How to Choose a Hairstyle for Women Over 40

These tips on how to choose a hairstyle for women over 40 are practical and stylish, and include a fantastic “before and after” picture of one of Diane Keaton’s best hairdos.

Hairstyles for Women Over 40 No matter what hairstyle you choose, you want healthy shiny hair. Argan oil is what the salons recommend, such as Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner by Arvazallia. It’s for hair that’s dry or damaged because of hair dyes, perms, blow drying, curling irons, etc.

My hair is super dry, especially now that I bathe in Epsom salts all the time. I can’t help but get salt in my hair, which dries it out. My hair stylist told me to put olive oil on my hair overnight (covered with a shower cap), to restore my dry curls. The problem is that I don’t like the smell of olive oil. I prefer a leave-in conditioner with a pretty scent, such as Argan oil.

If you’re struggling to find the right hairstyle, consider asking a loved one to give you a “before and after” trip to the hair salon. A hair makeover is a great birthday gift for women turning 40. This should be my first tip for choosing the best hairstyle, because it’s a wonderful gift to be given :-)

About choosing hairstyles for women over forty years old: I have to admit, my favorite “hairstyle” is a hat! I rarely spend time doing my hair. The quicker and easier a hairstyle is, the more I like it. But it was fun to research these tips on how to choose a hairstyle for a woman over 40. I found that the best hairstyle is to one that suits your face. I’ll describe that tip in more detail, below…

Diane Keaton’s hair before it’s styled

Hairstyles for Women Over 40

Diane Keaton’s Hair – Before

I’ve never searched for hairstyles for women over 40 until today, and I found a slew of gorgeous movie stars on Google images. Most of the hairstyles I found are on women are over 50 and 60, like Diane Keaton and Helen Mirren. That works for me, because their beauty makes me feel not so old.

If your hair doesn’t grow fast – or you’re losing your hair – read How to Make Your Hair Grow – From Biotin to Bear Grease.

Diane Keaton’s hairstyle after

hairstyles for women over 40

Diane Keaton’s hairstyle – after

See what a difference a professional hairstylist makes? We all look like the Diane Keaton in the first photo! Don’t compare yourself – or your hair – to movie starts or celebrities. Their job is to look beautiful, and you don’t have a hairdresser to give you the perfect hairstyle every morning before you go to work.

An important thing to remember when you’re looking for a hairstyle for women over 40 is that if you compare yourself to movie stars, you’ll always come up looking short.

How to Choose a Hairstyle for Women Over 40

New beginnings need new hairstyles, right? I’m starting my second year of my MSW (Master’s of Social Work) in three weeks, and I need a new do. My fellow classmates are in their 20s and 30s, and I often feel old around them. I feel wise, peaceful, and happy…but definitely old. If you’re a woman over 40 going back to school, please say hello below.

If you have a birthday coming up, read Creative Things to Do for Your 40th Birthday.

Have fun and be playful when searching for new hairstyles

Your hair will grow out (eventually), so don’t be tentative about trying new styles, colors, cuts, curls, or experiments. That said, however, it’s also important not to copy a celebrity’s hairstyle for women over 40 that you found in a magazine or on the movie screen. At least six hairdressers have told me that it’s almost impossible to copy a celebrity style because our face shapes, hair textures, and styling products are different.

Choose a hairstyle that suits the shape of your face

Hairstyles for Women Over 40

Hairstyles for Women Over 40

I’m no hairdresser, but I know it’s important to consider the shape of your face when you’re choosing a hairstyle. Women over 40 may be noticing the first hints of jowls and double chins (which I’ve had all my life, not just as a 40 year old woman!) – and a hairstyle can soften the effects of aging.

Whether your face is round (like mine) or narrow, thin or wide, heart-shaped or high-browed can make a huge difference when you’re looking for a new hairstyle. How do you know what hairstyle suits you, as a woman over 40?

Look for hairstyles that are convenient and easy

Okay, this is the first thing I think about when I’m looking for a new look! I don’t want to spend more than 15 minutes on my hair in the morning. Actually, I don’t want to spent more than FIVE minutes on my hair, and 10 minutes on my makeup and clothes (15 minutes total).

Most women over 40 (and younger than 40) have hairstyles that take longer. I have no idea how much longer, but I’m almost 100% sure it’s at least twice as long! Before you choose a new hairstyle, think about how much time you want to spend washing, blow drying, curling, straightening, back combing, moussing, and spraying. Life is too short to waste on your hair – which is why convenience and ease is my first tip for women over 40 who are looking for a new hairstyle.

Try different types of hairstyles for women at the wig store

There are so many types of hairstyles for women over 40: pixie cuts, asymmetrical cuts, long layers, bobs, shags. Further, there are different types of each of those hairstyles (eg, piecey bobs, bouncy bobs, angled bobs, etc). It can actually get quite complicated and confusing.

How to Choose a Hairstyle for Women Over 40

How to Choose a Hairstyle for Women Over 40

One way to narrow down your search for a hairstyle that suits you is to try on wigs. Have you ever done this? What a blast – it’s so much fun. Find a wig store, and play with the huge variety of wigs for women.

