Curly Hair after 50

I am adrift when it comes to my hair. I am somewhere between a 2 c and a 3a. My bangs do the Shirley Temple thing while the underneath hair on the back of my head is fairly straight to wavy.

Before moving from Los Angeles to the Pacific Northwest 13 years ago, I wore my hair slightly below shoulder length. It required nothing more than a good dollop of gel and air drying to look good. Finding a stylist here was more difficult than imagined so after a multitude of bad cuts, I let my hair grow one length, got rid of the bangs and tied it back. Catching a glimpse of myself one day I was not pleased at what I saw which led to a renewed search for a cut/style.

So here is the dilemma...if my hair is shoulder length I have to use so much product to control it here in the land of rain that it feels like a brillo pad. If I let my current hairdresser do her thing, she blows it straight which looks good for a day or two but is not a style I am willing or able to keep up with on a daily basis.

To compound all this, I am 51 and travel a lot for work. I need something sophisticated, easy to handle and me...which is curly and free.

Maybe this is an issue of different products? Maybe I should get away from bangs?

What are other women in this age range - who like me do not look or feel old - doing with their hair?

Thanks!
I wear mine past my shoulders & I also wear bangs. I've worn bangs all my life. I can't seem to get away from them. I wish I could wear it up, but I can't find a style that looks good on me. I don't consider my hair curly, but very wavy. It's also thin & fine.
AKA lotsawaves
AKA new2curls
Mine's a long angled bob. Just touching my shoulders in front--shorter in back. I'm letting the bangs grow out. I'm thinking of cutting it a little shorter. Now that it's more humid here (and I'm handling it better) it's curlier.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
Maybe a style like Kathymack's would look good on you. My hair is layered like hers and I just let it curl. It does not matter whether it is humid, rainy, or dry, it usually looks pretty good without alot of fuss. I diffuse right now, but might be joining the GOC and then will be letting it air dry. I also have had bangs my entire life. I have a high forehead, but if I joing the GOC, that too has to grow. I do have to use products, which is why I am a PJ. Good luck with your decision.
Maybe a style like Kathymack's would look good on you. My hair is layered like hers and I just let it curl. It does not matter whether it is humid, rainy, or dry, it usually looks pretty good without alot of fuss. I diffuse right now, but might be joining the GOC and then will be letting it air dry. I also have had bangs my entire life. I have a high forehead, but if I joing the GOC, that too has to grow. I do have to use products, which is why I am a PJ. Good luck with your decision.
Originally Posted by curly2

What is GOC?
It is the Grow out Challenge. There is a thread started and the rules are being debated right now. I am not 100% sure I am going to do it. There is alot of other curlies that are not going to follow all the rules, so not sure if I want deprive myself if the others are not.
I'm certainly not the one to ask for advice on something sophisticated since no one would ever think of me as sophisticated. : )
My hair loves humidity and I let it be wild and free most of the time. Right now around shoulder length dry, layered at many different lengths, no bangs to speak of. I've never really had bangs so I don't know how to deal with them.
I learned long ago to always wear my hair long enough to put in a pony, just in case of hair emergencies.

