Flattering Hairstyles for Women in Their 30s

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Find a Great Hairstyle for Your 30s

Women in their 30s have many great hairstyles to choose from. Your age does not mean you have to follow certain "rules" and go short or stop having fun with your hair. Instead, it may simply mean that you choose a slightly more grown-up look than you did in your 20s. 

In your 30s, your lifestyle may actually dictate your hairstyle as much as your hair texture and your face shape does. It's a pivotal decade for many women and everyone's life will take her down a different path.

If you're busy powering ahead in your career, you may opt to chop your hair to your shoulders or shorter. The theory is that the more kept your hair is, the more seriously you will be taken in the office.

If you're a busy mom with kids, you may need a low-maintenance hairstyle. This means a cut that works with your natural hair texture and doesn't require a lot of hair products or tools to keep it looking as good as possible.

Then again, if you're a single woman looking for love, you may want to put more effort into your hair. There's no need to believe stereotypes like the one that says men prefer long hair, either.

The right person is going to fall in love with you because you're comfortable in your skin, and that extends into your hairstyle. If you're sporty and love a pixie haircut or a shoulder-length cut pulled into a ponytail, then own it. There's nothing sexier than a woman with confidence.

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Long Hair With Bangs

Jessica Biel with long hair with bangs
Jessica Biel. Dimitrios Kambouris for Getty

Long hair with bangs is flattering because bangs are flattering. Anyone can wear long hair, but it can drag a face down, but bangs are always fresh and fabulous. From blunt bangs to side-swept bangs, they're an excellent way to add maturity to your look without going too serious.

Keep in mind that bangs take some maintenance. Many salons offer free bang trims, but if you can't be bothered to travel every few weeks to see your stylist, you can learn how to trim your own bangs. It's easier than you think.

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Long Hair, Side-Swept Bangs

Reese Witherspoon with side swept bangs
Reese Witherspoon. Toby Canham for Getty Images

No matter your age, you can get away with long hair as long as it is in good condition. Try to avoid too many chemical treatments and pay attention to products and heat which may damage your hair. It is easier to maintain healthy hair than it is to try and restore damaged hair.

Again, cutting in bangs is a great option. If blunt bangs aren't your style, you'll find that long, side-swept bangs are extremely flattering and stylish when paired with long, straight hair.

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The Shag Hairstyle

Nicole Richie with shag hairstyle
Nicole Richie. Jamie McCarthy for Getty

A shoulder-length cut that looks just a bit mussy is fabulous. The shag is very popular because it looks casual and unfussy but can be blow-dried into something a bit more put-together and sophisticated. This look is perfect for busy moms, single women, and working women, too.

With the right cut, the shag can be air dried to perfection. Just a few spritzes of a sea salt spray, a few scrunches with your hands, and you're on with your day.

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Gorgeous Color

Jessica Chastain with gorgeous color hair
Jessica Chastain. Frederick M. Brown for Getty

While you may have played with funky hair color in your 20s, it may be best to stick with something a bit more subdued. At this age, you can color your hair any way you like, though you might want to be more careful and choose one that flatters your skin tone.

Also, if you want to do your color at home, it's best to only go two shades darker or lighter than your natural color. Leave more extreme changes to the pros at your favorite salon.

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Bronde Hair

Bar Rafaeli with perfect blonde hair
Bar Rafaeli. Getty Images/Epsilon

Bronde hair is that magical color between blonde and brunette. It is a hot look and one that is flattering for women who have light brown or dark blonde hair. It's a great way to add a hint of color without an all-over change. The highlights can be placed so they complement both your hairstyle and your best facial features.

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The Pixie

Michelle Williams with the classic Pixie
Michelle Williams. Walter McBride for Getty

The pixie is a great cut for women of all ages. In your 30s, it can really highlight a great bone structure, pretty eyes, and full lips. This look is great for trendsetters, short, petite women, and any woman who can rock the Audrey Hepburn look. 

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The Classic Bob

Agyness Deyn with a classic bob
Agyness Deyn. Jamie McCarthy // Getty

The classic bob is not going anywhere anytime soon. It will always be a stylish choice for women, no matter their age. It's a great cut for professionals because it oozes sophistication. However, this cut can be high maintenance and requires a bit of styling.

Anyone with a nice jawline and neck will look good in a bob. If you have a round face, a long bob is probably a better option for you.

As for hair texture, bobs work best on thin to medium hair. If you have curly hair, a bob may turn into a triangle unless you get layers cut in and texturize the ends. If you have fine hair, ask your stylist for a "graduated bob," which are stacked layers cut shorter in the back and left longer in the front. It gives flatter hair much-needed body and height at the crown.

In any case, you will likely need a great flat iron to keep your straight bob in phenomenal shape.

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The Long Bob

Michele Placido with a long bob
Michele Placido. Ernesto Ruscio for Getty

Long bobs are as popular as ever and they're extremely versatile. You can blow dry them straight, air dry them so your hair has some natural wave to it, or curl it into wavy perfection. Also, if you need to pull it back, there's still some length to work with.

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That Perfect Length

Margherita Missoni with the perfect length bob
Margherita Missoni. Tullio M. Puglia for Getty

There's a "perfect length" that is always on trend. It's that spot right between the chin and shoulders and it looks great on women of all ages. Yet, it seems to be most popular on women in their 30s and early 40s.

Not only is this a great length for every hair texture and face shape, it is also easy to care for. If you go with a style that complements your thick, curly, fine, or straight hair, your daily styling needs can be minimal. That may be why so many women at this age love it.

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Shoulder-length and Thick

Keira Knightley with a shoulder length bob
Keira Knightley. Alberto E. Rodriguez for Getty

Shoulder-length hair is simply the most versatile, flattering hair length on all face types and for all hair textures. The key to the perfect shoulder length cut lies in the length. It can't be too long or too short. It looks best when it just hits at the collarbone or a bit above.

“The finish should appear blunt but should never be blunt, as blunt looks cheap,” explains stylist Harry Josh in Vogue magazine. “You texturize the ends with maybe a feather razor so the line appears clean, but there is actually a lot of movement in it. Too much of a block, and it looks heavy.”

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Shoulder-Length With Bangs

Kerry Washington with shoulder length bob with bangs
Kerry Washington. Alexandra Wyman for Getty

This is a fabulous look for middle-aged women that want to retain some youth. It combines the sexiness of the trendy blunt bang with the shoulder-length cut that is easy to care for and style. If you like to play up your gorgeous eyes with makeup, the bangs and face-framing layers will accent them even more.

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Just Off the Beach Waves

Anne V with beach waves hair
Anne V. Bryan Steffy for Getty

These long, beachy waves never go out of styles and you'll see it on almost every woman in Hollywood at some point. It's casual but has that super sexy look that screams confidence.

If you have long, thick hair, you can get away with this look. Even if your hair is on the thin side or doesn't grow long fast, you can fake it with the help of hair extensions.

The secret to sexy, beachy waves is salt spray. Spray it on, scrunch your hair, and off you go.

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Boho Chic Braid

Kate Hudson with a boho chic braid
Kate Hudson. Chris Weeks/Getty Images for Fabletics

Braids are popular among women with long hair because they look sweet and youthful while keeping your hair out of the way. While braid trends come and go and they tend to be very popular among younger women, there's no reason you can't wear one in your 30s.

Braids are very pretty and casual. If you wear one in a boho chic sort of way that is kept but still looks thrown together, it can be quite flattering.