Byrdie.com April 22, 2020

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Hair

50 Short Hairstyles for Women Over 50 That Are Cool Forever

 

Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston—this isn't a star-studded cast of a blockbuster movie we'd all love to see (though please, can we make it happen?). These leading ladies are all living proof that women over 50 can rock a wide range of chic hairstyles. Still, there's something so liberating about chopping it all off, and your 50s is as good a time as any to try out a new cropped 'do that's both modern and sophisticated.

Whether you've got wavy, coarse, curly, fine, or straight hair, there's definitely a cut out there for you. We spoke with Sanda Petrut, professional hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, to find out the best short haircuts and styles for women over 50. "Short haircuts are low-maintenance and can be designed for any woman, regardless of her lifestyle, face shape, or hair texture and density," says Petrut. "Chopping your hair can be liberating, and the right cut can complement the features you want to accentuate."

The Pixie

One of the most classic short hairstyle options for women over 50, the pixie cut frames the face and can highlight your best features. Except for the occasional trim, they're relatively low-maintenance—you can wash and go, or quickly style it with a pomade.

The Textured Pixie

A textured pixie is an effortless style that's super hip. This look is achievable with a shorter or longer cut—just use a little pomade to separate pieces of hair and add texture.

The Pixie With Long Bangs

A sleeker take on the pixie cut features long, side-swept bangs. This is especially flattering on those with finer hair types, as it draws attention to the hair density in the front.

The Dirty Blonde Pixie

A mussed up dirty blonde pixie gives off an effortless, cool look and feel. Keep it sleek by going over it with a straightener or finger-comb for a more textured style.

The Edgy Pixie

An edgy pixie cut has no age limit—anyone can pull it off. Choppy bangs give this look an element of modern cool while complementary rocker accessories can complete the look.

The Wavy Pixie

Many people with naturally textured hair—from wavy to curly—turn to pixie cuts to rid their hair of extra weight and to lessen drying time. Add a slight bend to the bangs for extra dimension.

The Short, Subtle Layered Cut

Subtle layers add dimension to this go-to short haircut for older women. "Easy to style, the layers add lots of velvety texture while the bangs frame the eyes and accentuates cheekbones," notes Petrut.

The Pixie With Blunt Bangs

Here's a fresh take on the pixie featuring a long, blunt fringe. A little hair tucked behind the ears gives it a youthful vibe, which works at any age. Pair with a fun hair accessory like a headband to amplify the girlish feel.

The Long Pixie

Keeping the layers longer can add volume, which is ideal if you have thin hair that tends to fall flat. Similarly, adding highlights not only creates the illusion of more body, but the color itself will work to plump up your hair. Give it a wave for an elegant Hollywood-glamour look.

The Pixie With Long Side Bang

All eyes are on the long bangs with this pixie. Petrut notes that this is the easiest look to style and create texture, whether it's modern and casual or more funky. "This style works on straight, wavy, fine or thick hair," she adds.

The Spiked Pixie

A spiked hairstyle is a fun way to change up your look. Soften it up by skipping the spikes and letting it fall naturally, or turn up the volume with a teasing brush and some styling gel. With this cut, there's enough length to change your style day to day.

The Pulled Back Pixie

A modern take on the classic pixie, a pulled back version gives a sophisticated feel. The slight volume in the front is cool and edgy, but not overly so. For added protection, spritz some hairspray to ensure it stays in place.

The Pompadour

"This cut has versatility and is low maintenance," says Petrut. "It’s ideal for straight hair and it can be styled slicked back or blow dried forward with a low part and sweeping bangs."

The Undercut

This undercut-pompadour combo ups the ante and gives the classic style a modern twist. Relatively low-maintenance and easy to style, this look gives off "I woke up like this" vibes.

The Short Cut With Soft Bangs

Soft bangs can freshen up even the dullest of haircuts, as they add lightness and dimension all at once. If you want to accentuate your eyes, opt for a cut that sweeps downward to draw instant attention.

The Mussy Layered Look

This is such an effortless look that works beautifully for both day and night. The layers fall into place, and a middle-part keeps it polished.

The Shag

A shag is perfect for thick hair that has some natural wave. If highlights are your thing, they'll definitely add extra dimension with this style. Or, instead of traditional highlights, opt for balayage.

The Classic Bob

Both sophisticated and sleek, a classic bob makes a statement no matter your age. Change up the feel by curling your ends in, or keep the ends facing downward for a soft, feminine look.

The Short Bob

For straight, fine hair, the short bob is a fabulous choice at any age. It's a length that naturally adds volume to straight hair. And, it can be switched up on the daily: A middle part keeps it sleek while a side part adds volume and takes the style from day to night.

The Bob With Bangs

"This is a great haircut for women with different textures (straight, wavy, or curly), and different densities (ranging from fine to thick hair)," explains Petrut. "It offers lots of versatility—from conservative to messy—and it can also be flat ironed to accentuate the piecy-ness and texture at the ends."

The Pulled Back Bob

Nothing screams sleek more than a pulled back bob. A pomade works great here—rub it in between your hands to warm up the product and brush into hair while pulling it back.

