It’s never too late for a hair switch-up. But if you are over 50 and don’t want to change your look dramatically, a sophisticated and youthful bang is the best compromise.
Easy to wear and iconic, it’s also grown in popularity over time. However, before you channel your inner Brigitte Bardot and then maybe hide those lines on your forehead, it might be worth assessing the shape of your face.
It may have changed slightly over the years and probably that lovely classic blunt bang that you used to wear in your 30s might not flatter you anymore (unless you are Anne Wintour who is always able to keep it glossy and immaculate).
Winning bang styles
You can find bangs in all shapes, styles and textures (curtain, blunt, micro, curly, surfer), what is critical is finding the right one for you and your lifestyle.
“Bangs can make you look really young and sexy or make your nose or forehead look twice the size,” explains celebrity stylist Mitch Stone. “So, it’s important to make sure your hairstylist understands your face shape first.”
Basically, it’s all about where the hair lands on the brows, cheeks, and jaw. The right choice depends on the chosen cut, hair texture, your features and, of course, how much maintenance is required to upkeep. An experienced hairdresser will consider these factors before cutting your bangs.
Stylist Ruth Roche often suggests her mature clients go for bangs that are long and wispy. “Have them trimmed often rather than cutting them shorter so they last longer,” she says. “Fringes that are too short can look utilitarian and boring.”
If you have shoulder-length hair, you can ask your hairstylist to add some soft Bohemian curtain bangs (typically stretch to mid-cheek to chin-length) to gently fall over your forehead like Goldie Hawn. This is a great look for women over 50 with thin hair and an effortless look that can be further enhanced by adding some layers at the back to create volume.
Birkin bangs, made popular by ‘70s actress and singer Jane Birkin, are also amongst the big 2022 trends that might appeal to women over 50. Considered an updated version of curtain bangs and characterised by their wispy look, traditionally, they’re a bit longer and hit in that space between your eyebrows and your eyelashes, without being so long.
They look just as great with your hair down as they do when you have it pulled up into an updo, like a ponytail or messy bun.
But if your hair is short and your look and features remind you of Kris Jenner, the mum of the Kardashian clan, then your perfect bang is layered on the sides and longer on the top. Surprisingly, this bang can be styled in a number of ways (sweep it back or slick it down with a side part).
Sharon Stone seems to appreciate a similar style, even though she prefers a more playful and seductive look: in fact, she wears her bang parted on the side, tucked behind one ear and sweeps across her head in a manner, where her locks might fall provocatively across her eyes. The style trick here is that side bangs tend to soften facial features that get harsh with age and bring attention to your eyes. Side bangs also do a great job at providing the illusion of fuller hair.
And how about bangs with curly hair? Well, in this case, you have to deal with a dose of unpredictability. Humidity can make them pop up and if they are too short, and in case they are too long, they sometimes look messy. But still, that shouldn’t prevent you from achieving that Flashdance look. Stylists often recommend having them at a brow length in the middle and gradually getting them longer toward the temple.
Colour and maintenance
Don’t forget, colour is also critical. Putting highlights in your bangs gives your face a warmer look that is commonly associated with youthfulness. Sometimes adding a few light pieces in your fringe that connect it to the rest of the haircut can make a miracle that works better than Botox.
The other all-important detail is how you dry it once at home. Don’t get fooled, there is no such thing as a low-maintenance bang. As we age, our hair becomes coarse and frizzy, so learning a few great tricks is not negotiable.
But don’t worry, all you’ll need is a blow dryer, a round brush, and either a flat iron or curling iron. Start focusing on drying the roots forward first, this will give you control over how the bang opens or parts. Once dry, you can style them with a straightener or curling iron. Then just finish the look with a hi-shine spray to amplify the style.
And relax! In the end, if you don’t like the final outcome, remember this is only hair. It grows back soon.