Youthful hairstyles for over 50s: 65+ ideas to inspire a new look

Looking to update your 'do? These youthful hairstyles for over 50s are stylish, timeless, and flattering

Youthful hairstyles for over 50s on Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry and Viola Davis
(Image credit: Getty)

When it comes to finding youthful hairstyles for over 50s, there's absolutely no need to restrict yourself. Age is no barrier to rocking whatever style you like, as celebrities like Halle Berry and Helen Mirren demonstrate, and your options for great haircuts are almost endless. 

At any age, finding easy hairstyles that suit you and make day-to-day styling simple should be at the top of your agenda. From short hairstyles to braided hairstyles and long hairstyles, youthful hairstyles for over 50s come in many forms and there's an on-trend style to suit your hair type and face shape out there—the key is finding a stylist who listens to your needs.

“We advise clients to come to the salon for a consultation so that we can take into account their face shape, hair texture, condition, and lifestyle,” says Melissa Timperley, director of Melissa Timperley Salons. “Some want to embrace their gray hair color, others want short and sassy. Others just want a trendy lifestyle-appropriate look. That's why booking a consultation is so important.” 

Helen Mirren with her long hair in an updo and a pink headband

Helen Mirren wears her long hair in a chic, accessorized updo

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How to choose youthful hairstyles for over 50s

When searching for youthful hairstyles for over 50s, consider the following: 

  • Hair health: “Past the peak age of about 20, 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,” celebrity hairstylist Michael Van Clarke explains. If this sounds familiar, a shorter cut with blunt ends may be a good shout, to counteract any hair thinning
  • Hair texture: “Gray hair is usually coarser, fluffier, wirier, and less weighty at the ends, so doesn't move with the same bounce and swing,” Michael says. Regular trims and the best hair masks can keep your hair’s moisture levels and swish factor in check. 
  • Color services:  “Try adding some lighter pieces throughout, as highlights will swell the cuticles and add bounce,” suggests Johanne Herland, Master Stylist at Charles Worthington Salons.
  • Extensions: “For youthful hairstyles for over 50s, I recommend 15 pieces of extensions each side under the parting, so it fills in the finer front pieces,” adds Johane. “It also adds thickness to the baseline of a haircut.”
  • Maintenance: In addition to having the right tools like the best hair dryer on hand, the key to finding your ideal style is knowing how much maintenance you can put into daily styling. If you're looking for “wash-and-wear with a bit of polish,” then a clever cut that won't require much product, such as bob hairstyles might work best.
  • Bangs vs no bangs: There's a running joke that bangs hairstyles are a natural way to look younger (if that's what you're after). Whether you choose full bangs or a wispy style, they look fabulous at any age and are one of the biggest 2022 hair trends—but can be high maintenance. Ask your stylist's advice on the best bangs for your face shape, hair texture, and lifestyle. 

65+ youthful hairstyles for over 50s we love

Short hairstyles for women over 50

As youthful hairstyles go, crops and bobs make particularly great short hairstyles for women over 50. “There is always a short style that suits every face and every head of hair,” says Adam Reed, Editorial Ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel. “If your hair is fine and straight, a blunter cut would give a very defined end result, whereas for naturally curly hairstyles, you might want to opt for something with texture to give more options, should you want to have a low-maintenance style.” 


1. The super short bob with layers

Face shape: any | Hair type: thick

If your hair is naturally straight, add volume and body with the help of one of the best curling irons. Top tip? Curl each section in different directions to create maximum movement. 


2. The short natural curls

Face shape: any | Hair type: curly, coily

A grown-out crop looks perennially chic—especially with conditioned curls and coils. Try one of the best shampoos for curly hair that expertly cleanses and hydrates hair.


3. The short bob with long layers on top

Face shape: oval, heart | Hair type: fine 

Ask your stylist for longer layers on top paired with a short back to recreate this 'do. The long layers make fine hair appear fuller and thicker. 


4. The undercut bob

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

The sleek graduation of length here creates a flattering finish with lots of shaping around the face. 


