Looking for hairstyles for women over 40? You’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up the 30 hottest hairstyles of this year to help you refresh your look with a more youthful, trendy style. Read on to see the looks we love.
Looking for Hairstyles for Women Over 40?
Once you hit 40, you start hearing a lot of unsolicited advice about cutting, coloring, and styling your hair. You’ve probably heard your fair share of these hare-brained comments by now.
We’re sick of hearing bad hairstyle advice for women over 40, like:
- Women over 40 shouldn’t wear their hair long
- You can’t wear that hair trend, it’s only for young women
- Cover your grays with dye, they’re making you look older
- Stop dying your grays – just accept your natural hair already
- I wouldn’t wear that hairstyle at your age
Don’t let the unhappily-aging hairstyle police get you down. Forget the advice and comments you might’ve heard from ill-informed ladies who believe every woman should crop their hair at age 40 and beyond!
We decided to compile a list of 30 gorgeous hairstyles for women over 40 that break the so-called “rules” and give you a youthful glow that’ll really make the old biddies jealous.
And while there are a few hairstyle features you really should avoid when you’re 40+ (we’ll cover those below), you’ll be surprised at just how many cute and unique style options there are for women like you with plenty of life experience.
From short to super long, blunt and precise to dynamic and layered, and classically tame to wonderfully wild, there’s a style for you on our list. Get ready to give ‘em something to talk about – and prepare to receive a lot of compliments – with these perfect hairstyles for women over 40.
Top 30 Hairstyles for Women Over 40
When 40’s in your rearview, hairstyles don’t have to suddenly become mundane and boring. See how many different ways you can style your hair past 40 with the examples below!
1. Casual Chin-Length Bob With Side Bangs
Chin-length bobs are one of our favorite options for mature women because they’re a breeze to style and almost universally flattering.
This chin-length cut features short layers at the ends to boost fullness and give this style a youth-boosting lift. Side bangs help emphasize your eyes and that youthful twinkle in them.
Read Next: Long Bob Ideas
2. Long With Pumped-Up Root Volume and Curled Ends
If you thought rocking long locks past 40 was a bad idea, here’s photo evidence that it’s not. The key to wearing your hair long after 40 is concentrating on root volume and layers.
Work a volumizing mousse through your roots while your hair is damp and blow-dry upside down for additional lift. Then, curl the ends with a small-barrel curling iron to finish the style.
3. Long and Layered With Side-Swept Bangs
This long hairstyle for women 40 and up has every youth-boosting feature we recommend: Long, dynamic layers for movement, choppy side-swept bangs for forehead line-minimizing coverage that highlights your eyes, and volume at the roots to increase the appearance of fullness and thickness.
4. Slicked-Back Low Bun
Chic, polished, and oh-so-easy to style, a slicked-back low bun is a favorite hairstyle for women over 40. It’s versatile enough to look natural with a casual outfit or something dressier.
Brush your hair back and gather in a low ponytail just above the nape of your neck. Twist the ponytail until it coils into a bun and secure with bobby pins.
5. Short Modern Side-Swept Pixie
Women with short hair (or those thinking about taking the leap) will appreciate this fun, modern pixie cut! It’s close-cropped and shortest on the sides and back. The front is styled with a dab of gel, then the hair is brushed over to the side to create a side-swept look that reminds us of Halle Berry.
6. Collarbone-Grazing Lob With Middle Part
The middle part trend is definitely one a woman 40+ can confidently wear, and we love how it looks paired with this collarbone-grazing lob (long bob).
Curl the ends for a more formal look or wear your natural texture for something casual. This in-between length is perfect for round, square, and oval faces. Heart-shaped faces should shorten the bob a bit to perfectly balance the face shape.
7. Simple and Youthful Top Knot
Top knots are easy hairstyles for women with medium to long hair, and they only get better with age! Don’t be afraid to rock a bold top knot to keep your hair contained while showcasing your sense of style.
And like the woman pictured here, you could also opt for a pop of fun, temporary color to take your knot to the next level!
