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Between your natural hair type and everyday hair habits, finding a flattering style or cut can be tough—no matter your age. Throw on texture and color changes (thinning grays, anyone?) and the task may have just gotten a little more difficult. "The beauty behind a great haircut evolves with age, so to me, choosing the right lengths and color are more important as we get older," says hairstylist Geno Chapman. "These two factors will help bring balance with maturity while still keeping your look modern."
To figure out short and long hairstyles—and everything in between—for women over 60, we've rounded up some beautiful women who found a style that flatters their features, along with tips from Chapman and stylists Stephen Thomas, Adam Livermore, and Richy Kandasamy. Whether it's a piecey pixie à la Gladys Knight or vintage curls like Helen Mirren, we've got you covered on the best hairstyles for women 60-plus, fine hair included.
Meet the Expert
Read on for more A-list inspiration on hairstyles for women over 60.
An asymmetrical bob doesn't have to be over-stated. In fact, a bit of subtleness works here and is a fun way to add extra movement to the otherwise solid shape of the traditional bob. "This cut is so timeless," Chapman says. "I love even keeping the natural color of the hair on this cut—it naturally does all the talking for you if placed correctly." He adds, "The strength of blunt-end bobs are wonderful to pinpoint areas of the body you love (think décolletage, collar bone, around of the shoulder, or jawline)."
Chapman calls the impeccable timeless bob a power haircut, and though the length often changes with the season, it's the lowest maintenance haircut of them all. "It can also be the hardest cut to wear because of its strength on where it lies on the body," he warns. To avoid flatness, use a powerful blowdryer fitted with a precision nozzle to give yourself volume at the roots (we're big fans of Drybar's Buttercup Blow Dryer, $199).
A look like this is messy and undone but in all the right ways. It's the perfect 'do for third-day hair (fourth-day hair even, but who's counting?) and for masking grays. To conceal stubborn gray roots in a flash, turn to a touch-up spray like the Oribe Airbrush Root Touch-Up Spray ($34), which doubles up as a hair-refreshing dry shampoo.
Here, Gladys Knight demonstrates the power of a pixie. "For those ready to make a statement and take some hair off, this is the cut for you," says Chapman. A texturizing cream is key here—rub a dime-sized amount of Aveda's Light Elements Texturizing Creme ($28) through dry hair for a piecey 'do that'll enhance choppy layers.
Mid-Length With Bangs
Annie Sui dresses up her straight mid-length hair with blunt bangs. "Fringe is one of my favorite accessories for a haircut," says Chapman. "If you’re not ready for a complete change, adding a fringe (be it straight-across, side-swept, or curtain) can be a game-changer and exactly what you need to bring your haircut up to date."
When consulting with your hairdresser about what type of fringe is best for you, Chapman suggests having an open conversation about which of your facial features you'd like accentuated—your stylist will be better able to soften or cover the other areas by adding in more weight.
If you're not into all the fuss of a high-maintenance hair routine—and honestly, who is?—do like fashion designer Tracy Reese and take the natural route. Keeping your hair type and texture in mind, try adding subtle layers to give hair body while keeping the pieces framing the face lighter (this will keep the cut looking youthful). And if you've got curls like Reese, investing in the right curly hair products is key to keeping coils defined.
Jamie Lee Curtis shows us just how show-stopping gray hair can be especially when paired with a pixie cut. "The key behind silver hair is making sure it's healthy and shiny," urges Chapman. "Pair up with a shampoo, conditioner, and mask that will help minimize brassiness and add tons of moisture." He also recommends consulting with your stylist to see whether adding a gloss over your hair is an option.
Vintage curls are a timeless style that will flatter any hair length. Just use a medium barrel curling iron (we love the GHD Curve 1" Classic Curl Iron, $199) to create a bend on the front piece of hair, making sure to curl underneath and toward the face. To amp up volume and set your 'do, douse with Tresemme TRES Two Extra Hold Hair Spray ($7).
Olivia Newton John's bob is timeless. "The classic bob is amazing for fine hair because it'll keep the appearance of thick and heavy hair," notes Chapman. "A block-coloring technique lives very well with this haircut—it adds depth and shine to the hair." To add further interest, add wispy bangs like ONJ or the best fringe for your hair type.
This hairstyle is chock-full of layers that favor volume. It's ideal for those with thinner hair types, as there's not much length to work against you. "The pixie is a favorite style for women over 60 because of its low maintenance," says Chapman. "I advise not to settle with just a classic pixie haircut; rather, use a variation on the fringe area and softened blunt lines to help keep it looking fiery and modern."
