Youthful hairstyles over 50—the 48 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 definitely not a barrier to rocking whatever style you like, as celebrities like Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Goldie Hawn regularly prove.

From short hairstyles to bob hairstyles (and long hairstyles for those who aren’t ready to go for the chop), you're spoilt for choice with ideas. Your hairdresser will be able to tailor that on-trend style to suit your hair type and face shape—there are just a few additional 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," Melissa Timperley, stylist and director of the award-winning Melissa Timperley Salons, tells woman&home. "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 having the right tools, like the best hair dryer, to hand, the key to finding the perfect youthful hairstyles over 50 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 is key.

Maintaining hair health is also vital; we know full well that our hair grays with age, but it also becomes coarser and thins over the years. "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 hairdresser Michael Van Clarke explains.

"Gray 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 at-home treatments, like hair masks, at least once a week to keep your hair’s moisture levels in check. 

Bangs or no bangs at 50?

There's a running joke that bang hairstyles are an all-natural, inexpensive way to look younger. But in all seriousness, whether full block or wispy, bangs look fabulous at any age and add that extra "something" to your look. Be sure to ask your hairdresser's advice on the best bangs for your face shape, as it's definitely not something you want to DIY. Maintaining them is easy—especially as most salons offer free bang trims on a walk-in basis.

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

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

Extensions are another good avenue. "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 with color, a hint of layering or bangs. Editor's 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’Oréal 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.”

The super short bob with layers

Face shape: any | Hair type: thick

The short natural curls or coils

Face shape: any | Hair type: curly, coily

The short bob with long layers on top

Face shape: oval, heart | Hair type: fine 

The undercut bob

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

The super short bob with heavy side part

The very short coily cut

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

The rounded bob with side part

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

The short finger coils 

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

The short bob with layers

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

The 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 hairstyles, here we’re talking hairstyles that fall between the jawline and shoulders.

The long rounded layers

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

The curly lob with side part

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

The shoulder length layered style

Face shape: oval | Hair type: fine to medium

The shoulder length twists

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

The asymmetric lob

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

The natural Afro hairstyle

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

The chin length rounded bob

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

The voluminous layers

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

The classic lob with side part 

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

The choppy shoulder length style

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

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.

The long hair with heavy side part 

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

The long loose waves with side bangs

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

The long locs

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

The long loose curls

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

The long shag haircut

Face shape: any | Hair type: medium to thick

The naturally volumized curls

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

The choppy layers

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

The long and layered natural style

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

The thick layered style

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. 

The shoulder length style with blunt bangs

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

The curly hairstyle with bangs

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

The feathered bangs with long hair 

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

The coily hairstyle with bangs

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

The wavy hair with bangs

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

The choppy bob with bangs

Face shape: square | Hair type: medium to thick

The short bob with layers and side bangs

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

The 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 cut 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.

The curly pixie crop

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

The pixie crop with feathered bangs

Face shape: oval | Hair type: fine to medium

The undercut pixie crop on natural curls

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

The swept back pixie crop

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

The super short pixie crop

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

The tapered coily pixie crop

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

The boyish pixie crop with micro bangs

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

The classic pixie crop with feathered side bangs 

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

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(Image credit: Future)

The natural tapered pixie cut

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

The thick feathered pixie cut

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

There you have it: proof that the possibilities for youthful hairstyles over 50 are almost endless. Whether you choose a pixie crop or a longer, layered style, we're confident that you'll look and feel fabulous whichever of these styles you go for.