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Hairstyles for over 50s

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Whether you're after a super modern 'lob', flowing tresses with bright ends or a hairstyle that will flatter thinner locks, there's a cut for every woman. Far from deciding what you 'can' and 'can't' get away with at a certain age (we don't believe in such things!), it's much more about finding out what will suit you down to the ground...and make you feel fabulous! In case you need a little help deciding on what your image overhaul will look like, here are some useful tips along with our favourite hairstyles for over 50s.  

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What to consider before getting a new hairstyle

 6 face shape types

Getting a new cut is an exciting moment, one that has the ability to make you feel like a whole new person, or just a new and improved you. It's important that you get it right and arrive at the hairdresser's well prepared so you can confidently answer questions on how you'd like the length, style or colour to be. Here are our top five tips to consider before taking the plunge:

  • Your personality - what kind of hairstyles do you generally prefer? What are your personal preferences and what do you think looks good on you?
  • Your face shape - do you have a round, oval, long, square or heart-shaped face? Different lengths and styles suit different face shapes, go for the most flattering.
  • Hair texture - do you have fine or thin hair or are you blessed with thicker locks?
  • Current trends - what's in fashion at the moment? Have you seen a style that's inspired you?
  • What's manageable for you - are you looking for a style that's low maintenance? How much time do you spend styling your hair each day? Do you mind blow drying your hair every day?


Short hair

short hair for over 50s

Shorter hair styles can be very flattering, particularly as you get older, because hair can sometimes start to thin. A short, choppy cut will disguise some of the hair loss by adding extra volume, and depending on the cut and your natural hair texture, they can actually be lower maintenance than longer locks. Opt for a style that requires little styling and minimal effort, especially if you don't have a lot of time to spend getting ready in the mornings. Pixie cuts can be great here. 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 inspiration, it's always useful to flick through a magazine or search the web, and you'll see lots of over-50s, such as Helen Mirren or Viola Davis, sporting enviable but achievable short 'dos. 

Our top 3 short hairstyles for over 50s 

  • A-line long bob
  • Pixie cut
  • Classic bob with a long side-swept fringe


Medium length hairstyles

mid length hairstyles for over 50s
Medium length hairstyles 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, well, a bit shapeless. Go for a definite style that suits your face shape: oval faces can generally get away with most mid-length styles, while heart shapes will suit fuller styles (no sleek lobs here) with sweeping fringes, side partings and uniform layers. If you have a square face, a medium length or longer cut will serve you well, especially with some layers in the front or choppy ends. Likewise, layers will frame a round face well if you keep some volume at the roots. Shoulder-length cuts 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 well. 

Top 3 medium length hairstyles

  • Blunt fringe
  • Sleek cut with face-framing layers
  • Soft tousled waves with subtle layers


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Long hairstyles

longer hairstyles for over 50s

Long styles are a little trickier when it comes to older women - but not because there's a certain point at which a woman shouldn't be wearing her hair long, as many women think. As people age, hair tends to get thinner, which makes long hair look lank on occasion. A bit of 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're not blessed with an abundance of flowing locks, it's best to stay on the shorter side of long. A face-framing side-swept fringe is ideal for women with an oval-shaped face and will also soften very long hair. Long hair suits those with a round or heart-shaped face and doesn't always look flattering on women with long faces unless their hair is wavy or curly. If you have a round face, try a long style with layers that touch the jawline. These layers will also help to stop your hair looking like string if you have fine hair.

Top 3 long hairstyles 

  • Chunky curls
  • Side-swept fringe with face-framing layers
  • Longer layers with a side parting

Playing with colour

hair colour samples

Feeling daring? Fancy a 'radical' 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 any 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 hair is the go-to shade for most women over 50 as it's softer than other shades and doesn't draw as much attention as a bolder hue. 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 on-trend 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.


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