View Full Version : Please help an old lady!

January 7th, 2017, 03:20 PM
Hi everyone! I'm 62 and I've grown my hair to past my waist (thanks to this forum!) The last 12 inches or so are a dark red henna and then the rest from roots to henna is my natural color. Not the pretty silver I was hoping for. It's a mousy medium ash brown with gray throughout. Maybe 20% gray?
My hair is as healthy as it is going to get, it is fine and thin. But shiny and strong with very few splits.
OK, now this is where I need help. It looks and I look like...heck. I can put my hair up into buns but you know that having my hair pulled back away from my face gives me an old stern lady look. I can't wear it down, it drives me nuts getting all over the place although with bun waves it looks really good. But there are too many chair backs, purse straps etc and I hate having hair in my face or crushed against chairs.
I can't cut bangs, my hair is too thin already. I don't like the color. It is so darn drab! I'm tempted to color it a medium ash blonde but the henna ends would be a problem and of course the damage from the bleach.
I tried Heidi braids and liked the way it looked because it gave some, what is the word, design or framing around my head. But it is so absolutely different from anything worn by anyone around where I live. And I have trouble knowing how or where to put the ends of the braids.
The most comfortable way to wear my hair around the house is just a simple center held bun on top of my head, held with a short hair stick.
Does anyone have any ideas for a style that is good for fine, thin, slippery hair that isn't stern looking?
Thank you in advance!

January 7th, 2017, 03:40 PM
First, it don't matter how old you are. ;)

Second, you have to really ask yourself if you want to henna or keep your natural hair. Maybe post a picture so we can see?

Third, there are a lot of buns out there.

Lazy wrap bun
Disk bun
Pha bun
Etc. etc.

Maybe get yourself ready for some YT tutorials?

January 7th, 2017, 04:03 PM
Well, for color you could play around with deposit only dyes, which should wash out eventually, so theoretically you could do deposit only dye while gradually trimming out the henna, without losing a ton of length or trying to bleach out henna.

For the updos, it sounds like you could use some 'accents' around your face... I wish I had a tutorial or list of hair styles to link to, but basically taking one more step when you make a bun, and doing something with the hair just around your face. You can take a section from each side of your part and roll it, then bobby pin into place to frame your face, or pull each section back and ponytail it, and then flip it, or even just sectioning it and putting it into a half up underneath your bun can add some movement and interest, so you avoid the 'everything pulled straight back' look. And of course there's a million different accent braids, which take slightly longer but look great, if you're good at braiding (I'm not!).

January 7th, 2017, 04:09 PM
Hi Lapushka! I can do most simple buns. I watched a tutorial that I found interesting, forgot what it's called but you first take some hair from each side and twist it, hold with a small clips and then do the bun. This gives me a little decoration on the sides.
I definitely don't want to use henna again, the color doesn't suit me and it's way too much work!
You are right about it not matter how old I am, thanks for the reminder!

January 7th, 2017, 04:10 PM
I have the same problem with severity of hair pulled back. I solve this a couple of ways. I use side combs to push hair toward my face, or clips to gather the hair into a pompadour https://c4.staticflickr.com/1/712/31990937531_f89148b2a7_z.jpg (low Profile) Then I make low buns in the back. Or I do a very high flip bun which gives one side of my hair a loose wave and I am able to tug at the other side to create a soft face frame. This video tutorial also gave me inspiration. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeR15eofNK4&index=100&list=PLghz7zScUfJtgaqqzcbcL8vnWjNAmoCeZ By the way I am 75 and I know the problem with not liking your hair color...me neither.

The lighting makes my hair look more silver than it is. Hope this helpshttps://c4.staticflickr.com/1/712/31990937531_f89148b2a7_z.jpg

January 7th, 2017, 04:15 PM
Hi Sumhida. Yeah, I can braid regular braids, not French type braiding though. I could try braiding each side, pull back and under the bun somehow. I don't know how everyone can do such nice buns, mine just don't look very good. I do have a gray streak that looks pretty cool in a bun though because you can see it wind around the henna.

January 7th, 2017, 04:23 PM
I don't know if semi's or demi's cover gray very much. You could try. I would not use colors like Manic Panic or Directions or something like that. I would use something with a developer (for the grays). I think you can only go your own color or slightly darker with these kinds of colors.

And it will wash out in x-amount of washes or weeks!

January 7th, 2017, 04:25 PM
Hi bparnel! The youtube video is so close to what I do EXCEPT I've been so careful to hold my hair close the my scalp! Why? I have no idea. It's weird how we get into habits and don't think outside the box.
I like how it have a little pouf in the front, make it looks so much better.
Thank you.

January 7th, 2017, 04:40 PM
If you like the Heidi braids I say go for it! When/if you are long enough, I think a coronet braid (aka false crown) is even easier and only has the one end to hide. One of my favourite female garden presenters, Carole Baxter, really rocks one, but I can't seem to find any good images with the back of her head in one! https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/1920x1080/p01dbm0m.jpg (Also if you like gardening, Beechgrove Garden is just lovely, an actual informative show instead of all garden transformations and extreme garden make-overs)

My favourite knitwear designer, Kate Davies, also likes this style and there are tons of shots with her in them: https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/1920x1080/p01dbm0m.jpg Her hair is also thin and she does not have bangs.