Patty LaBelle's long bob is perfectly face-framing thanks to its length, layers, and bangs. Equal parts chic and modern, the key to mastering this look is to use a deep-conditioning mask pre-styling to fire up some shine. We love the Arbonne True Hair Replenishing Mask ($42)—it's a rich, creamy formula that revives dry hair and delivers just the right amount of shine.
Sleek and Straight
A sleek, straight, shiny hairstyle never goes out of style. "I believe the biggest trend at any age is healthy, shiny hair," says Chapman. To get the perfect amount of gloss without the frizz, use a serum that offers moisture and movement, like the antioxidant-rich Hair Serum from Nuele ($34). Use a one-pass flat iron like the T3 Lucea 1" Straightening and Styling Iron ($150) to achieve soft, smooth strands.
To change up your look without the effort, play up your part. Depending on the look you're going for, try a middle part for something alluring or side-swept if you're feeling more playful.
Voluminous High Ponytail
Have thin, frayed hair? This hairstyle fakes volume in all the right places. Gently tease the front, topmost portion of the head with a teasing brush and a light-hold hairspray. Finish it off by wrapping a strand of hair around the base of the ponytail for a polished look (it'll conceal the hair elastic, too).
Long Mermaid Waves
Channel your inner mermaid with Beverly Johnson's sea-inspired hairdo. To get her style, create deep waves with a 1 ½-inch curling wand and follow up with a gentle brush-through. Shake it out for a looser finish or leave as is for something more refined. To maintain shine, use a hydrating leave-in like the Playa Monoi Milk Leave-in Conditioner ($24), which uses nourishing coconut oil to moisturize hair and monoi oil to keep frizz at bay.
Experts say this is an ideal style to accentuate your features. "Haircut lines that graze the chin are amazing—if you love your chin," says Chapman. "This look is also helpful in adding length to the neck if you want to appear longer from your shoulders." Also known as a stacked bob, a graduated bob features longer layers in the front and a shorter, layered back that can also take on a curved shape. If you have thin fine hair, longer hairstyles can be less flattering, notes Thomas. He recommends bobs and other shorter styles.
Unlike a sleek and flattened pull-back, a loose pull-back involves combing the hair backward ever so gently. The goal is to leave in some height and make it appear as if your hair naturally lays this way. Add some hairspray to your brush and comb back the hair with one hand, using the other to hold the base in place. Do this all around the head and finish off with a final spritz of hairspray to maintain all-day hold.
Long and Textured
If you're curious about coloring your hair, opt for a dark red tint like Chakra Khan. It's subtle, yet statement-making. As for getting her tantalizing texture, the key is two-fold: maintain frizz and separate the curls to create a cohesive look overall. Try the Nioxin 3D Styling Bodifying Foam ($17) post-shower for body, thickness, and hold along with the Kenra Professional Moisturizing Oil ($16) mixed in with your shampoo or conditioner for frizz protection.
A mile-high bun is one of the easiest hairstyles to master—add in a swirl and your updo just got taken to the next level. "This is a style that looks great in variations of different topknots and braided buns," says Chapman. "It's a super low-maintenance, on-the-go type of updo, and it can make running around town into a fashion statement." Get the look by putting the hair in a ponytail, splitting it in half, and twisting each section around the base of the ponytail. Secure any stubborn pieces with bobby pins.
Vera Wang adds texture and playfulness to her sleek-straight 'do with braided details. "This style can be worn at any age and the simplicity of the look is one you should have in your bag," says Chapman. Meanwhile, "A middle part is bold and daring," says Chapman. "Consult with your stylist to see if this is the right choice for you so they can build the rest of the haircut around it.
Diana Ross's iconic mane is proof that over-the-top volume is always a good choice. While this style works best with medium to thick hair, those with finer strands can add body with the right volumizing products and blow-drying technique. Start with Kérastase's Volumifique Shampoo ($34) and spritz AG Hair Curl Trigger Curl Defining Spray ($24) on damp hair. Then, use a diffuser to blowdry hair upside down while scrunching gently.
Rita Wilson's sun-kissed waves are visually effortless. "The beach wave has been such a breakthrough style for the simple fact that it helps women wear their natural texture and step away from the blow-dryer and continuous application of heat," explains Chapman. "You can achieve this look through diffusing or braiding, the key is to keep them wild and untamed for added sex appeal," he adds. A volume-inducing shampoo, conditioner, and texture spray are key here—opt for a set that has it all, like the ColorProof Big Beachy Waves Kit ($64).