Gather your hair into a high ponytail and secure with an elastic. Twist the ponytail until it starts coiling back on itself, then wrap the coil around the base. Secure with a few bobby pins.
8. High-Volume Lob With Styled Side Bangs
Channel your inner news anchor with this gorgeous, volumized lob hairstyle! The medium length is flattering for most face shapes and pairs nicely with the styled side bangs.
Volumizing mousse is a must for this style, so start by working a small amount of it into your damp hair. Blow dry with a round brush (or try the Dyson Airwrap with round brush attachment) to nail this style.
When you style the bangs, position the round brush under them and hold the bangs out in front of your face. Slowly spin the brush around while directing gentle heat from above and finish with the cool shot button to set the style.
9. Natural Medium-Long Layered Waves
Layered waves are a simple out-the-door style when you have naturally wavy hair! Long layers slice into the waves to break them up, make them more lightweight, and give them a little more movement.
This easy style only requires that you apply a little mousse, gel, or curl cream to your damp hair before allowing it to air-dry or finishing up with a diffuser.
Read Next: Long to Medium Length Hairstyles
10. Chin-Length Straight Bob With Middle Part
Naturally pin-straight hair can be a challenge to style with plenty of body and volume. But all it takes is a little of the right hair product! Apply volumizing mousse to your hair from the roots down to about mid-shaft.
Blow dry your hair upside down or allow it to air dry. Create a middle part and touch up the ends with a flat iron for a sleek but high-volume, youth-boosting finish.
11. Sleek Pixie With Long, Piece-y Fringe
Sleek, short pixies are loved by women of all ages – those who are bold enough to wear a cut this short, that is! If you can handle it, have your stylist cut your pixie with a little extra length on top.
You’ll brush it forward and use a tiny amount of wax or pomade on your fingertips to create that cute, piece-y texture in the bangs.
12. Midi Bob With Feathered Side Bangs
A midi bob is longer than a traditional bob but shorter than a long bob (lob). This in-between length is a great choice for women in their 40s and beyond because it can help conceal problem areas in the jawline, neck, and chin area.
When you style it in a side part with bangs, slightly feather them back by brushing the bangs toward the back of your head and spray with medium-hold hairspray to hold.
Read Next: Featured Hair Inspiration
13. Long Curls With Pumped-Up Roots
In your 40s and beyond, you have to know the ultimate antidote to fight the cruel force of gravity: Volume! Women who prefer wearing their hair long and loose can rely on pumped-up roots to make the look more youthful and flattering.
Style your hair with curling iron curls or define natural curls with curl cream. Shake a little texturizing powder into your roots, which gives your hair a little workable grit and hold. Hold your head upside down and work the powder in with your fingers to achieve youthful lift.
14. 5-Minute Polished Half-Updo
Styling your hair shouldn’t take up hours of your time! Start working easy but beautiful styles like this into your repertoire. Create a middle part and curl the ends with a curling iron (make sure to use a little heat protectant first).
Then, spritz dry shampoo at your roots to help build volume. Separate the top half of hair, keeping the middle part, and secure in the back with a pretty barrette. Gorgeous and so easy!
15. Natural Coily Tapered Crop
Natural coily or kinky hair can be challenging to care for, but if you’re sick of hair extensions, wigs, and weaves, it might be time to embrace your natural locks. Style a short coily tapered crop with plenty of moisture and a curl cream with good hold to define the curls and finish the look.
16.Softly Textured Long Layers
Fans of the loose and tousled look should opt for a long, layered look like this. The sliced layers create workable texture in your hair, allowing you to style with a flat iron or curling iron to showcase the staggered layers.
The style is lightweight and full of movement, so make sure to use a light mousse before styling to avoid weighing strands down with product.
Read Next: Face Framing Layers
17. Long and Lively Layered Blowout
Ultra-thick, dense hair with a medium or coarse texture works best for a lively, full style like this. Rock any natural gray you have with confidence and try this high-volume straight style.
It’s heavily layered from the shoulders down to be a little more lightweight. Style your blowout with a round brush and low heat angled downward to avoid kicking up frizz and flyaways. Don’t forget to use a heat protectant!
