These hairstyles for women over 40 are shown on real-life women, not models, so you can pick the style that works best for you. We've got examples of short haircuts, medium length bobs, and long styles that work for women of all ages.
As we age, our hair changes too. It might thin out or become drier, and our hair color can fade as we get older. The hairstyle we loved so much at 20 may no longer suit us at 40. But, don’t worry – there are plenty of flattering haircuts and hairstyles for women over 40 that will help you look your best!
Today I’m sharing different popular hairstyles with women over 40, along with some tips on choosing the right style for you. And, of course, I’ve got tons of inspiration pictures of real women with these hairstyles. Whether you’re looking to go short or long, sleek or curly, we’ve got you covered!
Here are 55 flattering hairstyles for women over 40 that you will love. (P. S. I’ve been adding more hairstyles as I come across them, so we’ve got more than 55 now!)
Short, Layered Hair Styles
One of the best hairstyles for women over 40 is a short, layered style. The look is youthful and modern, yet still flattering and professional. Short haircuts are perfect for women with fine or thin hair because the layers add texture and volume. If you have thicker hair, short layers can also help to prevent your hair from looking bulky or out of control.
These styles can also be worn straight or curly, making them versatile enough for any occasion.
Susan from susan_unefemme has side-swept bangs to add interest and help frame her face. They also help add fullness to her naturally straight hair.
Lesley of raspberryberet_style has an adorable pixie cut that is both flattering and stylish. I love how her gray hair is just slightly on the purple side to flatter her skin tone. Fits her username as well!
Cathy‘s short hairstyle is easy to care for and highlights her beautiful facial features.
Here’s another short pixie from Gosia from aprilstyle_fashion. A little hair gel can give this hairstyle structure and lift and keep it in shape.
Halyna of s.i.l.v.e.r.fox accents her short hair with side swept bangs that give the illusion of longer length. I love how these bangs bring the focus to her lovely eyes.
Deborah‘s cut gives off modern-day Princess Diana vibes with her face-framing layers and side bangs.
This bold pixie from Rebecca of phdinclothes really shows how the right hairstyle can transform your looks. She previously had a mid-length bob, which was cute, but nothing special. Her new short haircut is stunning and glamorous.
If you want to keep your hair on the shorter side but not fuss with too many layers, consider a short bob. A short bob usually ends at chin level and has fewer layers. The ends of the hair are kept blunt and straight. This style can look really cute with side-swept bangs.
Like the short, layered haircut, a short bob can make thin hair look fuller. Thicker hair may need a few layers to keep this cut from looking bushy. Short bobs look so elegant and classic, and upkeep is so simple. You just need to make sure you get regular trims to keep the cut looking neat.
Gabriele’s short hair looks modern and sleek with her swept-back bangs and tapered straight ends.
Look how a similar haircut can give such a different vibe with just a few changes. Like Coral, Jennie also has a short bob with side-swept bangs, but her fine hair and rounded layers give the hairstyle a more casual look.
This is one of my favorite hairstyles. Kimberly of @prettyoverfifty always has beautiful hair, no matter how she wears it, but this platinum blonde bob is truly stunning. This classic bob frames the face and would flatter most mature women, except perhaps those with very round faces.
If you have a rounder face, then this layered bob from Beth of styleatacertainage is a good option. The short layers on the side of the face are slimming, and the layers on top add fullness.
Another layered bob, this cut from blog4over40 can work nicely for fine hair. The longer layers give movement and lift.
This stacked bob from Nikki of midlifechic helps show off thick hair. The layers underneath are thinned out to minimize bushiness and keep the haircut neat.
Kat‘s haircut may look similar to Nikki’s, but it’s suited to thin hair because the shorter layers on top and sides can be fluffed with mousse to add volume. This cut looks really cute when styled in loose curls as well.
