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The Most Flattering Long Hairstyles for Women Over 50

Many of us spend our lives growing our hair, only to lop it all off when we reach a “certain age.” Something of an unspoken rite of passage; in the past, women may have have felt obliged to limit their hair’s length as they hit middle age. But if the first few of years in the 2020s have given us anything (anything at all), it’s a welcome move towards embracing our true selves, shunning societal expectations around how we “should” look in favor of what makes us feel good. The option to grow waist-length hair at 70 is very much a part of that.

“We are moving away from the ideology that women of a certain age need to have their hair cut short,” agrees Dom Seeley, Color Wow's international creative director. “It’s all about what makes you feel confident; what defines your style and personality. There is nothing wrong with going short when you get older, but don’t conform to society’s beliefs about how you should feel or look.”

Those in the public eye sporting long hair are reason enough to consider all avenues when it comes to your hairstyle at 50 and beyond. The list is rather exhaustive: Sarah Jessica Parker, Monica Bellucci, Julianne Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jennifer Lopez, and Naomi Campbell all wear their hair below their shoulders. “Jane Seymour has a soft fringe graduation around the face and great color, while Michelle Pfeiffer’s hair is soft and wavy, always worn slightly tousled,” says hairstylist Paul Edmonds. “All of these women look great for their age, without trying to look like they’re 20.”

The one rule of long hair—whatever your age, but especially as you get older—is to ensure it is in excellent shape. It’s easy enough to look after cropped hair, but as it grows, more attention needs to be paid to the mid-lengths and ends to prevent hair from looking unhealthy and dull. Instead of a rigid schedule of trims every six weeks, Seeley advises staying in tune with your own hair and its habits. “Everyone’s hair grows differently, and how you look after or maintain it factors into how often you need to cut it, too,” he says. “I think a more proactive approach is to think of a broader timeframe than the regimented six weeks.”

As you get older, hair is more likely to feel dry and/or coarse because of the texture of gray hair, as well as the loss of essential lipids and moisture, which can lead to breakage and a lack of shine and bounce. Edmonds also recommends a haircare regime that seeks to deeply nourish and smooth each strand—consider incorporating bonding treatments and hair masks into your routine. “If you stick to a great aftercare regime with heat protectors and invest in quality electrical tools to dry and style your hair with, then you won’t run the risk of making it dry and brittle, which is when you’ll need to cut it more often,” adds Seeley.

Considering it? The experts advise talking to your hairdresser about which longer hairstyles will suit your face shape and what length will suit you best. “Soft fringes and layers that draw attention to the eyes and cheekbones are always good,” says Edmonds, while Seeley recommends looking to those famous women for inspiration. “They (and their hairdressers) know how to accentuate the face through the use of color and different lengths that flatter and highlight the features—from the skin to the eyes—making them look more youthful.”

Without further ado, here Vogue takes a look at the best long hairstyles for women over 50, from shoulder-length styles to mermaid-esque lengths.

Nicole Kidman

Vera Anderson

Jennifer Lopez

Kevin Mazur

Andie MacDowell

Stephane Cardinale - Corbis

Elizabeth Hurley

David M. Benett

Salma Hayek

David M. Benett

Sarah Jessica Parker


Sandra Bullock

Steve Granitz

Demi Moore

Jacopo Raule

Naomi Campbell

Thierry Chesnot

Julianne Moore

Jim Spellman

Monica Bellucci

Alessandra Benedetti - Corbis

Cindy Crawford


Sandra Oh

Steve Granitz

Kristen McMenamy

Darren Gerrish

Halle Berry

Gabe Ginsberg

Jennifer Aniston

Rich Fury


Kevin Mazur

Julia Roberts


Helen Mirren

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