Forty can be a tricky age for hairstyles. Turning 40 is a transformation of sorts. You’ve shed some of the insecurity of your youth, and you’re ready to take on a new era. This is the real you. Let your hairstyle reflect that. Don’t pay attention to the so-called rules that people tell you about haircuts for women over 40. According to Fabulous After 40, you can wear long hair at any age. Try a haircut that’s long or short, braided or layered. This is the time to really explore your personal sense of style before you have to start thinking about haircuts for women over 50.
Beach Waves On A Short Bob
Beachy waves aren't just for long hair. A shoulder-length or chin-length bob can look softer and more laid back when you add a little texture. To get this look, hold a round brush vertically to your hair as you blow dry. Continually rotate the brush as you aim hot air at your hair.
Loose Natural Waves
Playing with your hair's natural texture can soften your face. After washing and conditioning your hair with volumizing shampoo, apply a product that adds body. Turn your head upside down and shake your fingers through your hair. Flip it back over and scrunch it with your hands before letting it air dry.
Soft Dirty Blond
Go back to the hair of your childhood with a natural dirty blond color and gentle curls at the ends. It's youthful but won't make you look like Goldilocks. Brush out the curls for body that can last for a few days between washing.
Natural Highlights And Choppy Waves
Blended balayage in a few tones that aren't too far off from your natural hue makes you look like you've spent plenty of time outdoors. Beachy waves with blunt ends go with the natural look. This style is easy to manage on busy days. In fact, it looks great when you pop out of bed. Curl just the outer layers if they have gone a little flat.
Honey Blonde Angles
The long-in-front bob has been on trend for a while. Take it to a different level by leaving it even longer in the front than usual. Just below shoulder length makes it look like you have a longer hairstyle without the hassle of dealing with long locks all around. Take a straightening iron through it to emphasize the shape.
The Shiniest Waves
Get waves that reflect the sunshine by curling the ends after you flat iron the roots. Finish everything off with a spritz of a glossy shine enhancer. A dark semi-permanent color can also bring out the shine.
Pretty doesn't have to be reserved for the under forty crowd. Curl your hair all over. Then pull back a few sections away from your face, pinning them casually in the back. Tuck in some greenery for a fresh alternative to a flower. The messier this hairstyle is, the better it looks. This should take a few seconds to put up. Fresh balayage adds even more dimension to this hairstyle.
The Tucked-Under French Braid
This style will give you volume to perk up your face while keeping stray hairs out of your eyes. Start a French braid on the back of your head. As you finish up, roll the ends under and pin at the nape of your neck.
Years of styling and coloring can take its toll. A great haircut can go a long way to making your hair healthy again. Fresh highlights, blunt ends and a professional blowout give you model hair.
You don't have to take the time to style your whole head of hair when the front looks amazing. Get blunt bangs with the ends thinned out and longer sections on the sides. Pair that with oversized sunglasses for an updated throwback to Audrey Hepburn in a get-up-and-go style.
Braids on each side of the head look more adult when they're an ashy grey. What a great excuse to let your age shine through! This is a fun look without making you look overdone or too childish. You’ll be able to show off your youthful side.
Prepare for winter or blend your natural color into your highlights by going darker on the inner layers. This cut can be long or short. Get some movement by curling the section from the middle to the end of your length with a round brush or wide-barreled curling iron. A spiral iron works great for this look. You can also curl your hair with a straightening iron.
Long Honey Ombre
You don't have to go short just because you’re over 40. Keep the ends healthy with regular trims. Ask for a honey blonde ombre so that you can go longer between salon visits. Because your roots will be darker than the ends from the beginning, you’ll maintain a salon look as the color grows out. This is an ideal style for a busy woman who can't get to the stylist every 6-8 weeks.
Long On Glamour
This cut looks totally polished but doesn't require much effort. It's long and sleek all over. All you have to do is wrap a two-inch section framing the face around a curling iron. Brush it out, and then set with hairspray for an old Hollywood look.
Layered Brunette Bob
Feather the ends of this softened bob. The front is subtly longer than the back, and there are lots of layers in between for added versatility. This cut is inspired by Victoria Beckham but looks great on just about anyone. It’s a great cut for a working mom because it doesn’t take long to style but still looks professional.
Two-Toned Color Blocking
It's platinum on top and reddish brown on the bottom, a rock-star look that's mature enough to rock right now. This will give you some edge while it covers greys.
