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two Curly sisters

1. The store cashier thinks your sister is your daughter, but you’re only five years apart. 

Your hair is aging you! Maybe your hair color is washing out your youthful features. Visit a colorist in your area to assess how light or dark you should go. Sometimes you just have to accept that a deep red looks a lot better against your skin than jet black. If you’re in absolute love with your hair color, maybe a new hairstyle is in order. It can be as simple as parting your hair down the middle instead of to the right. Are your curls too long? A shorter, layered cut can make your curls seem more light and bouncy.

MORE: 6 Hair Tips to Make You Look Younger

frightening Frizz

2. Your coworker assumes you’re going to be an 80s hair band rocker for the company Halloween party.

A modern haircut is in order! Gone are the days of insane frizz, teased crowns and bangs, and side ponytails. A layered haircut will add dimension and natural shape to your curls. Maybe you need to thin your curls out a little to tone down the volume. Visit a stylist you trust who knows how curly hair grows and frames the face. To bring your frizz down to 21st century levels, make sure your curls are properly deep conditioned – dry hair means frizzy hair!

MORE: Are Curly 80s Hair Styles Now Retro?

athletic lady with coily hair

3. People always ask if you’re headed to the gym.

Ditch the messy buns, thick headbands, and big, cotton scrunchies. Those are for the gym, not the workplace. Embrace your curls and wear them loud and proud! Don’t believe the myth that curly hair is unprofessional. Rock a wash & go using your favorite gel or try twists and braids to alter your curl pattern into loose waves or tight curls over night without heat. You can also pull them back into a sleek, fashionable bun, but use more discreet hair accessories this time.

MORE: 5 Tips for Exercising With Natural Hair

Blonde Shockwave

4. People always ask if you’re feeling well, but haven’t even sneezed and you have no tissues in hand.

Hair color can change how warm or cool our skin looks. If your hair is too dark, it can wash out your features and make you look very tired and pale. If your hair is colored too light, it can make you look like an ice queen, a la Tilda Swinton. Visit your stylist and ask for some warmth and dimension through highlights and lowlights.

Make sure your hair color matches your skin undertones. Those with cool undertones can go as deep as bluish black. Warmer undertones need deep browns and golds. It’s also on trend to change your hair color with each major change in season. By Thanksgiving, switch out your sun-kissed highlights for a deeper, richer color.

MORE: 8 Foods for Healthy Skin

pensive annoyed lady with curly hair

5. During conversations, people stare just above your face. My eyes are down here, fellas! 

Time to touch up those roots! Seems like the contrast between your natural color and your dye job is distracting. If you know how to DIY it, go for it! If not, make a hair appointment ASAP. Darker roots on a lighter dye job can make your hair look greasy, while your blonde roots with a brunette ponytail just looks wonky!

MORE: How to Hide Oily Roots

sticky note on fridge

6. Your mother keeps posting sticky notes with the address to her favorite salon on your fridge when she comes over.

Ugh, mom is trying to send a message, isn’t she? Maybe it’s time for a new color to bring in the changing season, or maybe your curls look a bit droopy and a slightly layered cut is in order. Maybe your hair just has a bad case of the dry frizzies. Treat yourself to a moisturizing deep conditioner to bring the moisture and definition back to your hair. If it’s humid outside, more moisture won’t tame those fuzzies. Try a humidity serum or gel to smooth down those flyaways.

MORE: 5 Bad Curly Hair Habits to Break