Youthful hairstyles over 50 - more than 40 ideas to inspire your next salon visit

Looking to update your current 'do? These youthful hairstyles over 50 are stylish, timeless and fresh

collage of brushes on pink background
(Image credit: Yulia Reznikov via Getty)

When it comes to youthful hairstyles over 50, the options are almost endless. Age is absolutely not a barrier to rocking whatever hairstyle you like, as celebrities like Helen Mirren and Judi Dench prove on the regular.

From short hairstyles and bob hairstyles, to long hairstyles for those who aren’t ready to go for the chop, you really are spoilt for choice. Your hairdresser will be able to tailor your favorite style to suit your hair type and face shape – there are just a few factors to bear in mind. 

"We advise our clients to come into the salon for a consultation so that we can take into account their face shape, hair texture, hair condition, and lifestyle," advises Melissa Timperley, stylist and director of the award-winning Melissa Timperley Salons. "There is a perfect hairstyle for everyone, no matter what your age. Some clients want to embrace their gray, others want short and sassy. Others just want a trendy age and lifestyle-appropriate look. That's why booking a consultation is so important."

In addition to ensuring you've got the right tools, like the best hair dryer, on hand, the key to finding the best youthful hairstyles over 50 is how much maintenance you want to put into your day-to-day styling. If, like most women, you're looking for something pretty much wash-and-wear with a bit of polish, then a clever cut that doesn't require much product is essential.

Maintaining hair health is also vital; we don’t need to tell you that hair goes grey with age, but it also becomes drier, coarser and gradually thins over time. "Past the peak age of about twenty, each cycle of hair growth and fall [around five years on the scalp], becomes a little shorter and the hair comes back a little thinner and drier," explains celebrity hairdresser Michael Van Clarke.

"The texture of grey hair is usually coarser, fluffier, wirier and less weighty at the ends, so doesn't move with the same bounce and swing.” To combat this, use an at-home treatment like hair masks at least once a weekly to keep your hair’s moisture levels in check. 

Bangs or no bangs at 50?

There's a running joke about bang hairstyles being an all-natural, inexpensive way to look younger. But in all seriousness, heavy, wispy, and side bangs look fabulous at any age and add that extra "something" to a hairstyle. Ask your stylist's advice on the best bangs for your face shape, as this is definitely something you don't wait to DIY. Maintaining them is easy, especially as a lot of salons often offer free bang trims so you can get them trimmed as and when. 

Actress Goldie Hawn attends the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California

(Image credit: Christopher Polk / Staff via Getty Images)

How to make fine hair look thicker

Johanne Herland, Senior Master Stylist at Charles Worthington, says, "To make fine hair fuller try adding some lighter pieces throughout, as highlights will swell the cuticles and add bounce. When styling, you can also add some soft waves to give the illusion that hair is thicker.

"You could also add some fill-in extensions. With hairstyles for women in their 50s, I recommend 15 pieces of extensions each side under the parting, so it fills in the finer front pieces," she adds. "It also adds thickness to the baseline of a haircut. Balmain or Easilocks are my favorite extension brands in-salon, but a consultation is essential to see what color, shape, and length you're aiming for."

The best youthful hairstyles over 50

We've handpicked the best hairstyles for women over 50 with different lengths and textures that are easy to maintain and look natural, without sacrificing style. These can be tailored to suit you, whether through color, a hint of layering or bangs. Beauty ed tip: ask your stylist for a color just a touch lighter than your brows for a more youthful vibe. While we’ve included some guidance on face shapes and hair types, there are no fixed rules as your hairdresser will be able to tailor a style to you. Consider this your cheat sheet to youthful hairstyles over 50…

Short hairstyles for women over 50

The biggest draw of short hairstyles is that they require far less effort on a daily basis when it comes to styling. “There is always a short style that suits every face and every head of hair,” says Adam Reed, Editorial Ambassador for L’Oreal Professionnel. “If your hair is fine and straight, a blunter cut would give a very defined end result, whereas if your hair is naturally curly, you might want to opt for something with texture to give more options should you want to have a low maintenance style.”