A modern shag adds lots of texture with waves and blunt ends. Weave hair into three loose braids before you go to bed at night. Shake them out in the morning and apply some texturizing wax to hold your style all day.
High-Volume Short Cut
Rev up the volume and highlights with a short cut that's layered at the crown. Go super short with an undercut at the nape for natural lowlights that are simple to maintain.
Soft Updo With Face-Framing Tendrils
Take inspiration from Julia Roberts and toss your hair up in the back, leaving out small sections in front. Curl those tendrils to frame your face.
Curly And Sweet
If your hair is curly, chop it at the chin and play up the spirals. Let it air dry, or blow dry with a diffuser for the ultimate tendrils. You’ll get a big boost that will give you a virtual facelift.
Long Bangs And Waves
If you're growing out your bangs, curl them under with a round brush and flip them to the sides. Blow out the rest of your length, rolling the ends under with a round brush. The layers will lie on top of each other, creating softness and movement.
Dark Glistening Shag
A short cut doesn't have to be a “mom” haircut. Have your stylist razor cut the ends and slice the bangs into points. Use tons of texturizer to emphasize the shape.
A solid shade sets off the blunt edges of this shape. Part your hair in the center, and have a few layers cut in to frame your face. This style is ideal when it hits just below the shoulders.
Honey Brown Waves
Get gorgeous waves by curling with a large iron, starting around ear level. Brush out gently after curling for a glamorous, flowing style that’s reminiscent of old Hollywood.
Dramatic highlights in a bob with long, sideswept bangs give your face some dimension. This style is great for women with fine hair.
Feathery Shag With Lowlights
Show off great color with a layered shag. The feathery ends swing and bring attention to warm lowlights tucked under blonde highlights. This style is versatile enough to transition from summer to winter.
Ash Blond Swirl
Ash blond that borders on gray is long and lush in this haircut. Put half of your hair up with a delicate twist in the back for a refined style. Let the rest air dry for volume and natural waves.
Beach Wave Pixie
Even a pixie can be textured with wind-blown waves. Leave the layers a little long so you can work with them. It's a fresh take on what can sometimes be a harsh style. Encourage the hair to curl by shaping the waves and holding them in place with bobby pins while hair is damp. As the hair dries, the waves will stay in place. Remove the pins when the hair is dry.
You don't have to go mermaid to have lots of color in your hair. Go subtle with some burgundy, caramel and lemon streaks.
Curls On Top
This structured haircut enhances your natural curls. Have your sideburns shaped into points, and use a creamy product to help your curls lie flat.
Ash Brown Bob
Soft color and a soft cut make this bob easy to take care of. All-over color with tiny strands of highlights lends a natural look to this style.
Medium-Length Layered Blond
Keep things polished with an easy medium-length cut that has long layers. The bright blond perks up your skin tone.
Balayage goes red at the ends of this long shag. Curl the ends around a spiral wand, and run your fingers through them for extra texture.
Dark Shoulder Length
You'll get the illusion of a longer cut if the ends are all the same length. Have a few layers cut into the front, and blow them away from your face.
The long pixie hugs the back of the head. The front of this cut has long, sideswept bangs. Auburn highlights make this haircut not so basic.
The texture in a pixie cut doesn't have to be restricted to the top. Work some waves into the shorter hair on the back and sides of the head.
Warm red and caramel tones warm up this sleek shag. It's like Mrs. Brady finally got with the times. A few carefully placed highlights make you look sun kissed.
Messy Curly Pixie
The pixie will never look like a helmet if you keep it tousled to encourage natural texture. Air dry it after scrunching it, or get extra curl with an iron if the hair is long enough. Keep it short at the nape and long on top to help the cut look great as it grows out.
Blond highlights make a long ponytail look grown up. Long bangs are parted in the middle to frame the face. This is a great way to wear a layered style. Just let the shortest layer in front escape from the ponytail.
Ombre Twist Curls
You don't need to use heat to create natural waves. Just twist sections of hair while it's wet, and let your hair air dry. This is a great technique to use on colored hair. It will give your locks a break from heat styling and help your ends stay healthy.
Reach Beyond Your Limits
You don’t have to limit yourself to one style. Try something you’ve never tried before, and change it up frequently. If you use color to cover grays, start thinking outside the box. Color is the easiest thing to change. This Real Simple article recommends coloring your hair at home if you only have a few grays. It’s better to leave it to a professional if the majority of your hair is gray.