5. The super short bob with heavy side part

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

A strong side parting adds a youthful edge to this chin-grazing bob. For super sleek results, invest in the best hair straighteners


6. The very short coily cut

Face shape: round or oval | Hair type: coily, curly

Add definition to a cropped coily cut with warm, honey highlights that create a soft, sun-kissed finish. 


7. The rounded bob with side part

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

A rounded bob is super flattering. To recreate this smooth texture with movement, try swapping flat irons for the best hair straightener brushes.


8. The short finger coils

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

Apply a curl cream or gel onto damp hair before twirling each piece around your finger to create this look. While it can take some time, the results will last all week. 


9. The short bob with layers

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

Add lots of lift and volume at the root with the best dry shampoo to add movement to this sleek style.  


10. The short curly bob

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

If your hair is naturally curly or coily, ask your stylist to cut the hair when it's dry to ensure hair hits the perfect length when the curls spring back up. 


11. The tapered curly crop

Face shape: oval, heart, long | Hair type: curly

A great way to cheat volume on top, ask your stylist for a tapered cut with heavy layers that taper in towards the neck. 


12. The short French girl bob

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

An effortless, laidback style—this French girl bob works best with long layers and a slightly off-center parting. 


13. The short pixie crop

Face shape: square, heart, round | Hair type: fine to medium

A short pixie crop looks ultra-cool and retro. Call upon the best hair styling products, like a texturizing spray, to add drama and a spiky edge. 


14. The short coily pixie crop

Face shape: oval, heart, round | Hair type: curly, coily

Book in for regular trims to maintain the beautiful shape of this style, featuring a longer length on top and short, cropped sides. 


Medium length hairstyles for women over 50

Medium hairstyles, boast the versatility of length but the ease of shorter cuts, truly this is the best of both worlds. 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. 

15. The curly lob with side part

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

Add one of the best hair masks into your weekly hair care regime to achieve these glossy, healthy, hydrated curls that look especially lovely styled into a shoulder-length lob. 


16. The shoulder length layered style

Face shape: oval | Hair type: fine to medium

Use a curling iron or straightening iron just at the ends of your hair to create this flicked-out style. 


17. The shoulder length twists

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

A protective style for natural hair, the two-strand twist helps hair hold onto moisture. Super versatile, you can opt for chunkier twists or use smaller strands for sleeker results. 


18. The asymmetric lob

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

This shoulder-grazing style is ideal for anyone after a low-maintenance bob that looks great as it grows out. 


19. The natural Afro hairstyle

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

Lightweight hair oils and nourishing conditioning treatments will keep this Afro hairstyle looking and feeling beautifully soft. 


20. The chin-length rounded bob

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

Add movement and body to this grown-out chic bob with a rounded hair dryer brush that cuts down on styling time—drying and smoothing hair with every stroke. 


21. The medium box braids

Face shape: any | Hair type: curly, coily, kinky

Not only do box braids give your hair a break, but they also look super stylish—especially in a medium-length style that can easily be pulled back into an up-do, if so desired. 


22. The voluminous layers

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

Va-va volume is the aim of the game here. Ask your stylist for heavy layers to recreate this look that works best on medium to thick hair types. 


23. The classic lob with side part

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

Feathered side bangs add lots of shaping to this classic chic lob. Ask your stylist to keep the rest of your hair one length.  


24. The choppy shoulder-length style

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

For a relaxed, youthful look, try this shoulder-length style with soft shaping at the front and movement through the ends. This look is proof that balayage for short hair works really well. 


25. The elegant deep side part

Face shape: any | Hair type: fine to medium 

Voluminous waves and lots of root lift make this elegant style a must for dinners out, a fancy event or afternoon tea. 


26. The curly lob with bangs

Face shape: any | Hair type: curly, coily, kinky

Defined curls make this lob look super glossy and healthy. To achieve similar definition, follow the curly girl method


27. The layered lob

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

A sleek, polished style that will make you feel ‘put together’—ask for a blunt lob with side-sweeping layers to frame the face. 


