There is the undying beauty myth that modern women who have reached midlife should chop off their locks for a much shorter hairstyle. For some, it is a sign of maturity. For others, it is an expression of no longer fussing about their tresses.
The many short hairstyles that women over 50 can have
An article notes that societal pressure is the main reason why most women over 50 years old opt to have short hairstyles. A good number of middle-aged women just hop on the short hairstyles bandwagon. These include moms who are done with raising their children as well as single women who feel that they ought to do something new with their mane. These women usually have elders in the family who have short hair. In fact, ladies start to ponder the need to have short hair as early as when they reach the age of 40. This is the time when they feel that they are preoccupied with so many things, and their hair should not cause them to worry anymore.
There are also cultural reasons why most women over 50 go for short hair. Aside from taking after the elders in their families and communities, women follow the hairstyles of celebrities. Many actresses, singers, political figures, and pop culture icons above the age of 50 have favored rocking shortcuts over having long locks. These include Sharon Stone, Robin Wright, Judi Dench, Annie Lennox, Kris Jenner, Ellen DeGeneres, Helen Mirren, and Queen Elizabeth II.
The glaring signs of aging urge women to have short hair as well. In middle age, women would rather stay on the sidelines than be the focus of the spotlight. An elaborate and long hairstyle would draw a lot of attention to the face as opposed to a simple cut that ends above the chin. Cropped cuts can also be designed to soften harsh angles and highlight bone structures. A hairstyle that is strategically cut at the jawline can make the hair become loose and cover the wrinkles around the area.
A hairstyle may also be used to divert attention from facial sags by enhancing the best features of a woman. The faces of middle-aged women tend to lose collagen, a protein that exists in the skin. The loss of collagen makes it appear as if the faces of middle-aged women are thinning out. In order to break the image of thinness, modern women choose to do away with their long hair.
The science behind why aging women prefer short hair
Women who are above 50 may experience many changes in their emotional and physical states, apart from getting facial sags and wrinkles. At such an age, they are prone to having hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, and mood changes. They are also vulnerable to losing the fullness of their breasts and experiencing slower metabolism, which leads to weight gain. They may also have irregular periods, vaginal dryness, dry skin, and thinning hair. This is because they are most likely done with, are experiencing, or are about to deal with menopause.
The natural biological process of menopause happens 12 months after the last menstrual period. This process marks the end of the menstrual cycle of a woman. Menopause usually occurs in women who are in their 40s or 50s. According to MayoClinic dot org, the average age of a menopausal woman in the United States is 51. The many symptoms of menopause, including thinning hair, take place not only in the course of the process itself but also during the phase preceding it called perimenopause. Since all women go through menopause, it is safe to say that at least most of them experience thinning hair or even hair loss. This prompts menopausal women to get a short haircut.
Menopause can be a very sensitive stage or even a harrowing phase for some women. That is why they go for having short hair in order to lessen their stress by not having to think about how to style their long locks every day.
There are actually two types of aging of hair.
The first is called intrinsic aging. This pertains to the hair becoming thinner, less pigmented, less bouncy, and less shiny because of the decrease in diameter, melanin production, density, and lipid production.
The second type of aging of the hair is called extrinsic aging. This covers the external and environmental factors that damage the hair. External factors include mechanical, thermal, and chemical applications that can cause the hair to be limp and overexposed to heat. Environmental stresses such as pollution can also make the hair look dull and lifeless.
Both intrinsic and extrinsic aging of the hair takes place as women approach middle age. Women over 50 tend to get short hair to project the illusion that they still have vigorous scalps and beautiful hair.
The most popular go-to short cuts
There is a misconception that styling is restricted when it comes to short haircuts. Although the limited length does provide restrictions, there are still many possibilities when it comes to styling a short hairdo. A short haircut is generally considered to have a length that is above the chin. But the term “short” can mean differently for women who have various historical, cultural, and personal experiences and viewpoints. Sometimes, haircuts that touch the neck or are at the level of the chin, which are considered to be of middle length, are also deemed to be short. For this piece, a short hairstyle will mean a haircut that is above the chin. A regular short haircut may be called blunt when the hair is cut straight without leaving texture. A short haircut is asymmetric when the hair is longer on one side.