Debbie Allen's fun and flirty ponytail proves that us girls just wanna have fun—whether we're 16 or 60. Her "pineapple" hair is a quick and easy style that works ace on curly hair. Thanks to its versatility, it transitions well from day to night—even in the most humid conditions, we might add.
Angela Bassett lets her curls live their best life in this side-parted lob. The shoulder-length is perfect for her natural texture since it lends a little weight to curls and keeps them from poofing out. "For styling, R+Co Zig Zag Root Teasing + Texture Spray ($32) is perfect for hold at the root and big '60s volume," says Kandasamy. "You will also want to finish with R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray ($32) for light hold and movement."
Kris Jenner may have the most famous daughters on the planet, but she's a style icon in her own right. Her signature short hair is utterly flattering thanks to light layers and long sideburns that lend dimension and highlight her cheekbones. To keep this style from falling flat, work in a volumizing mousse.
Ellen Barkin looks as fabulous as ever with a wavy shoulder-length cut that complements fine hair. And by adding a slight wave to her 'do, she creates instant volume. Go with a deep side part like Barkin if you're looking to create symmetry and elongate a rounder face shape.
Curly Bob With Bangs
Alfre Woodard embraces her curls and she couldn't look better. To replicate her 'do, ask your stylist to incorporate long layers, which will lend shape to your cut, and don't shy away from curly bangs. Woodard's chin-length cut complements her oval face shape but if you've got a round, diamond, or heart-shaped face you may want to opt for mid- to shoulder-length instead.
Long and Wavy
As women age, there is a tendency to go shorter but Madonna writes this off with her long, youthful mane. If you've got medium to thick hair, follow the Queen of Pop's lead by curling hair with a 1 ½-inch wand and then tousling with fingers.
Former Paris Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld would have a hard time being anything but trendy, but her layered bob makes her even more so. It gives off all the vibes Roitfeld embodies: edgy, cool, and sophisticated. To style, straighten hair and spritz with a bit of Redken Shine Flash Shine Spray ($22). For a more polished finish, tuck hair behind the ear.
For those of you with textured tresses, Jennifer Lewis makes a strong case for wearing your hair au naturel. Not only is her sculpted afro super stylish but it will also keep your hair routine to a minimum. Just be sure to nourish your mane by keeping it moisturized with a hydrating product like Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner ($14).
A shoulder-length cut with glossy locks and an off-center part is a recipe for flawless hair. "This is a cut that is best worn with no blunt lines and a lot of disruption of texture on the inside and outside of the cut," advises Chapman. "It's a fantastic way to add a ton of movement to the hair." To create dimension, consider brunette highlights like Shohreh Aghdashloo here.
Contrary to popular belief, short haircuts can be versatile. Robin Givens shows us how with her curly crop that can either be cut or styled asymmetrically. We love how she plays with lengths and textures to create a 'do that is both intriguing and stylish.
Susan Sarandon has naturally wavy hair, and she doesn't bother trying to "tame" or straighten it with the blow-dryer/flat iron combo. Instead, she works with her waves, even enhancing them with the right tools and products (read: a 1-inch curling iron and Sunday II Sunday Revive Me Daily Moisturizing Spray, $31).
Megan Mullally's burgundy color is proof that there are worse things than not being able to hang onto your natural color. The dark red shade adds a nice contrast to her fair complexion—and complements nearly every other skin tone, too. With color being the star of this look, opt for simple styling like a loose updo with face-framing tendrils.
If you're going gray you can always dye your hair but Diane Keaton presents a strong case for making the gray hair transition. "Diane Keaton always has great hair," says Livermore. "I love that she wears her natural color, and her styles are always classic but also a little tousled and frisky." Add a little bit of volume powder like Sexy Hair Big Sexy Hair Powder Play ($19) at the roots to get that extra lift and fullness.
Michelle Pfeiffer demonstrates how tousled waves are just as good for the red carpet as they are for the beach. If you have a diamond or square-shaped face like Pfeiffer, a side part and waves will work to soften your angular features. To get her visually effortless look, simply prep hair with a sea salt spray then air-dry.
