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10 short hairstyles for older women

short hairstyles for older women

A good hairstyle is like gold dust - it can completely transform your face and really boost your confidence. So if you're dreaming of trying a new style now hairdressers are open again, get some inspiration from our guide to the best short hairstyles for older women, from edgy pixie cuts to bouncy bobs.


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Why choose a short hairstyle?

Short hairstyles are all the rage as you get older, not least because they are fairly low-maintenance (well, nine times out of 10, anyway). But it can be hard to pluck up the courage to change hairstyles. Your hair does, after all, play a large part in your appearance, and a bad haircut is like rain on a summer's day - not uncommon, but rarely well-received. So why go for a short cut? 

  • It's more manageable than a longer cut (most of the time anyway).
  • With the right cut, short hair can look modern and youthful.
  • Short layered hair can add volume to fine or thin hair. 
  • Your hair will likely look healthier after a good chop.
  • You might just feel more confident.

How to choose a short hairstyle over 50

Picking the right style is essential when it comes to any hair cut, but it's even more crucial that you think about the best hairstyle to suit your face shape or taste when you're dramatically decreasing the length of your locks. Here are three things to consider before going for the chop...


1. Celebrity inspiration

short hairstyles for older women

When changing your look, it's essential that you are clear with your hairdresser about your desired style. There's often so much jargon that it can be difficult to articulate exactly what you want from a haircut, so taking a visual reference with you of a style you love is a great way to clarify the look you are going for.

There are a wealth of celebrity images online, offering inspiration if you're searching for short hair ideas. Try to find a celebrity with a similar face shape and take note of how their hair is styled to accentuate their best features. Don't be afraid to use an image as a starting point and consider how you like the style but would like to change it to make it more 'you' - maybe you like the length and shape, but would prefer a more modern hairstyle or would like to adapt the style to your hair's natural texture? 

2. Pump up the volume

Short hair can often be much more flattering if you have thin hair, as you don't have the weight of long hair exaggerating the fine texture. There are other clever tips and tricks to help you add volume to your locks. From smart layering to contrasting highlights, if you've started to notice that you're losing hair more rapidly than usual, the way you cut and style your hair can make a big difference in raising your confidence.

While thinning hair is an unfortunate part of the ageing process, it doesn't mean you have to give up on luscious locks, and it may just lead you to a new cut you love. Make sure you read on for our selection of the best short hairstyles for fine hair over 50.

3. Hairstyles for glasses 

short hairstyles for over 50 with glasses

Just as you'd pick a pair of frames to suit your face shape, you need to consider the style of glasses you wear when choosing a new haircut. Think about whether the cut will complement them or if your glasses may potentially obstruct the hairstyle you are wanting.

There are so many flattering short hairstyles out there to suit women over 50 with glasses, it's just a case of finding the right cut for you. If in doubt, ask your hairdresser's opinion on what they think will suit you best.


Top 10 short hairstyles for older women

No matter your style, nothing quite beats a cut that lasts. Whether you're after a fringe, a more unusual hairdo or really just a change of some sort, here are the best short haircuts for women over 50 as recommended by those who have them.


1. Side-swept fringe

"I always go for fairly short hair with a fringe. It provides a style that is wash and go."

side-swept fringe for short hair

If you have a round face, create an illusion of length by opting for a long side-swept fringe, perhaps paired with a classic chin-length bob or a layered pixie, although it will work a treat with pretty much any short haircut.

A side-swept fringe will also benefit any face shape as it frames the face well, which makes it a flattering hairstyle for women who prefer short hair. No wonder it's so popular. 


2. Classic bob 

"What about a chin-length bob? With or without a fringe."

classic bob hairstyle

The queen of short hairstyles (if you will), this elegant cut is ideal for older women. It's a versatile choice in that you can change your parting as and when to add extra volume and dress your look up or down to suit any occasion. If you're new to short length hairstyles, you could always opt for a short layered bob for a look that isn't quite as severe a change as a pixie cut. 

Whether you prefer a 'lob', otherwise known as a long bob, a cut that skims the jaw or a choppy style, the classic bob hairstyle is fairly low-maintenance. It will also add some depth and gives your hair texture, which makes it a winner in our eyes. 


3. Edgy pixie cut

"I think a pixie cut would look great on an older woman - think Judi Dench - and it's easy to look after."

Judi Dench with short hair

Take a leaf out of Judi Dench's book and go for an edgy pixie cut, a hairstyle that is proving very popular among women of all ages.

When it comes to very short hairstyles for women, the pixie is one of the most flattering cuts for those over 50. Although it looks best on those with a square or heart-shaped face, it's the ideal hairstyle if you're looking to transition to grey hair quickly and easily - the shorter the length, the quicker it'll take!

Play around with highlights or semi-permanent dye for an even edgier look. Multi-toned colouring, in particular, will help to add some depth to your hair, as well as making it appear fuller. 

