There are dozens of beautiful short hairstyles for women over 50, but you might not be sure which one to get. (Don’t worry, you’re not alone.) Plenty of women feel this way, and for good reason. A bad haircut has the potential to draw attention to your problem areas, and in some cases, can make you appear older than you actually are. But that doesn’t mean you should be wary of going to the hairdresser. There are a variety of short hairstyles (and even very, very short hair for women over 50) out there that make the big 5-0 look fierce and fabulous.
Flattering Hairstyles for Women Over 50
“When it comes to shorter hair, I defer to their personality type,” Ferrara says. “If a woman is more artistic, I may go for an asymmetric style with an undercut. If the woman is more proper and chic, then a perfect bob may suit them. Short hair is a fun thing to be able to play with.”
“The easiest, lowest maintenance hairstyle for a women over 50 is a short, textured style,” McKenna adds. “This is wash and wear; towel dry and muss the hair up with a good quality texture paste or molding wax. Fiber Groom elastic texture paste from Oribe ($39, Amazon) is ideal for breaking the hair up and giving your short ‘Parisian’ look the perfect balance of separation, gloss, and texture.” Ooh la la!
Scroll down to read what else McKenna and Ferrara have to say about finding the best short hairstyles — including flattering gray-hair styles — for women over 50.
Best Short Hairstyles For Women Over 50 Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett's Full Bangs and Blunt Cut
Actress Angela Bassett is a hair chameleon who looks beautiful with any cut and color — but we especially love when she's rocking a shorter 'do with full bangs. Ladies with larger foreheads can slim their faces by opting for full bangs like Bassett.
Best Short Hairstyles For Women Over 50 Sharon Osbourne
Sharon Osbourne's Ruby Red Cropped Cut
Sharon Osbourne isn't quiet about her opinions or her hair. The TV host is famous for her bright red hair, which is typically quite short. Women with medium to thick hair would look fabulous with Osbourne's cut.
Best Short Hairstyles For Women Over 50 Robin Wright Penn
Robin Wright's Side-Swept Layers
Growing out bangs can be tricky, but Robin Wright does it with ease. The House of Cards actress adds a few curls to her bangs so they seamlessly transition into the rest of her 'do.
Best Short Hairstyles For Over 50 Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay's Sleek Lob
Mariska Hargitay's lob (long bob) is the true star of Law and Order: SVU. The actress's dark brown roots seamlessly transition to a light, honey-colored hue at the tips, which gives her a summertime glow and adds warmth to her face.
Best Short Hairstyles For Over 50 Molly Ringwald
Molly Ringwald's Signature Red Curls
Molly Ringwald, who was objectively one of the biggest movie stars in the '80s, is known for her signature red hair — which she still flaunts to this day. Ringwald's blunt bangs, which she's pushed to the side, combined with soft curls adds gamine charm to her overall look.
Short Hairstyles Over 50 Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver's Swept-Back Bob
Legendary actress Sigourney Weaver, 68, has rocked short locks for the last few years, so she's mastered the art of stylish cropped 'dos. Weaver adds just the right amount of curl to keep her hair from looking dull and flat.
Short Hairstyles Over 50 Gayle King
Gayle King's Blunt Bangs
If you look back at all her different hairstyles, you'll notice that TV host Gayle King, 63, prefers eyebrow-skimming bangs paired with a short bob. The overall look softens her features and slims her face and forehead.
Short Hairstyles Over 50 Julie Andrews
Julie Andrew's Chic Pixie
Actress Julie Andrews, 83, has always been the epitome of class, especially with her signature dirty-blonde pixie cut. Andrews has worn her hair short since she was young, so we can't imagine her with any other style.
Short Hairstyles Over 50 Bette Midler
Bette Midler's Pink-Tinged Curls
Who says hair dye is only for the kids? Bette Midler, 72, proves you're never too old to have a little fun with your hair color. The hints of pink dye in Midler's blonde hair are a youthful accessory for the ageless actress.
Short Hairstyles Reba Mcentire
Reba McEntire's Feathery Layers
Country legend Reba McEntire, 63, shows off her fiery locks in a flattering short-layered hairstyle. She usually wears her full, face-framing bangs swept a little to the side, which makes her face appear smaller and slimmer.
Short Hairtsyles Viola Davis
Viola Davis' Wispy Long Bob
Remember when long bobs, aka "lobs," were the hairstyle of the moment? There's a reason for that! The chin-skimming style looks effortlessly chic, especially when you quickly work through your locks with a curling iron to add a bit of body. Viola Davis' long bob makes her look far younger than her 53 years.
