From increased shedding to sparse spots, by the age of 60, 80 percent of us will experience noticeable hair loss — what a confidence sapper.
The good news? All you need to infuse hair with tons of volume, camouflage thinning, and boost self-esteem is the right hair color. Here are the standout shades guaranteed to turn back your lock clock.
Bonus: Pair your new color with these gorgeous cuts and stunning styles to fake a full, lush head of hair in an instant!
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Bette Midler's Salt-and-Pepper Swirls
“Embracing your grays can actually make you look younger as the contrast between silver strands and dark gray roots ‘thickens’ hair,” says Odete DaSilva, colorist at Artistex Salon in Westport, Connecticut. And a short crop with bouncy curls enhances the effect.
Get the color: To keep natural grays from turning yellow so they pop beautifully against darker roots, apply a blue-based toner, like AGEbeautiful Permanent Liqui-Creme Topcoat Toner in Silver Ash Blonde ($6.49, Sally Beauty) to hair once a month.
Get the cut: Ask your stylist for a rounded crop with light layers and textured bangs.
Get the style: Work a quarter-size amount of curl cream, like Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Defining Cream ($7.99, Ulta.com) into damp hair. Then use fingers to “shake” at the root and scrunch at the ends; let air-dry.
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Mary Steenburgen's Soft Mocha Flip
The richness from an allover dark chocolate hue gives hair a more dense appearance, says Glen Oropeza, celebrity hairstylist with Kérastase hair care. What boosts body: The textured, asymmetrical style of a short crop with choppy layers worn with a deep side part.
Get the color: Comb an oil-based dye, like Garnier Olia Ammonia Free Hair Color in #4.0-Dark Brown ($6.99, Amazon) through hair from roots to ends; rinse after 30 minutes. The nourishing formula hydrates hair and helps pigment better penetrate strands.
Get the cut: Ask your stylist for a deep-parted long pixie with stacked layers and “broken” ends.
Get the style: Work a dime-size amount of hair paste, like Kenra Professional Clear Paste 20 ($20, Ulta) into the ends of layers on dry hair so they stand out in a pretty, flippy style.
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Gabrielle Union's Toasted Chestnut Swing
A nutty brown base “fills in” areas that have less hair while subtle highlights add a hint of shine that keeps locks from looking one-dimensional, says DaSilva. Even better? A swingy shoulder-length bob with full fringe masks thinning around the hairline and temples.
Get the color: Saturate hair with a dark brown dye, like Clairol Nice’n Easy in #5-Medium Brown ($20.55, Amazon); rinse after 30 minutes. Next, use an ombré kit for dark hair, like Revlon Color Effects Ombré in Chestnut ($8.95, Walmart) to paint streaks, starting 2" from roots, in various 1/4" sections around the face.
Get the cut: Ask for a blunt bob with brow-skimming fringe and long, blended layers.
Get the style: Apply a smoothing serum, like John Frieda Frizz Ease Beyond Smooth Frizz Immunity Primer ($8, Amazon) through damp hair from roots to ends, then blow-dry 1" sections with a round brush.
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Jennifer Hudson's Caramel-Kissed Cascade
Warm, golden brown streaks that pop against brunette locks work together with the “bends” from loose, sultry waves to create a 3D effect that bulks up strands from roots to ends, says celebrity hairstylist Gregory Patterson.
Get the color: Paint on caramel-toned highlights using a balayage kit for darker hair, like Clairol Balayage for Brunettes ($8.74, Walmart). These kits include a brush (just like the ones used in salons), to help you apply natural-looking streaks onto various 1/2" sections of hair with ease and control.
Get the cut: Ask your stylist for a shoulder-skimming cut with blended layers from the ears down.
Get the style: Using a 1 1/4" curling iron, loosely wrap 2" sections of hair (from mid-lengths down) around the barrel. Once all of the hair is curled, brush with fingers to gently break up into soft waves so they look less contrived. Set with hairspray.
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Naomi Watts' Golden Butter Coils
“The light-reflecting shimmer of cream-tinged locks against golden roots that are three shades darker creates a shadow effect that adds volumizing dimension,” says Patterson. “And the playful movement from beachy, chin-length waves pumps up the flattering fullness effortlessly.’”
Get the color: Use a blonding kit, like Clairol Born Blonde ($9.97, Walmart), that will lighten hair three to four shades brighter than roots. Paint the bleach onto 1" sections of hair, starting 1/2" away from roots. Let process for 20 minutes, then rinse.
Get the cut: Ask your stylist for a chin-length bob with razored ends and graduating layers.