Classic Mid-Length Bobs
If there is a universally flattering haircut, it’s got to be the classic mid-length bob. A mid-length bob is typically somewhere between chin- and shoulder-length with blunt ends. It typically has few layers but looks great with side-swept bangs or even regular bangs.
Classic mid-length bobs are good hairstyles for mature women because they can work with the texture and color of an older woman’s hair. As the gray hairs start appearing, you can style the classic mid-length bob so that they look like blonde highlights.
This is the style I’m currently wearing now. As I’ve gotten older and my hair has gotten thinner, I feel that hair just doesn’t look as good when it gets much past my shoulders because it loses body and falls flat. A medium-length hairstyle gives me enough length for flexibility but helps my hair keep its volume and bounce.
Medium hairstyles are also extremely versatile. You can wear a mid-length bob straight or curly, or air dry to show off your hair’s natural texture.
I’d call this hairstyle the classic version of the classic mid-length bob, which looks beautiful on Catherine. If you check out her Instagram, you can see how versatile this cut is. She wears her hair up, in soft waves, and straight, and it always looks beautiful.
This wavy bob beautifully suits Annette’s thick, dark hair. She has few layers, which keeps her hair from being overly full while accenting her natural curls. Her curtain bangs add movement and interest.
Audrey’s shoulder-length hair lends itself beautifully to easy loose waves. It also looks lovely straight. Dry shampoo or texture spray can add some added body to this type of hair style.
I really love all the different ways Karen styles her blunt bob. Here, she’s styled it with a round brush for a sleek look, but if you check out her Instagram you can how she also can style it with soft loose curls or even really tight curls. She also shares lots of great makeup tutorials so you’ll want to see those as well!
Sandra’s hair style is the perfect example of how great a bob can be for thinning hair. A bob is often a good option for thinning hair because it can help give the illusion of fullness. Her long, wispy bangs also help bring the focus to her lovely eyes.
Janet is yet another woman who understands how flattering a bob is for fine hair. This cut has face-framing layers that can be curled under or left straight.
I love the sleekness of Julie’s blunt bob. It really shows off the rich dimension of her hair color.
Sandra’s flattering long bob is always in style. It falls just to her shoulder blades with rounded ends and makes her gray hair look sleek and modern.
Vicki’s long bob with blunt ends helps fine hair appear thicker and is super easy to style. Simply blow dry with a round brush!
Michele can wear her medium length hair as a classic bob, but I love how her cut has layers so she can use a curling iron to add a few flippy waves.
Kimberly’s long layered bob angles toward her face and has an asymmetrical part for a modern feel. Her style also has height at the crown for some extra volume. Very flattering!
I’m loving this wavy bob with long layers. This flattering hairstyle adds body and volume to thin or fine hair. The waves add movement and interest, and the length provides flexibility.
This cute chin-length bob has relaxed waves and side bangs to help cover the forehead and add emphasis to the eyes.
This wavy bob is another good choice for fine hair. If you have naturally wavy hair, all you need to do is let your air dry. Otherwise, you can add a few easy curls with a curling iron after you blow dry.
The layers in Rebecca’s bob add so much movement and fullness to her hair, and her subtle highlights add interest and dimension.
If your hair is naturally fine and straight, like Amber’s, adding side bangs to a classic straight bob can add volume and interest while still being easy to style.
Look how just a few details can make a very similar haircut look so different. Beth also has a straight bob with side bangs, but her ends angle toward her face, and her bangs are cut much deeper, resulting in a more dramatic look. I really like both cuts, don’t you?
Of course, I’ve got to include my own mid-length bob. These days, I’ve been wearing it parted in the middle with blunt ends and curtain bangs. That gives my hair a bit more fullness and when its frizzes up because of the everpresent summer humidity, it actually looks like I intended it that way!
Shag haircuts are back in style, and they’re a great option for women over 40 who want a youthful, modern look. These hairstyles are characterized by layers and choppy ends, which create movement and texture.
