Short hairstyles for women over 50—the best ideas to inspire a shorter look

Looking for a new cropped 'do? These are the best short hairstyles for women over 50

Jamie Lee Curtis on the red carpet
(Image credit: Getty)

When it comes to short hairstyles for women over 50, we should first stress that reaching a “certain age” does not mean you need to cut your hair to a certain length. Women of all ages can look great with hair of any length, color or style—whatever makes you feel confident and fabulous is the way to go.

But if you are looking for chic-looking short hairstyles that will save you time with washing, drying, and styling then you’ve come to the right place for lots of expert tips and ideas. 

“There are so many incredible mature, short-haired icons out there that you can use as hair inspiration,” says legendary hairdresser George Northwood, who has worked with some of the most famous women in the world, including the Duchess of Sussex. “The ones that stand apart from the rest for me are Helen Mirren and Judi Dench. I love a cropped style like Judi’s razor pixie cut.”

The key to the best-looking short hairstyles for women over 50 is maintaining their fresh appearance. “If you do decide to go for a shorter style, it’s key to regularly maintain it so it always looks sharp and sophisticated,” George confirms. A trim to tidy the ends every four to six weeks is a good aim. Picking up the proper tools, like one of the best hairdryers available, can be helpful for day-to-day styling.

Judi Dench short hairstyles for women over 50

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best short hairstyles for women over 50

As well as the icons that our expert hairdresser already mentioned, there are so brilliant famous women to take style cues from when it comes to short hair. Jamie Lee Curtis, Judi Dench, Jada Pinkett Smith, Halle Berry, and Jane Fonda are just a few celebrities who have proven that short hair can be the way to go. 

On that note, we've rounded up some of the best short hairstyles for women so that you have plenty of inspiration to help you choose a new look, if you're thinking about going for the chop. Here are two dozen short ideas to inspire your next appointment with your hairstylist.

Bob hairstyles for women over 50

There's a reason why bob hairstyles have stood the test of time and remain one of the most popular looks—just about long enough that they can be swept into an updo or styled with the best curling iron, but short enough that they remain relatively fuss-free. 

The slightly stacked bob


The rounded bob with bangs


The blunt bob


The '20s-inspired bob


The French bob


The graduated undercut bob


Pixie crops for women over 50

Pixie haircuts are most synonymous with style icons from decades gone by, like Twiggy and Mia Farrow, but pixie cuts for older women are also super chic. Whether you choose a French-inspired choppy cut or feathered style, the possibilities are almost endless. 


The feathered pixie cut


The thick on top pixie


The choppy layered pixie


The rounded pixie with bangs


The pixie with spiked layers


Natural hairstyles for women over 50

Many women are choosing to embrace and make the most of their natural texture, from curly hairstyles to twist-outs and braided hairstyles. See our round-up of the best natural hairstyles for even more inspiration for all hair lengths. 

The short natural curls


The tapered natural style


The super short crop


The natural curls and coils


The teeny weeny afro (TWA)


Layered hairstyles for women over 50

Layered hairstyles are a great way to add a full look to your style, which is great news if you've notice your strands are getting sparser as the years go by. Thinner hair benefits from layering towards to the ends, while thicker hair can go for lots of choppy layers throughout. You'll also need to bear in mind your natural texture and available styling time—lots of layers will enhance curlier hair—but your hairdresser will be able to advise. 


The short shag cut with bangs 


The tousled layered style


The loose layered curls


The layered lob


Styling tips for short hairstyles for women over 50

As well as those regular trims, you’ll also be after some styling tips to get the most out of your new ‘do. “If you’ve recently opted for a shorter style, you definitely need to invest in a good set of styling products to maintain it,” George tells us.

Along with having the best hair dryer to hand, there are a few products that are great for enhancing new short styles. “First and foremost, I would recommend a texturizing spray, or something that will add some body and texture to the hair," George continues. "My favorites are the Undone by George Northwood Wave Hold Spray (£15) and the Sam McKnight Cool Girl Texture Mist ($30/£25).”

Leave-in creams are a great daily product for curly hair types, especially if you’re embracing your natural texture with your new short ‘do. George adds, “A good finishing cream will also work wonders in removing any frizz or flyaways for a super sleek finish. I’d recommend the Undone by George Northwood Moisturizing Cream (£15).” 

With all this inspiration on short hairstyles for women over 50 at your disposal, we don’t blame you for feeling tempted to go for the chop.

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.