Hairstyles for Women Over 40

by Evelyn Block

The hairstyle that best suited your face, your body and your personal style in your twenties or thirties may no longer be the most becoming style for you as you age. It is important to feel good about yourself and to embrace a look that reflects on the outside the beautiful person that you are on the inside.

Choice

Many women in their forties prefer to have a low maintenance style that fits well into their active, busy lives. Years ago, this meant short hair for women over 40, but that is no longer the case today. There are many ways to wear your hair long and still not have to do a lot of maintenance.

Products

The right products and care are critical as you enter your forties. Hormonal changes, years of chemical processing, dryer heat, diet and smoking all effect your hair's growth, texture and condition. Frequently using detergent-free shampoos and nourishing conditioners on your hair will help improve it's manageability and style as you mature.

Short Hair

The key to short hair is proportion. You need to consider both the shape of your face and the color of your skin. With short hair, a frequent, good quality haircut is even more important than with long hair to maintain your style. When your hair is short and well-styled, you don't have to worry about it getting messy, having hat hair or spending a long time with a blow dryer. Your hair stylist can even help you find a "wash and wear" hairstyle.

Long Hair

The myth that older women don't look good with long hair is exactly that, a myth. If your hair is healthy and the cut is done well, you won't need to wash and style it daily. You can add accessories to your hair and put it in a pony tail if you wish. Long hair looks best when the proportions are correct. So it is important to determine, with your stylist, whether you want layers or not.

Selecting a Cut That Works for You

If you are considering changing your hairstyle and are over 40, the first thing to do is get your hair into good condition. Then, look in magazines and hairstyle books and talk to your stylist about what would work best with your face, coloring and hair texture. You can also bring your stylist a picture of a haircut you admire. There are even websites where you can "try on" different looks (see Resources).

About the Author

Evelyn Block has almost 30 years of experience as a family therapist, educator at the elementary and university levels, consultant to corporations and parent. She is a graduate of City College of New York, the College of New Rochelle, and the PHD program at the University of Texas at Dallas where she studied Human Development and Communication Sciences.