The right hairstyle can wield as much power as the most potent beauty cream or the season’s hottest lip shade. But what good is a hot hairdo when it’s hard to maintain? These moms found the styles that work best for them and, more importantly, don’t take forever to style.
Your 30s: Wash-and-wear pixie
As an administrative manager and a mom to a 4-year-old, Cha Santos, 31, doesn’t have much time to spend primping in front of the mirror. “I can’t even go to the bathroom by myself. I always have a little plus-one!” she says. To survive—in style—she decided to cut her hair really short. “Over the last four years, this pixie cut has been my ‘survival mode’ look, and I love that it literally takes five seconds to style,” she says. She simply uses a powder-to-liquid texturizing product to add volume to and shape her strands, giving it a slightly messy look. Her other tip: Skip the wash if you can, or use dry shampoo instead, to keep your bob from becoming flat.
Make it work for you: Your first step is to find a brilliant hairstylist who can expertly assess your face shape, hair texture, and lifestyle, as these all come together in determining the style that’ll suit you best. Contrary to what many believe, there’s a bob style for every face shape—even rounder faces. The key is to steer clear of blunt edges. Cha’s style makes use of sideswept layers to frame the face,while the short layers up top add height.
An advertising creative-turned entrepreneur, 48-year-old Daisy Estevanez is all too familiar with the fast-paced life, and this translates to her ’do. “I’ve been wearing my layered style for most of my life because for me, it’s the easiest and fastest to style every day,” she says. “I can simply air-dry it for a relaxed look, blow-dry for extra volume, or iron if I want to look extra polished.” She likes how the shaggy layers give her look a fresh edge, and lets her get away with a disheveled mane. “I actually find short hair more difficult to style; you can easily see a hair out of place!”
Make it work for you: Compared to a one-length style, “a layered cut gives hair more body and bounce, especially for those with thin or fine hair,” says makeup artist and hairstylist Muriel Vega Perez. Long layers—starting from the jaw downwards—can also elongate a round face, whereas too short layers have the opposite effect. Just make sure to maintain volume in the lower sections of your hair, and not the sides of your head, if you want a slimming effect. Says Daisy, “I find that this style can be both feminine and sexy, depending on how I wear it. The fact that it helps slim down my cheeks is a plus!”
Joy Blas-Katigbak, a 51-year-old mom of four, started going gray in her 30s. “People would say, ‘Pakulay ka na!’ but I’d always be either pregnant or breastfeeding,” she says.When she finally dyed her hair, she developed rashes around her neck. Her dermatologist diagnosed it as an allergic reaction. “My doctor told me my reaction could be worse if it happens again. Natakot ako and said, ‘Papanindigan ko na lang,’” she shares. She’s since embraced her salt-and-pepper style. “I like that it grew out nicely. People would ask me kung sinadya ko, or kung saan ko pinagawa!”
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Make it work for you: Gray hair is very porous, so it can absorb everything easily—chemicals, pollution, minerals from water—causing it to grow dull. A quick way to brighten a gray style is to use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove buildup. To protect against dryness and external elements, hairstylist Vega Perez suggests using argan oil as a leave-on treatment. Keeping it short helps, too. But ultimately, you just have to wear it with confidence.“If you wear it confidently,people wll consider it natural,”says Joy.
Photographs by Dairy Darilag. Makeup by Ara Fernando (Cha). Hair by Toni Santos (Cha). Hair and makeup by Muriel Vega Perez (Daisy, Joy). Art direction by Theodore Cruz. Models: Cha Santos, Daisy Estevanez, and Joy Blas-Katigbak.
This story originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine.