Haircut Mistakes That Can Age Women

Haircuts are one of the most effective ways to change up your look, but that’s also why it’s important to pick the right one. Some styles can end up adding years to your look, such as super retro cuts or unflattering bangs. Read on for common haircut mistakes that can make women look older.

The Bouffant

Bouffant is technically a hairstyle, but hair is sometimes cut to make the look easier to achieve daily. A prime example is First Lady Betty Ford. While her do was famous in the ’70s, it would only serve to age women nowadays.

Betty Ford
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The outdated look can make it seem like they’re from an older era. Plus, styling a bouffant involves teasing hair and using a ton of hairspray, two things that can damage hair over time.

The Farrah Fawcett Cut

As fantastic as Farrah Fawcett looked with her feathered hair, the style screams 1970s. As a result, women who are still rocking this look can end up appearing older in age.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The same is true of any older styles since they suggest that the person wearing it is still stuck in a past era. The good news is that there are plenty of feathered hairstyles that capture the essence of Fawcett’s look but have a modern twist.

Super Long Hair

As hair ages, it can become brittle and difficult to grow out. That’s why some may think that growing it long is the way to go as it is a sign of youth. While it’s true that long hair is impressive in older women, that doesn’t mean it’s flattering.

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Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Even hair that continues to grow long over the years can thin. The longer the hair, the more it is weighed down, resulting in less volume.

Going Super Short

With age, hair can become thinner and more challenging to style as years of damage start to add up. Those who are done fussing with their locks may be tempted to chop them off.

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

While a close crop hairstyle doesn’t require any maintenance, it does put all of the attention on the face. That means there is nothing to cover up or distract from fine lines, saggy skin, discoloration, and other normal signs of aging.

A Bob With Bangs

Bobs are a go-to for many women, but they can have a dark side, especially ones with bangs. The problem is how blunt the haircut is, which creates a line right at the jaw.

VCG/VCG via Getty Images
VCG/VCG via Getty Images

This can bring attention to a sagging face and lines around the mouth. Likewise, blunt bangs across the forehead draw attention to wrinkly eyes and crowsfeet. Instead, go for a long bob (aka a lob) parted to the side and skip the bangs.

The Chelsea Haircut

The Chelsea haircut emerged in the ’80s as a variation of the male buzzcut. It features buzzed hair in the back and longer hair around the face. The punk style makes a statement on younger ladies, but it can unflattering for aging women.

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Skingirl Hair/Pinterest
Skingirl Hair/Pinterest

Aside from making someone look like they’re stuck in the ’80s, the cut can also draw attention to loose skin around the neck. Additionally, the longer hair in front can point to crows feet and a sagging jawline.

The Front Flip

The front flip is a hairstyle that requires hair to be short on the bottom but long on top so that it can flip straight back. While stars like Pink have popularized the look, it can be aging.

Mauricio Santana/Getty Images
Mauricio Santana/Getty Images

Pulling the hair straight back makes the forehead and the eyes the focal point. Since fine lines tend to stand out in those areas, it can end up making you look older. Plus, it can make thinning hair more obvious.

Bangs Near The Eyes

Bangs can be a cute addition to a haircut, but it’s all about finding the right style. Bangs that hit at or just above the eyes can end up adding years.

Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images
Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images

That’s because they draw attention to fine lines and crows feet. Alternatively, haircuts that don’t include bangs leave the forehead exposed so that the face as a whole is illuminated. As a result, there’s more for the eye to look at so fine lines don’t steal all of the attention.

Keeping Hair One Length

With how many things can go wrong with haircuts, it may seem like keeping it all one length is the safest route to take. In actuality, doing so can end up making the hair look flat and lifeless.

Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images
Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

Plus, single-length hair is often cut with a middle part, which can be unflattering against aging faces. Instead, add a few subtle layers around the face to help keep it lifted. Have the shortest layer hit the cheekbone for a more youthful look.

Long Layers

Since long hair can appear flat, some will add in layers that keep the length while adding texture. These long layers are typically done to add volume, but that isn’t always how it works.

Jamie McCarthy/WireImage/Getty Images
Jamie McCarthy/WireImage/Getty Images

The only way long layers will give hair more body is if it’s thick enough. Hair that’s too thin will end up looking super thin near the bottom since there isn’t much to work with. It would be better to limit the layers and cut the hair shorter.

Short Spikes

Short, spiky hair may look fantastic on rebellious young ladies and prepubescent boys, but it doesn’t do any favors for mature women. While the look has a ton of youthful spunk to it, it can draw attention to thinning hair.

