5 Cool Shoulder-Length and Short Haircuts for Women Over 40

Work with cuts that respect your changing texture by choosing one of these short haircuts for women over 40.

Don’t get us wrong: We’re totally for women wearing whatever hairstyle they like, at whatever point in their lives. Hair is a form of self-expression, and we should be free to take up whichever look we fancy, full stop. When it comes to short haircuts for women however we usually regard a lot of short hair for women over 40 looks as a bit stiff and boring (remember the much-maligned soccer-mom haircut?), and we’re here to help change that stereotype.

Although we love playing with a variety of hairstyles at any age bracket, there are some age-related concerns that admittedly pop up once we get older and change how our overall style looks. Hair that feels finer and more brittle, is thinning and shows a change in texture can dictate how good a hairstyle ultimately wears, and can be a strong consideration when it comes to choosing short hairstyles for women over 40.

And since we’ve been on a bob haircut kick lately, we’ve curated a list of fresh iterations to this super-popular haircut that respects the changing texture of older women, while making the most out of the density they have. Read on to discover a few of our favorite short hairstyles for fine hair over 40.

Ed’s note: Thinning, mature hair looks its best when prepped with a wash and care regimen specific to this hair type. Nexxus New York Salon Care Diametress Rebalancing Shampoo and Nexxus New York Salon Care Diametress Restoring Conditioner works to lightly cleanse and condition while giving visible fullness to aging hair.

Fun, Modern Short Haircuts for Women Over 40

short haircuts for women over 40 red bob
Flip the ends out slightly for a softer, less angular look.

1. Soft Stacked Bob

A short, jaw-length bob that’s cut with a graduated back gives a fuller look to fine, thinning strands. It also cuts hair at the thickest part of the strand, adding to the fullness. Styling this look with a soft flip at the ends gives it a more modern touch. To achieve, prime your hair with a nourishing yet lightweight styling cream, like the Nexxus City Shield DD-Creme. Then, blow-dry your hair with a round brush while giving the ends a slight outward curl.

short haircuts for women over 40 blonde waves
Key to the look: Use a round brush instead of a curling iron to create loose waves.

2. Wavy Lob

A long bob, or lob, gets more personality and dimension when styled with soft, loose waves. The hair shouldn’t be too long, as thinning hair is especially prone to breakage at the ends; a shoulder-length cut is optimal and leaves no room for scraggly, frayed ends. Get this bouncy short hair over 40 look by spraying hair with a volumizing agent such as Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Volumizing Weightless Blow Dry Spray. While blowdrying, twirl sections of your hair around a small round brush while tugging outwards (careful of tangles!). The end result is a fuller-looking twist.

natural hair short haircuts for women over 40
A short, tapered afro showcases great texture with a modern style. Bonus: Accessorize with a headband for a more unique look!

3. Short Afro

Natural-textured ladies in their 40s will still feel a slight change in their hair type as they grow older. The best way to maintain your curly hair’s integrity is to go for short haircuts for women that flatter drier hair types. Keep hair well-moisturized and trimmed, as this type is also prone to frizzing out. Ask your stylist for a short afro cut that’s around four inches on top, and slightly tapers on the neckline for a more modern, fashionable twist. To maintain the look, leave-in conditioner is imperative. Apply a moisturizing serum specifically designed for curly hair, such as Dove Absolute Curls Supreme Crème Serum, before heading outdoors.

short haircuts for women over 40 bleach blonde pixie
Edgy and fun, a platinum pixie wows at any age.

4. Platinum Pixie

An icy-white pixie cut is a fun way to edge up your usual short hairdo. Bleach helps change the texture of hair and some women find their strands feeling thicker and fuller after coloring. These short haircuts for women also look very youthful, especially when rendered in a stylish, trendy shade such as platinum blonde. Ask your stylist for the top lengths to be slightly longer than your back and sides for more styling variations. Shape and texture play a big part in this look, so best work with a non-sticky styling balm on your lengths and ends.

short haircuts for women over 40 blonde curls
A curly bob has a youthful exuberance (and is really easy to wear too).

5. Tousled Bob

Curly bobs are like a fountain of youth: They open up your features and inject your look with an instant dose of style. They look effortless too, like you didn’t try to hard and literally just woke up this fresh-faced. Messy curls, when done higher on the head, give a bright, cherubic feel to short haircuts for women—similar to angelic ringlets, they look best when slightly tousled and haphazard. Achieve the look by first prepping hair with an elixir for protection (we love the renewed strength and body our strands get from applying the Suave Professionals Honey Infusion 10-in-1 Leave-In Conditioner to damp hair). Next, once it’s dry, take a small-barreled curling iron and twirl hair in different directions each time for a sexy, slightly rumpled feel.

What other short haircuts for women are you looking to try? Check out our roundup of fall hair trends for more style inspiration.