They say that life begins at 40 and in order to make good on this idea many women choose to take reaching that milestone as a cue that they should take a long hard look in the mirror and figure out whether or not their current look – especially their hair – is age appropriate anymore. But just because there were a few extra candles on the birthday cake this year does not necessarily mean that you have to rush off to the salon and completely overhaul your look.
Often just what really suits you does not fit in with the “rules” for over 40 hair, instead it really depends on what your “hair personality” is. Discover that and you should be able to find the perfect hairstyle for you. Here are some of the common hair personalities, where do you fit?
Some women discover the perfect hairstyle early in life and then having found something that works for them they never really feel the need to change again simply for the sake of fashion or someone else’s desire – often a hair stylist’s – to have them try something new.
Need an example? Take British actress Joanna Lumley, still considered a great beauty at sixty six. Her blond, long layered cut really has not changed too much for the last twenty five years or so but that’s OK – she found a look that framed her face beautifully, a color that suited her skin tone and an overall style that looks as good on her now as it did when she was decades younger.
If you believe a classic look would suit you, but you don’t feel that you have one right now use words like “elegant” “timeless” and yes, “classic” when trying to describe what you are hoping for and a good stylist should understand what you mean.
Some women simply do not like to fuss too much over their appearance but they do still want to look good. They prefer their hair to be as casual and natural as possible, but of course as you get older the natural look does take a little more work!
If though you really do not want to have to spend too much time on your hair make sure that your stylist knows that. Sometimes the simplest cuts can be the most flattering and you do not always need to spend an hour with a blowdryer and curling iron to create a look that suits you.
A great example is Jamie Lee Curtis. Her short hairstyle flatters her face and is easy to style. She looks as polished on the red carpet as she does in everyday life and as she is a great proponent of natural beauty she lives by example very well!
Some women love a romantic, dreamy look topped of with ribbons and bows. This is easy to pull off when you are young, long flowy locks with tons of volume is something that goes very well with youth. As you get older the look can become a little too juvenile, unless you can find a way to add a little sophistication to your romantic hairstyle.
The common wisdom is that long hair does not work for a woman who is over 40 but done right that does not have to be the case. Meryl Streep has, when not changing her appearance for a role, held on to her long hair for decades and still look lovely. Even shorter hair can retain the romance if it has lots of waves and volume though, you just need to communicate that desire to your stylist. Helen Mirren can be an inspiration here, as she never fails to wow with her shorter, but still very feminine hairstyle.
As a woman gets older some softness should be added to take some of the harsh edge off a look but that does not have to mean that you have to fade into the background and lose your signature style. If for example you have always been a big fan of blunt bob you do not have to lose that look completely, just have your stylist show you have the soften some of those harsh lines by adding a little extra wave or texture. A great example is Jennifer Aniston’s toned down version of her famous “Rachel” haircut that she has now softened into a far more age appropriate look.
There are those ladies who want their look to be as alluring as possible, whatever their age. When they were younger they loved the kind of big, tousled, flowing bedroom hair that the likes of Brigitte Bardot used to sport to such great effect.
The difficulty is that as you get older that look can become more than a little camp and ever so slightly ridiculous. No one says that passing your 40th birthday means that you must chop all of your hair off but there are very few, if any, women who can carry the very long haired look into middle age.
One woman who has loved to use big hair to make a smoldering statement for all of her career is Joan Collins. Her hair was one of the defining style statement of the 1980s. The thing is though that in the 2010′s she’s almost eighty (although to be fair she hardly looks it) but she has found a way to keep her full hair that is softer, shorter but still very sexy without making her look like she is still trying to channel Alexis from Dynasty three decades later!
The rules are changing for women over forty and getting older does not have to mean that you have to join the blue rinse and set brigade, just that you discover what your hair personality really is and work with your stylist to match it to a newer, more sophisticated look that suits your age.
See hairsyles for women over 50 here