Michael Buckner/Getty Images
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

While the spikes add volume, they also clump hair together, making bald spots more noticeable. Plus, this kind of haircut often requires chopping off thinning hairs to create enough layers for spikes. Instead, keep layers to a minimum.

Pin-Up Curls

Pin-up curls look fantastic when dressing up for a time period party, but otherwise they can seem out of place. This hair style is well-known as being retro thanks to celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, so makes the wearer seem like they’re from an older generation.

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Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

These curls most often appear on those with short or shoulder-length hair, so consider growing the hair out a little and doing loser curls for a more modern twist.

Wearing Unrealistic Hair Extensions

Hair extensions can be a great way to add volume and length to hair. They work on various hair lengths and can accommodate plenty of different styles. This makes them popular among older women.

Ben Pruchnie/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Ben Pruchnie/FilmMagic/Getty Images

However, be sure that the extensions match the rest of your look. If an older woman with thinning hair opts for very coarse hair extensions, they can end up looking fake and aging her more. The same is true for wigs.

Baby Bangs

Baby bangs are those that are shorter than the average fringe to expose more of the forehead. While the name implies that it is a youthful cut, baby bangs can actually age you.

Elisabetta A. Villa/Getty Images Paramount Pictures
Elisabetta A. Villa/Getty Images Paramount Pictures

That’s because they create a solid line straight across your forehead. This can mimic fine lines and in doing so bring attention to them. Plus, the look is very bold and bound to stand out, making it seem less natural and carefree.

Too Many Layers

Whether you go with long layers or short layers, be sure not to overdo it. Layers can add shape and body to hair, but going too far can have the exact opposite effect.

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for QVC
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for QVC

The more layers you add, the thinner the bottom of the hair will look. Shorter layers can also be unflattering on different hair types, so don’t just the look based on how it appears on someone else. Consult with a stylist first.

Pixie Cuts

Pixie cuts are one of those retro hairstyles that are still trendy as ever. That’s why more and more women are trying them out. At the same time, it may not be worth it if you’re worried about looking older.

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Pixie cuts are so short that they don’t leave any hair to cover wrinkles or other imperfections. They can also make younger women appear older since they tend to be more popular among the older crowd.

Wispy Bangs

Wispy bangs are those that don’t cover the entire forehead, but rather leave intentional spaces for a more carefree look. The problem is that these gaps can draw attention to any fine lines poking through.

keira knightley
Getty Images
Getty Images

Additionally, the bangs are thin in nature, which isn’t ideal for someone who’s trying to make it less obvious that their hair is thinning. Instead, go for side bangs that hit at the cheeks to show off your bone structure.

Short Curls

Short curls can look great on women who have the volume for it, but they can be detrimental to those who don’t. The ringlets cause hair to clump together, which can actually highlight bald spots instead of covering them.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Plus, short curls are a lot of maintenance since they can easily become distorted just from sleeping on them. It’s also important to make sure that the curls hit the face right so they don’t draw attention where it isn’t wanted.

Staying In Your Comfort Zone

Some women find a hairstyle that they look early on in life and stick with it over the years. While it may sound like staying in your comfort zone is playing it safe, it can actually age you.

Kirill KukhmarTASS via Getty Images
Kirill KukhmarTASS via Getty Images

One of the best ways to cut back years is staying up to date with the trends. Having a haircut that fits the era and is flattering is the ultimate way to reclaim a youthful look.

The Undershave

The undershave is a style that involves buzzing off the hair at one side of the head and leaving the rest long. Though the look was a relatively recent trend, it still is outdated and can age a woman.

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty Images
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty Images

Plus, the undershave looks like it was borrowed from the ’80s, so it isn’t worth trying to pull off. Not to mention if you don’t like the cut for whatever reason, the only way to start over is to buzz it all off.

A Short Wedge Is So Versatile

This is just a great, versatile and easy to wear look. The version that the model is wearing in this photo is exceptionally wild and flirty, with crazy layers flying everywhere, as if she is cruising down the highway with her pals to spring break in her convertible Beemer.

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STYLED_BY_CAROLYNN/Instagram
STYLED_BY_CAROLYNN/Instagram

You’ll be surprised at all the different looks you can pull off with this haircut! There are so many ways to style it.

Add Fullness With A Shag

This shaggy, bobby affair is a great way to create fullness for those of us with thin hair. Its layers and length allow for added volume effects to be achieved with a round brush, a little product, and some heat. Throw some highlights in for added dimension.

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righthairstyles/Pinterest
righthairstyles/Pinterest

Meg Ryan has rocked variations of this do throughout much of her career. Fun fact: Ryan’s iconic style was actually a happy accident as she inadvertently singed off a significant chunk of her hair during rehearsals using an active curling iron for the movie French Kiss.

