As the holidays approach, consider giving yourself the gift of an extra 10 years.

“How?” you ask. With a great new hairstyle and color, that’s how. Granted, it won’t add years to your lifespan, but in many cases, a fresh new look and good cut can take 10 years off your looks.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a slave to the salon. If your hair is done properly, you could look younger without breaking the bank.

The shape of the haircut is of utmost importance. The fullness of your style must be at your eyes and cheekbones in order to draw attention there instead of the neck, chin and jowls.

Changing the shape of your haircut alone will turn back time. My theory of the upside-down, triangle-shaped haircut stands firm. The widest part of your style needs to be at your eyes with the narrowest part softening your chin.

Depending on the size of your forehead, a soft bang or a side bang will also soften your look, taking attention away from those facial little lines that sometimes rear their ugly head.

Gray hair is an absence of color, washing out any kind of warmth in your skin and aging your appearance. Why would you want that?

You also don’t want the ugly stripe of gray that appears as roots after a short time if you color your hair all one shade. That’s not attractive and does not look natural. Plus, the more gray that is hiding under the color, the sooner it needs to be re-colored.

There’s another option. If highlights and or low lights are added, your gray hair will grow out gracefully. This is a subtle way to make your hair warmer, brighter and more youthful.

Why wouldn’t anybody want that for Christmas? A new improved you is not that expensive if you do it right.

Eating right, exercising and staying busy are all good recommendations to stay looking and feeling your best. But the No. 1 priority is when you look in the mirror. What you see can start your day the right way or the wrong way.

Isn’t it time to give yourself the gift of a youthful new look?

The biggest news and gift I received recently is a qualified, experienced, old-school stylist by the name of Julie Parsley. She’s been an educator and salon owner for almost as many years as I have. Stop by the salon and say hello.

Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton. styleitsalon.com