Nothing can boost confidence quite like that 'new haircut' feeling, but it's all about choosing a style that will make you feel like the best version of you, even if you're worried about thinning hair. So, if you're on a quest to find the best hairstyles for over 50s, we're on hand to help. Here are our favourite cuts plus a few essential tips on how to choose the right 'do for you.
Short haircuts can be very flattering, particularly as you get older when hair may unfortunately start to thin. Whether you fancy a short pixie or prefer a longer, modern bob, there's plenty of ladies' short hairstyles to choose from. Here are our favourites.
"I have a friend whose beautiful long hair had been her pride and joy. She decided to let it go grey and have it cut to chin level. She was very reluctant and worried. She needn't have been. She looks fabulous."
Our top 3 short hairstyles:
- Pixie cut
- A-line long bob
- Classic bob with a long side-swept fringe
A short, choppy cut will disguise hair loss by adding extra volume and, depending on the cut and your natural hair texture, they can be lower maintenance than longer locks. Opt for a cut that requires little styling and minimal effort, especially if you don't have a lot of time to spend getting ready in the mornings. Stylish pixie cuts are great for this.
When choosing a shorter hairstyle, it's especially important to take into account your face shape as the more length you have off, the less forgiving it can be. For short hair inspiration, it's always useful to flick through a magazine or search the web. You'll see lots of styles on celebrities, such as Helen Mirren or Viola Davis, who can often be seen sporting enviable, but achievable, short 'dos. They really rock grey hair too.
With this length, decide whether you want to add short layers or whether you want your hair to be one length. If you're looking at bob hairstyles, it may be worth adding in a few layers to boost volume and avoid a cut that looks too severe.
When it comes to hairstyles for older women, medium-length cuts are possibly the easiest and most difficult to wear at the same time. Often they're low maintenance (hurrah!), but, unless the cut is right, they can end up looking a bit shapeless. Read on for how to make the most of mid-length locks.
"I have shoulder-length silver (note: not grey!) hair and am still growing it. I love it. I wear it up, back, down, and am now thinking of a plait."
Our top 3 medium-length hairstyles:
- Blunt fringe
- Sleek cut with face-framing layers
- Soft tousled waves with subtle layers
Go for a hairstyle that suits your face shape: oval faces can generally get away with most mid-length styles, while heart shapes will suit fuller cuts (no sleek lobs here!) with sweeping fringes, side partings and uniform layers.
If you have a square face, a medium-length or longer layered cut will serve you well, especially with choppy ends. Likewise, layers will nicely frame a round face if you keep some volume at the roots.
Shoulder-length haircuts are often the most flattering style for a long face, no matter whether your hair is straight or wavy. But watch out if your hair is quite fine - longer styles tend to suit those with thicker hair. A blunt fringe might be a way to get round this though as it'll help to pad out your cut. Just make sure your hair is shaped and styled well.
If you're looking for hairstyles for thick hair, a long style is often the way to go. Long styles are a little trickier when it comes to over 50s - but not because there's a certain point at which a woman shouldn't be wearing her hair long. Hair naturally thins as we grow older, which can make longer hair look limp. But if you are blessed with thick hair, here are the best ways to make the most of your hairstyle.
"My hair is very long and I get on fine with it. I can put it up, straighten it, wear it in a ponytail, plait it... Anything goes really. With longer hair you don't have to wash it everyday either."
Our top 3 long hairstyles:
- Chunky curls
- Side-swept fringe with face-framing layers
- Longer layers with a side parting
A long length will really suit women with thick hair (some hair even becomes coarser with age, which actually lends itself well to the style as well), but if you don't have an abundance of flowing locks, it's best to stay on the shorter side and to add a bit of volume.
A face-framing side-swept fringe is ideal for women with an oval-shaped face and will also soften very long hair. It's worth noting that longer styles don't always suit women with long faces, unless styled wavy or curly. However, it's best to talk to your stylist to get their opinion on what will suit you best, bearing in mind how your hair naturally falls. If you have a round face, try a style with long layers that touch the jawline.
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What to consider before getting a new hairstyle
Getting a new cut is an exciting, transformative moment - there's a reason people often trial a new hairstyle during turning points in their life. Experimenting can be great, but it's also important to do your research so you don't end up with a fashion faux pas. When you go to the salon, arrive well prepared so you can confidently answer questions on how you'd like the length, style or colour. Here are our top five tips to consider before taking the plunge.
1. Your face shape
This should be a key factor when considering the style of cut to go for. Choosing a style that complements your face shape can do wonders for your confidence, so here are the best hairstyles for a variety of face shapes.
- Best hairstyles for oval faces:
If you have an oval shaped face, you're lucky as most hairstyles will suit you. Go for a style where hair isn't in the face too much to show off your best features - a side-swept fringe is ideal here. Avoid a heavy, full fringe as this may shorten the appearance of your face.
- Best hairstyles for square faces:
If you want to accentuate your features, a modern bob that sits above the cheekbones suits those with long faces, but avoid anything too blunt by asking for some layers. Alternatively, focus on texture to soften a strong jawline - a chop that emphasises curls and waves does the trick. Layered longer styles are another great option as they can give the illusion of a longer face.
