Youthful hairstyles for over 50s: 48 ideas to inspire a new look

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

youthful hairstyles for over 50s main image with lisa kudrow with a bouncy bob
(Image credit: Future/Getty Images)

When it comes to finding youthful hairstyles for over 50s, there's absolutely no need to restrict yourself. Age is no a barrier to rocking whatever style you like, as celebrities like Helen Mirren, Lisa Kudrow, and Goldie Hawn demonstrate regularly, and your options are almost endless. 

From short hairstyles to braided hairstyles (and extra 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 or the popular L’Oréal Professionnel SteamPod 3.0 on hand, the key to finding the perfect youthful hairstyles for over 50s 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 crucial; we know full well that our hair turns gray, but it also becomes coarser and thins with time. “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.

“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. 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 over 50?

When it comes to youthful hairstyles for over 50s, there's a running joke that bangs hairstyles are an all-natural, inexpensive way to look younger (if that's what you're after). But in all seriousness, whether you choose full bangs or a wispy style, they look fabulous at any age and add that extra "something" to your look. Be sure to ask your hairstylist'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 will offer a free bangs trim on a walk-in basis.

youthful hairstyles for over 50s as shown on actress Goldie Hawn

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

Can you make fine hair look thicker?

There are a few expert hair hacks to know when it comes to making fine hair look thicker. “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. “For youthful hairstyles for over 50s women, 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 for over 50s

We've handpicked the best hairstyles for over 50s women with different lengths and textures that are easy to maintain and look natural—without compromising on style. These can be tailored to suit you, whether with color, a hint of layering or bangs. Top 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 the very best youthful hairstyles for over 50s.

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.” So whether you're looking for natural hairstyles or short bob hairstyles, we've got you covered. 


The super short bob with layers

Face shape: any | Hair type: thick


The short natural curls

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 somewhere between your jawline and collarbones.


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 medium box braids

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


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 heard 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. If you're weighing up Dyson Corrale vs GHD Platinum, whatever you choose the right tools are key to styling long hair. 

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 cut with bangs

Face shape: any, especially heart or oval | 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 would 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 long shag cut with full bangs

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


The feathered long hairstyle

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


woman&home beauty counter La Mer

(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.

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.