The 40 Best Hairstyles for Women Over 40
Hair can make you look younger—or older. Choose one of these 40 hairstylist-approved looks to turn back the clock.
Long and softKathy Hutchins/Shutterstock
The problem with long hair is that it’s not always easy to keep it out of your face—and long and flat isn’t usually flattering. “Debra Messing’s look works with the length because it keeps it off her face and has some wave to soften it,” says Nunzio Saviano, owner of Nunzio Saviano Salon. Here’s how to keep your hair healthy all year long.
Short with a twistFeatureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock
“This is a great length because it gives you so many options and is fun to play with since the focus is the length itself,” says Saviano of Julie Bowen’s locks.”You can add waves, blow it out straight, sweep bangs across your face, wear it slicked back, tousled, etc. and because of the shorter length, it won’t drag the face down.” Here’s how to find the most flattering blonde for your skin tone.
Short textured bobVolodymyr Tverdokhlib/Shutterstock
Oribe educator Mandee Hernandez loves this style because it’s an easy wash-and-wear one that adds fun textured layers and a lightness. “The structure of this haircut does all the work with minimal styling needed. I would recommend using a finishing cream, like Oribe AirStyle Flexible Finish Cream, to enhance the layers and bring out the hair texture with a satin finish.” Find out what really happens when you cut your hair short.
“This is a classic haircut with clean, timeless lines that can be worn at any age and enhances your facial features,” says Hernandez.
Long and textured hairKate Zubal/Shutterstock
When it comes to hair, Hernandez says it’s all about maintenance and keeping the length appropriate to the woman’s height—not necessarily about age. “Regular trims are key to keeping the hair looking young and healthy at any age.” Meaning: You can pull off a look like this, it just takes proper care!
Medium length pixieChetty Thomas/Shutterstock
“A very powerful, androgynous haircut can only be matched by a confident woman, and that confidence comes with age. At the same time, the cut is long enough to add a feminine feel,” says Hernandez. Find out how to pick the best hair color for your skin tone.
Layered bob with fringeLeDi/Shutterstock
Hernandez likes this look because the soft fringe adds a playful touch to a classic bob silhouette. “The hair shape is ideal for hiding age imperfections around the eyes and forehead.” Take the look one step further with these tricks to boost shine.
“It’s a versatile style that can lay gently across the face, softening age lines and imperfections, or can be easily tucked away and pulled back,” says Hernandez. Check out these anti-aging secrets that will help you live longer.
Jane Birkin fringeKseniia Perminova/Shutterstock
This look is an homage to ’60s French songstress Jane Birkin, who is also the namesake of that famous Hermes bag. “This hairstyle enhances features and opens the face without creating harsh lines.” Find out what your handbag reveals about your personality.
Edgy bowlLook Studio/Shutterstock
“A bold power cut that’s edgy and chic is a fun cut for a strong working woman who wants a cool yet put-together style,” says Hernandez. “It’s very structured with graduated lines.” We also love these easy hairstyles that take five minutes or less.
Face-framing layersOlena Yakobchuk0/Shutterstock
“This haircut adds a youthful appearance by making the face more round and full,” says Hernandez. Avoid these 12 mistakes that will damage your hair.
Collarbone-length curly hairmimagephotography/Shutterstock
“This cut preserves the natural spring in curly texture,” says Hernandez. “The length is playful and the soft, round edges give a youthful look. It accentuates décolletage.” Don’t miss these tips for styling curly hair.
Short volume cutmimagephotography/Shutterstock
Hairstylist and makeup artist Sophia Porter likes this look because it adds volume and fullness to even fine or thinning hair. “Shorter cuts look fuller since you’re removing damaged ends that look stringy and give the illusion of thinner hair. I love using Pai-Shau’s Texture Dust to add volume, texture, and keep hairstyles going on days two and three.” Find out what happens when you decide to go gray.
“For those with longer hair, keeping your up style loose and soft around the front helps give the style volume and makes the hair look fuller instantly without much effort,” says Porter. It’s also easier on strands than pulling your hair back tightly; tight buns and ponytails can cause hair loss when worn regularly. Psst… If you’re keeping your hair long, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough biotin.
Soft bangsMarie C Fields/Shutterstock
“Bangs are a fantastic way to add softness and hide any dynamic lines on a person’s forehead,” says Porter. “Keeping a soft wave in the rest of the hair with wispy bangs is a fresh, stylish look for women of all ages.” If dandruff is your problem, don’t miss these natural treatments.
Classic pixiepixelheadphoto digitalskillet/Shutterstock
According to Porter, pixie cuts are always fun and a minimal maintenance style for a woman who is on the go. “I love to use Pai-Shau Style Souffle to style shorter cuts like this. It gives just enough control and definition to create an effortless look in minutes.” Here’s how to find the best haircut for your face shape.
Simple twistAlter ego/Shutterstock
Older women can sometimes be apprehensive about letting go of their long hair. This easy up-do is a great way to feel out whether you’re ready for the change in length. Check out these home remedies for dry, damaged hair.
