How to Embrace Keeping Your Hair Long After 50

No, you don't need to chop and perm your strands.

If there's one beauty myth that needs to be dispelled, it's that you have to cut your hair after 50. This myth originated for several reasons. As we age, our hair changes in texture and naturally thins, and many women find it easier to maintain at a shorter length. However, that doesn't have to be the case. If you'd prefer to keep your tumbling tresses, you absolutely can—all it takes are a few extra steps in your hair care routine. Here, professional hairstylists tell us the key ways to embrace long hair after 50 and keep it beautiful, shiny, and healthy.

READ THIS NEXT: If You're Letting Your Hair Go Gray, Do This First, Experts Say.

Opt for face-framing layers.

middle aged asian woman with long hair
Shutterstock/pixelheadphoto digitalskillet

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.

Or a lob.

fashionable older asian woman smiling

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.

woman getting a haircut, things husband should notice
Shutterstock / Kamil Macniak

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.

Back view of a woman washing her hair with a shampoo in bathroom. Copy space.

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.

gray 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.

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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