The Best Curly Hairstyles for Women Over 50

01
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Diane von Furstenberg

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Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. Gilbert Carrasquillo for Getty Images

I know a ton of women with naturally curly hair. They fight the frizzes the minute there's humidity in the air and many of them straighten their hair either chemically or via the blowout process.

But most of them embrace their hair's natural texture and step out in gorgeous, lush curls. They've learned how to properly care and style their hair and they know what cuts look good on them and which ones don't.

That's something that age brings you: wisdom.

There are a few secrets to styling curly hair that I've learned over the years. I share them with you in this gallery of gorgeous curly hairstyles on women over age 50.

More on curly hair:

  • 10 secrets to styling curly hair
  • Best products for naturally curly hair
  • Frizzy hair fixes: 7 rules to live by
  • Curly Hairstyles: 19 Amazing Haircuts for Curly Hair

02
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Bernadette Peters

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Bernadette Peters with hair down and in an updo. Getty Images

Women with super-curly hair should limit heat styling to 2 to 3 times a week. Any more and you could risk damaging your hair. Preventing frizz is basically a four-step process: deep condition once a week. Apply a leave-in conditioner to ends after a shower. When styling hair, apply a serum that contains silicone (look for "dimethicone" on the bottle) to wet hair, coating every curl. Let hair air dry or use a diffuser.

Get more tips in How to Care for Curly Hair.

03
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How to Go Straight When You Have Curly Hair

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Marisa Berenson with curly hair, left and straight hair, right. Getty Images

If you want to try out straight hair for a day or 2, considering getting a professional blowout at a salon. There are many blow dry salons in big cities where you can get a blow out for under $50.

Women with curly hair who want to go straight should try a professional hair straightening at the salon. The solution is much like a perm, only instead of curly hair, it straightens it. I'd suggest finding a stylist who specializes in hair straightening or who has super-curly hair herself.

Here are your 3 chemical processing options:

  1. Japanese Hair Straightening Treatments
  2. What is a Keratin (Or, "Brazilian") Hair Treatment?
  3. How to Give Yourself a Straight Perm

04
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Kate Capshaw Curly

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Kate Capshaw. WireImage for Getty

Medium length is the perfect length for hair in women over 50 because it's still long enough to be considered stylish and sexy but not so long you'll look like you're trying to be 25 again. 

You simply can't go wrong with a cut that falls somewhere between the chin and a few inches below the shoulders. This length works on anyone no matter their age, their hair texture and their face shape. What's more, it's a super popular length at the moment. So popular that it made my list of the The Year's Top 20 Hairstyle Trends.

Medium Length Hairstyles for Women Over 50

05
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Michelle Pfeiffer

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Michelle Pfeiffer. Marc Piasecki for Getty

As you likely know if you are on this page, curly hair can be tricky to take care of. In all sorts of weather it can frizz up on you, because dry hair loves to soak up the moisture from the air.

You can fight this frizz using any one of the amazing curly hair products on the market today including treatments, shampoos, conditioners and masks.

Get the full scoop in my list of the Best Products for Naturally Curly Hair.

06
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Kelly Hoppen

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Kelly Hoppen. Dave J Hogan for Getty

Curly hair needs some length to weigh it down and keep it from pouffing up. If you like your hair longer, you can actually go long when you have super curly hair.

For inspiration, see photos of Long, Curly Haircuts.

07
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Joan Osbourne's Curly Updo

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Joan Osbourne. Jeff Vespa for Getty Images

You can pull your curly hair up into an updo, like Joan Osbourne's here.

08
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Alfre Woodard

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Alfre Woodard in curly hair for over 50. Stephen Lovekin for Getty Images

Here's a curly hair tip I love: when drying hair after applying product, squeeze (never rub) curls with a towel or paper towel and be sure to use a diffuser when using a blow dryer. Dry hair on the lowest speed setting.

Get more tips in these articles:

  • Frizzy hair fixes: 7 rules to live by
  • Best flat irons
  • Secrets to styling curly hair

09
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Alex Kingston

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Alex Kingston. Dimitrios Kambouris for Getty Images

Unlike your sisters with straight, flat hair who should stay away from products that weigh down their hair, you need a few products to keep frizz and dryness in check.

First off, you need the right kind of shampoo.

A new craze in shampooing curly hair is the "No Poo" movement. This means not shampooing hair but instead conditioning it daily. My curly-haired friends also swear by Deva Curl's No Poo and Lo Poo shampoos (buy from Amazon). If you must you a shampoo, creamy shampoos are a better bet than clarifying (or clear) shampoos.

10
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Oprah Winfrey

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Oprah Winfrey with curly hair. Paul Redmond for Getty Images

Women with curly hair need to condition a lot.

You simply cannot over-condition frizzy hair. You need a heavy conditioner for use every time you wash your hair, and a deep conditioner for use once a week. Consider a leave-in conditioner for every day.

