Silver hair is very in vogue, so an au natural hair color is as good as gold these days. Whether you're working the gray streaks or trying out a color of your youth or your dreams, there are plenty of hair trends and styles for the savvy woman over 50 to try when in need of a midlife transformation.
From edgy pixie cuts to feminine low ponytails and tapered volume, we've got plenty of ideas to present to your tried and tested hair stylist.
Let's get one thing straight—mature women don't have to keep their hair short. Hair tends to become less dense, with thinning ends, as you age, but if you've still got beautiful lengths, do as the stars do and flaunt it. Some give their natural hair support with the help of hair extensions.
Celebrities over 50 that you'll frequently see with sleek hairstyles longer than shoulder length include Lucy Liu, Sandra Bullock, Jen Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tyra Banks, and, of course, Demi Moore, who's been famous for everything from being bald to having a bowl cut to endless glossy raven locks.
Medium-length to long hair does not have to be pin straight. With layers at the bottom or soft ones framing the face, your hair can look healthy and sexy and voluminous, even as you're starting to see more strands in the tub.
Long and short layers work for curly hair too and add dimension. Why not rock gray hair with choppy layers like the always lively Diane Keaton, or balayage wavy layers like Drew Barrymore, for a winning look? Michelle Pfeiffer's hair game is always strong, with well-placed highlights, and so is Cindy Crawford's with her voluminous side parts.
To all the Bring It On fans out there, Gabrielle Union is officially 50, and she looks better than ever. The actress has sported many Fulani braid looks in recent years. These braids are protective styles for Afro-textured hair that don't require heat styling and work in different weather conditions.
Union has tried middle parts or swept her hair to the side, and each time she slays. Janet Jackson likes a braided high ponytail and braided top knots too.
A lot has changed about Kris Jenner's look since the Kardashians entered the zeitgeist in 2007. The world's most famous momager nipped and tucked her way through the subsequent decade and a half, but one thing remained pretty much the same—her short, dark hair. Jenner's pixie cut with side-swept bangs has to be among her most popular and enduring looks.
It's totally up to you whether you want to go for Anna Wintour's iconic bob with neat bangs and blunt ends, a curly Jane Fonda bob, or something more feathered like Taraji P Henson or Gayle King's layers. This style is an excellent choice if you are struggling with thinning hair because it adds movement and fullness.
Sharp bobs can end up aging you too soon—ask the stylist to cut into the ends for an uneven edge.
Iman, Padma Lakshmi, Julia Roberts, and Salma Hayek are four queens that come to mind when we think of wavy lobs or long bobs. But the tousled lob's cousin, the coily lob, is also a fab style for women over 50. It's a favorite with Oprah, Viola Davis, and Laverne Cox, for example.
Don't avoid asymmetrical lobs either. They're definitely not "too young" and can freshen up your aesthetic in a jiffy.
You can do an elegant half-up half-down style whether you have hair like J Lo, Nicole Kidman, and Laura Dern, or you're sporting braids. Pull your braids back and leave two front-facing plaits for a smart-casual long-haired look.
If you have straight hair, consider making a side part and adding some soft curls to the ends for romantic vibes on a silver anniversary or a ladies' luncheon.
This look on Meryl Streep was uber-sophisticated. The top has a little volume, and the ends are thin and flick outwards ever so slightly. It's a balanced style, made edgier by darker ends, too. Without tight pulls or pins galore, this minimalist aesthetic won't give you any pesky headaches, and it'll look almost like you woke up like that.
For a loud, adventurous rock star look à la Tilda Swinton, opt for a fade. A long, razored pixie with, say, a lilac or reddish color for extra oomph could be the makeover you need to put a pep in your step this year. You can have swoop bangs or style Afro hair upwards for height and drama. Undercuts are where it's at—don't say we didn't tell you.
Sometimes the hair trend you need is not a haircut. Cuts are long-term commitments. You've lived long enough to know which hairstyles you're most comfortable with, and you're currently donning the same length you've had for the last decade. It works, and you're only occasionally bored.
On those occasions, look for accessories to sprinkle some excitement into the mix. You can elevate a style with glittering headbands or glamorous beads in braids. There's no end to the glam or sophisticated clips out there these days.