Sleek And Silver

This photo is a great example of the impact hair color can have on a cut. This adorable short style would look great on many women in a variety of age groups, but the elegant silver color really makes it stand out from the crowd.

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mia1612js/Pinterest
mia1612js/Pinterest

One problem that silver-tressed people run into is yellowing. If you see any yellow tints coming out in your hair, use a special purple shampoo. First, get your hair wet, then apply the shampoo. Leave it in for the time recommended on the bottle (usually somewhere from 5 to 30 minutes), then rinse it out.

Can’t Go Wrong With A Classic

“The Bob” came into fashion for women in the 1920s with the advent of the “flapper” craze. Young, liberated women loved the controversial style as it represented their changing philosophy on personal expression and freedom of choice.

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hemmingstorp/Pinterest
hemmingstorp/Pinterest

But bobs are not just for the kids! A bob can help accentuate your best facial features as well as save time spent messing with your hair when you first get up in the morning.

A Great Choice For Active Women

A well-done close-cropped hairstyle is great if you are super active and just want a “get up and go” option. And if you have the much-coveted curls, then it’s even better. There was a time when society may have deemed a short cut on a woman as blasphemous or unladylike, but luckily those days are long gone.

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castrovdental/Pinterest
castrovdental/Pinterest

Everyone can benefit from the flattering effects that showing off your face and head shape can create.

Wonderful Wedge

This wedge is the perfect option if you are looking to maintain some body up top as well as accentuate your cheekbones. This model’s naturally curly tresses create a beautiful frame for her face.

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bdjalali/Pinterest
bdjalali/Pinterest

Elegant and easy are two words that come to mind when considering this style. It is also a great cut for those of us with hair that is beginning to thin out. Just wash it, tease it, and go!

Waves Of Gray

Naturally wavy hair is usually coveted by those of us with straight hair and mildly to majorly annoying to those of us who have it. The grass is always greener, right? One option if you don’t want to go “full-bob” is a medium-length style, cropped just around the shoulders.

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fabulousafter40/Pinterest
fabulousafter40/Pinterest

Maintain the personality of your hair without all of the extra length hanging down your back. This model has an elegant look with side-swept bangs, showing off the beautiful gray shades that come naturally with age.

Have Fun With It!

If you’re looking for a pretty, easy, and incredibly versatile new cut, then show this one to your stylist. Another quick and easy-to-maintain look, it allows the wearer to have fun with their coif.

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Gründlichset/Pinterest
Gründlichset/Pinterest

Tease it up and go wild or slick it back — whatever suits your mood. Think Robin Wright as Claire Underwood in season one of House of Cards. Her hair was appropriate and gorgeous no matter what the occasion.

Add Some Body To The Sides

Make that wedge pop with some added body! Whether your curls are naturally occurring or you need a perm to achieve waves, this cut creates a nice, full shape that surrounds your face. You get the benefits of length mixed with relative shortness and many styling possibilities.

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julredesigns/Pinterest
julredesigns/Pinterest

Pile what length you have up on top like this for an ultra-dramatic look or pull it to the side for some cute pigtails!

Medium-Length Bob To Elongate The Jawline

A medium stacked inverted bob is yet another great way to expand on your natural jawline. Notice how the hair on the side is cut to pick up the line beginning at the model’s chin?

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loulepp/Pinterest
loulepp/Pinterest

This line continues up into the stack that leads up to the back of the head, creating increased definition, which is something that we tend to lose as we age. Just about anyone could look good in this cut.

Keep It Lighthearted

Ever heard the expression, “Hair doesn’t make the woman but good hair definitely helps”? It’s true! Having a haircut that you feel good about can really be a game-changer, so it’s important to experiment until you find a look that you’re happy with.

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Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Many women find that a variation of a bob suits them throughout their life. This wavy, casual style seen on actress and film executive Suzanne Blech would be flattering on a lot of different facial shapes.

Box Braids At Any Age

This braided look is a great way to achieve a youthful and relatively easy-to-maintain style. Box braids can be arranged in thousands of ways including this take on a shag look. You can get lots of volume and tons of texture, all while protecting your hair from the daily wear and tear resulting from combing and styling.

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kharruss/Pinterest
kharruss/Pinterest

Braids can be natural or synthetic, so they are a convenient option if you have thinning hair or if your hair is shorter and you can’t wait to add some length.

Short Hair With The Effect Of An Up-Do

This fun take on a pixie cut also includes some stacking in the back and teasing on top, giving the same elegant silhouette that one might achieve with an up-do with much longer hair (just think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s).

