Looking for a new hairstyle? You’ve got your work cut out for you — there are tons of youthful hairstyles for women over 50. Luckily, they can all look absolutely fabulous no matter your face shape and structure, hair color, or age! It’s always fun to try out cute, flattering looks, exciting styles, and even drastic chops to let your individuality shine.
In terms of choosing youthful hairstyles for women over 50, you can safely ignore convention. You don’t need to “fit in” or wear a conservative style if that doesn’t fit your personality. You can try out hot new looks with bangs, a daring side part, or even an adventurous hair color if you so choose.
When it comes to expressing yourself, there is no rule book. Just be yourself! According to Sarah Potempa, celebrity hairstylist and founder of The Beachwaver Co., “there are no more rules” about cutting your hair. You can feel free to pursue your hair dreams, no matter your age and no matter how wild they may be.
But if you’re having trouble figuring out the right style for you, we’re here to help. We chatted with Potempa and celebrity hairstylists Sally Hershberger, Jason Backe, and Miss Jessie’s Natural Hair Products CEO Miko Branch, and rounded up everything you need to know about youthful hairstyles for women over 50 for all face shapes, cuts for thin hair, gray hair, and short hair. You’ll be on your way to a fresh new look in no time.
What’s the Best Hairstyle for Women Over 50 With Fine or Thin Hair?
Thinning hair, as well as hair loss in women, isn’t uncommon as you age. After 50, it’s normal for previously thick hair to thin out. Your hair texture will likely change, too. Though female hair loss is certainly a concern, sometimes you’re just dealing with naturally fine hair.
A sophisticated layered crop hairstyle is a great volume booster for women over 50 who find their hair thinning over time. It can be worn loose thanks to choppy layers that create texture, but when backcombed or combed down, it can make for a sleek, modern look. Added height in the front can give it a much-needed boost, especially for women with fine or thin hair.
No matter which ailment you’re dealing with, however, there are ways to rock thin hair over 50 that don’t include simply shaving it all off. You can look polished and put together with youthful hairstyles while you figure out how to get thicker hair or you decide to work with the texture you have.
Which Hair Part Makes You Look Younger?
A hairstyle can potentially age your face in several different ways, including how you part your hair. Many of us spend quite a bit of time debating the right color and cut to choose to take years off our face, but the right part can be just as beneficial.
Instead of going for a simple center part or one that’s far off to the left or right, one that’s slightly off center is a great way to soften your face without drawing attention to areas that may be losing volume. Instead, your eyes and cheekbones are the star of the show, and you get an aesthetically pleasing swoop with bangs across the forehead that can cover any problematic skin areas you wish to hide.
Does Long Hair Make You Look Older After 50?
If you’re under the impression that you need to chop your hair off once you reach a certain age, put down those scissors! There are plenty of ways to make long hair after 50 work for you, and it’s all in the way you style it.
Your hair length doesn’t necessarily need to age you, you can rock long locks at any age. You just need to be conscious of how it’s styled, and what looks good on you. Face shape is an important aspect of figuring out a flattering style whether you’d like short, medium length hair, or even long, flowing hairstyles. You’ll see an example of this further down in the piece.
How Do I Wear a Ponytail Over 50?
If you’re still subscribed to the antiquated notion that older women can’t wear ponytails, think again! This hairstyle is an incredibly versatile and ultimately flattering way to add flair to any look.
Ponytails make great options for formal occasions in place of traditional updos or elaborate styles. It’s also a great way to keep long, sweeping hair out of the way when exercising, when you’re dealing with hot weather, or even when you just need a quick and easy look for the day.
What Hairstyle Is in for 2021?
One of the hottest hairstyles for women in 2021 is, by far, the short, layered bob. While the blunt bob is a great option for most face shapes and older women, this style is also quite versatile and simple to style when getting ready in the morning. Just blow-dry your hair, tousle a bit, and you’re on your way.