The bob cut
One of the most common and well-loved short hairstyles is the bob cut. It is a classic blunt style that is cut above the shoulders with no layers. Vogue Magazine editor-in-chief Anna Wintour has been an iconic face of the classic bob cut.
Other types of bob cuts have sprouted due to the style’s immense popularity. The Asian bob is cut at the neckline and bobbed up around the edge. The A-line bob is a classic bob with an asymmetrical twist as it has slightly longer hair in the front. The chin-length bob is cut straight to the chin while the buzz cut bob is shoulder-length in the front and close-cropped at the back.
A messy bob cut that is layered by using a razor is called the shaggy bob, while a bob that is tapered at the back to expose the hairline at the neck, usually forming a V shape, is called the shingle bob. It is also called the graduated bob because the hair on the sides is styled to form a single point or curl on both cheeks.
The pixie cut
The pixie cut is another popular short hairstyle. This trademark look of the late actress and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn is a short wispy cut that can be accompanied by a shaggy fringe or bangs.
The crop, on the other hand, involves the hair being cut very close to the head matching or exceeding the length of the bangs. A very short and slicked-down blunt crop is referred to as the Eton crop.
The shag is a choppy short cut that relies on layers to add volume to the crown and bangs.
The abovementioned hairstyles may be tweaked to complement the facial features as well as hair types of women over 50. The short hairstyles may also be combined to create fresh and unique looks.
Those with small and chiseled faces are most compatible with sporting short hairstyles. Their well-defined features stand out all the more with the bangs and short cuts.
The ideal facial shapes that go well with short haircuts are oval, diamond, long, square, and heart. Those with round faces, however, should not shy away from getting a short haircut because of the perception that shorter hair will make their faces look bigger. There are actually hairstyles that are specifically crafted for women who have round faces.
Short hairstyles for women with round faces
A face is considered round when the width and length of the face are almost the same. A round-shaped face will actually look slimmer with a short hairstyle because the short length makes it appear that the neck and face are long. In fact, short layers and fringe layers are needed to make the neck look more slender. The same effect on the neck is created by graduated layers. The sides of the hair must also be kept close to the face to make it appear slimmer. A woman with a round face can also have curls, although it is better to have them around the crown instead of at the sides.
A hairstylist can create an impression that a round face is a little bit longer by doing a bob cut that is layered. He can then add cool layered bangs and little spikes on top to finish off the look. Another option is to infuse into a blunt bob a full top along with layers at the sides. A bob cut with a voluminous top and sideswept bangs is also suitable for women with round faces. Another option is to go for a bob that features short sides and layered bangs.
Asymmetric bob cuts are ideal styles for round faces as well. The asymmetric bob can include layered sides and bangs or long wavy strands of hair.
The pixie cut can be modified to suit round faces. A woman with a round face can have a pixie cut with layers and a full top section or a messy top with a short back and short sides. A pixie cut may also include side-swept bangs or layered sides and bangs.
Short hairstyles for older women with thick hair
Some hair experts believe that short hairstyles commonly look better on older women with thick hair. The voluminous mane makes the short hairstyle look full and fixed. Short hairstyles are usually blunt cuts when done on thick hair. This is because add-ons such as layers and curls are not needed anymore to create a full look. The thick hair stands on its own.
An outright bob cut looks best on thick hair. The simplicity of a blunt bob makes a woman look stylish and sexy. Rounded or blunt bangs provide the extra punch to a blunt bob. A messy bob, which also looks great on thick hair, evokes a laid-back yet equally stylish feel.
A pixie cut, meanwhile, looks best on thick wavy hair. The pixie is a difficult hairstyle to pull off, especially if it is very short. But a woman with thick wavy hair can carry it well without much fuss. Sideswept or blunt bangs may be added to complete a seemingly effortless pixie cut look.
