The Best Hairstyles for Women Over 40
Your Hair in Your 40s
Your mane goal: stylish, chic, and youthful—without looking like you're trying to be 21 again, says Jenny Balding, Cutler/Redken styling and grooming expert. It's a prime time to experiment, not only to keep your look fresh, but also to accommodate the changes going on with your hair. "Like your skin, your hair changes over time," Balding says. Thanks to the natural aging process and general wear and tear on your strands (hello, heat damage), you may notice a difference in your hair's texture or density. Get healthier, younger-looking hair with any of these cuts.
The Almost One-Length
Long and Curly
These curls will never fall flat or look stringy—and for that, you can credit the long, layered cut. “There are just the right amount of medium-to-long layers to enhance the vitality and bounce in the curls,” Balding says.
Layered Long Bob
This soft, layered, shoulder-length cut is extremely flattering. "It opens up and elongates the face," Saviano says. Ask your stylist for an above-the-shoulder cut with longer layers, especially around your face. "The shortest piece should be at cheekbone level," he says.
Long and Wavy
Soft, bouncy, and long: the trifecta that is this long and wavy cut hair. To steal the signature style, ask for long layers that are texturized at the ends to create flow and movement, Balding says.
Long, healthy-looking hair is can be hard to achieve as we get older. You can pull this length off if you have medium-to-thick wavy or straight hair (fine strands will look too stringy). Ask for layers that start around the collarbone to get that naturally tousled look.
When you have long hair, soft, texturized layers throughout the front look flattering and youthful, Balding says. Plus, you get an anti-aging volume boost at the crown. For a finishing touch, a side-swept fringe will blend in with the rest of the layers and really bring out your eyes, she adds.
Want to change up your look dramatically without sacrificing length? Cut your bangs. An eyebrow-skimming fringe makes you look younger and fresher (what forehead wrinkles?). "I call it bang-tox," Saviano says. These bangs are cut a little thicker on the sides, so they split in the middle—a trick that prevents the bangs from looking too heavy or severe.
An Edgy Pixie
Saviano dubs this look “the new pixie.” The top is longer—not short and spikey anymore, he says. To get it: Ask to have the sides and back cropped close to your head with some slightly longer pieces on top that fall toward the face.
Related: 9 Versatile Ways to Style Short Hair
We love this long bob that has a "softly textured perimeter," as Balding says. Taking the weight out of the ends creates the sleek, polished shape.
It's the chin-length bob with long layers, Saviano says of this cut. The shape helps coax out body and waves in the bottom half of the hair, leaving the top smooth, he says.