18. Shoulder-Length Enchantress Curls
Ooh, witchy woman! We love the sense of enchantment and magic in these perfectly styled silver curls. Bouncy and defined curls will give you a youthful look that makes mornings easier when you have natural curls.
Work a curl cream with medium hold through your damp curls, twisting each curl section to define and separate. Finish by styling the front with a curling iron to perfectly create those face-framing curls.
19. Behind-the-Shoulders Curly Taper
One of our favorite tricks to look younger with any longer hairstyle is to pull the hair behind the shoulders. Like tucking your hair behind your ears opens up your face, wearing your hair behind your shoulders shows off your jawline and neck for a youth-boosting touch. Here, natural curls are styled and set with gel (air dry or diffuse to finish) in a side part.
20. Collarbone-Length Lob With Wispy Fringe
Just beyond shoulder length and barely sweeping the collarbone, this spunky lob will lift years off your face. Short layers at the ends of the hair encourage the hair to flip and tuck in different zones around the ends.
This lively look is complete with a wispy straight-across fringe that perfectly conceals any forehead lines or thinning areas around your temples.
21. Formal Updo With Touchable Curls
Short curtain bangs can be used to reshape your face, slimming rounder shapes into a more oval category. We love how this style features them front and center in this formal updo with soft, touchable curls that are perfectly arranged.
Here’s an easy way to mimic this style! Start by curling the ends of your hair with a small to medium barrelled curling iron. Gather your hair just below the crown into a small elastic.
Hold the curled ponytail upward a few inches above the elastic, then use a small octopus clip to attach the ponytail to the head. Allow the curls to hang down over the clip, then carefully pin and spray a few curls from the front. This formal style looks a lot more complex than it really is!
Read Next: Easy Updos
22. Sassy Layered Bob With Split Bangs
Channel your inner Brigitte Bardot with this sassy and chic chin-length bob. Complete with Brigitte’s signature split bangs, a flattering chin length, and flipped-out ends that you can easily style with a flat iron or curling iron, this is a favorite look for women over 40. Wax or pomade can help you achieve the perfect piece-y look for your ends.
23. Long With Disconnected Curtain Bangs
Curtain bangs are incredibly popular because they’re so versatile and universally flattering. This type of bang is a great choice for women over 40 because they can transform any basic style into something a little more fun, flattering, and youthful.
Use a round brush and hair dryer (or an all-in-one tool like the Dyson Airwrap or Revlon One-Step Volumizer ) to get that subtle feathering and flattering bend in the bangs while you style them directed away from your face.
24. Spunky Layered Shoulder-Length Curls
You know you’re a firecracker, but if you want everyone else to know it too, you need to try a fun and spunky style like this! This look is all about creating volume, texture, and lift – not about perfectly defined and uniform ringlets.
Use curl cream or mousse for naturally curly hair and diffuse until dry. For straight-haired ladies, you can mimic this style with sea salt spray in damp hair before curling small sections in different directions with a curling iron.
25. Sleek and Relaxed Chin-Length Bob
Relaxed hair can achieve such sleekness and shine that it’d be a shame not to show it off. If you’re rocking a relaxed hair texture, try styling a chin-length bob just like this for a polished and professional look.
Create a deep side part and smooth each side down with a flat iron if needed to maintain that perfectly straight look. The short length of this classic-shaped bob will give you a fresh-faced appearance that melts years off your face.
26. Chic and Simple Chignon
One of our favorite styles for women 40+ is a sleek and simple chignon. This hairstyle is so much easier than it looks! Start by separating two thin sections from the sides of your face and secure them with clips.
With the remaining hair, make a low ponytail, but only pull the hair halfway through on the second or third wrap. You should have a “bun” or a pocket of hair hanging from the elastic. Pin the bottom of the pocket just above your neckline to hide the ends poking out underneath.
Unclip your side sections, twist them a few times, then cross them in the back above the chignon. Pin in place and finish with hairspray.
