By Susan Trumpbour
From Brilliant Color and Beauty Today

It's supposed to be our crowning glory, but as we get older, maintaining our hair can become an unwelcome beauty task.

If you are feeling a bit dethroned, Charla Krupp -- bestselling author of How Not to Look Old and How to Never Look Fat Again -- offers her tips for gaining back gorgeous locks.

"Nothing says youthful better than shiny, bouncy, natural-looking hair. When you have the right color, this complements the look," says Krupp.

Find the Right Shade

The good news: Hair color is one beauty treatment we can control to help us look young.

"Gray hair is the easiest fix, yet some women just go gray," she says. According to Krupp, the older you get, the lighter you get -- and should get -- in hair color.

There is no specific age to start coloring your hair lighter; you'll know when you look in the mirror and feel that you need a refresher. To find the right hue:

  • Choose a color that is close to the shade you were as a toddler
  • Stay within a few shades lighter of this color range
  • Select warm, sunny, golden highlighting shades

Shades to Avoid

Your coloring will be off if you go for a drastic change. Krupp recommends avoiding hair colors that are not found in nature. Ones to steer clear of include:

  • Super-platinum whites that are too extreme
  • Oranges, which are too "old lady"
  • Purples, blues and pinks, which only teenagers can get away with
  • Pitch black, which is too strong and severe for most women to pull off

Susan Trumpbour
is a former beauty editor and has contributed to Glamour, Good Housekeeping and Woman's Day. She is the editor and founder of

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