Wrinkle-smoothing creams and treatments work wonders over time, but a good hairstyle is one of the most powerful anti-agers around. The right cut can take years off your look, instantly. Here are 10 youthful hair ideas that are on-trend and modern -- not matronly.
"Women in their 50s are self-assured, empowered, and at their prime, so their hair should be, too," says Mario Russo, a salon owner in Boston. Ditch the notion that your hair must be a certain length or shape when you enter your 50s. At any age, the best cut is one that works with your lifestyle and enhances your features, he explains. Click though for 10 age-defying 'dos.
Jodie Foster’s bob is perfect for someone with fine or thinning hair. The chin-length cut makes hair look fuller and well maintained, Russo says. Ask your stylist for a classic bob, but with blunt, razor cut ends that fall where your jawline begins, he says. “This shows off your facial features, while adding some dimension to your look,” he says.
“Many women think the older they get, the shorter their hair has to be,” Russo says. The collarbone-grazing cut -- a la Julia Louis-Dreyfus -- is a nice compromise: It gives the illusion of length, without the maintenance of long hair or worry of stringy, unkempt ends. It’s not only easy to keep up with, but the cut has natural movement, which makes hair look more voluminous, Russo says.
As you age, ringlets tend to become dull and lifeless, Russo says. To get the spring back in your spirals, ask your stylist for a shoulder-length cut with layers throughout, like Gina Gershon’s ’do. “If your cut doesn’t have any layer or dimension to it -- it will look too boxy,” he says.
Angela Bassett’s flirty style is a subtle take on the blunt (sometimes severe) bob. It looks healthy, youthful, and has life to it, Russo says. Ask for a bob with soft layers throughout.
Looking to go shorter, but not sure what style? Use your face shape as your guide!
Think of a side bang as an accessory: It elevates an otherwise standard, medium-length cut, Russo says. Another bonus: Bangs are a natural (and cheaper!) alternative to Botox, concealing forehead lines instantly. The key to getting Allison Janney’s look: Make sure the fringe blends in with the rest of your cut. “You don’t want the bangs to be too short and break up the flow of your cut,” Russo says. And if they’re too long, they’ll look more like layers, not bangs, he says.
Diane Lane proves you can still have long hair in your 50s. "Healthy hair, at any age, can be beautiful when worn long," Russo says. The extra length tends to work best on those with medium-length thick hair. "It won't look stringy and thin," Russo says. Another way to add volume: Ask your stylist for long, face-framing layers that start from the neck down. And be prepared to visit the salon often. Trimming your ends every four to six weeks will keep your hair looking healthy and lifted, Russo says.
While Julianne Moore's just-below-the-collar-bone length works on all hair textures, it's especially great for adding volume to thinning hair. Ask for long layers throughout and a few face framing ones that start at chin-level. "It should be minimal and relatively subtle," Russo says.
If you're looking to add a little edge to your look, consider Sheryl Crow's modern shag. Bonus: The layers in this cut also create more fullness near the crown, where many women could use a lift. Ask your stylist for layers that frame your face and are proportionate to one another. Once the layers are cut, your stylist should use a razor to create extra texture and give it a modern finish, Russo says.
You don’t need length to pull off a shag -- it looks youthful and fun on cropped ’dos, too, Russo says. Proof positive: Lisa Rinna’s sexy cut. Your stylist will add lots of piece-y, little layers that can be flipped out or tousled.
If you're flirting with the idea of going short, but are afraid it will look too masculine, Sharon Stone's stunning crop is for you. "This particular cut exudes femininity and sophistication," Russo says. Ask for a midlength short cut with lots of layers (aka a medium shag).
Heading to a party? Put a look together in minutes with this simple updo.