Your goal as a stylist is to make every customer who comes into your salon look her best no matter what her age. But sometimes, when working with older clients, it's easy to forget that great style transcends age. With clients ranging from teens to seniors, stylist Mark Garrison has learned not to make style decisions based on an age bracket. "You should never assume that because a client is a certain age she needs or wants a teased-out bubble," says Garrison, owner of a namesake New York City salon. "If she's taking the time to come to your salon, she wants a modern, more contemporary style, not some retro look that hasn't changed for years." Here, Garrison offers tips for helping your clients look better with age.
- Take note of her personal style.Greet each client as she comes in and assess how she presents herself in her everyday clothes and makeup. "Seeing someone in a robe with her hair sticking out doesn't help with the big picture," Garrison says. Pay attention to her bone structure, body type and facial proportions to help determine what style will be most flattering and functional.
- Go shorter rather than longer. Despite the growing number of products available for thinning hair, there's no magic fix. Garrison says taking off a few inches can have as much of an impact as a thickener. "By keeping it a little shorter, hair won't get straggly or hang heavy on the head," he says.
- Camouflage thinning hair with color. When you create a balanced contrast on the head, it reflects light. "This way, you see the style instead of looking right into the scalp," Garrison says. "Color also plumps up the hair shaft, giving thicker, fuller hair."
- Be careful with volume. The higher you try to lift the hair off of the scalp, the more you are going to see through it. Volume is nice, if it is subtle.
- Add a little curl. Stick-straight hair shows every line and imperfection on the face. "Rather than amplifying wrinkles, hair with a little texture is more forgiving, cozy and soft," Garrison says. Who says you can't age gracefully?
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