Which Haircuts Look Best on Older Women?

01
of 29

I Pick the Best Short, Medium and Long Hairstyles for Women Over 50

Kate Capshaw
Kate Capshaw. Gary Gershoff, Chance Yeh, Jim Spellman/Getty Images

Here, Kate Capshaw, wife of Steven Spielberg, looks years younger than she is (she was born November 3, 1953). Capshaw lives in California, summers in the Hamptons, and is married to a movie mogul, so you can bet she gets some help because she looks 55 or so here, not 65. While you may not be able to afford her plastic surgery work—I'm only assuming—or even her own personal hair salon in her house (you can read about that here), you can take this photo into your hair salon The Best Medium Length Hairstyles for Women Over 50 and get a version of her flattering hairstyle.

Here's why this hairstyle works on Capshaw:

  1. This haircut works best on women with naturally straight, somewhat thick hair. If you have fine hair, it will look great, too, but perhaps not as thick. And if your hair is too heavy, you can have your stylist lighten it up using a razor. But don't go too heavy on the layering, too many layers can make a hairstyle look dated.
  2. Capshaw actually has naturally curly hair. So her hair here has either been straightened chemically or via a flat iron. Whatever she did, it looks great.
  3. The length is perfect—not too long and not too short. Find out why shoulder-length hair is the most flattering hair length on everyone in This Haircut Looks Great on Almost Every Face Shape.

I also love Capshaw's color. If you have light hair and a good blonde base, you can get highlights around the face using the balayage technique.

 

02
of 29

Kate Capshaw With Short Hair

Kate Capshaw
Kate Capshaw. Getty Images

Here are a few other images of Kate Capshaw with shorter hair. This hairstyle is youthful, fresh, stylish, and proof that short hair can be stunning The Best Short Hairstyles for Older Women.

While it's a beauty myth that women over 60 must wear their hair short, the real marker for whether you should be wearing your hair short is whether it would be flattering to your face shape and hair texture.

This look works best on women with naturally straight, somewhat thick hair. The bangs are flattering as well but require upkeep. You'll need to get them trimmed every four to six weeks or do them yourself.

03
of 29

Nancy Pelosi's Hair

Nancy Pelosi hairstyles
Nancy Pelosi. Andrew H. Walker

Whatever your politics are, you have got to love this classic bob on Nancy Pelosi. The bob We Pick the Best Bob Hairstyles for Older Women is something that never goes out of style and there are always many bob styles to choose from We Pick the Best Bob Hairstyles for Older Women.

So what's the best bob for you? Whether you go for a long bob, a messy just-woke-up bob, a graduated bob, or a classic bob like Nancy Pelosi's, you have chosen well. Bobs work on all face shapes and most hair textures.

 

04
of 29

Jane Fonda's Short Hair

Jane Fonda's hairstyles
Jane Fonda. Pascal Le Segretain/Jason Merritt/Getty Images

This cut on Jane Fonda is a classic Fonda hairstyle. It's full of layers and looks fantastic on her. Notice how it frames the face Best Short Hair By Face Shape and is longer in the back.  The fact that Jane colors her hair adds volume. That's because the peroxide in the dye actually coats each strand, adding texture.

 

05
of 29

Catherine Deneuve's Hairstyle

Catherine Deneuve
Actress Catherine Deneuve. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Catherine Deneuve (born October 22, 1943) is in her 70s and another great example of a woman unafraid to grow her hair below her shoulders  Great Haircuts for Women in Their 70s & 80s. Deneuve is another example that length should not be dictated by age.

Shoulder-length hair The Best Medium Length Hairstyles for Women Over 50 is the most flattering hair length for women, both young and old. The article This Haircut Looks Great on Almost Every Face Shape is a good read if you want to learn more about what cut will suit your particular face shape best.

