How to Switch to Shorter Hair After 50

It doesn't have to be a dramatic experience.

There's an old beauty myth that you must cut your hair short after 50. While we don't buy into any of that chatter about aging, we've got to admit that sometimes, shorter hair is just easier. Not to mention, it looks totally fabulous. If you're ready to make the switch from long locks to short ones, fear not. The upgrade doesn't have to be the shocking experience you might expect. Here, beauty professionals tell us the best course of action for cutting your strands, from how to draw inspiration for your cut to the styles that look best on women over 50.

READ THIS NEXT: If You're Over 65, This Hairstyle Is Aging You, Experts Say.

Find your inspiration.

Happy senior woman holding smartphone and laptop daydreaming while looking away. Successful stylish old woman working at home while thinking about a good future. Cheerful fashionable lady entrepreneur wearing cool eyeglasses.

The first step you should take on your journey to shorter hair is research. "I recommend collecting various images of people with short haircuts to find inspiration," says Ksenia Sobchak, dermatologist and writer at Loxa Beauty. "It may be a friend online or a Pinterest board with trending hairstyles."

Google, TikTok, and Instagram are also great resources. Once you find a few styles you like, Sobchak suggests showing those images to your stylist. They'll be able to use their expertise to help you find a version of that style that will best flatter your features.

Consider a lob.

Woman with Gray Hair Bob

Not ready to chop your strands into a super-short pixie? You don't have to. "A lob is a great cut for women over 50 who want to keep somewhat longer hair," says Cindy Marcus, a professional hairstylist in Las Vegas and editor-in-chief of Latest Hairstyles. This hairstyle—technically considered a long bob—is defined by its shoulder-sweeping length. Lobs can also include bangs, layers, blunt ends, and more. If you'd prefer to go even shorter, a true bob is another incredible cut for women over 50.

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

Add face-framing layers.

Woman with Shoulder Length Gray Hair

Face-framing layers have the ability to lift your features in an insanely flattering way, says Cody Renegar, an L.A.-based celebrity hairstylist. Adding a few to your short hairstyle after the age of 50 can give the illusion of tighter skin and soften your appearance, he adds. To accomplish this cut, your hair stylist will snip your strands at strategic places around your face—most often the cheekbones, chin, and collarbone—to emphasize certain areas and draw attention away from others. Again, this is a cut that will depend on your unique features, and your stylist will be able to create a look that works best for you.

Get frequent cuts.

older woman grey hair haircult

Short hair requires more frequent maintenance than long hair. (Think about it, a centimeter of hair on a bob is a much larger percentage than a centimeter of hair on a style that's down to your collarbones.)

"People with short hair tend to like to do every two weeks to four weeks just to keep it tight and looking good," Philip B, a celebrity hair treatment expert, told Good Housekeeping. He notes that by four weeks, short hairstyles may start to look overgrown. Bonus: Frequent trims will keep your strands healthy, too—so you can minimize split ends and flyaways.

For more beauty advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Elevate your haircare routine.

blue shampoo bottle

The most fun part about switching up your hairstyle is investing in new products to properly care for it. For short hair, Sobchak suggests volumizing shampoo and conditioner. "A volumizer will help strengthen the hair strands and give additional volume," she says. That way, your lob, bob, or any other cut will have body and movement. If your hair requires added moisture, you might also consider using a moisturizing shampoo or mask on some days of the week.

With healthy, luscious locks, you can prepare for compliments aplenty!

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