Short hairstyles for women with thin hair
Although short haircuts look best on thick hair, women who have thin hair, especially those aged over 50, need not despair. Styling thin hair may be a challenge because the strands have a smaller diameter, but the right haircut and styling manner can fix such problem. Those with fine straight hair can try having a blunt bob, layered bob, side parted bob cut, bob with tapered back layers, a messy pixie, or a pixie cut with shaved sides.
As for those with fine hair that is wavy or curly, they can try several hairstyles which are also suitable for fine straight hair. Examples of these are the A-line bob, curly bob, and wavy bob. Having asymmetrical cuts, curls, and waves certainly add texture to thin hair. Asymmetrical styles, in addition, stir up a contemporary and edgy vibe. Layers and bangs also provide thin hair with much-needed volume, while a one-length cut gives thin hair maximum density.
The much shorter pixie cuts even produce more texture and volume. A pixie cut can be executed to have a messy and undone feel. It can also be styled to be sleek. A pixie cut can be done to draw attention to the eyes and cheekbones and is ideal for fine hair, regardless if the strands are wavy, curly, or straight.
Adding oomph to your short crowning glory
Women over 50 have a wide array of short hairstyles to choose from. It is recommended that they choose a hairstyle not just to their liking. The chosen hairstyle must complement their facial features and type of hair as well. After choosing a short hairstyle, women over 50 can still do more things to make their short ‘dos look great and even stand out.
Women with short hair can have sections of their hair dyed to produce highlights. They can choose to have basic blonde highlights or dare to have bolder colors such as red, blue, green, pink, yellow, orange, or purple. Other women, on the other hand, refuse to have their hair dyed. Some are okay with having their natural white hair on display while others are completely fine with their white and gray hair, which is also called the salt and pepper.
Short-haired women can use extensions of human or synthetic hair. Those with thick hair can use extensions that mimic their locks. Those with fine hair can add curls or straight hair to add more volume to their mane. They can also wear colored hair extensions. Those with short hair can tease their hair as the process of teasing easily creates volume.
More than just beautifying the hair by adding color and style, another surefire way to make hair stunning and vigorous is by pampering it. When the tresses and scalp are healthy, then the hair will surely look lovely. Some stylists suggest washing hair twice or thrice a week only, because shampooing daily washes off the hair’s natural essential oils. One must also shampoo and massage the scalp, not just the roots.
Hot water must also be avoided by the scalp at all times. For days when hair washing is not done, one may use a dry shampoo or hair oil to revitalize the roots and tips. The hair must also be towel-dried before conditioner is applied. The hairdryer must be kept at least two or three inches away from the hair. And finally, hair brushing must be limited to twice a day.
Beautiful & healthy hair: vitamins and diet
Older women may also stock up on foods that promote healthy hair. For hair to be healthy, it needs the correct balance of protein, iron, biotin, zinc and selenium, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Sources of protein include dairy products, eggs, legumes, nuts, fish, turkey, and chicken. Iron is consumed when one eats fish, chicken, red meat, lentils, spinach, kale, salad greens, and broccoli. Biotin, a water-soluble B vitamin, can be found in whole grains, soy flour, yeast, egg yolk, and the liver. Beef, eggs, oysters, whole grains, and fortified cereals are good sources of zinc and selenium. Nuts have zinc and selenium, as well as vitamin E. Carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins, are packed with vitamin A while broccoli, guava, kiwi, blueberries, sweet potatoes, papaya, oranges, strawberries, and blackcurrants contain vitamin C. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in walnuts, pumpkin seeds, avocado, mackerel, trout, herring, sardines, and salmon.
Beautiful and healthy hair does not always have to be long. The crowning glory of a woman can also be short. For women over 50, having short hair is a popular choice for it is more convenient to style. Women over 50, however, need not always settle for a blunt cut. They can choose from among the many haircut options available the style that suits their bone structure, hair thickness, and facial shape. There are even additional ways to style one’s short hair by using colors, extensions, and volume add-ons. This just goes to show that having short strands is just as enjoyable as having long locks.