How To Achieve Youthful Hairstyles for Women Over 50
So, you’ve chosen the cut you want and you’re ready to take the leap. How can you go from the hair you have to the hair of your dreams? You’re going to need inspiration and a great hairdresser, for one thing. Potempa suggests bringing a photo for inspiration when you make your hair appointment so there’s an easy reference. That way, you can show the person working their hair magic exactly what you want.
When you’ve received your stunning new style, you can maintain it by investing in high-quality tools, according to Potempa, like a a flat iron for sleek, straight looks.
Keep scrolling to see some of our favorite youthful hairstyles for women over 50 with short, medium, long, thin, and thick hair.
- Blunt, Straight Bob with Bangs
- Textured Pixie Cut
- Long, Voluminous Waves
- Pin-Straight Tresses
- Glossy, Defined Curls
- Perfectly Polished Ponytail
- Breezy Side-Swept Curls
- Sophisticated Shag
- Elegant Updo
1. Blunt, Straight Bob
This style is a popular favorite among celebs like Vogue’s Anna Wintour, and for good reason. It’s incredibly flattering, while simple to achieve, and it’s one of our favorite short hairstyles for women over 50.
“A blunt, straight bob that is longer in the front gives you a sleek, powerful hairstyle,” says Potempa. “It will give you a youthful feel. Use a flat iron to keep this hairstyle sleek.”
Would Anna Wintour be Anna Wintour without her iconic blunt bangs and bob?
Viola Davis’s mid-length bob frames her face perfectly.
Madonna’s blunt cut emphasizes her piercing eyes and gorgeous eyebrows.
Mary J. Blige’s icy blonde, blunt bob enhances her features.
Mary Steenburgen’s shoulder-grazing bob shows off her glossy, healthy mane.
2. Textured Pixie Cut
A pixie cut can make for a dramatic transformation or a stylish, easy-to-maintain cut for women looking for something with a little bit of edge.
“A choppy pixie cut, like Halle Berry’s, is one of my favorite styles for older women,” says celebrity hairstylist Sally Hershberger. “The short, edgy look draws so much attention to the eyes and cheek bones giving you a high-fashion look.”
Plus, it keeps your hair out of your face, and that’s a great option for anyone looking for hairstyles for women over 50 with glasses.
A sprightly pixie style has always been one of Halle Berry’s go-to looks.
Jamie Lee Curtis has worn her edgy, signature pixie for years.
Angela Bassett continues to age in reverse, especially when she rocks a close-cropped pixie.
Helen Mirren’s piece-y pixie is perfectly textured to add a bit of excitement.
The secret to Judi Dench’s show-stopping textured pixie is plenty of short layers.
3. Long, Voluminous Waves
Long, soft curls are a great (and touchable) way to soften up features while adding volume to your typical style.
“A volumized, tousled hairstyle looks great on those with longer, oval shaped face shapes to help their face appear shorter,” says celebrity hairstylist Jason Backe.
If you’d like, you can even add a fringe to this look, making it one of the hallmarks of the best hairstyles with bangs for women over 50.
Marisa Tomei’s thick, voluminous locks are perfect for “loose, beachy waves,” according to Potempa.
Connie Britton’s gorgeous, flowing waves have always given the Nashville star an ethereal presence.
Jennifer Aniston may be known for “the Rachel” cut, but she totally owns beachy waves, too.
Famke Janssen’s ultra-feminine waves look great with her rich hair color.
4. Pin-Straight Tresses
This simple look adds polish to any style, bringing a “put together” vibe that works well on women of any age. This is a look that’s great for using a flat iron to keep your long strands shiny. And if you have really thin or fine hair, try extensions, according to Potempa: “They help lengthen your hair and add a ton of volume – like Laced Hair Ombre Extensions!”
Barbra Streisand opted for a sleek style with a slightly off-center part. This helps keep and sustain her youthful glow.
Sandra Bullock’s piercing eyes are given space to shine with this completely straight look.
Salma Hayek is ready for glam, day or night, with her straight, lengthy locks.
