Hairstyles for women over 50

by Ben
Hairstyles, Helen Mirren

Turning 50 no longer means that you have to cut your hair into a short matronly style and allow your entire head to turn grey in a matter of weeks.

Turning 50 no longer means that you have to cut your hair into a short matronly style and allow your entire head to turn grey in a matter of weeks. The ridiculous rules from decades ago are long gone, becoming a mother or growing older doesn’t mean you can’t have long hair, and, if you want to dye your hair an outrageous shade of purple, go for it, if it suits you and your style.

Society and your stage in life no longer dictate what you can and can’t do with your hair over a certain age, leaving your preference and your facial features and structure as your guideline for a hairstyle. You may also want to take into account the condition and type of hair you have, and also your lifestyle, some styles can be extremely high maintenance.

Any good hairdresser will tell you that your choice of hairstyle is limited only to what suits you, your face, your complexion, the condition or texture of your hair, and extremely importantly, your personality. After menopause many women find that their hair is thinner, this is due to hormone changes and deficiencies. Short hairstyles are often a good way of disguising thin hair, a short classic or choppy bob, mid-length hair that grazes your shoulders or a short layered crop with a fringe can all give the illusion of thicker hair. Most importantly, avoid very long hair which has the tendency to look straggly at the ends. A fringe can also work wonders to cover up wrinkles on your forehead!

Choosing a hair colour
As your hair starts to turn grey, the temptation is often to cover it up with a darker colour, this can be a mistake as obviously dyed hair can be more ageing than grey, particularly when it doesn’t suit your skin colour. Consider going for a lighter colour instead, unless you are extremely pale, this can flatter your skin tone and instantly brighten and lift your complexion. Women with pale skin can stick with darker colours well into their fifties if the colour is done right. While women with darker and olive skin can choose from warm blonde, brown or burgundy shades, however, it’s always a good idea to consult a hairdresser rather than experimenting at home, you don’t want to end up looking washed out.

Layers around your face which are brushed slightly back and upwards can soften facial features and can disguise a jawline that is losing definition. A common misconception is that keeping your hair close to your face disguises a loosening jaw line, however it can often do the opposite, emphasising it instead. Keep your hair shorter around the face and using a round brush to give volume and height to your hair can also help to take attention away from areas of your face that are ageing. Hair that is moving upwards works to counteract the sagging skin and the dropping of facial features associated with age, giving them a natural lift.

Bobs, whether smooth and classic or textured are a particularly good choice for thinning hair, creating texture and avoiding the straggly ends that occur with longer hair can make your hair look fuller and healthier. Layers can add volume and fringes, either sweeping or blunt can hide a multitude of sins! Importantly, make sure that the fringe you choose suites your face shape, sweeping fringes are good for rounder faces, while long blunt fringes suit longer faces.

Short and textured
Short, chunky layers around the face tend to emphasise the eyes rather than a loose jawline. Short hairstyles not only work to disguise thinning hair but are also the best styles for other effects of ageing on the hair such as dryness. If you are reluctant to loose the length of your hair, up-dos, such as a French pleat can have the same effect, emphasising the eyes and detracting from the jaw area. Wearing your hair in a style that creates height can volume can also help to draw the eye upwards and make you talk taller and slimmer.

Avoid the matronly look
At all costs avoid the matronly look, even if you decide to keep you hair long and prefer to wear it off your face, there is no need for it look unflattering and stiff. Being over 50 doesn’t mean you can no longer style your hair in a softer way, soften your look by allowing loose pieces of hair to escape from an up-do or, if you decide to go for a shorter style, getting your hairdresser to razor cut the ends of your hair. This can be flattering and uplifting, giving the illusion of a longer neck. Shorter layers at the top of the head can add height to the crown and help hair to look more volumised.

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