Stylish hairstyles for women in their 40's

Updated April 17, 2017

All women in their forties want to look their best, but looking great can take time and effort. A stylish, attractive hairstyle after forty involves three elements: colour, cut and healthy hair. A small investment in hair maintenance can pay big dividends in confidence and compliments.

A Word on Color

Deciding to colour your hair or stay natural is a very personal choice. It is also a decision that may change with your mood or circumstance. If you decide to stay natural, then your focus will be on hair health and a professional cut for your hairstyle to look its best. If you want to use colour, you can do it at home or at the salon. If you can afford a salon visit every 6 to 8 weeks, a professional colourist has more options, such as natural looking highlights, lowlights, better grey coverage and colour transitions, than you have at home. If you can't afford the expense of a salon, then home options include colour, basic highlights or clear glazes. Even if you want to colour at home, it's a good idea to have one appointment with a colourist and explain that you want to colour your hair at home. A true professional will suggest the right colour tones (warm, cool or neutral) and products for you to use at home.

Cut and Style

Regardless of your colour choices, after forty you should invest in having a professional cut your hair. Hair texture becomes coarser, making problem areas, like frizz and greys, worse. If cost is an issue, many salons having training programs that offer discounted haircuts for those willing to have their hair cut by a trainee. As for hair styles, there are no longer any hard and fast rules. It used to be that women over forty were advised to have their hair no longer than shoulder length in order to be taken seriously as a "mature woman." Though this isn't the case anymore, try to choose a cut and style that highlight your best features and camouflage any problem areas. To find the current trends in hair, watch gossip shows and read celebrity magazine to find your favourite looks. Curly or straight hair can be changed from day to day or morning to night, thanks to wide-barrelled curling irons and flat irons. Play with different looks, or choose a classic, ageless style such as a chin-length bob, pixie or pin-up girl waves.

Healthy Hair Counts

Even the most beautiful cut won't hold up if you neglect the health of your hair. Regular trims, even if you're growing your hair out, will keep your ends strong. Don't over-colour (every six weeks maximum) and never have colour and a thermal process like chemical straightening done on the same day. If you can manage it, wash your hair every other day, using a deep conditioner once a week and the day before you colour your hair. If you use a blow dryer and flat iron daily, find a good leave-in conditioner or heat protection spray and use it every time you style. A word about going grey: letting your hair go grey is becoming more and more popular. If you decide to do this, use products made specifically for grey hair, use deep conditioner weekly and try a clear glaze once a month to keep hair shiny. No matter what you decide, care for your tresses lovingly and your hair can stay agelessly beautiful.

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About the Author

Kathleen Gasior has over five years of experience as an editor, reporter and columnist for a chain of weekly newspapers in Northern New Jersey including the "Warren Reporter," "Phillipsburg Free Press" and "Belvidere News." She has been writing for over 30 years. Gasior has a Bachelor of Social Work from Monmouth University and over 25 years field experience. Gasior is also trained in cosmetology.