 

06
of 29

Diane Sawyer

Diane Sawyer has naturally brown hair, but colors her hair blonde
Diane Sawyer. Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Few women have naturally blonde hair. Unless you are Swedish or Scandinavian, you will likely have to color your hair to get it that perfectly buttery blonde. Sawyer (born December 22, 1945) actually has naturally brown hair and got her big break in television news when she colored her hair blonde many years ago.

If you're thinking of going blonde, start by doing your research and checking out Blonde Hair Color Tips & Tricks before heading to the salon and committing to a color.

 

07
of 29

Senator Wendy Davis

Sen. Wendy Davis
State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) contemplates her 13-hour filibuster. Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

She was a single mom at age 19 who later graduated from Harvard Law School with honors and then became a state senator in Texas.

And what some of my Facebook friends wanted to know is, "How can I get Wendy Davis's blonde shoulder-length hair?"

The key to Sen. Davis's hairstyle is in her hair texture and in the cut. She has super thick, naturally straight hair with a bit of a wave in it. Fine hair cut into this style (long layers with long, side-swept bangs) would also look good, but might fall flat. You'd need to add body in the form of mousses or sprays to get that body. Instead, you might consider cutting hair a bit shorter so it doesn't fall flat. Hair with more wave or curl would have to be wrangled in with a hair dryer and a round brush. If you have curly hair, forget about it. Unless you want to get your hair chemically straightened.

08
of 29

Olivia Newton John's Long Bob

Olivia Newton John
Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

This is the perfect haircut for Olivia Newton John's hair texture. She has fine, straight hair and a lot of it. The key to a long bob, which looks great on women of all ages, is to have the hair in the back an inch or two shorter than the front so it angles forward. Also, make sure your stylist doesn't cut in too many layers, which can ruin this look. 

09
of 29

Sharon Lawrence

Sharon Lawrence hairstyles
Sharon Lawrence hairstyles. Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Sharon Lawrence is a great example of a woman who looks much younger with longer hair, and it's easy to go the other direction ​Is your hairstyle aging you?. She was born in 1961, yet she looked quite a bit older when she wore her hair above her chin. Now that she's grown her hair longer (and chosen to lighten it) she looks younger.

Note the layers cut into her hair and the lighter colors around the face. That's the secret to a youthful haircut and color.

Like this? You'll love these must-reads for older women:

 

10
of 29

A Great Short Hairstyle if Your Hair Is Thick and Wavy

Wavy Short Hair
Getty Images

Who says you can't wear your hair short if it's curly and thick? This photo proves that you can.

The Best Curly Hairstyles for Women Over 50 is a must-see if you're exploring this kind of cut because curly hair can be temperamental and it's always a good idea to show your stylist an image of the cut you want. And, if you've never worn your hair short before, there are Secrets to Styling Curly Hair, so don't be afraid to take the plunge.

 

11
of 29

It Takes Guts to Pull off an Edgy Short Cut

Pixie Sunglasses
Liam Norris/Getty Images

  •  think we all agree that this woman looks classy, edgy, cool, and sophisticated all because of how she pulls off her haircut. This 50- or 60-something-year-old is decked out in a young-looking outfit and large, over-sized sunglasses which look youthful and age-appropriate, all at the same time.

Not all super short hairstyles come off as chic as this pixie hairstyle, which is very boyish, Mia Farrow-esque, and just perfect. It also helps her hair is platinum white.

This mussy style works on women of all ages but there is maintenance to this cut. As with all short hairstyles, you have to get your hair trimmed on a regular basis, especially if your hair grows fast.

Stylist Matthew Shields of Sally Hershberger salon suggests that to keep this particular cut modern and youthful, "Leave the length slightly longer than a traditional pixie, and add a little wax or pomade just to give it texture and separation."

  •  

12
of 29

Ellen Burstyn

Ellen Burstyn
Ellen Burstyn. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Ellen Burstyn is proof that "women of a certain age" can look stunning at any age. However,​ ​you'll need a skilled hairdresser to pull off this look. That's because Burstyn's hair is chock full of layers that you can tell are expertly cut to frame her face.

