These are some of my best friends –
all over 40 and 50, but they look better now than when I first met them.

Our third son was just four months old and I was juggling having three boys in three years and trying to find my way. I’d only lived in NC for a year and I still hadn’t really found my place.

See that gorgeous lady in the orange dress pictured above? We happened to meet checking our boys into the church nursery and the rest was history. She’s been one of my best friends for the last sixteen years and that certainly hasn’t changed, but her hair sure has.

When we met, her hair was at least a foot longer and I remember thinking, “Wow, she’s stunning.” As age slowly crept up on us, she decided to take a plunge and cut it all off. I remembered cringing at the thought. It looked SO AMAZING long and I couldn’t imagine a shorter cut could compete with it.

I was wrong. Now I still think, “Wow, stunning.”

Last year, I was featured in a magazine which outted my age.

Do you remember reading my reaction? I have definitely learned to embrace the fact that I am at a new stage of life. Yes, an older stage, especially when it comes to a beauty regime.

The products that I’ve used for years don’t quite have the same effect. I’m willing to invest in better foundation and skin care, but probably the biggest factor that comes into play is hair.

I admit, for my entire life I’ve been one that does not want to have to spend time on my hair.

That hasn’t changed, but I’ve realized that a good cut and color can take years off your age. Sometimes, we just need to be willing to get out of our comfort zone.

Here are some more examples.

Above is another one of my best friends, who happens to be ten years older than me. (I hope she still loves me now.) I think she will because she is one of the most fabulous looking women I know and I basically want to look like her when I grow up. Her sassy hair cut and color makes her look so much younger. She just glows.

I know it’s been said that longer hair on older women can sometimes make faces appear elongated. As we age, we are fighting gravity and this goes for hair too! Older heads of hair look great with short, geometric cuts. These styles may sound risky to some, but these dramatic looks can be refreshing and make women look younger as opposed to keeping their longer locks.

Another great example is my sister in love. All three of these women are continuously asked, “Where do you get your hair cut?”That is the sign of an amazing hair dresser, when people want your hair cut.

 Since I know all these things, I kept telling myself that hair grows and I needed to make a change.

It was a risk, but  last year, I finally decided to just GO FOR IT!

I got four inches cut off the back and it’s taken me a year to fully embrace it. 🙂

Since it takes too much time, I’m not one for the flat hair, blow it out and straighten it look, but it was fun to see such a dramatic change.

Since then, I’ve been trying to grow it back without much luck. As it’s grown, it’s just been thin and hard to style well at all, so when Pantene invited me to defy my age by testing out their anti aging hair care products and turn the clock back, I knew it was time to freshen up my cut and color.

It’s the curse of hair dressers to be told, “I must be able to pull it back,” but that’s still my reality, so she just freshened up the back, making it so much healthier and gave me some softening layers in the front.

The color is fabulous and I couldn’t be happier, plus this is the hair dresser that does both of my friends’ hair above, so I knew she was fabulous.

Last year, I started a 30 days, 30 ways Hair Challenge. It was the accountability I needed to get out of my pony tail hair rut. I never finished it and will start up again, but it was great to see that many of the tips I gave lined up with Pantene’s Celebrity Stylist Danilo.

Hair Tips for Looking Younger

o Sweeping hair away from your face is a great way to look 10 years younger. Pulling hair away from the face is great way to expose your facial features. Add a small side braid, starting at the temples, to incorporate into the ponytail to add a fun, youthful detail. This will also gently pull the eye area back, giving you an instant eye lift!

o Do you want to create a youthful looking ponytail? Instead of using an elastic, pull large pieces of hair to one side of your head and pin them loosely behind your ear. This will make your crown look fuller and thicker. This also pulls hair away from the face to expose your neck and collarbone to make you feel sexy and youthful. To take this style from day to night, loosely pin the remaining “ponytail” up to look like a beautiful, full side bun. Allowing pieces to fall out will create an effortless, elegant look.

o For a voluptuous, playful look, pull hair from your temples to the back of your head, including your bangs, and loosely pin it at the back of your crown. Sweeping the bangs back from the face creates a fuller style that’s sure to make you look younger.

What are some of your secrets? Let’s learn from each other. )