This article has been updated since its initial publish date to include more expert insight.
Finding the perfect hairstyle can sometimes be a challenge for mature women, especially when you want to stay fashionable but also keep it low-maintenance. We’ve taken the guesswork out of finding the right look for you this fall by consulting with professional hair stylists to give you six timeless, voluminous, and easy-to-style short haircuts that are perfect for beauties in their forties and fifties (especially those of us with thinner or finer strands!)
Whether you’re looking to channel your inner celebrity or just want a classic and elegant look, these short haircuts have you covered. Read on for tips, suggestions and insight from Gina Rivera, celebrity hair stylist at Phenix Salon Suites, Davis Feliz, owner and creative director at Davis Feliz Salon, Rod Galvao, professional hair stylist at Gem House, Lauren Udoh, professional hair stylist and Hair Creative Director of WigReports, Ghanima Abdullah, hair expert and cosmetologist at The Right Hairstyles and Dr. Roshan Vara, hair transplant surgeon and co-founder at The Treatment Rooms.
1. Edgy Bob with Deep Side Part
Halle Berry is a clear fan of a great voluminous pixie-inspired bob and Abdullah notes that it's a timeless, tried-and-true style for women over 50 for many reasons. "As we age, our hair tends to thin and dull so regular trims, a fun cut, [and] maybe some fresh color and glossing treatments, are great ways to maintain a youthful look," Abdullah explains.
She stresses that a bob like this with layers is one of the best ways to draw more attention to your beautiful face, while also maintaining locks that are easy to manage, and give off an effortless look. “Ask your stylist about the amount and placement of layers that will help create volume and body in your hair,” she says. “Tell them you would like to create more volume.
She adds that “the layers can be cut to swirl around the head to hide thinning in whichever areas it is most apparent,” and that it’s a good idea to “take a few pictures into the salon to see what’s possible and will look best on you.”
As for Feliz, he describes this style as something that has both boldness and beauty. “To keep the look unique and modern, shape and contour to your profile by going shorter in the back and keeping a longer fringe. This brings gazes upward for an instant eye lift,” he advises.
2. Asymmetrical Bob
A textured asymmetrical bob (or longer bob as seen here on Charlize Theron) is a "terrific choice" for "mature beauties," Rivera explains, since it’s a perfect blend of classic yet still modern and trendy. "This style is so hip that it’s perfect for making our ladies in their prime look super chic," she says.
"Removing a bit of length from the hair, [adds] movement and creates a youthful appeal." When it comes to styling, Rivera notes that "texturing the hair" creates an "opportunity to remove some of the damaged ends and weight which bring more life to the hair as well."
Additionally, Rivera advises that it’s best to always "consult with your stylist on a maintenance schedule but for those trying to regain hair health, make sure to trim every 4-6 weeks."
The thing about a bob is, Abdullah says, "if it’s blunt, it will sort of make the ends bunch up when curled lightly and give them more body." Theron's deep side part is added "to create more volume on the top of the head by literally pushing more hair to one side of your head," and this hairstyle is great for hiding thinning on top if you have any.
3. Layered Bob with Wispy Fringe
According to Galvao, one of the most universally flattering and anti-aging haircuts is a layered bob with wispy bangs, as seen here on Helen Mirren. Referring to the base of the haircut, he explains, "The shape is usually more rectangular or square, with a very defined linear design, which brings a more modern and sophisticated look with a minimalist style."
Additionally, he notes, "In some versions of the cut there are more layers that add movement and give those ‘cool’ young vibes." Feliz agrees, and says that the ultimate "low-maintenance style that never loses its appeal is a classy bob."
He adds that "longer faces may need more framing and layers, while round faces require less." Davis concludes, "For this style, a bit of undercutting in the back allows for easier manageability, creating a natural bend for easy wash and wear."
4. Wavy, Layered 'Mob' Cut
You're probably already familiar with the classic 'bob' and its longer cousin the 'lob,' so the 'mob' refers to a 'medium bob,' Udoh explains. She deems it to be a "sleek and stylish choice for many occasions." It's a versatile cut, she adds, that looks "great on almost any face shape and hair type." (See here on Cate Blanchett).
While traditional bobs often end at the chin and lobs fall at the collarbone, the 'mob' ends in the middle of the neck. "The mob cut can be adjusted to complement your features and create an attractive silhouette," Udoh adds.
This not-too-long and also not-too-short cut provides "volume at the crown, with textured layers that frame the face nicely while still maintaining an easy-to-manage style," she points out!
5. Sleek Bob With Flipped-Out Ends
According to Rivera, the ends of a sleek bob, similar to the one sported by Lana Condor, are styled in a manner that makes it even more attention-grabbing.
"Blunt bob haircuts keep the fullness at the ends which is great for fine, thin hair," she says. Rivera suggests avoiding haircuts with excessive, choppy layers for thin hair in individuals over the age of 50 as it may cause the hair to appear limp and less voluminous.
Instead, opting for a sleek bob like this with subtle end layers can result in a desirable and lively effect.
"Classic bobs are great because you can add volume by styling them appropriately," she explains. "Blunt hairstyles can make hair appear fuller," she stresses..
6. Curly, Voluminous Pixie
Tia Mowry recently left her Instagram followers in awe with her striking new look - a darker gray, curly pixie cut that elegantly showcased her natural hair color and texture.
This hairstyle, as described by Vara, requires minimal upkeep and styling, making it an ideal choice for individuals who prefer to avoid heat-based treatments.
It is "very low maintenance and doesn’t require much styling," he says, adding that it's always great for anyone "who wants to stay away from heat" and hot tools.
Overall, Rivera emphasizes that while these six classic and timeless short hairstyles are a good starting point, there are numerous other options available.
The key to finding the perfect hairstyle lies in understanding your face shape and seeking advice from your stylist on the most flattering look for you!