You also have to consider your hair texture. It's true that many women with fine, thin hair look better with hair that's above their shoulders with a few layers cut in. But women with thick, curly hair may actually look better with longer hair. That's because longer hair will weigh down the curl.

.

13
of 29

Lauren Hutton

Lauren Hutton
Lauren Hutton. Antonio de Moraes Barros/Getty Images

Tooth gap or not, Lauren Hutton knows how to look stylish and how to wear long hair over the age of 70. Hutton started modeling in her early 20's and has always worn her hair below her shoulders. It's also worth noting that her cut (parted in the middle) is the ideal shape for someone with a square face.

14
of 29

Susan Lucci

Susan Lucci
Susan Lucci. Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Long hair with bangs is stunning (and sexy) on TV icon Susan Lucci. Lucci (born in 1946) has thick, full hair, which she has always worn long. If you look back over the past few decades you'll discover that the soap opera queen has almost always worn bangs, which help to frame her face.

15
of 29

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren
Long bangs on a short haircut. Jim Spellman/Getty Images

Helen Mirren (born July 26, 1945) never goes out without a great haircut. 

You may not believe this but Mirren claims she cuts her own hair. She told Redbook Magazine, "I can’t handle going to the hairdresser every six weeks, so I only go about once a year. In between, I get out the scissors and do something, usually rather disastrously. Sometimes I’ll even chop my hair the morning of a big red carpet event."

I have a feeling this cut on Mirren is a professional one. I love this cut in particular because it's super flattering. Mirren has an oval face shape, so she looks best in hairstyles that aren't too long and that add width to the sides of her face, like this one. Not everyone needs to worry about their face shape (Does Your Face Shape Really Matter?) but it can be helpful to know yours.

Back to this great haircut. Note the long, side-swept bangs which fall to Mirren's cheeks. When getting a haircut with layers, such as this one, make sure the layers are long. Short layers can make your hairstyle look dated.

16
of 29

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem
Gloria Steinem. Frederick M. Brown

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem is still wearing her hair long at age 83. The founder of Ms. Magazine may have won the genetic lottery with her perfectly symmetric facial features, but she's proof that if you find the right hairstyle for your shape face, you can wear it in your 60's, 70's, 80's, and beyond. 

17
of 29

Lisa Lampanelli

Lisa Lampanelli
Lisa Lampanelli. Getty Images

Stand-up comedian Lisa Lampanelli was born in 1961 and looks much, much younger than her age. That's because she's chosen to dye to her hair a youthful shade of strawberry blonde and peppered it with highlights. Lampanelli has an extremely long face and the deep side-sweep of the extra long bangs help to deflect her long face shape. You'll also notice that she wears her hair much shorter on the left side. This is another hairstyling trick tor those of you with a long face and easy to manage hair (i.e, not too fine, thick, wavy, or straight). 

18
of 29

Paulina Porizkova

Paulina Porizkova
Paulina Porizkova. Mike Pont/WireImage

Czech-born Swedish model Paulina Porizkova, (Born in 1965) is the second woman (after Christie Brinkley, to be featured on the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue two years running (1984 and 1985). Porizkova looks incredible in this shoulder-length hairstyle.

The off-center part helps to frame her square face shape and creates a young 10 Hairstyles That Make You Look 10 Years Younger, modern look. You don't have to be a swimsuit model to pull off this look. Just be sure to bring a picture of Porizkova with you the next time you head to your hair salon.

 

19
of 29

Cecille Richards

Cecile Richards
Cecile Richards. Desiree Navarro/Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Cecille Richards (born in 1957) is an American pro-choice activist who has served as the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. It's clear to see how young she looks for her age in this short The Best Short Hairstyles for Older Women haircut. Two things help create a youthful appearance for Richards: the exaggerated side-swept bangs, and the bright (not warm) shade of blonde her hairdresser chose.

