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Flattering bangs after 50: How to get the best cut for you Most Liked Hot Conversation

“Bangs not Botox” is the mantra of women who know what the term fringe benefit really means. Stylist Isabelle Goetiz of the Okyo Salon in Georgetown, Washington D.C. is all for them. “Bangs do bring out your eyes more but they don’t have to be straight across your forehead. A soft full brushed to the side long bang looks soft and flatters lots of women.”

Hip, Short Hair After 50: When to Cut and How to Do It Right

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I’ve had bangs since I turned 40. It was one of those personal style-defining moments when you find your look and know it works. Women with bangs appreciate the way they hide forehead creases, camouflage the “elevens” (those vertical lines between your brows), frame your eyes and somehow turn crow’s feet to laugh lines.

Of course there are good bangs and bad bangs. Any old bangs won’t do and they need to work with the rest of your hair.

Long, brow-covering bangs

1. Long, brow-covering full soft bangs dress up your face and make your eyes a focal point, even without a stitch of makeup.

2. They hide weak or bad retro brows that never grew back without the need for brow makeup. (My reason for never letting go of bangs!)

Hip, Short Hair After 50: When to Cut and How to Do It Right

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Long, side-swept bangs

3. Long side-swept bangs give you the option of wearing them or blending them off the face when the mood strikes.

4. They’re the easiest to manage if your hair is blown smooth but naturally curly or you’re ambivalent about a long-term commitment to bangs.

5. Sweeping bangs can also help camouflage a thinning or receding hairline.

Choppy, uneven bangs

6. Choppy uneven bangs work with shaggy dos and shortcuts for a broken up tousled look.

Bangs are the fastest way to change your look without making a major change. But as NYC stylist Mark Garrison of the Mark Garrison Salon says, there are four things to know if you are thinking about cutting bangs after 50:

7. Bangs will not work if you have a low forehead or a cowlick at your hairline.

8. Bangs are fantastic for women with a high forehead or receding hairline, it doesn’t have to be a heavy fringe — just a side swept swoosh will do.

Hip, Short Hair After 50: When to Cut and How to Do It Right

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9. Bangs are great for covering forehead lines — they provide excellent camouflage.

10. Don’t cut bangs wider than your cheekbones — you don’t want to go much further than the outside edges of the eyes for maximum flattery. Bangs cut too wide can emphasize eyes that droop at the outer corners.

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Posted in fashion & beauty, live it! lists.

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28 Responses

  1. Gramma Gramma says

    I like the long straight bangs….but can’t really wear them myself.  My hair is straight and flat, but my face is not flattered by that look…Plus I am menopausal and they usually end up plastered to my forehead….I prefer to have them thick , but feathered and swept to the side (see pic.)  I also poof them up a bit with hairdryer and round brush to add a little body….They work the best for me in the cooler months, in the hotter months I tend to sweep them out of the way….I also think they tend to make my hair look fuller, since it is thinner in the front than it used to be….Thanks for the information….=]

    4 like

  2. Scribbler Scribbler says

    All the advice is lovely, but it’s useless until the hairdressers learn to listen -

    1 like

    • Lois Joy Johnson Lois Joy Johnson says

      That’s exactly why women need to take control and not let pushy hairdressers tell them what’s best !

      You can’t miss if you bring in photos and magazine clips with exactly what you want. If you are ever unhappy with a cut- speak to the manager and demand a free re-do  when your hair grows out a bit. Be sure they give you a gift certificate on the spot.

      1 like

      • Generic Image jackielee says

        I love my bangs!! Have had them for years and as I get older, I find more and more advantages to them. Yes, they hide my “weak” eyebrows and do hide those forehead lines. Thus, no botox needed there. One other thing-my hairdresser will trim my bangs between haircuts free of charge. 

        4 like

      • Lois Joy Johnson Lois Joy Johnson says

        Yes the free bang trims are something most good stylists will do- although I sometimes find myself tweaking when I can’t get to the salon. I’m so with you on the eyebrow issue since I too have skimpy bad brows !