28. The medium wavy style

Face shape: round, oval, heart | Hair type: curly, wavy

Whether your hair is curly or straight, ask for a big bouncy blow dry using curling irons to recreate this voluminous wavy style. To dial up the volume and boost staying power, invest in a volumizing hair spray. 

Long hairstyles for women over 50

Guess what? There’s no law that says you must cut your hair shorter when you get to a certain age. Long hairstyles are super flattering on women over 50—just ask celebrities like Goldie Hawn and Jennifer Aniston. The trick is keeping it in great condition, washing with the best shampoo and conditioner, and ensuring you heat style gently with the best hair straighteners or best curling iron to protect your hair. 

29. The long hair with heavy side part

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

The key to this effortless, voluminous style is the messy unruly texture that can be recreated with the help of a salt spray or texturizing mist. 


30. The long loose waves with side bangs

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

Learn how to curl hair before you attempt this style at home. A curling iron and hair spray are both essential to create the long, tousled waves. 


31. The long locs

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

The trick to keeping this style in tip-top shape is to wash hair every two to three weeks to remove product build-up, oils, and debris that can become trapped in the locs. 


32. The long loose curls

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

Big bouncy curls look youthful and fresh. Discover how to use a diffuser to create super-soft curls like this. 


33. The long shag cut with bangs

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

A messy, ‘70s-inspired style—this shag cut features long layers and curtain bangs to create fullness and that retro texture. 


34. The naturally volumized curls

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

This halo of voluminous curls looks effortlessly stylish. Ruffle up the curls with fingertips and finish with a dry texture spray. 


35. The choppy layers

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

Lots of layers are essential to creating this full-bodied style. If your hair is thin, this look is one to avoid as heavy layers can actually make the hair appear thinner. 


36. The long and layered natural style

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

Embrace your natural texture with this long layered style that works especially well with a strong side parting for extra volume at the root. 


37. The thick layered style

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

Long side-sweeping layers add softness and shape around the face while the rounded ends help cheat volume and body. 


38. The half-up locs

Face shape: any| Hair type: protective styles, braids and locs

A truly versatile style, locs can be worn down, pulled up, or styled into a half-up, half-down hairstyle that looks fresh and youthful. 


39. The long layered style with bangs

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

This bangs hairstyle will frame your face with a soft, choppy fringe that pairs perfectly with long layers and a bit of movement.  


40. The long box braids

Face shape: any| Hair type: protective styles, braids

Long box braids will require some time and patience in the salon, but once they’re finished—the sleek protective style with last four to six weeks.


41. The tousled long layers with deep side part

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

This tousled style may look effortless—but in reality, it requires a bouncy blow-dry, texturizing spray, and lots of root lift product. 

Hairstyles for women over 50 with bangs

Whether you want soft side layers or full bangs, there’s a bangs hairstyle to suit every hair type and face shape. The biggest factor in your decision will be your hair’s natural texture and also how much styling you are willing to undergo to create your desired look. 


42. The shoulder-length style with blunt bangs

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

Blunt bangs with a rounded shoulder-length lob are especially flattering for long, oval face shapes. 


43. The curly hairstyle with bangs

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

Bangs really add to this beautifully volumized bob, drawing attention to the eyes and jawline. Keep your spirals intact by sleeping with one of the best silk hair wraps.


44. The long layered cut with full bangs

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

Full bangs and long, tousled layers help create shape, give volume and add texture. For added volume, style with the GHD Rise hot brush tool


45. The feathered long hairstyle

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

Wispy eye-grazing bangs are a great choice for anyone who wants to accentuate their eyes and bone structure.


46. The coily hairstyle with bangs

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

This volumized tapered lob works best with curly and coily hair types. The addition of bangs creates a flattering shape around the face. 


47. The wavy hair with bangs

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

Think of adding some highlights in hair? If you do, try this romantic wavy style with soft bangs that’s super flattering for all face shapes.