 

20
of 29

Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson. Karwai Tang/Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

If you have thick, wavy hair like actress Emma Thompson, this may be the perfect hairstyle for you. It's not cheating to look at The Best Short Hairstyles for Older Women before heading out the door to see your hairdresser.

 

 

 

 

21
of 29

Donna Mills; Hoda Kotb

Donna Mills and Hoda Kotb
Donna Mills and Hoda Kotb. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Donna Mills (born 1940 and pictured left) and Hoda Kotb (born 1964) both have stunning hairstyles in this photo. Can you believe Mills is in her mid-70s? You could easily find hairstyles that make you look a good 10 years if you scour the fashion magazines or pay attention to older female celebs who walk the red carpet. 

22
of 29

Donna Mills

Donna Mills
Donna Mills. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Here 's Donna Mills with straight hair that shows off her stunning eyes.

Like this? You'll love these must-reads for older women:

23
of 29

Rita Wilson

Rita Wilson
Rita Wilson. Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Just because you're a certain age, you don't have to wear your hair short. Rita Wilson (born October 26, 1956), looks gorgeous with her hair worn shoulder-length.

What's important is that your hairstyle should flatter your face and your figure. If you have a round or square face, you may look better with hair that's longer. My advice is to research The Most Flattering Styles By Face Shape

 

 

24
of 29

Joanna Coles and Mika Brzezinski

Joanna Coles and Mika Brzezinski
Joanna Coles and Mika Brzezinski. Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Many older women with graying hair often opt to go blonde Blonde Hair Color: How to Tell if You'd Make a Great Blonde instead of dark. Blonde hair tends to blend in better with the grays as they grow in. Dark hair can emphasize the lines on your face, according to stylist Brad Johns in Charla Krupp's book, "How Not to Look Old." If you have gone all gray, consider becoming a blonde rather than a brunette as Joanna Coles (pictured left) and Mike Brzezinski (pictured right) do here.

 

25
of 29

Lisa Vanderpump

Lisa Vanderpump
Lisa Vanderpump. D Dipasupil/Getty Images

Love her or hate her, but Lisa Vanderpump (of Beverly Hills Real Housewives) has great hair. Sometimes she even dyes a few strands of her favorite color pink into the front to make her look young and hip.

Vanderpump was born September 15, 1960, and looks decades younger (in part) because of her long flowing locks and off-center part. hair.

 

26
of 29

Juliette Binoche

Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche. Getty Images

Frenchwoman Juliette Binoche (born March 9, 1964) looks fantastic in long hair, short hair, and hair pulled back. Pictured here are her latest hairstyles. She hasn't worn long hair in years.


 

27
of 29

Leeza Gibbons

Leeza Gibbons
Leeza Gibbons. Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Leeza Gibbons (born March 26, 1957) has a classicly-styled medium length The Best Medium Length Hairstyles for Women Over 50 cut that is considered a bit longer than most medium length hairdos. You'll note how young Gibbons' side-swept bangs make her appear. Bangs on the right person, with the right cut, can take years off a woman's age.

Another age-reversal trick is cutting long layers into the front and back so the hair has more "bonce."

 

28
of 29

Suzanne Krajewski

Suzanne Krajewski
Suzanne Krajewski. Getty Images

Suzanne Krajewski, the wife of "Weird Al" Yankovic, knows how to pull off a chic gray-haired  Gray Hair: 19 Photos to Inspire You Not to Color Yours look. You'll note that Krajewski wears her hair all one length and prefers a part that is slightly off-center. The positioning of the part helps to cover up some of Krajewski's forehead, a becoming look for older women.

29
of 29

Love this? There's More!

Pixie Cut with Glasses
Taxi for Getty

As the beauty guru for older women, Charla Krupp is a beauty guru for older women. She's also the author of "How Not to Look Old." Krupp says that easiest, fastest, and least expensive way to take 20 years off your look is to invest in trendy, modern eyeglass frames. It's easy to find the Best Glasses for Older Women is you just look around. Just be sure you get a second option (from a friend or family member) before you head to the optometrist