Holly Hunter adds a bit of softness to her flat-ironed look with wispy ends.
Laura Linney opts for straight, shoulder-length tresses that frame her face.
5. Glossy, Defined Curls
Gorgeous curls, defined or otherwise, are a simple way to change up your look, and easy to achieve as well.
“Big, soft curls are a great balance between soft and edgy,” says Miko Branch, co-founder and CEO of Miss Jessie’s Natural Hair Products. “The curls soften the face while also creating a youthful and fashion-forward look.”
Kristin Davis glows with her subtly defined curls.
Debi Mazar’s ringlets serve classic Old Hollywood glam.
Andie Macdowell’s signature vivacious curls frame her face in a gorgeous way.
Elle Macpherson accessorizes with big, bouncy barrel curls.
Helen Hunt is ready for her close-up with gorgeous, silky ringlets.
6. Perfectly Polished Ponytail
A sleek ponytail is a versatile hairstyle that you can dress up or down depending on the occasion. It can suit all face shapes and hair types, and it’s a great younger style to lean on.
Jennifer Lopez has been rocking a sleek ponytail since she was Jenny from the Block.
Sarah Jessica Parker creates a glam look with a simple ponytail.
Lucy Liu’s slicked-back pony looks positively angelic.
Gwen Stefani has always been a proponent of a high ponytail.
Jane Seymour keeps her ponytail low but sweet.
7. Breezy Side-Swept Curls
Side-swept curls, like bangs, can be used as a gentle way to frame your face. They soften harsh features and serve up some age-defying properties at the same time.
Allison Janney sweeps her hair to the side for a flexible look that can be dressed up or down for casual wear or awards season flair.
Heather Graham’s side-swept curls look like a golden cascade framing her face.
Nicole Kidman’s flaxen tresses are sculpted and touchable off to the side.
Kylie Minogue proves her style is still timeless with modest side waves.
Diane Lane’s side-swept look is a show-stopper paired with an elegant makeup look.
8. Sophisticated Shag
A shag style combines piece-y, textured ends with a modern vibe that lends a youthful feel to any haircut. Plus, it’s an easy option for busy women who prefer to wash their hair and go in the mornings instead of fussing over their hairdo to get it just right.
Sigourney Weaver opts for a style that’s high on style and low on stress.
Glenn Close wears a tousled shag that oozes effortless cool.
Jane Lynch’s shag is easily replicated and perfect for a number of events.
Jessica Lange’s glamorous shag looks fantastic on the street or on the red carpet.
Taraji P. Henson’s piecey shag is versatile and flattering.
9. Simple Side Bang
The side bang has been a go-to style option for women of all ages for some time, and it looks especially great on older women.
“There are bangs for all face shapes,” says celebrity hair stylist Ryan Richman. “Curtain bangs, blunt bangs, and side swept bangs can bring a playful youth to your style and are a fun quick way to change up your hair.”
Kim Cattrall’s side bangs reveal perfectly shaped eyebrows.
Jennifer Jason Leigh’s side bangs blend effortlessly into the rest of her cut.
Ming-Na Wen’s fun side bangs bring a bit of symmetry to her look.
Jaclyn Smith’s feathered waves look great with side bangs.
Kris Jenner pairs her signature short hair with side bangs.
10. Elegant Updo
Mature women can look gorgeous with beautiful, slightly bouffant-styled updos. The volume adds a bit of oomph to an overall look, while the updo remains a great choice for special occasions. It can be styled for everyday wear with less pomp and circumstance as well, if you have a bit of time in the mornings to pull your hair up and secure it away from your face, skipping the potential curls and fancy designs.
Helena Bonham Carter’s updos always come with high drama and plenty of sass.
Jennifer Tilly is ready to hit the town with her all-in glam look.
Queen Latifah’s updo is professional but laid back.
Vanessa Williams’ updo adds volume at the crown.
Vivica’s polished top knot brings out her eyes.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.