We've encountered enough badass women in their 40s, 50, 60s, and beyond to know that there are tons of outdated clichés about aging. Gone are the days where women are pressured to dress a certain way the second we hit age 40 or stop wearing our favorite makeup. (Although, there are formulas that work better for mature skin.) The general attitude around aging has seen a major shift for the better in recent years, and there's a sense of liberation that's come along with it that we absolutely love. While the number of years we've been on this earth doesn't have to control our lives, there are, indeed, some unavoidable shifts that come up the further along we get, including changes to our hair. For this reason, many women start to consider different haircuts by the time we hit age 50.
"The hair sometimes tends to get a bit thinner, the colour could begin to fade away, and the hair becomes more gray and wiry,” says Edward Tricomi, celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of the iconic Warren Tricomi Salons. If you've noticed one or even all of these changes in your hair as you've entered your 50s, you might be curious about which haircuts are best. We have some good news for you. You can do whatever the hell you want with your hair, whether you're 30, 50, or 90. And you don't have to just take our word for it—Tricomi agrees. "The way I see it, your haircut really has nothing to do with your age," he says. "It just doesn’t work like that. You cut hair based on someone’s body, face, and hipness factor."
Meet the expert:
Photo:Courtesy of Edward Tricomi
"I know women in their 50s, 60s, and 70s that have long hair, and they look great with it," Tricomi continues. "I know women in their 50s, 60s, and 70s with short hair, and they look great with it. Some with bangs, some with no bangs, and they look great with it. It doesn’t matter; age doesn’t really dictate that, especially today."
So if you're approaching your 50th birthday and are feeling conflicted about what to do with your hair, we hope you can take a deep breath now and know that the possibilities are endless. But the question still persists: What are the best haircuts for women in their 50s? To answer it, we scoured the internet for the most popular haircuts among celebrities in their 50s to help inspire you. From short pixies to long, flowy lengths, check out 25 of the most popular haircuts among our most beloved celebs 50 and up. And watch out for more nuggets from Tricomi along the way.
Robin Wright's pixie cut is so chic. We see this kind of cut a lot on ladies in their 50s, and can work just as well with a minimal aesthetic as it can for a more bohemian look.
“Some people get really lucky in life, and they have hair that grows in grey, but it grows into a beautiful silver-grey. That type of color, I love. It’s almost like platinum blonde hair," Tricomi explains. Emma Thompson is one of those lucky ladies, and her silver-white hair looks gorgeous in the longer-on-top crop she's been sporting throughout her 50s.
"Women over 50 can wear anything. It all depends on the person and what is going to complement them best,” Tricomi adds. And for those with curly or coily hair textures, it's the perfect time to play around with your gorgeous texture. See Taraji P. Henson for inspiration.
A sleek bob like Lucy Liu's is an ageless cut.
This bangs and bob combo on Viola Davis is relaxed yet polished.
As shorter cuts start to grow out, you can keep them looking fresh by adding soft curls throughout. Jodie Foster is a good example.
Shorter hair means you might need smaller heat tools. This mini styler is perfect for creating looks on cropped cuts or styling shorter fringes.
This texturising mist is a must-have for anyone who wants to add that relax, mussed-up finish to hair styles short or long.
And if you're working on your wash-and-go, then you'll want a gel-like product like this one to define curls without leaving them overly hard or crunchy.
When it comes to medium-length haircuts, the lob is among the most popular for women of all ages. Garcelle's lob is giving us life and proves that it's a suitable cut for women in their 50s.
Julianne Moore shows that the beachy look isn't just for teenagers on their gap years.
"When I cut hair, I customize the haircut to that specific person and consider a bunch of different factors, like the person's face shape for example, in order to create a look that will truly complement them and accentuate their features and overall look," Tricomi says. Sandra Bullock's undone lob is perfect for her square face shape and looks just as cool on her in her 50s as it would have in her 30s.
This deep-part, shoulder-grazing cut of Melissa McCarthy's is a real classic.
We're big fans of Padma Lakshmi's blunt lob. The chin-length layers around the face soften it perfectly.
Pumped-up curly and coily textures are so much fun. We love how Viola wears hers.
Courteney's cut is the same length all the way around, and it looks so great with her face shape.
"The way I cut hair, it’s all customized to that specific person," says Tricomi. "The way I see it, how old you look is all about the way you project it. It’s the way you dress, it’s the way you wear your makeup, and the way you wear your hair. They all must work together." Jennifer hasn't veered far from her signature haircut in decades, and it has suited her so well at every age.
Cindy Crawford has kept her hair around this length for years, and we can see why. Should she choose to chop it off, we would fully support that, but medium-length hair is seriously perfect on her.
Why is it that the longer our hair gets, the less appealing it becomes to wash it? This is a really featherweight formula that cleanses and adds volume but doesn't feel or look obvious.
Straighten, curl, or bump your strands with ease. No matter how you choose to style, you can bet there will be volume involved.
"Extensions are a great way to help the look of your hair if it’s thinning out, and of course, you also have the option of wigs," Tricomi says. The lesson? Long hair, by any means, is also suitable for women in their 50s. J. Lo and her bouncy 'do should be all the proof you need.
In our expert's opinion, colour is actually a lot more important to consider as we age. "Getting your hair to a nice, rich color truly does make you look younger," he says. "Like anything else in life, when something starts to fade, it just doesn’t look as good. You always want to make yourself look brand-new, and maintaining your color is really the key to this whole thing." This tonal red color brings new life to the long, layered cut.
Speaking of long layers, they're your best friend if big, voluminous styles are your cup of tea.
Leave it to Mariah to prove that long corkscrews are a definite yes.
When it comes to curly hair, the key it to keep your spirals healthy and hydrated at every length and every age. Janet Jackson is a pro.
Salma is another celebrity who's had long hair for some time. Why should she change that now that she's in her 50s? We can't think of a single good reason.
Vivica A. Fox's long cut feels a little bit '70s glam—perfect for those moments where you want your hair and makeup to do the talking.
SJP's long, single-length cut looks beautiful whether she's wearing her hair pin-straight or in effortless waves.
Nicole shows us that even with a finer texture, long hair can still look dreamy.
No layers, no problem. We are so into this ultra-long length on Queen Latifah.
You'll need a solid haircare routine in order to grow your hair long and strong, starting with a great shampoo. This one has nutritive ingredients to reinforce the internal structure of the hair.
Whether your hair is long, short, thin, or thick, this strengthening treatment will help to keep your strands healthy and strong.
Distributing your hair's natural oils through the strands is super important for maintaining healthy, long hair. A brush like this one helps to get the job done and is a must-have for creating brushed-out curls and other softer styles.
Up next, the top hair trends of 2021.
This story was originally published on Who What Wear US and has since been updated.