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17 Brilliant Ways for Men Over 40 to Adopt a New Hairstyle

It's never too late to get a new 'do.

Men have a habit of finding something they like and sticking with it, not just for awhile, but for life. Trust us: Change can be a good thing, and it doesn't have to be a big deal. One of the easiest, quickest, and least expensive ways to switch things up is with a new 'do. By changing your hairstyle, you may gain tons of confidence and end up shaving years off your look. So, without further ado, here's your step-by-step action plan for rocking a new hairstyle after 40.

Book a new barber.


Loyalty and commitment are admirable qualities in a person, but it's natural to seek out something new. You're not married to your barber, so if you want a new style, feel free to try someone new who can work their magic.

Switch up your products.

Bottle of hair gel

If you've had the same haircut forever, it's safe to assume you've stuck with the same products, too. That means you have an opportunity to switch things up sans scissors. All you have to do is pick out a different product.

The ingredients in styling products are more advanced than they used to be, and can instantly make your hairstyle look different. If you're going for a gritty look, add a texturizing paste. Or try a hi-shine pomade for a slick and dapper style. Do a little research and don't be afraid to try a few different things. If you hate your new product, just wash it out.

Assess your face shape.

older man smiling outdoors

If you want to look your best, you have to find a style that works with your face shape. Oval faces look great with shorter sides and more length up top, while rounder faces that lack natural definition benefit from more structured styles that create harder visual lines.

And face length plays a role here, too. For example, if you're more rectangular, avoid anything too short on the sides, since it further elongates your face.

Find your inspiration.

Jon Hamm celebrity commercials

When you picture hairstyles you like, chances are you picture a certain celebrity. After all, the biggest names on the planet are the biggest trendsetters when it comes to hair. Lucky for you, they're also amongst the most photographed people in the world.

Maybe you want to cop Tom Hiddleston's close-crop, steal Jon Hamm's flawless waves, or rock whatever David Beckham is rocking these days. Whomever your inspiration is, do a quick Google search, find the image you like, and bring it in to your barber. It's one of the best ways to communicate the style you want, since it eliminates any guesswork or miscommunication. Your barber will thank you—and you'll thank your barber.

Change your shade.

Asian men dye his hair color on a gray background. - Image

Unless you had a rebellious punk phase as a teenager or twenty-something, you've probably had the same hair color for the past four decades. But what better time than now to try a new shade?

There's no shame in finding out if blondes really do have more fun, just be sure to have a specialist dye your hair. Consult with them to guide you through the process and to help pick the right shade for your skin tone. It might be tempting, but trust us: Do not try this at home.

Lighten things up.

beauty and people concept - close up of stylist with hair dye and brush coloring hair at salon - Image

If completely changing your hair color isn't up your alley, one of the best ways to give your hairstyle a refresh is by adding highlights or lowlights.

If done well (read: professionally) these strategic streaks of color can slim your face, add depth and vitality to thinning hair, and even camouflage balding spots. Visit a reputable salon and consult with a professional colorist who can paint your highlights or lowlights exactly where they need to be. After all, you don't want to look like a wannabe '90s boy band frontman.

Let the facial hair flow.


One of the most common complaints from men over 40 is that while their hair thins on top, it grows thicker everywhere else. So why not unleash your facial hair? When done well, beards are masculine, powerful, and can completely change the way your haircut looks.

It's best to get an idea of how your facial hair grows, then research different beard styles. Once you find one you like, start growing. Your barber can help you maintain and style it so you'll look your best.

Embrace your natural texture.

man with gray hair outdoors {priorities over 50}

Much like your metabolism, eyesight, and tax bracket, your hair texture tends to change as you age. And that's a great reason to change your hairstyle. If your curls have become waves, grow them out. If your once-straight locks have grown coarse and voluminous, adapt. Figure out what your texture is and find a style that will work for you.

