There are many ways to appear youthful; you can change your style, clothes, shoes – heck, even your lingo. You can invest in skincare; the best serums to nourish your skin, the most luxurious eye creams to prevent wrinkles and fine lines, and the top sunscreens to shield your skin from UV damage. You can even hone your makeup skills; have your brows on fleek, choose a bright lip tint, and brighten your complexion with a dewy foundation.

All checked. Or have they?

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Our most powerful weapon is often overlooked. Wildly forgotten is the mane that frames your face. It can either enhance your features, or add numbers to your age. Read on to find out which five mistakes to quit right now to light up the youth in you.

If you have not read our previous article on the beauty mistakes which may be ageing you, open it in a new tab to save it for additional reading later!

1. Your hair is too layered

Layered hair used to be the rage at the start of the millennium. Hence, over-layered hair often look dated, or make you look like you have traveled from two decades back. Some layered hairstyles may look fabulous on fashion spreads but is almost impossible to achieve on a daily basis. Having too many layers will also result in more flyaway hair, frizz, and in short, a very high maintenance hairdo.

A good hairstylist, who is up-to-date with current hair trends and understands the lifestyle of a busy power-woman, will apply only a little layering at the lower half of your hair to give shape and to frame your face. Those who like to rock a bold look can try wearing their hair in structured layers done in huge chunks.

2. You’ve put on too much styling product

Styling products can be a great way to give your hair texture and volume, but keep in mind, “a little goes a long way”. Youthful hair involves softness and flow, and the opposite of that is stiff, shellacked hair caused by a tad too much styling spray, mousse, wax or cream.

Avoid such hair disasters by 1) spraying the product from a distance or 2) spraying the product on a comb and brush through your hair (avoid combing near the scalp). The ‘comb-through method’ gives you more control over the amount of product as well as the areas which need styling. For ladies, dry shampoo with a light and flexible hold  is a good alternative for volumising hair sprays. 

If you’re using a soft wax or holding cream, scoop a little the size of a ten-cent coin onto the centre of your palm and rub both palms together. When the product has spread evenly on the surface of your palms, scrounge through your hair from the inside-out. This is so most of the product is beneath the surface giving you the volume and texture you need, and the surface remains soft and smooth.

3. You’ve not shown tender loving care to your hair

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If you are a reader of Daily Vanity, you might know by now how much we campaign for good hair care. Our hair type may be determined by our DNA, but our hair condition is not! Having thicker and coarser hair does not mean it should be stiff and straw-like. Likewise, having naturally fine hair does not mean you are immune to split ends and damaged strands.

Treat your crowning glory with what it deserves and be impressed by a stunning change in your hair condition. With a healthy scalp and bed of hair, you’ll find yourself waking up less frequently to a ‘bad hair day’.

If you have generally smooth and soft hair, use a hair mist that can help protect against heat tools (hair dryer, curler, straightener, etc.) and UV rays. These mists are light-weight and does not weigh down your hair at all. In fact, you will not even notice it’s there! If you have damaged hair or have been exposed to colour dyes, bleaching or harsh chemical treatments, choose a richer-formulated leave-in hair treatment such as cream, gel or oil products.

4. You chose a one-colour hair dye

The soft, flowy hair from shampoo advertisements is a result of Adobe editing programmes and can never be replicated in reality, right?

Yes and no. Our hair can look multi-dimensional in natural sunlight or studio light as the rays catches in the various angles of your hair, bringing a beautiful shine to our tresses. But what happens indoors under low light? A one-colour or one-dimensional dye job will make your tresses look dull and dead.

A good hairstylist will be able to give you multi-dimensional hair with just one colour tone by playing with different shades of the same colour. Try asking for an Ecaille Blend, a technique where colourists create movement by working with three or more sympathetic colours in sections of your hair.

5. Your hair colour has become brassy

A photo posted by ElinaLam (@elinasinyee_97) on

As Asians, dyeing a lighter color or getting a Highlight, Ombre, Balayage, Ecaille blend (you name it) is trickier due to our underlying red pigments. Brassy hair is even more prevalent if you are, like me, very much in love with all shades of ash.

What then can you do?

Opt for a warm shade if you have dark coloured hair like most, if not all, Asians do. Warmer colours with red undertones are lower maintenance and lasts longer without turning yellow and brassy due to our underlying pigments.

If you can’t get enough of cool colours, step up on your hair maintenance routine such as using a toned purple shampoo for colour-treated hair, or visit your stylist within a couple of weeks to get your strands toned. Besides shampooing and conditioning, deep nourishing with a hair masque or treatment is essential in keeping your hair looking soft, healthy and hydrated with a touch of shine.