There are many beautiful things that come with aging: strong relationships with friends and family, wisdom, confidence, a deeper sense of self, retirement, and the time and energy to truly do what you want. But what might not be as welcomed are the hair changes that can occur. When women hit age 50, hair starts to lose pigment (if it hasn’t already) resulting in gray hair. Your texture can completely change from straight to curly or frizzy, and moisturized to dry. On top of all of that, it can also start to get thinner and fall out. That’s where the best haircuts for women over 50 can make a big difference.
“One of the most noticeable changes in women over 50 is hair thinning,” shares Ashanti Lation, celebrity hairstylist and owner of VIP Luxury Hair Care. “All of these are normal occurrences and can be attributed to things like hair follicles producing less melanin (causing grays), hormone changes, the slowing of cell reproduction, and nutritional deficiencies.”
In order to find the best styles that will help enhance your natural beauty and work with these hair changes, TZR enlisted celebrity hairstylists to share their favorite haircuts and styles for women over 50. Some on the list will help revitalize depth and dimension, while others focus on shine and hydration. So if you’re looking for a fresh ‘do that will instantly add volume and body, read on for the experts’ 12 go-to haircuts — and be prepared for compliments.
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When you think of haircuts for women over 50, pixies might be the first style to come to mind. But 2022’s iteration is anything but average, featuring an undercut at the back allowing the top hair to have plenty of movement and body. This is a great summer style as undercuts debulk the amount of hair you have, keeping things light and off the nape of your neck during those heavy humid days. Plus, the undone look is equal parts chic and low maintenance, requiring just a salt spray for daily revival.
Extra Long & Glossy
Too often short hair and aging go hand-in-hand. Just because you have reached age 50 does not mean you can’t enjoy long hair still, case in point by mega A-lister herself. Achievable with extensions, you can opt for straight, wavy, or curly – depending on your mood — and keeping your strands all one length makes for plenty of fashion-forward drama a la Demi. For a morning refresh, spritz on a hair sheen or gloss for salon-worthy results every time.
Mid Length & Layered
Highlights — whether balayage, full-head, or chunky face framing ones — are here to stay and don’t have an age limit. Opt for longer layers that skim your collarbone like Julia Roberts with blended blonde highlights throughout. The style will help accentuate your cheekbones and show off your shoulders year-round. Make sure to invest in a weekly hair mask to maintain the shine and vibrancy of the look.
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Protect It All
Protective hairstyles — which protect natural hair and ends from manipulation (think: daily styling and heat damage) and environmental stressors (dirt, debris, and pollution) — don’t discriminate depending on your age. Meaning, they look just as great on a 21-year-old as they do on a 70-year-old. Not to mention they allow you to try out a new style, texture, or color without the full commitment; while simultaneously shielding your natural hair from harm.
Seen on celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez, and more, bangs have seen a massive resurgence this year, and side bangs are a super flattering twist on the trend, no matter your age. They are a quick and easy update to any style and can add a fresh youthfulness to the face, making the face appear smaller — if that’s your vibe. To achieve Cynthia Nixon-level swoop, blow dry your bangs down to the opposite side and finish with a high-power hair spray.
Voluminous Side Part
Regardless of where Gen-Z stands on middle and side parts, a deep side part is a gorgeous soft and natural look for the over 50 club. With this style, less is more (and it’s also great for freshening up your look between trims). Create the deep part and swoop the remaining hair to the other side to allow your long layers to shine. You can blow dry hair with a extra large round brush for more volume and height, then finish off with an anti-frizz cream to keep flyaways down.
Aquage brand ambassador Laura Polko styles a lot of her clients over 50 in a shoulder length cut, as it’s chic and classy with minimal effort. To style this look, the expert recommends Sea Extend Silkening Oil Foam, to combat frizz, and a round brush to blow out the hair — turning ends under for optimal volume. “This is a great length for side bangs or longer curtain bangs, especially if you’re experiencing thinning hair, because it makes hair look fuller,” Polko shares. “It’s also a good style for greying hair due to the texture change, which can ultimately give this style more lifted volume and movement.”
Longer than a classic pixie, yet shorter than a bob, the pixie shag has lots of airy layers that add volume to any texture. Plus the shape is structured and lived-in, making styling easy in just a few steps. To add even more volume, curl large sections of the hair and add in a dry texturizing spray to soften the curls. Erinn Courtney, StyleSeat hairstylist, suggests keeping up with salon appointments for trims and deep conditions at least once a month to keep hair moisturized and easy to maintain at home.
Sleek Chin-Length Bob
According to Lation, the chin length bob frames the face for a sleek and classy look. And if gray hair is a concern for you, you can always add in full color or highlights. “When dealing with new texture because of grey hair, it’s important to modify the way you’re blowing out hair,” says Polko. “For graying strands, I recommend going in with a paddle brush, not a round brush, when hair is 40 – 50 percent dry, which can work to effectively tame unruly strands and prevent frizz.”
“If you like shorter hair, this cropped cut is great for those experiencing grays and thinning strands since you have a lot of opportunity to play with texture, especially when hair is more on the unruly side,” Polko tells TZR. To style this look, the expert suggests matting strands down with the CBD Texturizing Pomade, and then running your fingers through it for the tousled texture you desire. “This is also a great cut if you have thinner hair,” since adding more bangs in the front can disguise a thinning hairline.
To accentuate your facial features opt for a timeless A-line bob. The style is very low-maintenance, requiring only a lightweight styling foam. For that, Stacey-Ann Houston, Ulta Beauty design team member and master hair stylist, recommends Better Not Younger Lift Me Up Hair Thickener. “This lightweight spray thickens strands from root to tip, adding instant fullness, body and lift, and reduces breakage,” the pro shares. If you want to add volume to the crown area, direct the hair forward when blow drying and move brush (or your fingers if you have curls) from root to end. Once the hair cools, flip your head back for added shape and volume.
“This style is a prime example of how you can let hair grow out naturally while embracing graying strands,” Polko tells TZR. “With this length, you can still cut off any colored hair and embrace an entirely gray look.” Chris Lospalluto, celebrity hairstylist advocates for trips to the salon every 10 - 12 weeks for this more lived-in, longer style. And for a weekly scalp exfoliation, the expert loves Jupiter’s Purifying Mask, formulated with biotin and volcanic ash.
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