We Byrdie editors are all about learning the latest and greatest in anti-aging trends. Normally, when we think about things we can do to look younger, our minds gravitate toward skincare products or clever makeup techniques. But the biggest secret in anti-aging actually has everything to do with hair color.
"Simple hair color adjustments can make huge differences," says eSalon colorist Erik Jordan. In other words, while you're busy focusing on treating your skin with anti-aging masks and serums, what you might not notice is that dull, ashy blonde hair or a too-dark brunette color could be undoing all your hard work.
Luckily, there are a few choice hair colors that professionals swear can trick everyone into thinking you're way younger than you are—and not all of them are totally obvious. Read on to discover five unique hair color ideas that can take years off your face.
This is a great option for brunettes looking for an easy change that isn't too extreme. "For brunettes, adding caramel highlights can help to warm and soften facial features," says Peter Oon of Oon Arvelo Salon in NYC. Plus, this look adds dimension to the hair, making it appear as voluminous as it was a decade ago.
"I love this look for so many reasons. It's youthful, low maintenance, and re-creatable," adds Jordan, who suggests asking your colorist for balayage highlights. "The freehand painting technique has the effect of looking effortlessly sun-kissed and grows out without a demarcation line."
Plus, due to the soft grow-out, Jordan says you can have your highlights done every few months and just touch up the roots in between.
If you have lighter hair that's looking a bit ashy, consider venturing into fruit territory—think strawberry blonde or golden melon.
"Adding warmth to blonde shades in the honey and buttery range gives the skin tone and complexion a youthful glow," says Oon.
Just make sure to head into the salon for a gloss every six weeks or so to keep the reddish hues bright.
According to celebrity colorist Matt Rez (aka the master behind every cool blonde in L.A.), adding brightness and contrast to the hair is key to looking as youthful as possible.
According to Rez, you want to avoid color that's "too monotone" and always focus on bringing "brightness and light to the face."
On his clients, Rez likes to create a subtle gradation from dark roots to bright tips to make the skin truly glow. (For this color style, you might also consider adding some length and volume—Rez always refers his clients to extensions goddess Violet Teriti.)
Playful pastels aren't just for kids. "Pastel shades have had a huge moment over the past few years, showing up on young girls to mature ladies alike," says eSalon Color Director Estelle Baumhauer.
Proof: Byrdie's favorite celebrity esthetician, Renée Rouleau, has rocked a soft rosé-pink color for the past few years, and she looks more youthful than ever. "One of my personal age-defying strategies is to have fun, colored hair since this look is associated with being young, fun, and having an adventurous spirit! So why not?" Rouleau told us.
The best part is that as long as your hair is light enough, you don't even need to visit the salon to go pink. Rouleau does her color herself simply by using Overtone products every time she washes her hair.
This fresh and modern "broomstick" shade by Rez involves a darker base and warm blonde highlights.
"Get the look by starting with a base closer to your natural color. Then have your colorist use a combination of foil and balayage highlights a couple shades lighter than your base to achieve a natural but bright look," says eSalon senior colorist Emily Manatan.
Just make sure to preserve the color with a toning shampoo like eSalon's Tinted Love in Blonde Neutralizer ($15) to avoid brassiness and keep the color looking rich.
Next: a foolproof guide to choosing the best hair color for your skin tone.