Super short bob with layers

Face shape: any | Hair type: thick

Short natural curls or coils

Face shape: any | Hair type: curly, coily

Short bob with long layers on top

Face shape: oval, heart | Hair type: fine 

Undercut bob

Face shape: any, especially oval or square | Hair type: medium to thick

Super short bob with heavy side part

Very short coily cut

Face shape: round or oval | Hair type: fine to medium

Rounded bob with side part

Face shape: heart or square | Hair type: medium to thick

Short finger coils 

Face shape: any, particularly heart and square | Hair type: curly, coily, kinky

Short bob with layers

Face shape: round, oval, square or heart | Hair type: fine and thick

Short curly bob

Face shape: oval, square or heart | Hair type: wavy and curly

Medium length hairstyles for women over 50

Feathered side bangs are super flattering and can really elevate a mid length cut. Rounded layers suit a square face shape, while round face shapes can carry off blunter layers. When we say medium length, here we’re talking hairstyles that fall between the jawline and shoulders.

Long rounded layers

Face shape: any, particularly square | Hair type: medium to thick

Curly lob with side part

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: curly

Shoulder length layered style

Face shape: oval | Hair type: fine to medium

Shoulder length twists

Face shape: any, particularly oval or heart | Hair type: curly/coily, kinky

Asymmetric lob

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: fine to medium

Natural Afro hairstyle

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: curly/coily, kinky

Chin length rounded bob

Face shape: square, oval, heart | Hair type: medium to thick

Voluminous layers

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: medium to thick

Classic lob with side part 

Face shape: any, particularly oval or heart | Hair type: fine to medium

Long hairstyles for women over 50

We’ve all heart the comments, but there’s absolutely no law that says you *must* cut your hair shorter when you get to a certain age, whether or not you choose to embrace your gray. Long hairstyles are still super flattering on women over 50 – just ask celebrities like Goldie Hawn, Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Aniston.

Long hair with heavy side part 

Face shape: any, especially square | Hair type: medium to thick

Long loose waves with side bangs

Face shape: all, especially oval | Hair type: fine to medium

Long locs

Face shape: all, especially oval | Hair type: curly/coily, kinky

Long loose curls

Face shape: all, especially oval | Hair type: curly

Long shag haircut

Face shape: any | Hair type: medium to thick

Naturally volumized curls

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: curly, coily

Choppy layers

Face shape: square or oval | Hair type: medium to thick

Long and layered natural hair 

Face shape: any, especially oval | Hair type: coily, kinky

Thick layered hairstyle

Face shape: any, especially heart | Hair type: thick

Hairstyles for women over 50 with bangs

Whether you want soft side layers or full bangs, there’s something to suit every hair type and face shape. The biggest factor in your decision will be your hair’s natural texture and how much styling it’ll require to create your desired look. 

Shoulder length style with blunt bangs

Face shape: oval, heart | Hair type: medium to thick

Curly hair with bangs

Face shape: any, especially oval | Hair type: curly

Feathered bangs with long hair 

Face shape: any, especially oval or heart | Hair type: medium to thick 

Coily bangs

Face shape: any, especially heart or oval | Hair type: curly, coily

Wavy hair with bangs

Face shape: any | Hair type: fine to medium; wavy

Choppy bob with bangs

Face shape: square | Hair type: medium to thick

Short bob with layers and side bangs

Face shape: square or heart | Hair type: fine to medium

Side bangs with classic layers

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: fine to medium

Pixie crops for women over 50

A chic and elegant classic, the pixie crop is easily one of the most popular hairstyles of all time. Many celebrities have worked the style over the years, including Charlize Theron and Keira Knightley, while Jamie Lee Curtis has firmly established it as her signature style.

Curly pixie crop

Face shape: oval, square or heart | Hair type: curly

Pixie crop with feathered bangs 

Face shape: oval | Hair type: fine to medium

Undercut pixie crop on natural curls

Face shape: any, especially oval or heart | Hair type: curly, coily

Swept back pixie crop

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: medium to thick

Super short pixie crop

Face shape: any | Hair type: any, particularly medium to thick 

Tapered coily pixie crop

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: coily, kinky

Boyish pixie crop with micro bangs

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: fine to medium

Classic pixie crop with feathered side bangs 

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: fine to medium

Natural tapered pixie cut

Face shape: any, particularly oval | Hair type: coily, kinky

There you have it: proof that the possibilities for youthful hairstyles over 50 are endless.