The best long hair styles for women over 50….the best short hairstyles for women over 50. Sigh….is there really such a thing? We all have our preferences when it comes to colour and cut and we usually stick to our preferences year after year until we finally face reality that what may have looked awesome on us when we were 30 is only somewhat awesome when we approach 50 and beyond.
This post is not prescriptive as to what style will look best on you based on your face shape (there are tons of sites out there for that) but rather a more open and personal discussion on some fundamental considerations as we search for the ideal hairstyle.
Long vs. short debate
I have had long hair for the majority of my life and likely because of the influence of the modeling industry when I was in my teens where long hair was mainstream. Long hair can be fun and versatile in our 20s, 30s, 40s but as we approach the big 5-0 should we be embracing our age with a new shorter do? This seems to be the “guideline” that we hear endless number of times. Well, in my view…to heck with guidelines and let’s look at both sides of the (hair) coin shall we?
I think any woman should be able to rock whatever hairstyle they like, with confidence and at any age. There is however a caveat to that statement.
Not unlike our skin, our hair ages too and with that comes thinning hair, coarser hair, duller hair, drier hair, and gray hair. Our hair also breaks more easily and grows more slowly and so if you want to chop off your locks keep in mind that for most of us it will take a bit longer to grow back. If you are lucky to have a stylist that you know and trust they will be able to assess how your hair is changing and suggest an appropriate style to address some of these ahem…challenges.
I’ve heard some women say that “a pony tail is NOT a hair style”. Well, I beg to differ. Older women can look sexy, classic fresh and youthful with a pony tail and it can be styled in many ways…side pony, high pony, low pony, etc. and thankfully a pony works on almost all face shapes.
When long hair is not styled in a pony (yes I said “styled”), it can look great particularly if your style incorporates movement (e.g. layers or long bangs). Hair that moves freely, is textured, or is somewhat messy actually helps distracts one’s eye to your hair instead of your wrinkles. Bangs are also a great way to hide forehead lines and draws immediate attention to your lovely peepers.
As for hair shades, once again this is very personal and we all have our preferences. For myself as I get older, I need to consider different shades that are more flattering to my face that includes warmer tones instead of the high impact shades. Bye bye platinum, hello golden blonde with caramel highlights. To recap, here are just a few tips to consider if you still want to rock those beautiful long tresses in your 50’s:
- incorporate long layers
- introduce a long bang
- keep your hair loose and a little messy – imperfect is perfect
- soften your shade whether you are a blonde, brunette or red head
- wear your hair up in a loose bun or ponytail for an “uplifting” look or if you
I so envy women that walk into a salon, ask for the pixie cut without hesitation and walk out feeling happy about their decision and looking like a million bucks. I am a big chicken when it comes to radical changes to my appearance and although I am tempted to rock that style that is a move beyond my comfort zone.
Short hair in many instances, speaks for itself and can be very flattering on the right face shape. (Sharon Stone is a perfect example) Short hair on an older woman definitely has an uplifting effect and I can understand why it is touted a recommended look for 50+. Having said that, short hair is not for everyone and going under the scissors should not be a natural step in our “embracing period” of turning 50. Bah!
I remember a stylist telling years ago that hair that is longer than the shoulder blades has no face framing impact. I’ve always kept this in mind over the years and rely on my hairstylist to recommend which type of cut (e.g. blunt bang vs side swept bang or pixie cut vs. bob) works best for me taking into consideration my face shape. If you have an oval or heart shaped face, pretty much any cut works!
Our hair is dead but it doesn’t have to look dead. Keeping your hair follicles and scalp healthy will allow your hair to look healthy. Consider scalp massages to stimulate blood flow, maintain a healthy diet, get proper and sufficient sleep, and trim your hair regularly to get rid of any split ends. As tempting as it is, give your hair a break from blow-drying, straightening or curling because we have all lived through the havoc it wreaks on our tresses. This isn’t rocket science and you certainly didn’t need me to tell you.
When you have time, treat yourself to a homemade hair treatment every month or so. Don’t waste your money on hair serums that can cost a bundle when you can make your own that is equally effective. Depending on the amount of hair you have, warm 1/3 cup of coconut oil (add olive oil if you wish) and massage it into your scalp and hair, wrap a towel around your head and relax with your favorite TV show for half an hour. Wash it out with shampoo and style or dry as usual. Your head and hair will thank you.
So although we can rock any hairstyle with confidence, sometimes it helps to understand how some cuts may be more flattering than others and hopefully your stylist can play a key role here. Although our hair should not define us, a new hairstyle can be a game changer for some as it can boost self-esteem and overall confidence. It is one of the elements that we do have control over in the wonderful aging process (in addition to diet, exercise and overall mental wellness) that just might make us smile back at ourselves in the mirror.