Turning 30 and looking better than ever

Turning 30 is a little bit like crossing a threshold. No longer are you flying by the seat of your pants, trying to figure what’s right for you in the moment, falling flat on your face, dusting yourself off and continuing on–you just don’t do that anymore. You are learning from your mistakes and settling into yourself.

For Samantha, a single musician living in Los Angeles, leaving her 20s brings on nothing but positive emotions, “I feel so hopeful for what’s in front of me versus what was behind me.”

Samantha looks younger and happier at 30 then when she was in her 20s. As she becomes more grounded and secure in herself, the more it blooms and lights up her face. “Being a woman, like a fine wine, gets better with age, but you need to take care of yourself,” says Samantha. “You want to preserve that for as long as possible, so I have some tricks that I do with beauty stuff and lotions are very important… treat your body like a temple, treat your body as you would anything else that you love and cherish, because this is what your going to live with the rest of your life.”

“I used to not even think twice about what I look like on stage and I had this long crazy hair and I didn’t care what I was wearing and I just did it,” says Samantha. “But I realized that if I feel like I look really good and I’m put together–it’s kind of a good meditation to put my makeup on, put my lotion on and my clothes–that helps me kind of get in synch with my performance.”

Here are a few pieces of advice to help you age with grace:

  • Take care of your body and accept your limits

“Your body is your temple and you need to take care of it regardless of how invincible you think you are–I think I’m the most invincible person in the world, I can go on three hours of sleep and get on the airplane and get off and play a concert and go to bed in a hotel and wake up the next morning and be fine. But the reality of it is that my voice is going to get tired. I’m going be a little bit fatigued and that kind of shows, especially as a performer. I’m kinda glad that I have to put myself to bed every night by 11 o clock every night and drink tons and tons of water because it makes me feel better in the morning. I can get up and go on a run easier and that type of stuff.”

  • Take every opportunity

“It’s so easy to put limitations and boundaries on what you’re trying to create, but now that I am 30, life explodes into a million different opportunities and I never looked at life like that before. I thought life had to be this one straight shot, north and south, but I didn’t realize I can also be an artist, I can paint, I can direct movies, I can start a non-profit business, we can do anything we want, really, if you can just let yourself. That’s a beautiful thing.”

  • Have a positive attitude

“Being very enthusiastic and being optimistic and positive have always worked, they never fail. And that has carried me through some tough times, if things aren’t really going your way or something happens with your career or your relationship or you want to make a move in your life, you maybe want to try living in a different city or just make a change, enthusiasm will always get you through the day. It’s infectious, other people around you feel it and that helps you out.”

  • Take ownership of yourself

“I feel like I can accomplish so many more things in my day and I’m so much more fulfilled because I know, I’m trusting that even if there’s a couple mistakes thrown in there, I’m still correcting and adjusting them. I’m never going to be perfect, but I am going to lead a much more well-rounded life and my decisions in general are going to be a lot better.”

  • Celebrate your body

“I never allowed myself to feel like I was super hot and sexy before and I know I can do it. I never, ever allowed to be who I am and now I really take ownership of that sexuality and sensuality as a woman. Knowing that I am beautiful on the inside and the outside and allowing myself to feel that way and celebrate that. I think a lot of women don’t do that, especially in this culture and I think they should because it just makes everybody else so happy.”

“With the knowledge that I’ve gained in my 20s with living life and pursuing my dreams and just being a woman, really being a woman in an American society–experiencing the things that everyone experiences, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and a lot of wisdom,” says Samantha. “I can gracefully enter my 30s with a sense of vitality and inspiration and hopefulness.”

Advertisements

My daughter the hairstylist: Keeping me current

From the time she was ten years old, Alyssa’s mom gave her full creative license with her hair. She experimented with everything from Sun-In to streaks of turquoise and pink.

When Alyssa was about 15, her mom helped her get a job as a receptionist at a salon. It was a kids’ salon called Hair Depot. “I loved it, and one of the girls here encouraged me to start beauty school.” She ended up getting her high school diploma at the same time she got her beauty school license.

Alyssa worked at Vidal Sassoon and a few other places for a couple of years. And even though she was still very young, her mom knew she was a creative and talented hairstyling powerhouse.

Mary, her mother, however, wasn’t as creative as her daughter. But she’s always been a good businessperson, so when Hair Depot went out of business, Alyssa and Mary saw it as the perfect opportunity to open their own hair joint.

“We called it The Cut. We wanted to create a neighborhood atmosphere, a really comfortable salon where people could come in their sweats and bring their children,” Mary explained. “Our goal was to provide the same quality of service, but in a more comfortable setting and at a better price.”

Alyssa gets a lot of enjoyment out of being a stylist, but says a lot of clients can be resistant to change. Mary admits she used to be one of those clients but says working with her daughter has opened up her eyes.