Or change your natural texture.

things women don't understand about men {priorities after 50}

Is your thick hair starting to thin? Have your once pin-straight locks started to curl? Worry not—it's just your hormones flaring up. But if you don't want to invest the time into learning how to use a blowdryer, curling iron, or thickening products, there are more permanent options for you.

Perms, relaxers, and keratin treatments can change the texture of your hair or create the illusion of thickness. Keep in mind, these are protein-bond changing chemicals, so they aren't child's play. It's important to leave these processes to a pro as well.

Switch your part.

50s slang no one uses

Switching your part can totally change your existing hairstyle totally free of charge. It sounds so simple, but even something this small can make a big difference.

It's not for everyone, since some hairstyles are cut to lay a certain way, but it's worth trying next time you head to the barber. Play around and see if you like it. If you don't, it takes just one second to reverse course.

Go long.

brad Pitt long hair

If you've been rocking a military-style crew cut or tight fade for most of your life and you're just getting tired of it, grow it out.

Not every man can let it flow like Fabio or World War Z era Brad Pitt, but even letting your hair grow slightly longer than you're used to can really change things up. It's important to remember that growing it out doesn't mean you stop getting haircuts. You'll want to get regular trims to keep everything looking neat while your locks get longer.

Or take it all off.

neck hair grooming

If you're someone who has always worn your hair a little longer or messy up top, one of the best ways to completely change your hairstyle is to start over. A buzz cut is an incredibly low-maintenance style that makes just about every guy look handsome.

It's also a particularly effective solution for men who are balding or seriously receding. It's a dramatic change, and you may not like the results, but it's just hair—it'll grow back.

Don't dread dreads.

Bob marley celebrity deaths, inspiring quotes
monosnaps / CC BY 2.0

Many hairstyle options for men are created with straight or wavy hair in mind—which can leave black men, with coarse, curly hair in a frustrating position.

For black men looking for a style shift, consider braiding it, twisting it, or going for dreads. Look to Snoop Dog, Lenny Kravitz, or even Bob Marley for inspiration. These styles can still look sharp for guys up to and over the hill. Your best bet is to visit a stylist who specializes in these techniques once you've decided to get started.

Get yourself some new power tools.

Blow Dryer

Many men have a lack of experience using hot tools. But a blowdryer, flat iron, or curling iron can be your hair's new best friend, opening you up to a world of different styles.

While it's not exactly rocket science, these tools can be intimidating, and if used incorrectly, they have the potential to damage or burn your hair and skin. Start off slow. And ask a higher maintenance friend, a significant other, or your stylist for tips.

Change your shampoo.

man in shower things you're doing wrong

If you've had the same haircut for decades, you've also probably been using the same shampoo. But it's time to break that habit.

If your hair is thin or lifeless, you'll be shocked at what a thickening shampoo and conditioner can do. Dry hair can also find a shiny new life with a moisturizing duo. There are options to add structure to your curls, deep-clean your hair and scalp, or even enhance your hair color.

Or shampoo less.

50 compliments

Most guys like a daily shower routine, which includes the ole' lather, rinse, repeat. The truth is, unless your hair gets incredibly oily or dirty every day (or you go overboard with styling product), you probably don't need to wash it on the daily.

Most barbers and stylists will tell you that any haircut looks better the day after you wash it. That's because of the natural grit it gets from a little bit of dirt and oil. Not only will spacing out your shampooing sessions give your hair texture, it will also keep your hair and scalp healthier overall.

Swap out your brush or comb.

Close up photo of clean healthy man's hair. Young man comb his hair - Image

Just like screwdrivers, drill bits, and wrenches have unique functions, the same goes for your hair tools. Fingers style differently than a barrel brush, and a barrel brush styles differently than a fine-tooth comb.

A great way to change up your style in a subtle way is to try out a few different tools and see how your hair responds to them. You'll be surprised by the results. And if you want your 'do to dial back the clock, don't miss these 15 Best Men's Haircuts for Looking Instantly Younger.

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