Finding the perfect hairstyle can be a challenge for women in even the best of circumstances. Though it may become trickier as you age and begin to face an increasing number of hair issues — such as thinning hair and loss of shine — it’s easier than you might imagine to find and maintain a hairstyle that’s both beautiful and modern. “Being over 50 doesn’t mean you need to be out of the beauty game,” says Jill Crosby, a Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist for Women’s ROGAINE. “Be creative and choose styles that are chic and exciting.”
The Challenges with Aging
As they age, many women may experience dull, damaged hair; strands that are thinning; and a loss of body, but that doesn’t mean they can’t fight back with the right products and cut. Root boosters, volumizing sprays, and smoothing serums can help add volume and shine to aging hair, while leave-in conditioners can help soften coarse, frizzy strands, says David Groshen, owner of David Groshen Salon in New York City. For hair that’s thinning, a cut with subtle, volume-building layers is an easy fix, Crosby adds.
What to Consider When Selecting a Style
When a woman over 50 is choosing a hairstyle, everything from hair color and texture to face shape and desired maintenance should come into consideration. Because the contours of the face change over the years, Groshen suggests reevaluating your own shape before getting a cut. Personality should also come into play, says Gary Gemma, owner of Gary Patrick Salon in Northern California. “A client who is more trendy and hip will have a different hairstyle than one who’s more conservative,” he says. “Know yourself. Be true to your sense of style.”
Play with a Pixie Cut
Many women opt for a shorter hairstyle when they hit 50, and the pixie cut is becoming an increasingly popular option. For women with straight hair and a rounder face, a sleek pixie is smart, as it helps create a slimmer, more oval face shape. For ladies with texture and wave, a choppier, spiky version is a good fit, too. But if you’re hoping that this super short cut means you’ll spend less time styling your hair each morning, Crosby says you should think again. Short hairstyles can require a lot of maintenance, so women should be certain they can style it properly at home before chopping off their locks.
Stay Classic with a Bob
A traditional bob is perhaps the most common hairstyle for women over 50, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. According to Groshen, a cropped bob that hits between the chin and shoulders will help lift fine, limp hair, while adding long layers and bangs — this can help offset the rounding of the face that occurs naturally as you age. An edgy, angled bob, where hair is shorter in the front than the back, softens the jawline and is great for women with square or angular faces. A longer variation, known as the lob, is a smart style for women who want to keep some length without going too long, Crosby says, adding that the cut works for all hair types.
Leave It Long
While many 50-plus women chop off their locks because of damage and loss of volume, ladies with healthy hair can keep strands cut between the collarbone and top of the chest. Fine and medium hair work well with long layers that start at the collarbone, while ladies with thicker hair can add layers to the underside of hair. If your hair is damaged at the ends, Crosby suggests going for a blunt cut, which will eliminate frayed ends while giving you a mix of style, class, and edge.
Pick the Right Color
Though Crosby says naturally gray hair can be both beautiful and striking when paired with the right haircut, coloring hair is an easy fix for camouflaging graying or thinning locks. She suggests sticking with lighter colors — such as subtle reds and browns, as well as warm blondes — as they complement and soften many skin tones. Groshen adds, “The color should create natural and healthy looking hair, which often becomes a challenge when pigmentation fades. As more gray appears, it’s important to adapt to the lightness and darkness of the hair.”
References and ResourcesJill Crosby, celebrity hairstylist; Los Angeles
David Groshen, owner of David Groshen Salon; New York City
Gary Gemma; owner of Gary Patrick Salon; Pleasanton, Calif.