- Best hairstyles for round faces:
Round faces suit medium-length hairstyles, ideally below the chin, especially if you have wavy or curly hair. If you do prefer short hairstyles, a cut with more volume on top works best - for example, a pixie cut or choppy, layered bob - as they minimise roundness in the face.
- Best hairstyles for long faces:
Go for a shorter style, or one that adds volume. Curls are a great trick for widening the appearance of your face, so talk to your stylist for advice on a hairstyle that adds volume. It's best to avoid styles that are long, as these can lengthen your face, so short or mid-length is the way to go.
- Best hairstyles for heart-shaped faces:
Longer styles suit heart-shaped faces best, as they add balance to a narrow chin. Make sure you also incorporate some layers for a youthful look. If you fancy going shorter, a pixie cut with choppy layers is great for balancing the face.
- Best hairstyles for a diamond face shape:
Similar to styles that suit a heart-shaped face, go for haircuts that widen the chin and minimise the forehead. It's best to opt for a youthful bob that comes down to the chin, so the focus is on your hair. Side partings also look great on those with diamond-shaped faces. Try to avoid styles with more volume on top.
2. Your personal taste
The most important thing is how your new haircut makes you feel. Think about what you like. What kind of hairstyles do you generally prefer? Do you favour short or mid-length? Or are modern hairstyles top of your list? What are your personal preferences and what do you think looks good on you?
3. Hair texture
Your hair texture should be something you consider when going for a cut. If you have thin or fine hair, consider going for choppy layers, as the contrast in length can add a good amount of volume. It's also worth noting that the longer your hair is, the more it is weighed down, so shorter styles may be the better option if thin hair is a concern.
4. What's manageable for you?
Let's face it; we all like to hit the snooze button a little more than we'd admit to. Consider how much effort you're realistically willing to invest in your new hairstyle. Are you looking for a style that's low maintenance? How much time do you spend styling your hair each day? And do you mind blow drying it? Be honest so that you choose a hairdo that is convenient for your lifestyle.
5. Where will you get it cut?
Finding a hairdresser who knows your hair and can translate your wishes into actual results is a difficult task. Look for a salon listed under 'best haircuts for women' on a reviews site and carefully read the reviews. Also keep an eye out for people who've had the same treatments you're going for to gauge how suitable they are for your needs.
Playing with hair colour
Feeling daring? Fancy a change? Why not embrace current trends and try out a completely different look centred around bright and beautiful colours? You can change your hair colour at any age, so maybe now's the time.
Reddish tones add warmth to most complexions, and are a semi-daring way to try a new hair colour while hiding grey roots (if you're not quite ready to transition to grey hair just yet). Certain reds can can sometimes have the opposite effect on olive skin tones though, so it's best to speak with a colourist before taking the plunge.
Blonde is the go-to shade for many women over 50, whether it's blonde highlights or a complete colour change, as it's softer than other shades and doesn't draw as much attention as a bolder hue. It's also the most forgiving shade when it comes to grey roots as the contrast isn't as harsh. It's worth asking your stylist about toning treatments to achieve your desired finish after it has been coloured.
If you're really brave, and already have light or white hair, you could opt for an all-over colour, such as pink or purple, in an 'Instagram-worthy' pastel hue. It doesn't have to be permanent, either - plenty of shops sell temporary colours that will wash out within a few months, and many are now cruelty-free.
8 of the best hair products for over 50s
Aftercare is just as important for the condition of your hair as the trim itself. We've given you the best hairstyles for women over 50, now we present you with the products recommended by older women themselves to ensure your locks stay in peak condition. From shampoo for grey hair to thickening conditioner, and oils that adds a luxurious sheen to hair, here are the best buys to get maximum mileage out of your brand-new haircut.
1. Phil Smith Big it Up! Shampoo
"I use Phil Smith ‘Big It Up’ shampoo and no conditioner. When the hair is half dry, apply a blob of any hair mousse with your head upside down before blow drying."
2. OGX Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo
"I've been using argan oil shampoo and conditioner recently. It has made my hair (very thick with a mind of its own) softer, more manageable and less static."
3. L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Coconut Hair Oil
"For shiny hair, use argan oil or coconut oil shampoo, conditioner or a finishing oil from either source. If using the finishing oil, put a few drops in your palms and rub through damp hair and dry as normal."
4. L'Oréal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Conditioner
"I have been using Elvive shampoo and conditioner for thin hair. The day after I wash it, my hair feels so much thicker. Plus it smells lovely too."
5. Advance Techniques Daily Shine Dry Ends Serum
"I've got an oil from Avon which is very good. You can go online if there's no rep near you. A small amount rubbed into the palm of your hands after drying your hair is all it takes."
6. Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo
"I have grey/white hair and use Aveda Blue Malva shampoo for the second wash. It does give it a good colour and also a sheen to my hair."
7. John Frieda Luxurious Volume Conditioner
"I use John Frieda thickening shampoo and conditioner which I think makes my fine hair look a little thicker."
8. Lee Stafford ARGANOIL from Morocco Nourishing Miracle Oil
"I’ve found that a drop or two of argan oil massaged in the night before washing my hair really works."