Long, Glossy Waves
Beauty Madeleine Stowe's long, lush locks show that you don't have to compromise on length as you age. And while dark hair color has been said to age you, on Stowe, it does quite the contrary. It even adds a beautiful contrast against her fair complexion. To amp up the shine, use a smoothing oil like the Prose Hair Oil ($48), which features repairing shea oil and Siberian pine nut oil to smooth flyaways.
Looking to keep your hair off of your face while still looking stylish? Opt for an updo like the foolproof ponytail. If you've got medium to long tresses, slick them back with Bumble and bumble Bb. Sumogel ($31) into a high ponytail. Maybe even consider a fringe like Telma Hopkins if you want to turn up the trend factor, complement a larger forehead, hide wrinkles—or all of the above.
Jane Seymour has always worn her hair long—it's sort of her trademark. Here, she couples a lengthy mane with lash-grazing blunt bangs that bring out her eyes. To keep straight hair from going limp, add long layers to create just the right amount of volume.
If you're like Gloria Estefan and you've got a natural curl or wave to your hair, embrace it. Natural texture lends body and fullness to thinning hair—as does a deep side flip. To keep curls defined and frizz-free, moisturize with Briogeo Curl Charisma™ Rice Amino + Avocado Leave-In Defining Cream ($22).
There are few people in this world more well-known for their beauty than Christie Brinkley. From the late 1970s to today, she's consistently represented the laid-back, California style of looking good. To get her shade of blonde, Kandasamy suggests using a great toning mask, such as R+Co Sunset Blvd Blonde Toning Masque ($42). "It will combat yellow brassy tones and nourish locks," he says.
If you're curious about bangs but you are worried about the commitment, side-swept bangs are your hassle-free solution. "Side-swept bangs are great for those who feel their forehead area is exposed too much and needs to be brought in a little," says Chapman. "They're also a great way to help keep the eye moving for those who feel certain facial features may be too large or prominent."
Goldie Hawn's feathered 'do is pure bombshell. The technique of feathering adds texture and movement, making it the perfect style for those with naturally thin hair. Meanwhile, curtain bangs and long layers help to frame her face and slightly flipped-out ends add just the right amount of sass. "A curtain fringe is so versatile and can be worn in many lengths, just make sure the length you choose suits your facial features," advises Chapman.
Lob With Bangs
Gayle King's lob gets bonus points for bangs that up the cool factor while simultaneously hiding forehead wrinkles. When it comes to styling this look, keep in mind that a blow-dryer is your friend. Pros recommend blowing out your bangs while your hair is still very wet, as they have a tendency to dry faster than the rest of your hair.
Haven't you heard? Feathered hair is making a comeback. And who better to demonstrate that than former Charlie's Angel, Jaclyn Smith? "As haircuts evolve with our age, they all come back to classics cuts like this one," says Chapman. "This look can be worn in variations from a lot of movement to more commercial wear." To style, simply separate your hair into sections before curling and brushing out the ringlets, so as to add more volume. To keep it modern, tousle with fingers.
Tina Knowles is proof that amping up waves with excess volume can still be classic. The easiest way to achieve brushed-out S-waves like these is with a curling iron. Opt for a barrel that's approximately one inch in diameter, like Hot Tools NanoCeramic Curling Iron ($65).
Jane Fonda's bouncy curls add tantalizing texture to straight strands. To get the look, twist hair around a flatiron, alternating the direction you twist the hair with each section. Finish with a volumizing hairspray such as Kenra Volume Spray 25 ($25) to keep curls lifted and in place.
Flirty and vintage-esque, Hiam Abbass's lob works with most hair textures. If your hair is on the finer side, try blow-drying with a round brush and lifting locks as you go, which will amp up the volume. A spray like Living Proof's Full Dry Volume Blast ($15) will help add further body and texture.
Perhaps one of our favorite short-haired muses, Tilda Swinton's slicked-back pompadour looks great at any age. She proves to us time and time again that short hair is incredibly versatile. Prep hair with Goldwell Kerasilk ($27) before blow-drying with Conair InfinitiPro Hair Dryer to achieve straight and shiny perfection.
Do layers make thin hair look thinner?
They can. If your hair is thinning, over-layering can make hair appear even less dense. Consider a blunt cut (no layers) which can lend thickness to strands or ask your stylist if long layers are right for you. But definitely avoid choppy layers.
Can women with fine or thin hair get hair extensions?
Does long hair look good if you're over 60?
If you have medium to thick density hair, a lengthier cut can work for you. Curlier textures can also benefit from a longer cut. However, those with fine or thin hair may want to opt for a shorter length since it can make hair appear fuller.