Dear Lucky: How do I tell my sister-in-law her hair is terribly out of style?

Q: How do I tell my sister-in-law her hair is terribly out of style? She looks like a 1983 flashback! —Kristen

Alexa Chung, hair icon!

A: Dear Kristen,

Now this is a beauty-editor problem! I can’t tell you how many of my colleagues at other magazines have been ordered to surreptitiously make over an unsuspecting coworker. (By surreptitious, I’d like to emphasize, I mean conducting a complete and total overhaul without the coworker ever knowing they’re being made over.)

I think the best tactic is to engage a celebrity’s help: “Oh, my God! I just realized you look exactly like Alexa Chung!” Alexa Chung could be Sofia Vergara or Jennifer Lawrence or Jennifer Aniston—what this celebrity needs to possess is not a resemblance to your sister-in-law but the hairstyle you think your sister-in-law should upgrade to. “Really? Alexa Chung?! You think I look like her?”

Yes, you murmur distractedly, yes. You keep showing her super-flattering pictures of Alexa Chung, every so often dropping a “love her hair, right?” and eventually you work up to “You would look so pretty with your hair like that!”

Note: If she does not take the bait, resign yourself to sister-in-law frumpiness and say nothing else.

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