How Long Can You Wear Long Hair Over 50?

Long hair over 40Last week I had a question from a reader about long hair which sparked two more readers, Pearl and Cindy, to send in photos for advice. I asked LA celebrity stylist Billy Lowe to weigh in on their questions.

Pearl asks: I’m thinking about cutting my hair because my face is long and thin to just above my shoulders. What do you think? I just don’t want to be an older person whose hair is too long for her age.

Billy Lowe: Move into a rich chocolate color with soft strapping of highlights. Bring it up to barely hit the shoulders and allow the top layers to grow just a bit to release the bulkiness at your ears.  Your top layers seem to be cut too short so it’s creating a blooming effect around your head, and a disconnect with the overall length which is bouncing out at the shoulders.  So you have 2 options.  Grow the layers out, or bring the length up.


long hair over 50
Almost 50 and radiant, but should she go longer?

Cindy asks: I will be 50 on May 8th.  I have never had short hair. This picture is with my son at his best friend’s wedding. I’m thinking about going longer for my 50’s debut. What do you think? Cindy Ramirez

Billy Lowe: Cindy, I think you look fabulous at 50 and I love it when women are confident enough to wear longer tresses. I do, however, think a shoulder-length cut (maybe a tad longer) would be perfect for you.

When I saw your photo, my first glance caught your hair in the right shoulder area and I missed the tresses at the back.  I immediately thought that a shoulder-length look would be perfect for you, yet still give you some length to play with.

Find a great stylist and one that knows your hair type and can work with you on this journey.  Longer hair?  Not so sure.   But 3-4 inches off to start would be a fun look for you.   You can always take more off later, but start with a few inches for now and see how you like it.

Best of luck and send us updated photos! Billy Lowe

Here are more notes from Billy for the rest of us!
I’ve always said hair rules are definitely made to be broken.   The biggest problem with most stylists is that they don’t think outside the box.   For years stylists and beauty experts have focused on face shapes and rules that may apply to them.
While there are some truths and guidelines that hold true, I don’t believe our hair should be defined by our face shapes alone. The biggest opportunity I try to tap into is learning about a client’s lifestyle.  When engaged in a consultation here are my key points:
  1. How much time does my client have
  2. What products and tools is she comfortable working with
  3. What her lifestyle is about (career, mother, extracurricular activities, etc)
  4. Will she feel great about her new cut or color

If I can tap into these elements, then she’ll for sure walk away looking and feeling her very best, AND be able to recreate the look at home.   If I give her a cut or style that is too difficult to manage or one that requires working with a round brush when she’s not comfortable using one, then she will ultimately be disappointed.

Billy Lowe - Celebrity StylistI have MANY clients who are in their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s who have longer than shoulder-length hair.   But it’s a matter of creating a style that works for them, their look, and their character.   Mind you, mid-length hair on a 20-year-old and mid-length hair on a 60-year-old says 2 completely different things.

The same thing goes with blue jeans or the kind of car you drive.  So take it all into account. YES – you can wear longer hairstyles and YES you can be proud doing so.   Just be sure that within that longer cut & style that you have a SHAPE that works well and expresses the real you.

Thanks to Billy Lowe – an elite talent responsible for creating extraordinary beauty behind the scenes of Hollywood.   Stay tuned for these and other great beauty tips from Hollywood’s own Hot-Head.

*One note growing your hair can sometimes make you look younger. See what I mean. My reader sent in this photo.

To read more about what Billy has to say to my readers about their long hair check out this long hair after 40 posts.

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9 thoughts on “How Long Can You Wear Long Hair Over 50?

  1. 40, and 50,60, are just numbers; those ages don’t look like our mothers’ back then. We are taking better care of ourselves and are not showing are ages as early. I have friends who look older because of the shorter hairstyles. I’m 59 and have passed for the ’40s. Short hair can age you just as much as long straggly hair. It depends on the woman. Please don’t cut your long hair based on age, do it based on what looks best on you.

  2. Your hair looks terrific. Keep it long! Women are individuals, not numbers, and to cut it shorter would be a mistake!

    I’d like to see more women over 40 keeping their long hair. I get so sick of seeing the same short, cropped hair on older women! When you combine it with thickening necks and stoutening middles (you’re not like this at all, I’m just saying I see this on the street a LOT, and it irks me because the stylists/hairdressers are pointing women in this direction, and it is SO wrong!), it’s NOT a flattering look at all – the shorter hair makes women look dumpy and unattractive.

  3. You are beautiful and don’t look 50 at all. (Amazing skin!) I would agree with keeping your hair long, but would gently suggest a little updating in how you style it, especially the bangs. Maybe treat yourself to a trendy salon for your 50th? I find hairstyle and glasses are the most telling signs of age when it comes to fashion.

  4. Cindy, I agree with the pros suggestion
    I have long hair and have always had long hair. I too have wondered how long it’s OK to keep it and look good in it. So far, everyone has told me I’m good with it long, but I now keep it just a little bit past my shoulders when it’s straight, and just at the top of my shoulders when it’s curly. I will be in serious shock when it’s time to get it styled short.

    1. Hi Ellen,
      Hopefully, you will never have to go too short. I see plenty of women in their 70s with long hair to their shoulders even when they are gray!
      As long as it is healthy looking and well groomed and regularly trimmed.

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