11
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Melina Kanakaredes

Melina Kanakaredes. Frederick M. Brown/Getty

Invest in styling products that are made for women with curly hair. Here are a few to consider:

  1. Smoothing cream and alcohol-free gel. From the minute you step out of the shower, you need to coat the cuticle so it locks out moisture. In her book "Confessions of a Beauty Editor" (buy it from Amazon), author Linda Wells suggests a one-two-punch: 2 parts cream for 1 part gel (yes, you have to buy the products separately). A walnut-sized amount will do you. Simply rub the product in your hands and then palm the mixture from mid-shaft down. Comb the product throughout all of your hair with a wide-toothed comb.
  2. Styling cream Enhance your curls with a cream created for curly hair. Rub it in and let hair airdry.
  3. Style serum Warm up a couple drops of this in your hands and palm over dry, frizzy curls. The serum will solve your frizz problems.
  4. Straightening balm or gel If you want to blow-dry hair straight, rub a quarter-size amount of this on hair before drying curly hair (always in sections, working from the lower layers on up).

12
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Amy Irving

Amy Irving. Paul Hawthorne/Getty

Women with curly hair are usually advised not to go short. Short hair can frizz up on you more easily than long hair and you run the risk of major pouffy hair. The longer your hair, the more your curls will weigh hair down.

That said, the right haircut can work on curly hair. The photos in my gallery Short, Curly Hair: Photos of My Favorite Hairstyles show off several curly hairstyles that work. They all feature long layers and while there is a bit of "pouf" going on in some of the pictures I feel it really works on these women.

13
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Valeria Golino

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Valeria Golino. Getty Images Europe

If you were born with super curly hair, you may find it aggravating at times when it frizzes up in certain climates and other times when you'd like straight hair without spending hours getting it that way. There are secrets to styling naturally curly hair and I've discovered them. Read more in Curly Hair: 10 Secrets to Styling Natural Curls.

14
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Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan. Slaven Vlasic // Getty Images

I got this question from a reader:

Hey, I've used a lot of your articles for various "beauty issues" but I'm still having difficulties with my hair. It's between wavy and curly. While I don't have a head full of ringlets, my hair is still thick and hard to manage and has a lot of natural curl. I'm trying to determine the best way to style. I find that my hair looks better when I air-dry it, but I'm still in high school and I'd rather not go to school with a wet head. Of course, being a teenage girl I'm sure I'll never be completely satisfied, but I was hoping you could help a little, or at least direct me to an article I haven't come across yet!

Read my answer in this article, Help! How Do I Style My Curly Hair?

15
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Jennifer Grey with Short, Curly Hair

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Jennifer Grey curly. WireImage for Getty

More on curly hair:

  • 10 secrets to styling curly hair
  • Best products for naturally curly hair

16
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Shania Twain's Long, Curly Hair

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Shania Twain with curly hair. Wireimage for Getty

More on curly hair:

  • Frizzy hair fixes: 7 rules to live by
  • Curly Hairstyles: 19 Amazing Haircuts for Curly Hair

17
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More Great Hairstyles for Older Women

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Rick Gomez for Getty Images

Just because you are a Woman of a Certain Age does not mean you have to go out and get a short, spiky haircut, or a perm once a week ala Steel Magnolias. It doesn't mean you have to dye your hair blonde or put your eyeglasses on a chain.

Quite the contrary. These days there are no rules to hairstyles for women over age 50. You can wear your hair long, straightened, curled or in an updo -- and as long as it's flattering on you, that's really all that matters.

In this hairstyle gallery, I've pulled together hairstyles on women over 50 that are absolutely gorgeous. Not all haircuts work on all hair textures or with all face shapes. You'll learn what looks get on whom and by the end of this gallery you should have an idea of what would work with your hair texture and face shape.

Read more in Hairstyles for Women Over 50: 20 Flattering Styles.

18
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Heike Kloss

Heike Kloss. Sean Gallup // Getty

It probably won't surprise you that you're likely not shampooing your hair correctly. In fact, most of us make several mistakes every time we lather up. We don't spend enough time scrubbing our scalps, we don't rinse thoroughly and sometimes we skip the conditioner.

Learn more in 9 Mistakes People Make When Shampooing Their Hair.

19
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Carole King Curly Hair

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Carole King. Steve Granitz for Getty Images

When you first find gray hair sprouting from your head, your reaction might match many women's. You may think, "Oh no. It's begun." Or you might just shrug it off. You may think you're too young for gray hair or you might not be surprised because your mom went gray at your age, too.

What many women are surprised by is how gorgeous their natural grays and silvers are. If you love your grays or if you are into living as natural a lifestyle as possible and therefore want to embrace your grays as they come, then you've come to the right place.

Learn more in How to Go Gray Naturally.

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More on curly hair:

  • 10 secrets to styling curly hair
  • Best products for naturally curly hair
  • Frizzy hair fixes: 7 rules to live by
  • Curly Hairstyles: 19 Amazing Haircuts for Curly Hair