The Most Popular Haircuts For Older Women This Past Decade
Haircuts and hairstyles can define a decade. There's the curls of the Shirley Temple era, the finger waves of the '40s, the flips of the '70s, and even the crimped styles of the '90s. The 2010s were no different. In the past decade, we saw big glamorous waves, cute pixie cuts, and fabulous ombré dye jobs. We saw Billie Eilish bring light blue hues to center stage, saw some Kardashians go for the platinum blonde look, and even watched the Jersey Shore "poof" come and go.
But perhaps the greatest hairstyle experts aren't always the newest artists and youngest stars. Sometimes they're those who lived through past generations (and past hairstyles) and are able to serve up the next best look.
From certain celebs' signature curls to unforgettable colors, older women had some seriously gorgeous hairstyles this past decade. Here are some of the best looks older women rocked in the 2010s.
Older women loved wavy pixie haircuts
There was nothing as beachy, as cute, or as stylish as the wavy pixie haircut. It framed the face just right while giving the wearer a youthful glow. While older women have rocked short haircuts for decades (just take a look at those '80s-fabulous hairstyles on every star in The Golden Girls), this wavy look was a new, modern take on short hair. It was a perfect cut for older women looking for something easy to manage and style, while still being elegant and modern.
One star to bring this look into the spotlight was the talented and stunning Glenn Close. In 2019, she wore her hair in waves to the 91st Academy Awards with some sparkly earrings that worked perfectly with her short hairstyle (via Los Angeles Times). Of course, Close looks beautiful in almost any haircut, and she has sported a cropped cut for years (via InStyle). Still, this particular wavy style looked especially gorgeous on the actress.
Elizabeth McGovern brought back the behind-the-ears bob haircut for older women
Another big style for mature women this past decade was the classic bob. And why not? It was about time this '20s look made a good comeback. Bobs are so easy to manage and look good on so many faces, particularly on actress Elizabeth McGovern, known for her roles in Ordinary People and the beloved series Downton Abbey. She was known to have some fabulous up-dos on the Downton Abbey TV show, but when it came to the Downton Abbey movie premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square in 2019, she showcased something different: a classy, understated bob tucked behind the ears. And wow, was it stunning.
A behind-the-ear bob was the perfect haircut for older women looking for a little length that won't take too much work to style or maintain. It was also great for busy women who wanted a bit of volume, but still wanted to keep their hair back and out of their face. Plus, this popular hairstyle just went to show that waves could look great at any length.
When Harry met... the perfect haircut for older women
While some stylish ladies may have gone for cute behind-the-ears bobs, there were other similar, short haircuts that looked great on older women this decade. One of these styles was a short, layered look with messy curls. It was a simple, casual look that made hair look thicker but didn't require much work to attain. For many hair types, simply scrunching the hair with some product could achieve this style. It was easy to dress up this 'do, too. To make curls look a little flashier, you could have added some highlights like Meg Ryan did back in July 2012, which she showed off when she wore her short hair in loose curls for a speaking engagement at the Beverly Hilton hotel (via The Washington Post).
Ryan has always been known to have great hair (remember her look in When Harry Met Sally?) and, in the 2010s, she was still a pro when it came to hair styling. Her short blonde look was a perfect example of a classy, easy-to-manage style that older women loved throughout the decade.
Older women couldn't go wrong with long, straight, and stylish haircuts
While waves and curls may have been big in the world of of women's hair in the 2010s, bone-straight haircuts also had a moment for older women. The sleek, straight look was easy to obtain (just break out that straightener!), and it looked gorgeous on many faces. It also looked great with lots of hair lengths. You couldn't go wrong with a straight shoulder-length cut, but this look was even more perfect for longer locks.
Back in June 2017, Academy Award-winner Diane Keaton won the the American Film Institute's 45th life achievement award. To accept the award, she wore her hair in a simple-but-flattering face-framing 'do. The style paired nicely with a simple black hat, making Keaton look extra modern, sleek, and even a little edgy. Keaton has always been a major trendsetter, from her Annie Hall days up to the 2010s. And her signature straight hairstyle was no exemption.
This messy cropped haircut was in for older women
One big style that women in the 2010s loved was the short, messy haircut. It was informal but flattering, understated but also elegant. One big star to wear her hair this way in the 2010s was the incredible Ellen DeGeneres. Of course, this talk show host and comedian has rocked short hair since the early '90s (via Ok!) but her style has definitely evolved since then. When she stepped out in 2015, for the People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles, she had her signature messy crop with dark blonde roots and lighter tips (via The New York Times). This color shift gave the short style a welcome look of dimension.
While DeGeneres' hairstyles have always looked easy to maintain, the color has not always been so simple. In April 2019, DeGeneres explained that a bad dye job resulted in her hair falling out, so she decided to shave her head and start over that summer. She showed off pictures of her natural brown-gray color on her talk show, but, in the end, she decided to go back to blonde. Throughout the colorings, though, she stuck with the sleek, short cut. And it's no wonder why: The haircut has been super flattering on older women!
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Lots of older women loved keeping their haircuts a natural white
While many older women like to dye their hair, others choose to go for a more natural look. In fact, some styles seem to call for a natural hue, like the sleek, pushed-back style that the one and only Emma Thompson chose in the 2010s. Thompson looked smashing in her suit (and sneakers!) when, in November of 2018, she left Buckingham Palace after receiving her damehood (via CNN). The Academy Award-winning Brit knew that this milestone event was the perfect occasion to show off her stunning white hairstyle. While Thompson usually goes for a blonde look, this white color gave her an even more sophisticated, elegant appearance while the slicked-back style only added to this star's classic beauty.
Thompson's haircut served as a reminder that, while it can be fun, exciting, and even liberating to dye your hair any color you choose, older women shouldn't be afraid to embrace their natural hair color. White or gray can look just as gorgeous as any other hue.