I think silvers look ammmmmazing with braided styles like this actually: http://hairstylehub.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Crown-Braid.jpg My hair wants to be like that when it grows up <3

I do suspect however, as someone who happens to like wearing mean little old lady librarian buns (Hey, where did *that* thread go?!), that the perception of buns and updos looking "severe" is self inflicted. I think facial expression has a lot more to do with it myself.

January 7th, 2017, 04:44 PM
This s probably not a very good advice but... I find when I do buns they look better if I do them a bit more loosely and a bit higher up on the head. That for me takes a way a lot of the stern-ness. If I make it a bit more "poufy" sort of on the top and around the face.

January 7th, 2017, 04:56 PM
Hi, swearnsue, and from one old lady to another: I sometimes make tiny (with my fine thin hair, I do mean tiny) accent braids on the side before bunning. The braids add texture and interest if not volume. Other times I twist small sections and secure with tiny claw clips also before bunning. That yields an attempt at volume, and even if it fails, it isn't so severe looking.

Then there's ribbon you can weave in one side or two, or add florist decorations such as tiny flowers, birds, or other miniatures. I know no one else my age around here who wears long hair, but that does not concern me in the least. We needn't all be carbon copies. You are probably an inspiration to others. I've been told I am.

As for slippery, I frequently resort to French braiding between earline and nape to give the bun an extra something to hold. And generally forks, paired ketylos, and/or Amish pins, because solo sticks don't work for me (with the exception of CM spirals).

January 7th, 2017, 05:25 PM
Gosh, as an even older lady I enjoy the Mean Old Librarian look, hair is always in a bun. In winter I wear crochet headbands to keep my ears warm. In summer I part my hair either on the side or in the middle and draw it back severely, very cool and smooth and unfussy. Big earrings are my friend. A topknot is rather different and can be fun.

Must admit though, that when I was 10 or 15 years younger I did want some fullness or poof or fluff near my face, but I could not seem to get it. Hair is too thin with no body, so it just looked spiderwebby and see-through. Figured I'd better work with what I had. ;)

January 7th, 2017, 05:36 PM
And I wish I had the face/forehead shape to pull my hair back for that sleek/severe look !

( I neeeeed my bangs !)

I would oil it up, put it up in a tight bun and be carefree !

January 7th, 2017, 05:39 PM
Have you tried a French twist? That usually softens the look a bit, and is not hard to do at your length.

January 7th, 2017, 07:39 PM
Maybe try low buns and loosen the hair around your face a little. Seconding the accent braids or twists as well.

One of my favourite looks is a pin curl, swooped lock or small pouf at the front where side swept bangs would normally start; with the tail woven back into the desired style. Gives a very cool vintage feel, and softens the front without cutting actual bangs in.

January 7th, 2017, 09:16 PM
I think I take the cake for thin hair. I do a similar style to the "Mom's Stick Video" posted above but don't finish it as a bun with a stick. Instead, I use a ficcare to hold it in place like a mini log roll so that the top of the folded part is visible from the front. That gives it the illusion of height and kind of casual poofiness. I find that loose poofiness stays in place better with a ficarre than with a stick. This is a not-very-good picture of the thing from the back

http://i340.photobucket.com/albums/o345/slashandfang/006_zpsdnlptzpk.jpg (http://s340.photobucket.com/user/slashandfang/media/006_zpsdnlptzpk.jpg.html)

You can get the same illusion of height with a flipped cinnabun if you position it correctly. This picture is actually a flipped cinnabun even though it looks a bit like a french twist

http://i340.photobucket.com/albums/o345/slashandfang/002_zps3clsrfcb.jpg (http://s340.photobucket.com/user/slashandfang/media/002_zps3clsrfcb.jpg.html)

BTW, I also have ashy hair with some gray in it. At first when I started growing out the red dye I didn't like it either. No pizzazz. But then I started to see it in nature and the animals that I saw it on were gorgeous. I started thinking....maybe it isn't so bad to have hair like that. There really are a zillion colors in it. Then I saw a snow leopard at the zoo that had fur that had a lot of the same colors as my natural hair and I was kind of shocked. Sometimes you have to look with new eyes.



January 7th, 2017, 10:13 PM
Your welcome, helping is what we are here for.

January 8th, 2017, 01:23 AM
I also don't like how I look with my hair pulled back in a bun, that's why I experimented with different ways to get some volume around my face. I found out that accent braids in the front really do help. And also, if you like how you look with Heidi braids, go for it! :flower:
Here's the way I find most successful, you could try it out if you want, works with whatever bun/braid you want to do.


hanne jensen
January 8th, 2017, 09:37 AM
Do you have hard water? If you do, demineralizing your hair with 3 parts ACV and one part water with a good poo will really make your silvers sparkle.

To loosen your hair around your face try putting your hair up in a pony at the very top of your head. Braid your hair. Gently remove the elastic. I use the bobble elastics. Make your bun and secure. You have a huge puff both at the back of your head and at the sides. These poofs can be adjusted with small hairclips. The poof is as huge as a Gibson. You could also make a Gibson bun, there are lots of You Tube videos on how.

I'm 57 and have the same problem and length as you.