How to improve the color of older mousey hair

After deciding on a more youthful cut, it’s time to think about color to improve my mousey hair.

Most of us well over fifty look better when our natural hair color is enhanced.

This is the second of four short posts with videos in a series about getting a bob hairstyle. If you haven’t read the first post here it is:

  1. Is a short bob a good hairstyle over 60?

How to add youthfulness to hair

I’ve noticed over the past few years that my hair looks uninteresting most of the time.  I don’t have a lot of gray but I have enough that the over-all color seems just a bit faded and less rich than when I was younger.

You can hear Alison, my hairdresser discussing why this is on the video.

I’m a casual classic style type so I want a natural look – but better!

Alison recommends highlights to re-enrich my mousey-brown hair and to add shine and interest.

Most people agree that going a few tones lighter helps you to look younger – so I’m all in!

How blonde to go?

Rear view shows darker hair and the need to improve my mousey hair
My hair is much darker at the back

When I was much younger I had blonde hair.  But now that my complexion is much paler a very blonde look doesn’t work so well.

However, the highlights I have at present don’t seem enough to brighten my hair, especially if I style my hair differently.

I discover that the back of my head has a lot of much darker brown hair.  So perhaps I have been a little over-cautious with the highlights in the past.

As Alison parts my hair at the back of my head I make a mental note to do the same now and again to check.  Truth is, I rarely look at the back of my hair in the mirror.  Which I see now is probably more important than I thought.

Dealing with hair starting to turn gray

Alison suggests that fine highlights are often best on hair that is going gray or salt and pepper hair.

She finds the areas at my temples where I have much more gray and decides to put blonde highlights there but very finely intermeshed with the natural gray.

People often ask for the gray to be covered but then they have to come back to the salon every few weeks.  When the covering color starts to grow out you get a straight obvious line of gray just where it is most noticeable. 

It’s less expensive and looks better if the highlights are very fine here and allow some gray hair to show.  That way the regrowth does not make a noticeable line.

Natural v. dramatic highlights

I think this decision really depends on your style type.

If you are less classic than I am and like a bolder, more styled, look in your clothes then bolder highlights will suit your personality.

If you’re not sure what your personal style is, take the Free Personal Style Quiz.  You can find it at the side on your laptop or beneath every post if you are on a mobile phone.

I usually have three colors in my hair.  But now that I can see all areas of my head, I can see what Alison means about it looking a bit stripey.  I would prefer a less noticeable but ‘sunkissed’ look.

So, to get this, she suggests I get much finer strands of hair highlighted.  And to stick to just two colors.  That way the hair will be brightened but more natural.  This fits in more with my personality and clothes.

What color highlights suit mousey hair?

Mousey hair has fine blonde highlights added
Fine highlights through all layers of my hair

We agree on a base highlight color of caramel which is just a bit warmer than my natural color.  Then add some very fine strands of a much lighter blonde to add that ‘back from a holiday’ vibe!

The idea is to enrich, rather than change, the brown tones which are fading as I get older. Then to have lighter strands that catch the light when I brush my hair through.

I think this helps me to look less tired without changing my hair color very much.

If you are not yet very gray then these subtle changes to your look will work well.

If you are only looking for hairstyles that suit a double chin or softer jaw-line then read Great Styles for Women Over 50 with a Double Chin.

I’ll give product suggestions in the next post.

The next step, Post 3: How to dry and style a short bob.

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