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We’ve asked makeover expert, Kate Leser, some of the most frequently asked questions posed by you, our beautiful silver-haired readers, and also some of the questions that Kate’s clients ask her all the time.  Here is what Kate recommends for treating different hair textures, how to know when it’s time for a new haircut and ways to look put-together without relying on heavy makeup and expensive trips to the mall.

What are the best hair care products to use for gray hair?

It depends on your hair’s texture and style, etc. Many women and men experience dry, frizzy, unmanageable gray hair, so products that act as humectants (that retain moisture) would be very important. There are many different shampoos, conditioners and styling products for creating soft, shiny and manageable gray hair.

I love my long hair—how can I transition to gray smoothly without having to go short?

Whether to keep hair long or not is not necessarily an age or color issue. According to Christopher Hopkins’ Staging Your Comeback, “It’s not your age; it’s a combination of how young you appear, your hair quality, and whether longer hair looks good on you at all regardless of age.” First, one must determine if her long hair is truly working for her. (See below for Christopher’s “Signs that your hair is too long.”) Next, a just-below-the-shoulder length looks modern, sleek and works well for transition stages.

Signs that your hair is too long (from Christopher Hopkins):

  • You’re always pulling it back and rarely wear it down.
  • It only looks good for the first 20 minutes after you style it.
  • You catch yourself in the mirror later in the day and quickly pull it back.
  • You keep “fluffing” it whenever you look in the mirror.
  • You know better, but you’re doing it for your husband.

What should women do if their hair is a unique texture (very fine, super thick, wiry, dry)?

This is where professional hairstylists will help you. They can determine just the right cut to work harmoniously with your individualized texture. My hair is super thick, wiry and dry but with my specific cut that balances my face shape, those texture issues are not obvious to others. Your stylist can also recommend good products to enhance further the shine and body needed, as well as teach you how to style your cut.

Is a color analysis a fad from the past or is it useful with today’s styles?

Having your color palette takes all of the guesswork out of shopping and makeup selections, and it reduces the need to have a lot of clothes. Everyone is individualistic with different needs. Those who hate shopping or hate to put any thought into getting dressed benefit greatly in saving time and energy with an analysis. Creative people or people who like to express themselves can also benefit from an analysis. With 40 of their best, personalized colors, they can create pieces of art with each outfit just by trying different color combinations from within their palette!

How can I look put-together and healthy without wearing a lot of makeup?

Makeup is to enhance your natural beauty and to even out your skin tone. A little makeup can go a long way. If your makeup sits on top of your face, then chances are the colors are wrong for you. For example, try a warmer or cooler blush than the one you’re wearing to create a “just blushed” look. It’s more of a natural glow than, “Hey look! I’m wearing blush!”

I hate shopping! How can I avoid this activity but still look good every day?

Shopping doesn’t have to be a chore! Knowing the right styles for your body type, face shape, colors and age appropriateness, shopping can be a very fun—and less expensive than in the past adventure! The icing on the cake is that you can actually have more to wear with fewer items.