Short and Stylish Hairstyles for Women Over 50: Kris Jenner
Kris Jenner's Short Hair
Even if you don't watch her TV show, you're probably familiar with the Kris Jenner haircut. The 62-year-old is known for flaunting short yet feminine hairstyles. Curious about maintaining a cute cut like this? Ferrara says taking your vitamins is the first step. "One big thing that I recommend to clients to maintain their hair is to take a biotin supplement," Ferrara says "Personally, I like Vitafusion Gorgeous Hair, Skin, and nails gummy vitamin ($11.89, Amazon). It has a great taste and really helps to keep hair looking shiny and helps it grow, especially if you are experiencing thinning, brittle hair, which a lot of women over 50 experience."
Short Hairstyles Meg Ryan
Meg Ryan's Iconic Tousled Waves
Raise your hand if you ever went to a hair salon with a picture of Meg Ryan to show your hairdresser. (We've got both hands up!) At 56, Ryan has been rocking the same great style for years — and it never looks stale. In 2017, she revealed to InStyle the story behind her famous haircut, explaining it was the result of her hairstylist, Sally Hershberger, accidentally burning off a piece of her hair. Hershberger had to do damage control, and after some snipping, she came up with the cut we all know and love.
Want to know how to get Meg Ryan curls? It's so simple. All you need is a curling iron and some setting spray. Oh, and don't forget the heat-protectant spray first!
Short Hairstyles Halle Berry
Halle Berry's Voluminous Curls
Halle Berry, 52, is giving us serious '80s vibes with her natural curls. The trend these days seems to be pin-straight — and while that's beautiful too, we think embracing what you were born with is totally underrated. Berry's sky-high curls look totally glam!
Short and Stylish Hairstyles for Women Over 50: Lisa Rinna
Lisa Rinna's Short Feathered Haircut
Lisa Rinna, 55, who's best known for her roles as Billie Reed on the daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives and Taylor McBride on the television drama Melrose Place, has a signature layered look. We just love how her short feathered hairstyle complements her cheekbones and jawline.
Short Hairstyles for Women Over 50: Ellen Barkin
Ellen Barkin's Short 'Do
Actress Ellen Barkin, 64, isn't afraid to rock a short 'do. In 2011, she appeared on the Tonight Show With Jay Leno sporting a blonde bob, proving short hair for women over 50 is anything but boring.
"The most important thing is to keep short hair soft, so it maintains a more feminine feel," McKenna says. "If the lines are too strong, it can look too hard and masculine."
Short Hairstyles Glenn Close
Glenn Close's Wavy Pixie
Want to know the secret to looking ageless? Get a pixie cut. And when it comes to inspiration for the big chop, just take a look at Glenn Close's short hair. The 71-year-old actress hardly looks her age, and it's all because of her daring 'do. It's a haircut that says strength, confidence, and fun — and "can work at any age and texture to exude the same feelings," celebrity hairstylist Matt Fugate says.
Short and Stylish Hairstyles for Women Over 50: Judi Dench
Judi Dench's Short Haircut
English actress Judi Dench, 83, looks amazing with her gray pixie — another stylish short haircut for women over 50.
"Women over 50 should embrace their gray only if it is a complimentary shade of gray or silver," McKenna says. "As you age, your skin tone becomes more ‘ashy’ and gray hair can exacerbate that ashiness and be aging. If that is the case, you can color your hair with a blonde semi-permanent color gloss. This will not change the darker hair color, only make it glossier. It will, however, give a light tint to the gray and make it warmer, giving your hair a highlighted feel and a warmer, more complimentary tone. This is a non-committal approach to color, as over time it fades back to your natural color and is far more gentle on the hair than permanent color. This avoids you having to go to the salon to get your ‘skunk stripe’ regrowth covered every month."
Short and Stylish Hairstyles for Women Over 50: Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis' Haircut
Jamie Lee Curtis, 59, is yet another woman who looks absolutely stunning in gray. What a short and sassy look! Added bonus? Curtis looks even better when she’s bespectacled, making this the perfect short hairstyle for women over 50 who wear glasses, as well!”
"If you are lucky enough to have the right balance of ‘salt and pepper,’ having a short, choppy gamine haircut plays up the natural highlight of the gray," McKenna says.
But when it comes to short hairstyles for over-50 women, silver isn't the only color to rock. Ferrara, says you shouldn't be afraid to spice it up with something vibrant. "If a client ever wants to use a vivid color like pink or blue, I say 'Why not?' It’s a fun little thing to do and it doesn’t last too long," Ferrara says, "especially with the boomer era clients that are used to having a little more flair in their look."
Short and Stylish Hairstyles for Women Over 50: Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren's Short Hair
English actress Helen Mirren, 73, always looks glam and gorgeous. Her elegant 'do is proof that short wavy haircuts for over 50 totally work.
"And if you are really lucky and your hair turns a beautiful silver, then you should use a shampoo and conditioner to enhance the color and give shine and moisture to the hair," McKenna says. "Silverati Shampoo and Conditioner from Oribe ($46, Amazon) is ideal, as it helps avoid ‘yellowing’ and keeps the hair from feeling coarse and dry, as gray hair is prone to."