Shag haircuts are also very flattering for women with fine or thin hair, as the layers add volume and body. They’re also a great look for women with thick hair because the layers can be cut to keep the hair from being too full and poufy.
This haircut is a wonderful choice if you want to try out a shag haircut, but you’re not ready to go all the way. It’s basically a heavily layered mid-length bob with angled, choppy ends.
This shag is also a variation of a mid-length bob with side bangs but then choppy layers were added throughout the hair to some edginess to the cut.
If you have thick hair, this short shag is a wonderful choice to show off your volume. This hairstyle looks really cute with highlights or gray streaks.
I love a shag with straight bangs. The shag gives an effortless vibe and the bangs draw attention to the eyes.
Another shag with straight bangs, Elizabeth’s cut is a good choice for anyone with thin or fine hair.
This before and after shows how a good shag haircut can really release the natural curl and volume in your hair.
I’ve been carrying around this picture on my phone for months and I think I may go for it the next time I get my hair cut. I love how the bangs emphasize her eyes with this shag and how youthful the cut is.
Tanya’s inverted shag looks flattering and modern without veering into Carol Brady territory.
Shag haircuts can sometimes be hard to pull off for those of us with fine hair, but Liz’s haircut is another good choice to take to your stylist if your hair is thin. The choppy layers are short enough to add volume rather than making the hair flat.
Long and Lush Hairstyles
Think you’re too old to wear your hair long after 40? These women will change your mind. Long hair is versatile and easy to style, making it a great option for any occasion. You can wear long hair straight or curly, sleek or messy – the possibilities are endless! Finally, long hairstyles are always in style, so you can’t go wrong!
Claire’s long, wavy hair perfectly suits her casual style and youthful attitude.
For a more polished look, try Hallie’s voluminous curls. You can achieve this look with long layers and hot rollers.
Think you can’t go long after you’ve gone gray? Think again! Thick, healthy gray hair looks beautiful in this long layered cut.
Here’s a great example of how versatile long hair can be. Sandra from @mychampagnehair can wear her hair in big bouncy curls or let it air dry into a mass of stunning curls.
Lorilyn is another long hair enthusiast. The key to wearing long hair after 40 is making sure your hair is healthy and full.
You don’t have to wear your long hair in curls for it to be flattering. This center-parted look is sleek and elegant.
Another center-parted look. Suzanne can air dry to show off her natural texture or curl her hair into shiny curls.
Cathy’s center-parted curls give off a bit of a retro feel and they suit her style – and her beautiful red hair! – perfectly.
Catherine from notlamb is such a good example of the power of not following arbitrary rules. She dresses how she wants, wears her hair how she wants, does what she wants and her beautiful smile shows how happy listening to her inner self makes her.
A dramatic hair color needs a dramatic hairstyle to go with it and Jess’s long layers are a beautiful companion to her fiery red hair.
Tracey of Fighting Fifty always has such beautifully styled hair. The key to having long hair after 40 is making sure it stays looking sleek and healthy.
Kat’s beachy waves are easy to achieve with just a few passes with a curling wand.
I love how Alyson’s long straight hair is so unapologetically herself. She looks beautiful in her long straight hair styled simply with a side part.
Hairstyles with Bangs
While technically any of the hairstyles I’ve shown earlier can have bangs (and some of my examples do have bangs), I wanted to call out a few examples of hairstyles with bangs to show just what a difference well-place bangs can make to your look.
Bangs can cover up wrinkles, of course, and there are a variety of bang styles to choose from, so you can find one that best suits your face shape and personality. Whether you go for blunt bangs, wispy bangs, or side-swept bangs, they’ll add a touch of style to any haircut or hairstyle.
Donna’s long bangs highlight her eyes and can hide any forehead wrinkles. They look lovely with her long bouncy curls
Lizzy has a classic medium bob, but her thick bangs give her cut a modern edge.
Julie is pairing her long shag with curtain bangs.
Which hairstyle is your favorite? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!