If you're looking for the best short hairstyles for fine hair, a pixie cut is a great option. Just don't forget to discuss how you will use layers to add volume with your hairdresser. 


4. Full fringe

"I have to have a fringe as I have enough wrinkles to screw my hat on!"

woman with red short hair

A block fringe is fantastic if you have a long face as it will cover your forehead and make your face look shorter. It'll also hide thin hair and the odd bald spot, so make sure it starts as far back as you can to achieve a fuller look. This style could prove problematic, however, for those with curly hair and those who want a hairstyle with slightly less maintenance involved - the fringe will certainly need a regular trim, which could prove a hassle.

A fringe is an opportunity to have some fun, though. It's a great choice for women with a chin-length bob as it will add some volume to flat, lifeless hair. Consider a different colour (how fabulous is this red?) for a more attention-grabbing look.


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5. A-line bob

"I have fine hair, so I have it short at the back for volume, then graduated until it's just below chin length at the front, which gives the appearance of a longer style."

chin-length bob

An A-line long bob is a gorgeous cut for older women with a long face and fine, straight hair. The front is usually around two inches longer than the back, which makes styling a lot easier for those who hate the faff. It'll allow you to focus on creating a pleasing shape at the front while providing a bit of variation from the classic bob.  

This hairstyle also works well if you wear glasses, which can also be tricky to get right depending on your face shape. It's a particularly flattering cut with rectangular glasses as it offers a level of symmetry, although it works well with a variety of specs.


6. Very short cut

"After years of long hair, I had my hair cut short and it is so much easier to manage now."

very short hairstyles for older women 

Shorter 'dos are a life-saver if you have hair that is hard to manage, and the good thing about very short hair is that there is less of it to grapple with. While this might ring some alarm bells for those who have thinning or fine hair, you can add a bit of volume on top (see below) and style as you please, whether it's a spiky, choppy look or a smoother layered cut. 

The only downside to super short hair, however, is having to trim every six weeks in order to keep the style looking fresh. It's important to get the most out of your hairdresser when initially going for the chop so that you find a short hairstyle you're happy with.


7. Volume on top

"My hair is fine, curly and unruly, so I wear it layered."

short layered hairstyle

Whether it's a pixie haircut with shorter layers at the side and longer ones on top, a short stacked bob or a more classic short layered cut (as above), it's fairly easy to create volume and height with short hairstyles. And the great news is that you don't need a particular face shape for a layered cut either. The layering ultimately affects the shape - hooray! Grab the rollers or the curling tongs if you have wavy hair to flesh out those curls and add extra oomph. Shake out your curls after styling for a more natural-looking wave.

Ultimately, the classic layered cut is our favourite of the three for adding volume as it's stylish, full-bodied and really does look quite stunning. With this said, it may also prove to be the go-to style for those with naturally thick hair. 


8. Bouncy bob

"I find my hair easier to manage when it's a bit longer. I also like the feel of it swishing around."

bouncy bob hairstyle

A bouncy bob is the true hero of short hairstyles, especially for those who want to go short, but not too short. While it's fairly easy to maintain, unless, of course, you have stubborn hair, you'll be able to get some volume with this cut. Luckily, we've recommended a few volumising products for thin hair to help you achieve the bounciest of bouncy bobs.

For those of you with curls or waves looking for hairstyles for short hair that will suit your natural texture, this might just be the cut for you. Style your hair with a curl definer or hairspray to keep it looking full and fresh.


9. Undercut pixie

"I change my hairstyle all the time. My hairdresser is very inventive so we try all sorts."

Tilda Swinton

The great thing about a pixie haircut is that it can take on all manner of styles. Short hair certainly isn't boring and the undercut pixie proves just that! Arguably even edgier than the edgy pixie, this cut features a shaved underside with longer hair on top, which, again, will add some height to otherwise flat hair. 

While this cut really does depend on face shape (a diamond or oval-shaped face tends to work best, in our humble opinion), it's certainly one of our favourite short pixies if you're feeling daring enough.


10. Long pixie

"I've gone pixie after several years mid-length. I know it suits me as I had the same for a while in my 30s, and it's so easy to keep tidy."

Helen Mirren with a long pixie cut

Our final pick is the long pixie, another stylish variation and the ideal short hairstyle if you want to add extra volume to fine or thin hair. The cut can be styled to suit your face shape and personality, perhaps with a side parting, long or razored crown layers, or even an asymmetrical cut as sported by Helen Mirren. It looks particularly striking with her grey hair!

Layering is really your best friend here as it'll keep your hair looking full. The longer length on one side is the bit that will really make the statement.

Like what you see? We have more where this came from. Whether you're looking for essential makeup tips or beauty advice, the best shampoo for grey hair, or even how to fix thin eyebrows (don't worry, we've all been there), we've got you covered.

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Images: Shutterstock