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      • Prill Boyle Prill Boyle says

        Yes, that’s what I do, Lois.  I bring magazine photos along when I get my hair cut.  Works like a charm.  I also snap self-portraits when I particularly love a color job or a cut and bring them along when my hair starts veering from what I think is flattering to me.

        2 like

  3. Lynnette Lynnette says

    yours look perfect!  But then again you look like a magazine post.  My bangs are to the side most of the time.  Like Grandma said, being menopausal w/hot flashes it is not easy for me to keep them straight, they curl up so we in the office decided to bring a blow dryer and leave it in the ladies room for touch ups.  It works wonders. 

    My sister in law hated bangs but she would spend a long time and effort on her hair and although it looks lustrous and healthy it did nothing for her.  One day i was sitting in the car and as  she was approaching i figured it out, she had not bangs!!!!  Her hair was basically long to the shoulders combed to the back.  I told her to do something about the front of her hair.  She told me she hated bangs, so i told her do the “bangs, but no bangs” which are the ones to the side.  I guess our discussion triggered something w/her hairdresser because for new years eve she appeared with bangs and she looked so good everybody was raving about her do.  Hey, she is like my sister i can speak frankly to her, and it worked, some other people, that’s a different story.

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  4. watermusic watermusic says

    I’ve had bangs since I was born. I just cut my long side swept bangs to choppy fringe for a change and am still on the fence about that.  I have a great hairdresser who knows that a. I have a thing about not showing my ears and b. being an older fat woman with really short hair.  She keeps me looking hip or at least convincing me that I’m hip. My hair grows fast and I wear scarves often so if I don’t like a hair cut I’m okay. 

    What I’m thinking about is not coloring my hair anymore. 

    6 like

    • Lois Joy Johnson Lois Joy Johnson says

      I just wrote a total hair guide for Vibrant Nation. It includes lots of info about how to go from coloring your hair to your natural colo rnow- whatever that might be. Please keep looking for it since it it might help you decide how to make that transition and still look youthful and hip.

      0 like

    • Andrea Dealmagro Andrea Dealmagro says

      I stopped coloring 2 years ago and I never looked back! Great feeling of  authenticity.

      1 like

    • Andrea Dealmagro Andrea Dealmagro says

      This is my real color. Of course, I have white in it. 

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  5. browser browser says

    I have worn bangs for probably 10 years now.  I also let Mother Nature dictate my hair color and would not go back to coloring for anything.  I am perplexed with thinning now.  It is almost like a male-pattern in that it is only at the top and front.  I have been tweaking my hormoes (bioidential) and thyriod (under my dr.’s watch) and finally see a little evidence of new growth – but doubt that it will ever return to the thickness I once had.  I wear an updated bob with full bangs but would be open to suggestions as to something that gives me a thicker appearance.

    4 like

    • Lois Joy Johnson Lois Joy Johnson says

      Please get your hands on my Vibrant Nation Hair Guide ASAP. It’s available on this site right away ! It’s filled with lots of cuts, tips, tricks and product suggestions for making fine/thinning hair look fuller and healthier. Check out celebrity hair stylist Jim Crawford’s suggestions- the same ones he uses on clients like the fabulous Christine Baranski, Helen Mirren, Cybill Shepers and Susan Sarandon. Then get back to me and let me know what worked for you !

      1 like

    • LILDEE LILDEE says

      I too swore I would color no more, then I discovered henna, and I’m so hooked. Not only does it give me the colors I have always wanted, it also made my ultra fine hair feel thicker! Don’t know how it works, but it does and I will never stop using it. My hair is even easier to style now, bangs and all!

      1 like

  6. watruw8ing4 watruw8ing4 says

    I’ve been wearing bangs for decades now. Contrary to number 7, I wear them because I have a low forehead and hairline. With no bangs I would have to wear my hair pulled back all the time, which only emphasizes the teeny forehead. I wear them short, layered, and with no bang part. It’s about the only thing that works. (and believe me, I have experimented).

    2 like

    • Generic Image Laurie says

      I also posted the same type response. (see below) With my hair growing forward like you say I would need to wear a pin or clip to keep the hair out of my face.