Get the style:Wrap 1" sections of hair around a 1" curling iron, alternating the way curls fall (one section away from the face and one section toward the face) so they bump against each other making hair appear thicker. Spritz hair with dry shampoo, like SGX NYC Dry Touch Volumizing Dry Shampoo ($6.98, Walmart), to give the style stay-put grip and texture.
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Annie Potts' Toffee Cream Shell
The color-blocking effect of chunky, ash-blond highlights that “pile” over a dark brown base adds depth and dimension to finer strands. Plus, the intentional roots allow for more time between touch-ups, says celebrity colorist Stephanie Brown. And combined with a pixie with “plumped” roots, long bangs and subtly stacked layers, hair looks fuller from every angle.
Get the color: Pick a 2-in-1 hair painting kit, like Madison Reed Light Works Balayage Highlighting Kit in Sorrento Cool Vanilla ($36, Madison Reed) that includes bleach and a cool-toned, color-correcting gloss (to ensure the blond looks bright, not brassy). Apply highlights onto 1" sections throughout, starting 1" away from roots; let sit 30 minutes, then rinse. Next, towel-dry hair, apply the color-correcting gloss from roots to ends and shampoo after 20 minutes.
Get the cut: Ask your stylist for an ear-length pixie with graduating layers and piece-y, stacked bangs.
Get the style:Work a dollop of volumizing mousse, like Got2b Fat-Tastic Thickening Plumping Mousse ($6.49, Ulta) into damp hair. Then, blow dry 1" sections of hair with a small round brush for a sleek and smooth yet lifted look.
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Emma Thompson's Spun Sugar Sweep
The illuminating brilliance of a platinum pixie optically expands the diameter of strands for a thick-looking mane, says colorist Odete DaSilva. Also volumizing: The visual height of a root-plumping pompadour.
Get the color: Since the high amount of bleach used to get to such a white shade of blond can damage hair (making it look even thinner), colorists recommend using a strengthening treatment like Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 ($28, Amazon) prior to bleaching. Apply to strands like a hair mask; rinse after 10 minutes. Then, one to two days later, grab a platinum dye, like L’Oréal Paris Féria Absolute Platinum Extreme Platinum ($8.89, Target)— it comes with a blue conditioner to neutralize any yellow tones—follow the box instructions to lighten hair, then rinse and follow up with the conditioner.
Get the cut: Ask your stylist for a pixie that’s long on top and short on the sides with layers throughout.
Get the style: Apply a quarter-size amount of mousse through damp hair. Next, blow-dry while brushing strands back with a paddle brush. Once dry, tease the top layer of hair at the roots and at the back of the crown, then smooth back. Set with hairspray.
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Elizabeth McGovern's Dark Cocoa Crop
A deep auburn-based chocolate hue contains a mix of red, orange, and gold pigments that help even the finest of hair look more solid, says celebrity hairstylist Gregory Patterson. What’s more, a wavy, feathered bob adds strand-plumping movement.
Get the color: Reach for a deep brown permanent dye, like Ion Intensive Shine Hair Color Kit in #2N-Darkest Brown ($5.49, Sally Beauty) and apply from roots to ends. Tip: After applying the color, brush through tresses with a wide-tooth comb to evenly saturate strands with the dark dye.
Get the cut: Ask your stylist for a jaw-length bob with side bangs and long, feathery layers.
Get the style: Wrap 1" sections around a 1" curling iron. Then, once the whole head has curls, tousle them lightly with fingertips. Give roots more oomph by rubbing a nickel-size amount of a volumizing powder, like Eva NYC Zero GravityVolume Powder ($8.99, Ulta) onto hair along the part.
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Roma Downey's Strawberry Cream Curls
The fiery blend of light and dark copper tones tricks the eye into seeing flat hair–busting fullness, says celebrity colorist Guy Tang. And big, bouncy waves deliver hair-plumping pizzazz.
Get the color: Look for a kit, like L’Oréal Paris Couleur Experte in #6.4-Ginger Twist ($16.99, Amazon) that includes both a base color and highlights. Apply the base color first, according to box instructions. Next, using a clean mascara wand, paint highlights onto 1" sections of hair around the face and part. This technique mimics the way sun naturally lightens hair.
Get the cut: Ask your stylist for a cut that rests just above the bust with long layers and face-framing “curtain” fringe.
Get the style: Wrap 1 1/2" sections of hair around a 1" curling iron. Lightly brush through coils with a comb to reveal soft waves. Then backcomb hair at the roots and the back of the crown for an even bigger boost. Finish with hairspray.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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