Going to a wig store is better than those wig websites or software programs that show you what you look like with different hairstyles. I think this is the best way to look for hairstyles for women over 40 – but I don’t know if the wig store owners would appreciate it.

If you know of any websites or blogs that allow you to put different hairstyles on your face so you see what they look like, please let me know in the comments section below. I don’t think the computer programs are as good as trying on wigs in person when you’re looking for a hairstyle, but they might help you find a few ideas.

Think about your lifestyle and schedule

I can’t describe all the possible types of hairstyles for women over 40 here, but I did find a great tip from on how to choose a hairstyle for women over 40: “Set up a schedule. Once you’ve found a hairstyle you like, figure out what you need to do to maintain it and schedule accordingly. For instance, if your super-short pixie cut will need a trim every four weeks, schedule them ahead of time. It will be more difficult for you to put off the appointment, and your hair will stay looking fresh.” – from How to Choose a Hairstyle.

Before you decide on a hairstyle, decide how much time and money you want to spend maintaining it. This brings us back to my first tip on choosing a hairstyle for women over 40!

If you want a new job to match the hairstyle you’re getting, read How to Make a Career Change at 40.

Schedule a consultation with a hair stylist

I get my hair cut at Magic Cuts, Superstore, or Singleton’s for $20, including tax and tip. But, I won a haircut at Kathleen & Co. in North Vancouver, BC – and I think they’re an expensive hair boutique. My plan is to ask Kathleen what hairstyles for women over 40 would suit my face and lifestyle, and let her do what she pleases.

hairstyles for 40 year old womenThe truth is, I don’t really care what my hair looks like. Instead of fooling around with my hair – or choosing a new hairstyle – I’d rather be blogging, running with my dogs, daydreaming, reading, doing yoga, practising my flute, and planning my next vacation! Except, I have to admit, for the grays! I use Clairol Nice ‘N Easy Hair Color to dye my hair – I can’t believe how much cheaper it is on Amazon than at Superstore.

If you’re serious about choosing a hairstyle for women over 40, then I encourage you to make a couple of consultation hair appointments with hairstylists (unless, of course, you love your current stylist). Choosing a new hairstylist is a big deal for many women over 40, and it’s important to take your time before you make any decisions.

If you have anything to add to these tips for choosing a hairstyle for women over 40, please comment below…and remember:

“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.” – Emerson. Your hair will grow out if you choose the wrong hairstyle :-)


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8 thoughts on “How to Choose a Hairstyle for Women Over 40”

  1. As we get older, our skin tends to lose some warmth and colour, so it s good to introduce some warmer colour into your hair. So, for example, instead of going for an ashy blonde, go for something more creamier, which is a bit softer but still really bright and illuminating. If you currently have white hair, start introducing something softer and golden tones. It’s more youthful and encourages your hair to look more voluminous. Flat think hair is usually an issue with women over 40, as they find their hair lacks the fullness it used to have when they were younger.

  2. Much ado about nothing. What is a hairstyle for women over 40? There’s not such thing. Seriously, would Diane Keaton’s hair look bad on a 20 year old? I don’t think so. Are there styles that are too young? I’m failing to think of an example. You can sport a mohawk at 80 and it will look just right if you have the guts for it. Hair styles don’t have age, all that matters is your personality, what feels like you. And if you want to argue that hair gets thinner with age, I’ll tell you that my Mom still has more hair than I do or ever will have. So there’s no rule about that either. Everybody is unique, you have to find what works for you and stop obsessing about cliches.

  3. My mom should read these tips. She and a lot of women over 40 can really rock new hairstyles with these. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. I am 40 and in school, too. Going back for physical therapist assisting after a music career and still being in the throes of motherhood to four. I’m with you…15 min total is what I want to spend on hair, makeup and clothes. Ready for a new ‘do. Thx for the article.

    I love school the second time around…so much more fun.

  5. I’m in my 50s, and have had a short haircut almost my whole life. I feel like it’s too late to grow my hair long now that I’m older. I appreciate these hairstyles for women in their 40s but think that we have fewer and fewer choices as we age.

  6. I am so fortunate to have my grandmother’s (maternal) hair. It’s thick and curly in the back and if I want some added curl, I just use the hot curling iron and no curling product necessary or blow out dry my hair after washing it ONCE every 10 days! That one item is way too expensive for me. I can use curlers if I want to. I should buy some and try this out myself!

    Thanks for an excellent article on how to choose a hairstyle for women over 40.

  7. Wigs are cool – I used to wear wigs a lot in my twenties but not so much since I’ve grown my hair and it’s turning a delightful shade of blonde/white lol and I’m only 41! At least with a wig you can trial a hairstyle and if you really don’t like it you don’t have to endure it until it grows out.

  8. Diane Keaton’s hairstyle looks great, it doesn’t matter if she’s a woman over 40. So often if you depend on the stylist you don’t get the look your aiming for. Either making you look too old or the style is too young.

    One thing I’ve seen is women who go the same hairstylist for years and unfortunately the stylist fails to keep up with the latest trends. So you end up with a look that either dates you or is simply not right for you