The Layered Side Part Bob

Layers upon layers give a chin-length bob bounce and volume. Add some highlights for dimension or stick to one tone for a monochromatic look.

The Mermaid Bob

A luscious mermaid hairstyle isn't just reserved for long hair—in fact, it works beautifully on shorter bobs, too. Use a waver for pronounced waves and finish off with a shine spray for perfectly hydrated tresses.

The Piecey Bob

The piecey bob offers a fresh, cool girl look. To maintain volume at the root, rub a styling cream mid-shaft downward.

The Straight Bob

A straight bob is chic and timeless. Start with a volumizing mousse on damp hair then blow dry straight with a round brush for both volume and straightness.

The High-Volume, Wavy Bob

Bobs work on thick, wavy hair quite well. This chin-length bob with long, face-framing waves is both elegant and mature.

The Side-Part Bob

A deep side part on a bob never goes unnoticed. Add a slight bend to the front bangs for an element of surprise.

The Long Bob

Once a trend, the long bob—also known as lob—is here to stay. It's a great option for women who want easy-to-maintain longer hair that can be flexibly styled. This style can be straight and sleek or volumized and retro.

The Straight Lob

This chin-grazing lob is majorly chic. Keep the bangs the same length as the rest of the hair for a sleeker look, or tuck one side behind the ear to add a playful element.

The Puffed Up Lob

While we love a sleek lob, a voluminous one is just as head-turning. To achieve, let hair air dry slightly before round brushing straight with a blowdryer.

The Beachy Lob

Add a few beachy waves to your lob and you'll instantly take your look from soft and sophisticated to casual and fun. Use a smaller barrel curling wand for tighter ringlets and alternate the direction of the waves for that lived-in natural beachy look.

The Wavy Lob

Unlike a beachy lob, a wavy lob features more pronounced waves made with bigger sections of hair. Finish it off with a shine spray for that red carpet look.

The Shoulder-Length Cut With Side-Swept Bangs

Looking for a low-maintenance cut that'll give you a variety of styling options? Opt for this shoulder-length cut with side-swept bangs—it's long enough to pull up into a ponytail or low bun and can be played around with for endless styling.

The Shoulder-Length Wave

Sophisticated meets chic with this middle-parted, shoulder-length hairstyle. Create waves with a large barrel curling iron then brush them out gently to achieve a subtle bend.

The Volumized Shoulder-Length Cut

A shoulder-length cut can be made to look oh-so-voluminous with a simple at-home blowout. The best part about this cut is that you can change up the part for endless looks—a middle part gives the look of symmetry while a side part will accentuate a square-shaped face.

The Curly, Shoulder-Length Cut

This shoulder-length curly hairstyle is flattering on all face shapes. To achieve, start at the root and alternate curling big and small sections of hair.

The Soft, Wavy Shoulder-Length Cut

Soft waves on shoulder-length hair is timeless. If you don't have natural waves, set your hair with big rollers to create this look.

The Shoulder-Length Lowlights

Lowlights offer a dimensional effect to this soft, shoulder-length cut. Use a medium-size curling iron to create subtle waves from the ears down.

The Short Cut With Choppy Layers

Here's a bold cut that's the ultimate definition of volume and movement. Pair it with a fiery red color for a striking finish.

The Messy Crop Cut

Undone and flattering, this lived-in crop is the perfect amount of messy. Apply some texture cream for added movement or play with layering bangs naturally.

The Mid-Length Springy Curl

Springy curls give this mid-length cut a youthful vibe. A quick spritz of shine spray will enhance the curls and add definition.

The Old Hollywood Glamour

The timelessness of an old Hollywood glamour hairstyle cannot be argued. Pair a deep side part with bangs curled inward and soft waves throughout for a chic, classic look.

The Messy Curls

Contrary to popular belief, messy curls can still look put together with the right styling and products. A defining cream can help accentuate curls while a light spritz of hairspray can help tame flyaways.

The Simple Straight Cut

You can never go wrong with a simple, layer-less cut. Break up the length by adding a chin-length bang and leave the rest looking simple, fresh, and polished.

The Natural Afro

Afro texture is known to be malleable and versatile. Take it to the next level by fluffing up each layer with a volume mist.

The Wavy, Shoulder-Length Cut

We're all for simple, easy-to-achieve styles that don't require much, and this one hits the nail on the head. Keep the hair one tone or add some highlights for a multi-dimensional look.

The Sassy, Shaggy Bob

This is a low-maintenance look that's equal parts messy and chic. "Shaggy haircuts can be achieved on straight, wavy, or curly hair, and also on various lengths from short to medium," says Petrut. "If hair is straight, roughly blow dry the hair and then use a curling iron to create shaggy curls."

The Shoulder-Length High-Volume Waves

We dig the glamorous look big curls give. Create volume at the ends by blow drying with a round brush and going over with a large barrel curling iron.

The Split Bang Lob

Bangs are not a one-size-fits-all affair. The split bang, which just means the bangs part in the middle, is a fun way to switch up the style. Simply split the bangs in half and apply a lightweight mousse to keep them in place.

The Short, Piecey-Layered Look

This effortless style is flattering on any hair type, from curly to straight. Add piecey layers for texture and apply a dime-sized amount of styling cream to accentuate.