The 'Mob' Is the Cut That Hairstylists Think Everyone Over 50 Should Consider

The thing about short hair over a certain age (let's call it 50, but that's just an opening bid — anything higher up the ladder works, too) is that it's a great idea in theory. After all, as hair ages, it (like our skin) becomes dehydrated, which can lead to dryness, brittleness, and dullness. Hair also loses pigment, which can decrease its luster. What better way to remedy all of that than with a significant lop?

But then there's the reality of short hair after 50. And the reality is that those of us who are now 50-plus came of age during the '80s, when 50 looked more like 80 (see: The Golden Girls). Fortunately, according to the hairstylists we spoke to, today's best options for the over-50 set bear no resemblance to Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, or Sophia (love them as we do). In fact, their looks were a product of weekly wash-and-sets at the salon, which few women over 50 have the time or inclination to do anymore, explains stylist Adir Abergel.

So, what does play for today's mature woman? Looks that are softer, versatile, and allow for some experimentation with color if desired. All of which brings us to the mid-bob, or mob, which hits at the halfway point of the neck and offers lots of movement (and zero wash-and-set energy) for all hair types, including curls of all kinds.

<h1 class="title">Angela Bassett.jpg</h1><cite class="credit">Getty Images</cite>

Angela Bassett.jpg

Getty Images

The mob is decidedly not long, but it's also not short and has all the hallmarks of a traditional bob without locking you into a precise crop with blunt lines, says hairstylist Mara Roszak. The mob cut also has "hidden layers in it," which translates to some layering at the ends to take weight out of the hair.

As for the age-old question of bangs, they're optional with this type of style, but there are guidelines. "Make sure you have enough length from the top of your head down to your nose," says New York City hairstylist Harry Josh. This allows hair to bounce rather than hang flat.

The beauty of this longer short style is that "you can achieve multiple looks from one haircut," says Jonathan Colombini, a L’Oréal Paris hairstylist and founder of John Henry Salon in Malibu, California. This gives you freedom at an age when it might feel like your hormones are altering the texture of your hair — along with your mood and style preferences — daily.

<h1 class="title">Cate Blanchett.jpg</h1><cite class="credit">Getty Images</cite>

Cate Blanchett.jpg

Getty Images

"I'm also seeing a lot of color being used to individualize this bob, which I love," adds hairstylist T. Cooper. Indeed, the 'mob' is a nice way to transition to gray if you're so inclined (just keep snipping off those hidden layers as your hair grows to get rid of your old pigment), or to add flair to your look, say, with dramatic silver bangs.

As with any style, some upkeep and styling are required. You might considering investing in a hydrating mask (to add softness and body), moisturizing styling cream (to prevent frizz), and a lamellar water rinse (for softness and sheen) to counteract the aforementioned dryness and brittleness that can happen to hair as we accumulate more birthdays. Even still, it's a far cry from the wash-and-set days. When it comes to short hair, we've come a long way.

Goldwell Kerasilk Reconstruct Intensive Repair Mask

$34.00, Amazon

Pacifica Pineapple Swirl Curl Defining Cream

$12.00, Target

L’Oréal Paris Elvive 8 Second Wonder Water

$12.00, Target

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Originally Appeared on Allure