Silk press curlsMonkey Business Images/Shutterstock
“Silk press curls are a staple for women with textured hair who want an easy change,” says Porter. Find out all the secrets your hair stylist won’t tell you.
Short and layeredOdua Images/Shutterstock
“Short, layered cuts on thicker hair are a great way to add fullness and style with minimal effort for a voluminous look,” says Porter. Blow out your hair for added volume. Learn the 17 hair drying hacks you need to try.
Long bobAnna Kraynova/Shutterstock
A long bob style gives angles to the face for an instant tightening effect. You’ll want to know these frizz-fighting tricks when rocking this sleek style.
When going for a wavy style, curl your hair in toward your face, hitting at the points you want to highlight—for example, your cheeks or your chin. Use this trick to boost volume.
Long curl/wavePT Images/Shutterstock
“Embracing your natural waves is a beautiful texture for almost any length of hair,” says Porter who recommends deep conditioning prior to styling and then defining the curls with a styling cream. Follow these conditioning commandments for the most gorgeous locks.
Prominent bangsRemark Anna/Shutterstock
Think of bangs as a quick and painless Botox alternative! They also tend to lessen the effect of tired eyes. Just keep in mind that when it comes to streamlined looks, having great hair products is key.
Healthy highlightsAlena Ozerova/Shutterstock
Highlights are one of the easiest ways to add dimension and make your hair look fuller. A sleek and straight lob is a gorgeous way to show them off. Here’s how to make your hair color last longer.
Classic layersOlga Ekaterincheva/Shutterstock
A classic long, layered cut with a side bang is a versatile style for those who want to keep the length in their hair. “The key to making this look work is adding lift at the roots using Pai-Shau Opulent Volume Spray. Mist starting at roots and lightly through the lengths of the hair, style as desired,” says Porter. This is what your hair is desperately trying to tell you about your health.
Classic with modern twistfrantic00/Shutterstock
“For formal events, keep updos classic and simple with modern twists, for a look that’s always stunning,” says Porter. Find out more hair hacks for lazy days.
Short wavesAnna Kraynova/Shutterstock
Short waves—or a similarly soft texture—are a great way to distract from neck wrinkles. Try these anti-aging beauty tips for a taught, crease-free neck.
Lived in cutNadino/Shutterstock
“Lived in cuts are a hot style to have, and they work on women of all ages to give a cute, effortless look,” says Porter. These are nighttime habits that ruin your hair.
Waves close to your face—no matter the overall length of your hair or size of the wave—will help tighten and frame your bone structure. This is what your go-to hairstyle says about your personality.
Lengthening cutCourtesy NATHANIAL NUNZIANTE
According to Vivienne Mackinder, guest artistic director for Joico, this style lifts the cheek bones and jawline, which is great for older women with a shorter or rounder face shape as the style creates length to the face. Read on for simple tricks to keep hair healthy when you use heat on it.
Volume playCourtesy VIVIENNE MACKINDER
“This style opens, lifts, and softens the face, while the volume at the crown slims the face,” says Mackinder of the style that works on most face shapes. Be sure to avoid these hair-washing mistakes.
Classic razor cutCourtesy VIVIENNE MACKINDER
If you’re opting for short, Mackinder recommends going for a classic razor cut as it will be one of the most versatile options that can be worn straight or wavy.
Shag with short layersCourtesy DAVID GUERRIERI
“This style creates soft facial framing and volume with interior layers,” says Mackinder. “This razor cut allows for styling versatility, which is great for day-to-day for the woman on the go, no matter her age.” Don’t miss these other showering mistakes that could ruin your hair.
Razor cut with rounded graduationCourtesy ROBERTO LIGRESTI
“Razor cut with rounded graduation is a great style for those with straight hair and, for older women who don’t like too much upkeep, this is very easy to maintain,” says Mackinder. Check out these sneaky reasons your hair is going gray too soon.
Messy bouffant ponyCourtesy ROBERTO LIGRESTI
To get this specific type of messy bouffant ponytail Mackinder suggests using a curling iron to set and tease hair; then gather it into a messy ponytail. “This style is perfect for the women who love undone hair, but also wants her hair off the neck.” Here are more ponytail styles you need to try.
Beach wavesCourtesy ROBERTO LIGRESTI
According to Mackinder, beach waves are a great choice for women of any age going for something romantic and all you need is a curling iron! You’ll want to rock these easy styles on your next vacation.
Long and layeredCourtesy ROBERTO LIGRESTI
According to Mackinder, long layers and center parting open and lengthen the face, making them a great choice for women of all ages.
Layered bouffantCourtesy ROBERTO LIGRESTI
“A long layered bouffant slims the jawline and lifts the face creating a more youthful look,” says Mackinder.
Asymmetric styleCourtesy David Guerrieri
“This asymmetric style is particularly great for an older woman with a square or round face,” says Mackinder. “It’s also great for very thick hair and as a day to evening look.” Here’s how to take your look from day to night.
Flat iron waveCourtesy LYNDSEY ANNE PHOTOGRAPHY
“A flat iron wave and half up half down style opens and lifts the face,” says Mackinder. Here’s how to make your hair look fuller, regardless of its texture.