5 Ways to Embrace Keeping Your Hair Long After 50
Yes, you can keep your flowing locks.
If there's one beauty myth that needs to be dispelled, it's that you have to cut your hair short after 50. Why do people continue to believe this?
"As we age, our hair naturally becomes more brittle and prone to breakage," explains stylist Michelle-Nichole Jones. "Women over 50 may be dealing with hair loss or thinning, which can be caused by hormonal changes or certain medications." However, she says that caring for your hair properly can help prevent breakage, minimize hair loss, and keep your strands strong and healthy.
Joel Warren, a globally-acclaimed hair and beauty expert and creator of The Salon Project, says using the right products is key. "Strengthening products can be helpful for gray hair, which can become more fragile and prone to breakage over time," he tells Best Life. "Look for products that contain ingredients like biotin, keratin, or collagen, which can help to strengthen and nourish your hair."
Over 50 and want to keep your tumbling tresses? You absolutely can—all it takes are a few extra steps in your hair care routine. Read on for tips from professional hairstylists on how to keep long hair beautiful, shiny, and healthy through your 50s and beyond.
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Opt for face-framing layers.
The key to embracing long hair after 50 is making it look intentional and styled. You'll also want to ensure your strands frame your face in a flattering manner. An easy way to accomplish both is with face-framing layers.
"As we get older and things seem to start to droop, we want to keep the layers around the face so we can sweep up and away from the face to create the illusion of tighter skin," says Cody Renegar, an L.A.-based celebrity hairstylist whose clients include Gwyneth Paltrow and Marie Osmond. Bring the idea to your stylist and they'll be able to create a cut that suits your features best.
Try a lob.
A lob, or long bob, is another intentional-looking haircut. "This style is easy to maintain and very versatile," says Cindy Marcus, a professional hairstylist in Las Vegas and editor-in-chief of Latest Hairstyles. It's short enough that it doesn't take hours to style and long enough that you can clip it in a bun if needed.
A fun way to zhuzh up your lob is with bangs. "Bangs are a great accessory to long hair," says Marcus. "Curtain bangs along with side bangs will contribute to your style and add an appealing quality to your long hairstyle." Consult your hairstylist to see which cut—or fringe—is best for you.
READ THIS NEXT: If You're Over 65, This Hairstyle Is Aging You, Experts Say.
Get regular trims.
As you get older, your hair gets drier, thinner, and less dense. As such, it's important to properly care for your strands and prevent damage when possible. The easiest way to do this is with frequent trims.
"It's important to regularly cut and trim your hair to keep the ends healthy," says Renegar. "I recommend a trim every six to eight weeks." This will prevent split ends from causing breakage, leaving you with silkier locks.
Alternate between a protein and moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
The next step to keeping hair healthy—so it can stay long and strong—is to choose the proper shampoo and conditioner. Renegar suggests alternating between a protein and moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
"As we get older, our skin and hair get drier, [causing hair to] become brittle, frizzy, thin, and break," he says. "You'll want to alternate a protein-rich shampoo, which holds in moisture, and a moisturizing shampoo, which holds the protein in your hair follicle. It will help keep it shiny, strong, and elastic."
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Style your hair.
If you commit to long hair after 50, you'll also want to commit to styling it. According to Marcus, this can mean touching up your blowout each day or revamping your curls to ensure they look done. You may also want to master a few updos—say, a French twist or a chignon—for days you don't have time for styling or don't want to style with heat.
The right products will help you achieve these looks with ease. "A good volumizing product for fullness, a hydrating cream to keep down frizz, or a curl cream to boost curls are all important in allowing your style to look its best, which in turn can make you look your best over 50," says Marcus. Time to stock up—your best hair awaits.