Long hairstyles for women over 50: fresh style ideas, plus expert tips to care for length

Looking for inspiration for long hairstyles for women over 50? These are team woman&home's favorite looks, plus the expert tips you need to style them

long hairstyles for women over 50 Salma Hayek
(Image credit: Future/Getty Images)

The woman&home edit of the chicest long hairstyles for women over 50 is here to prove that long hair is as universal as you think it is. Long hair is loved for so many reasons. As well as having more length to work with in terms of styling, there are also endless updos that your tresses can be swept into.

It’s a common misconception that once you reach a "certain age" you are "too old" for long hairstyles, and should stick to short hairstyles and nothing else (absolutely untrue, for the record). Take it from hairstylists everywhere and our team of editors that the best hairstyle over the age of 50 is the one that makes you feel your most fabulous self.

Just look at some of Hollywood's most fabulous women over 50 if you don't believe us: Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock, Vanessa Williams, Jennifer Lopez, Oprah Winfrey, Salma Hayek, Halle Berry... you get the idea, they all love a longer look. Which comes as no surprise as not only are longer lengths naturally lush and glam-looking, they're also easy hairstyles to maintain, given the right care.

"There was a time when women would cut their hair short once they got married or had children—there were far too many 'rules' regarding the way older women should look, and many would declare that they were 'too old for long hair'," Nick Willis, Senior Master Stylist at Charles Worthington says. "My only rule is that there are no rules! But there are tips that can improve the way you wear your hair and look your best."

The truth is that long hair never really falls out of favor, but there are some pointers for nailing a fashionable look in 2021. "The biggest hair trends for this year are longer, natural styles," Nick confirms.

"Celebrities like Michelle Visage and Sarah Jessica Parker are perfect examples of longer hair that is on-trend and that looks sophisticated. They are both using their natural grays to enhance their looks; Visage makes a dramatic statement with her silver streak, while SJP has a softer, more natural scattering of highlights woven among her hair."

Sarah Jessica Parker in pink outfit with side swept curly hair

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best long hairstyles for women over 50 

So, we've convinced you that keeping your hair long is absolutely a good idea—now you need to know about the best styles so you can settle on a final look. And while you don't have to embrace the salt and pepper look, we are all for making a fabulous statement by going gray.

“Naturally graying hair can look very chic with a great cut," Nick says. "I would advise a sharp, precision cut to complement your natural color and command an air of sophistication. I always tell my clients to avoid a soft, feathered cut when going natural with their gray hair, because this could make the hair look coarse."

On that note, we’ve rounded up some of the best long hairstyles for women over 50, to remind you that long hair is chic at absolutely any age.

The long loose waves with side bangs

Face shape: all | Hair type: fine to thick

The natural curls

Face shape: all | Hair type: thick, curly

The rounded layers

Face shape: all except heart | Hair type: fine to thick

The long loose curls

Face shape: all | Hair type: fine to thick

The long shag haircut

Face shape: all except heart | Hair type: fine to medium

'The Rachel' 2.0 haircut

Face shape: all | Hair type: fine to medium

The youthful tousled waves

Face shape: all | Hair type: fine to thick

The long and layered natural style

Face shape: all | Hair type: thick, curly/natural

The long curtain bangs

Face shape: all except square | Hair type: fine to thick

The long crochet braids

Face shape: all | Hair type: fine to thick

The heavily side parted style

Face shape: all except round | Hair type: fine to medium

The longer locs

Face shape: all | Hair type: fine to thick

The long style with feathered bangs

Face shape: all | Hair type: medium to thick

The layered straight style with side bangs

Face shape: all | Hair type: medium to thick

How to style long hairstyles for women over 50

So you've chosen a style and had your hairstylist make you over—now you need to ensure you have an arsenal of top styling products to keep it looking fresh and healthy.

“At the moment I love to recommend Pureology Strength Cure Blonde Shampoo ($32/£21) and Conditioner ($34/£24.55) because they will make your grays shine more brightly," Nick says. "The blue color in this product knocks out brassy or yellow tones that you may naturally have in your hair."

“Or, if you choose to color your hair, I recommend 'color contouring' highlighting techniques, where natural-looking colors called 'babylights' are woven in around your face, framing it with bespoke tones to compliment your skin," he continues. "You could also have lowlights woven in between your natural hair to give you a soft radiance with less obvious regrowth." See our guide to the biggest 2021 hair color trends for more inspiration. 

Our expert stylist's last must-have is to always use a heat protectant in your routine. "I recommend Kérastase Resistance Ciment Thermique ($39/£26), which will protect your hair from UV and heat, keeping it strengthened from any day-to-day damage."

Your longer hair will never have looked so good!

woman&home thanks Nick Willis from Charles Worthington for his time and expertise.

Lucy Abbersteen
Lucy Abbersteen

Lucy is a UK-based beauty journalist who has written for the likes of Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, OK!, Women's Health and more, as well as contributing to woman&home. Her work covers everything from expert skin and haircare tips to the latest product launches and the show-stopping beauty looks spotted backstage at London Fashion Week.

During her career she's interviewed some seriously famous faces, from Little Mix to Drag Race royalty The Vivienne, as well as chatting to the industry's leading hairdressers, dermatologists and make-up artists. When she's not got beauty on the brain you'll probably find her in the company of dogs, reading, or being shamed by Netflix's "are you still watching?" message. You can follow her on Instagram at @lucyabbers.