years off?

As I’ve previously written, the basic rules are:

  1. A haircut should bring focus to the eyes and cheeks, not the jaw or chin, and
  2. Color should be lighter around the face to soften the wrinkles.

Both of these basics can be achieved with the right stylist, and the look doesn’t have to be high maintenance.

Our hair lightens as “nature’s blonde” – better known as gray – begins rearing its head. That starkness can be softened easily and without you having to be a slave to your hair, I promise.

All over, one-color, no-dimension color is not the answer either. That just makes it more obvious.

The gray can be softened to look like a natural color with shine and dimension that just wears off with time. You won’t have to have the salon on speed dial to cover your roots. Again, I promise.

As far as the cut, the upside-down triangle shape is the most youthful cut for everyone. It draws the eye up and brings focus to where we want the focus to be.

It doesn’t have to be short. It can be a layered bob (bottom layers are a must). Many versions of the old shag are extremely flattering on all ages. Texture and products can make a boring haircut come to life.

Layers are also very flattering and helpful in achieving volume with little effort.

Before doing anything, the stylist should take the time to consult with you. Your lifestyle and routine are of utmost importance when creating a style that suits you.

You should be given instructions during the styling so you can recreate the look at home with no problem.

I tell all my clients two very important things: I can’t read their minds, so they must tell me if something is bothering them so I can fix it. And if it isn’t working for you, come back, and I’ll show you again. There’s nothing good about having a style that you can’t do yourself.

With that in mind, make an appointment for a new, more youthful look. It will be the least expensive and easiest way to take off 10 years and 10 pounds.

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