      1 like

      • watruw8ing4 watruw8ing4 says

        I read it. And thick hair growing forward, too. Maybe we’re related.  :-)

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    • Lizbet Lizbet says

      Agree with watruw8ing4 and oreo51.  I have a low forehead with a widow’s peak complete with a scar right next to it.  For years I wore my hair long and straight and it was constantly in my eyes or I had to wear it pulled straight back, which made me look like my hair line had slipped to the middle of my forehead.  Now it is worn in a sassy, surprisingly naturally curly short cut with bangs.  By not styling with a part and by starting the bangs higher up, thinning them and fluffing, it appears that I have a higher forehead.  I DO NOT CUT THEM TO ABOVE MY EYES, THOUGH, AS THEN IT GIVES A CHOPPED OFF FIRST GRADER BOWL CUT LOOK. The shorter cut flatters my age more than a longer one which draws down my face, emphasizing age lines (no botox for me, please).  Recently, I considered coloring my hair but, at 58, I still have most of my natural color.  The gray looks like highlights and all I need is a product that adds shine and luster.  It is not the style I want but it is the one that works with what I have been blessed with.

      2 like

  7. helenw helenw says

    I have worn bangs forever!  Love them.  My face shape does not suit bang-free.

    0 like

  8. Generic Image Laurie says

    I don’t agree with #7. I have an average to low brow and I wear bangs and I even have a bit of a cowlick on the right side. My hair is thicker than average so I thin them a bit, shape and Iron the ends under and they are very nice. They give me the illusion of having a higher brow which is more appealing…so never say never they might work for you.

    0 like

  9. Margaret Placentra Johnston Margaret Placentra Johnston says

    Ok so I have a question.  WHY would bangs not work with a low forehead?  I have a low forehead and have never worn bangs but lately have been considering doing so.  If the bangs were cut narrowly from a point relatively high up on the top of the head, wouldn’t that make the forehead look higher higher and mask the low forehead?  I am afraid to try cutting bangs until I find an answer about this.

    Thanks!

    2 like

  10. WriterEva WriterEva says

    I’ve worn bangs most of my life – now 63. My biggest problem is that if my bangs touch any part of my eye area, it drives me nuts. As a result, I often cut them too short, but since they grow way too quickly that doesn’t last long. I’ve learned the hard way that short hair doesn’t work for me, so I also wear my hair long. That allows me to wear my hair in a ponytail or in braids – may not be suitable for my age, but who cares! People usually think I’m much younger than I am anyway. My hubby and I are retired and love fishing. Keeping my hair under control and out of my eyes while out on the water is more important to me than fashion. And if he thinks I look good, that is all that counts!

    4 like

  11. 482gr8 482gr8 says

    I love wearing bangs. And I don’t color may hair. I have streaks at the temples and in part of my bangs. A friend who hadn’t seen me in a while commented on the gray by saying, “Your wisdom is showing.” Love that!

    1 like

    • Lizbet Lizbet says

      One more thought…. The down side to my shorter style is that even though I look great in a hat, my hair is a mess when I take it off.  Plus, I often ride a cycle with my hubby and helmet hair is a nightmare.  I usually wear a cloth under cap with a bill and just leave it on when I take the helmet off.  Could wear a shorter style that would eliminate that problem but then hubby would be cranky…. so, on stays the hat and we live in peaceful compromise…. :)

      1 like

  12. sunsetwriter sunsetwriter says

    Thanks for this!!! I have side-bangs, love them. They go absolutely perfect with my new style. I let my hair go grey about 18 months ago. I feel liberated and get a lot of compliments on my color: a steel grey mixed with white.

    1 like

  13. Generic Image KColumbo says

    I have had bangs since my 30′s and don’t feel I use them now in my 60′s to hide anything – rather, bangs just work for me and my overall style and how I am in this world.  Hair should just make you feel good in this world, so if your stylist cannot support that – move on until you find a stylist who resonates with who you are!  This can take a while, but well worth the time it takes.   

    2 like

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