Read Next: Wedding Guest Hairstyles
27. Long With Middle Part and Glamour Waves
Wearing your hair long into your 40s and beyond means you need to focus on creating plenty of volume and lift in your hair. You don’t want it hanging limply as that’ll only age you.
Try using some root-volumizing mousse in your damp hair, then blow dry upside down for more lift. Create a middle part and wrap large sections around a big curling iron. Release and tug on the curl to loosen it slightly into glamorous waves.
28. The Rachel Hairstyle
Fans of the show Friends will appreciate that the iconic Rachel hairstyle is back and perfectly suited for women 40+! This cut ends just above the shoulders so it has lots of youthful swing and movement at the ends.
Short layering intensifies from the mouth downward to break up those ends and give you that signature Rachel layered look. Style with a flat iron or start with damp hair and blow dry with a round brush, making sure to tuck the ends under at the shortest layers and flip them out at the ends.
29. Easy Chic Donut Bun
Simple, chic styles are a favorite for women in their 40s and beyond – they’re pretty and understated without requiring intricate styling techniques.
To pull off this polished bun, create a ponytail just below the crown and secure it. Fit a bun donut tool or a sock with the toes cut off over the ponytail, then pull it about 3/4 of the way down the ponytail.
Fan out and fold the ends over the donut or sock to cover it. Then begin rolling and flipping the donut toward the base of the pony, tucking and rolling the hair around it as you go. Secure with bobby pins and hairspray.
30. Loose and Wavy Lob With Layers
This is a great style for thinning hair or fine hair that needs a boost! Creating loose, wavy texture is one of the best ways to give your hair a younger vibe. This style works best with lots of long layers to avoid letting the style get bulky at the bottom.
Start with a middle part and some dry shampoo or texturizing powder at the roots. Use a flat iron to create waves (clamp small sections, then turn the flat iron upside down and move it down the section) or a curling iron (tug on curls while they’re still hot to loosen them into waves).
Read Next: How to Get Waves
Things to Consider About Hairstyles for Women Over 40
Choosing hairstyles when you’re over 40 is no harder than picking the right style in your 20s and 30s. But you might find yourself feeling that some of your old favorites aren’t doing your older face any favors, or you may worry about wearing young styles that you feel too old for.
Keep these things in mind to ensure you’re wearing flattering styles that downplay signs of aging and keep you looking young and vibrant!
- Realistically appraise your hair’s density to choose the length. It’s essential to honestly assess how thick and dense your hair is before you settle on a hairstyle from this list. Longer hairstyles look amazing on women 40+, but only if your hair is thick and full. Thinning hair with less density can artificially age you and draw attention to lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Keep your hair shoulder length or shorter if you’re struggling with thinning. Thick, full hair can be worn long long after 40 to revitalize your appearance and give you that youthful glow!
- Rely on volume, height, and layers to look younger. Looking younger with your hairstyle is totally possible when you amp up the volume and get dynamic layers that give your hair more movement and swing. Invest in some volumizing mousse to boost volume at the roots, use dry shampoo or texturizing powder to achieve fuller-looking locks, and ask your stylist for long layers that give your mane more movement. All of these techniques and hairstyle features will make you look younger and full of vitality.
- Cover your problem areas with the right styles. If you’re dealing with deep forehead creases, you might try a full, dense blunt bang across the forehead to cover them. Maybe the appearance of crow’s feet at the corners of your eyes are getting you down. Try a soft, wispy side-swept bang or bold middle part to help camouflage them. Sagging jowls and the dreaded turkey neck can be minimized with a smart chin-length bob. Whatever feature or sign of aging you want to hide, there’s a way to do it by just altering your hairstyle!
- Be bold and confident in the style you choose. Choosing a hairstyle that you feel suits you is the most important thing. If you love it, it’ll show! Rock your new style confidently regardless of whether or not it fits the mold of what’s acceptable for women 40+.
If you get any unsolicited comments or advice about changing your hairstyle, you can respond with a firm and honest “No thanks, I love my hair.” Your obvious comfort and confidence in your hairstyle could inspire other women to boldly sport a new style, too!