Certain hairstyles tend to flatter different age groups in women. Young women often wear their hair long, as young hair is stronger, fuller and shinier. As women age, their skin and hair ages too. Hairstyle, length and colour should change to emphasise a woman's best facial features. There are a variety of styles women can adopt as they age that can have them looking fresh and possibly younger than they actually are.
One of the most important elements of a hairstyle is its length. For women 50 years and older, long hair in a single length will draw the eye downward, emphasising lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. Most women in this age range opt for shorter hair. The bolder among them may wear a short, pixie cut, while others have a layered bob that is shoulder length, or just above the shoulders. (ref 1) Layers are an important tool to utilise in a hairstyle as a woman ages. Layers help keep the eye focused on the face and guide the gaze upward. The older a women gets, the shorter her layers should become. Diane Keaton has worn a shoulder-length hairstyle for decades, and Sharon Stone wore a pixie cut for several years (ref 1). Smallish, petite features do well with shorter styles. Bangs can help hide lines and wrinkles on the forehead. However, thick, blunt fringe shorten the face length, which isn't good for a plump face. Side fringe, or the thin wispy sort, are the most flattering.
Another essential part of a woman's hairstyle is the colour. Single-process colour, where the hair is one uniform colour throughout, may reveal your true age instead of mask it. In some cases, it can make you look older than you are. Dark hair also tends to make women appear older. To avoid this misstep, have your hair highlighted with subtle shades that are only slightly lighter than the rest of your hair colour. Drastic highlights will look harsh; the idea is to brighten, soften and draw attention to your face without it being obvious. The hair closest to your face should have slightly lighter highlights.
Now that you know the best length and colour strategy for being 50 and older, it's important to know which texture and arrangements of your hair will best suit you. Stay away from stiff, over-sprayed hair: it will age you. (ref 2) Soft, movable hair will take years off your look. Try to avoid hair that hangs limply over your face; style hair in soft waves with hot rollers or a curling iron. A ponytail at the nape of your neck should be loose, rather than tight, and most of your hair should be away from your face. If you have fringe, leave them down and feel free to let short, front pieces hang free. In years past, older women got their hair permed once a week, which resulted in a poofy, stiff style. Stay away from any process or style that doesn't allow movement for your hair.