48. The choppy bob with bangs

Face shape: square | Hair type: medium to thick

Long, choppy bangs are the perfect pick for accentuating the cheekbones. To get that sleek finish, you'll need the best hair dryer and a thin nozzle attachment. 


49. The short bob with layers and side bangs

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

This care-free style works well for anyone who prefers to forgo heated styling tools. The movement and body, created from the layers, air dries beautifully. 


50. The side bangs with classic layers

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

Feathered side bangs with long layers is a timeless style that always looks youthful. This cut is especially flattering on oval and square-shaped faces. 


51. Bouncy layered bangs style

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

Ask your stylist for side-sweeping, full bangs and long layers to create this voluminous look. Oh and don't forget to ask for a bouncy blow-dry. 


52. The shoulder length curls and side bangs

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

This classic lob length with a curly hair texture will always look chic. For extra shaping, ask for side bangs and layers.


53. Short bob with sweeping side bangs

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

This chin-grazing bob hairstyle looks fabulous but will require regular trims to maintain that short length. Ask your stylist for long side bangs to complete the look. 


54. Long layers and full bangs

 Face shape: any | Hair type: fine to medium

If your hair is fine, opt for long layers that cheat volume at the ends as well as full bangs that help create the appearance of fuller, thicker hair. 


Pixie crops for women over 50

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

55. The curly pixie crop

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

Curly hair gives this short style body and texture. Ask your stylist to leave length on top while keeping the sides short. 


56. The pixie crop with feathered bangs

Face shape: oval | Hair type: fine to medium

A pixie crop featuring choppy bangs and short layers  is a brilliant short hairstyle for anyone who's after volume. 


57. The undercut pixie crop on natural curls

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

Looking for a natural hairstyle? Consider an undercut pixie crop that looks youthful and cool while being low maintenance and easy to style. 


58. The swept back pixie crop

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

For natural movement and texture, ask for more length when getting a pixie haircut. This will allow you to style it back for a full, effortless finish. 


59. The super short pixie crop

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

Don’t want to faff around with styling tools? Make your morning regime easier with this ultra-short pixie crop that’s super low maintenance. 


60. The tapered coily pixie crop

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

The shape of this style gives it a youthful edge. Book in for regular trims to keep this ‘do looking on point. 


61. The boyish pixie crop with micro bangs

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

This boyish pixie crop is less about volume and more about shaping. Ask for spiky micro bangs that will help shape the face.


62. The classic pixie crop with feathered side bangs

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

For lots of shaping around the front, go for a halo of feathered side bangs. Also, invest in the best purple shampoo to keep grey hair icy cool. 


63. The natural tapered pixie cut

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

Stretched-out kinks and coils work especially well in a pixie crop. Keep the sides short while the rest of your hair grows out for a cool high-top that stands out from the crowd. 


64. The thick feathered pixie cut

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

A pixie crop can be voluminous. Case in point: this feathered, layered hairstyle that’s brimming with movement and body. 


65. The pixie with a quiff

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

A sculpted quiff adds height and drama to a classic pixie crop. To style at home, start by using the best shampoo and conditioner to add volume. 


66. The bleached curly pixie

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

Fancy a color change? Go for bleached hair or babylights this season for a fresh take on the classic pixie crop. 


67. The spiky short pixie crop

Face shape: oval, square | Hair type: fine to medium

A spiky pixie haircut is a great pick for anyone with thin hair because it gives fullness to the overall look. 


68. The French girl pixie crop

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

Obsessed with the French girl aesthetic? Tap into the look with this pixie crop that features soft, short bangs and defined glossy curls. 


69. Short sleek pixie crop

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

Super flattering for square and oval-shaped faces, this sleek, swept-over pixie crop requires a rounded brush and shine spray for styling. 


woman&home thanks Melissa Timperley of Melissa Timperley Salons, Michael Van Clarke, Johanne Herland of Charles Worthington Salons, and Adam Reed of L’Oréal Professionnel for their time and expertise.

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.

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