“After opening this salon and working with young, cutting-edge stylists like my daughter, I’ve learned that there are a lot of styles for older women that can make them look much younger and more contemporary, and beautiful and free. A lot of women get stuck in a permed style that makes them look older.”

Mary and Alyssa both agree that it’s really important for women to be able to try something new. After all, it’s just hair, and it will always grow back.

“When I cut my mom’s hair, I don’t listen to her at all. If you don’t pay me to do your hair, you’re just my canvas and I’m going to do whatever I want to. My mom’s got conservative ideas about her hair, and I push her to make changes that I know will look good—but the changes are still pretty conservative.”

Mary responds, “If I didn’t have Alyssa as a daughter, my hair would probably still be one long fuzz ball.”

Mary has loved every style that Alyssa has given her—especially when she does something that she didn’t want her to do.

“In those cases, I usually end up loving it more,” she says. “At this point, I trust her to do anything with my hair.”

For herself, Alyssa can’t stay with the same hairstyle for very long. She is constantly updating her look. “I can’t understand why someone would want to stick with the same thing for years and years.”

“It can be scary to get a new look,” Mary says, “Hair is like a security blanket, especially if you’ve had one style for a long time. I think a lot of women have a hard time changing with the times.” For older people, they are used to the same style—they’re afraid they won’t know what to do with something new.

Alyssa has a very professional take on how to work with different types of hair, “Style has more to do with the hair texture than the face shape or your age. If you have really thick hair and you cut it short, it’s going to look poofy, and if you have thin hair and you try to grow it long, it’s just going to be flat and stringy.”

Everyone has something different about their hair, that’s why it’s important to communicate with your stylist about what you want. Mary and Alyssa both think you should be able to really trust your hairstylist, no matter who it is. Mary’s just happens to be her daughter!

If you live in the LA area, visit Mary and Alyssa at their cute, cozy salon, The Cut.

MORE TIPS & TOOLS

She Bangs
Bangs are the coolest, simplest way to make yourself over. Check out the hairstyle page on About.com to figure out what style is best for you.

Mom Hair: It’s Not What It Used to Be
Whether you’re 30 or 50, a mom or a careerwoman, About.com has the best hairstyle for your lifestyle.

Tipping the scales: A midlife crisis

For most of her life Bonnie never had to struggle with her weight. In fact, a normal weight for her was less than 100 lbs. “In my growing up years, my teenage years, and my young adult years I was very, very thin. I am not even five feet tall. I am a very small person, so that was my normal weight.”

“When I had my first child I went to 130 lbs—that is 30lbs on a small body. I lost most of it quickly and got down to 115, but that was still 15 lbs more than I normally weighed. Then with the next child I went to 150 lbs, and it took me three years to get me down to 115. My last child was premature, she weighed 4 lbs and I gained maybe 40 lbs. I was almost 40 when I had that baby and that is when it began, my hormones changed. And it was a real struggle.”

Bonnie is a self proclaimed naturalist; of course she looked for the most natural way to help with weight loss. After some research, she found an herb called Hoodia that helped her lose the weight. “Hoodia worked for me, but I also learned that your body needs to eat. You can never lose weight by not eating. You have to eat and you have to eat smart. I drink soy protein drinks, and I eat very well, very naturally.”

Along with conscious eating, maintaining your health also means maintaining an active lifestyle. Getting creative with how you move your body does not have to be as specific as running on a treadmill everyday. “A dear friend of mine, her husband is a paraplegic. He is a fine artist and amazing, but he is also as big as my finger. One day I said, “Gee, he is so thin,” and she said, “Do you see what he is doing? He is sitting in the chair wiggling. His doctor says that he burns 4,200 calories a day just through his wiggles.” I thought to myself, if I sit there and read a book and shake my hand, can I lose weight? Yes! Any movement counts.”

As an acting teacher, Bonnie used one of her own exercises in accountability to give herself a reality check. “You shut the door and you don’t tell anyone what you are going to do. You strip naked and assess what you have. But instead of going “I hate my hips,” look at what is beautiful. There are more lovely things happening in a woman’s body than there are things that are horrible.”

Eating smart is half the battle, check out the 11 Best Foods You Are not Eating to give your body some love.

MORE TIPS & TOOLS

23 Ways About It
Mommy, writer and successful baby weight loser Beth Howard gives you 23 practical, straightforward tips to shed your post-baby pounds.

Breaking the Tape
A mom of three transforms herself into a triathlete. Read about her trials and tribulations at 21st Century Mom

Hip Chicks and Macrobiotics
Author Jessica Porter gives fresh insight on a tried-and-true dietary practice in her “Hip Chicks Guide to Macrobiotics.”

Whole Grain Nation
Test your whole grain IQ and figure out how much more you should be eating at Whole Grain Nation.

The New Pyramid Plan
The food pyramid as we know it is forever gone. Check out My Pyramid, where you can customize a balanced diet of grains, fruits, veggies and proteins that works for you!