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thetrendyhairstyles/Pinterest
thetrendyhairstyles/Pinterest

This cute style is approachable and fun and seems to say, “who’s up for an all-day brunch?” It looks especially nice with the side-swept bangs and pearl-white color.

Don’t Be Afraid To Keep It Long

Although most of us have heard that long hair is an absolute no-no for women of a certain age, that’s simply not true for everyone! In fact, some people have a face shape that looks great with a longer style framing it.

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inge0293/Pinterest
inge0293/Pinterest

A fuller face shape is more likely to look good with long hair at any age. This is because the length of the hair draws the eye down, which in turn will make the face appear to be longer and thinner. If you have thick hair and a full face, you might want to give this a try.

Modern Take On The Bob

This short, inverted bob is perfect for those of us who might like a little extra coverage for our ears but want that modern stacked look. The layers give an added dimension of volume on the top and in the back if you want to create a more curved silhouette to your head shape.

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JACKSY/Instagram
JACKSY/Instagram

You also have many options with how you style this look. Tuck behind the ears or slick back with product to give the illusion of a more pixie-ish look.

Stacked And Layered: Perfect!

This gently stacked and layered bob looks great with some added highlights and lowlights. The layers also allow the wearer to add some height with a little teasing for additional elegance. Having your hair cropped up higher is also a nice way to show off the elegant lines of your neck and shoulders and stay cool in the warmer summer months.

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evepandora/Pinterest
evepandora/Pinterest

Many women who kept their long tresses for a lifetime often never return once they experience the style and convenience of “bob-life.”

Stylish And Sophisticated

Have you been rocking a bob for a while but now you want to add a new dimension to your look? Tell your hairdresser you want it short, layered, and stacked. This super stylish and convenient ‘do will turn heads at any age and helps to elongate the lines from your shoulders up to the back of your head.

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glennamd/Pinterest
glennamd/Pinterest

Keeping some length in the front is great if you have a high forehead. Pop star Rihanna has been successfully sporting a similar look for years!

Sassy And Spiky

With all the different types of pixie cuts out there, let’s not forget the classic “cropped” pixie. It’s just a good, solid style that looks great on older women. Jamie Lee Curtis has sported this look for many years, and it looks youthful and fantastic. It looks stylish with any hair color like the rich brunette tone here.

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Pinterest
Pinterest

Spiked up for a fun night out or combed down for an elegant evening at the opera, you can’t beat this classic.

Va-Va-Voom

This short layered hairstyle looks great with some highlights and lowlights for added texture and dimension. The choppy layers allow the wearer to attain a fun, vivacious look that’s easy to style and go.

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righthairstyles/Pinterest
righthairstyles/Pinterest

It’s playful and convenient and appropriate whether you are spending a day out on the lake or a night out painting the town red. Rue McClanahan of Golden Girls fame was an early adopter of this sexy yet mature look.

Remember This Look?

Do you remember 1976, the year Olympic figure skating champion Dorothy Hamill took the world by storm with her feathered wedge? It was smooth and stylish, perfect for an athlete who needed her peripheral vision to be clear but also wanted to be fashionable.

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simonesimonian/Pinterest
simonesimonian/Pinterest

The cut was named for her and was a major fad in the ’70s and ’80s and it still works now. Give this cut a shot and see for yourself.

The Shorter The Better

We keep elaborating on how easy or convenient some of these looks might be, but for the ultimate in ease, just shave it down. Seriously, you might be surprised at the freedom you will feel rocking a shaved or buzzed head.

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chrishaak/Pinterest
chrishaak/Pinterest

Just check her out. Unencumbered by the distraction of a mop of hair, this model gets to blow it out of the water with some wild sunglasses and statement earrings.

Chic Chignon

Women who find that they look good with longer hair have the added benefit of being able to wear it up when they feel like it. And a chignon is an elegant style no matter your age.

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andreialigeirinho85/Pinterest
andreialigeirinho85/Pinterest

After using a styling product and drying your hair, pull it all back into a ponytail at the nape of the neck and secure with a hair tie. Then backcomb the ponytail from the ends until it looks full. Spritz on some hairspray, gently roll the hair under, and tuck it into the base of the ponytail. Secure it with hairpins and ta-da!

Texture Is Key

No matter what style you choose, texture can make all the difference in the world. Here’s yet another variation on the popular pixie cut, and it’s the added texture that sets the style apart from other similar haircuts.

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charlottew1226/Pinterest
charlottew1226/Pinterest

Adding some texture can help keep the look youthful and not too stodgy or old fashioned. We can imagine this style working on women of all ages. Just personalize it with texture and styling!