And just as an aside - how can there be rules for growing ones hair? Made me think that maybe people would use steroids to beat the competition. : )
In Western PA
Found NC in 2004. CG since 2-05, going grey since 9-05. 3B with some 3A.
Hair texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
Suave & VO5 cond, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
http://public.fotki.com/jeepcurlygurl/ password jeepy **updated Aug 2014**
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don't let age be your guide - that is SO-O old-fashioned! Let your hair itself and your general look be your guide. The key to your answer is in your post, where you say it is you for your hair to be curly and free. Sounds like you need to find a new hairdresser, pronto, if all she's doing is blowing you dry! Do whatever it takes to find a cutter who understands curls, and doesn't try to put you in the "older woman" box. Other people here have had good suggestions too for ways to wear your hair. A good haircut by someone who really understands curly hair should not need 3-4 styling products each time to make it look good, and it should look good(although the overall look can vary, depending on what your curls are doing that day!) no matter what the weather too. One, or maybe 2, at the most, of the right styling products will make a big difference once you've gotten your good cut, which you know from having your hair done by your LA cutter. In general, some sort of shoulder-length, or below if you want is very versatile - you can always pull it back or put it up in a pinch along with a nice wrap or sophisticated hair ornament.
In your search for another cutter, when you are calling around, ask right away who is their best cutter for curly hair. If they say, "they all are" hang up, and go on the next salon on your list, unless it is billed as specializing in curly hair. Then once you have found out who at that new salon, book a consultation appointment(they shouldn't charge you, as it will only take a few minutes)to see if this is someone you want working on your hair. This has worked for me, and saved me from having too many bad haircuts once I knew enough to look for specialists.
health-conscious, visionary artist in transition
I find it hard to get new ideas for hair styles for curly hair over 50. It would be great if more of us "older" women would post different ideas for hair cuts and styles. I have never had my hair done a certain way because of my age but it would be nice to have perkier or more stylish ideas to take to stylist. Does anyone know of any particular magazine or site that does have a lot of styles for more mature women. Probably saying this all wrong, just would like to get some new ideas for hair styles.
3b, fine textured,thin and normal to high porosity.
I love seeing curly bobs on 40+ yo women, but it's not right for me. Like jeep, I need a longer style that gives me flexibility to "tie it back and run". With shorter hair, I would spend too much time trying to fix a bad hair day and would be late to work, which I can't afford to do anymore.

I have slight long layering to give me some fullness around eyes and top of head, but I am still trying to get to APL when dry. I may very well cut it a bit shorter after that, if APL is not all that I thought it was meant to be (for me).
Location: Texas
Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Salon Care Honey Almond, Devacurl OC, Acure Argan Stem Cell+Argan Oil, Mill Creek Botanicals Keratin Repair
Leave-ins: BWC, KCKT, cno overnight
Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG
DT: Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak, Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
I'm not yet 50, but I have the same struggles with my hair.

I tried growing it a bit longer, but found that the only way it looked good was pulled back. When I left it down, it overwhelmed my small features.

I would love to find a shorter cut that is really flattering, but I'm having no luck so far. I always seem to end up with a cut that looks like super-short hair that's being grown out. The shape is always all wrong. I would ask for a bob, but I'm scared something too short will just make me look old.

Part of me is looking forward to being old enough that I no longer care about looking old. lol

Last edited by Verity; 10-17-2010 at 07:39 PM.
I agree - it can be challenging finding a *style* for mature women with curly hair. If my hair were thicker and more curly, I'd go for a stacked bob. Unfortunately my hair is fine and 2 - 3a. I used to always wear it in a pixie. Now that I'm approaching 50, I find that I want it longer because at this stage real short hair just feels like OLD LADIES HAIR to me, lol. I'm growing it out to just below shoulder length so I can let it be wild and wurly or pull it back into a loose pony or up in a twist. I'm hoping the length will provide more options - a nice change of pace.

And I haven't found any particular hair magazine exclusively for mature women. There's More Magazine which has occasional hairstyle articles, but that's about it. I did find this website for hairstyles for celebrities over 40, for what that's worth.
2Poodles Southeast PA
fine, med porosity, normal elasticity
Currently using the following 2 - 3 x/week:
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day suphate-free Poo, cone-free CO and styling treatment, plus KCCC

Great website!

Gosh, I wish I could wear long hair. It just drags my face d-o-w-n. I think this is the reason so many women have their hair cut shorter when they get older; it's not that they're blindly following some unwritten rule.
I am adrift when it comes to my hair. I am somewhere between a 2 c and a 3a. My bangs do the Shirley Temple thing while the underneath hair on the back of my head is fairly straight to wavy.


So here is the dilemma...if my hair is shoulder length I have to use so much product to control it here in the land of rain that it feels like a brillo pad. If I let my current hairdresser do her thing, she blows it straight which looks good for a day or two but is not a style I am willing or able to keep up with on a daily basis.
Originally Posted by battydiva
I'm a little younger (not a lot younger, LOL) but wanted to speak to this specifically - I think you'd be a lot better off finding a haircut and products that work in the climate you are in, and sort of maximizing the curl, so that when you are out in the rain & humidity YOUR hair will get better while everyone else's hair droops or frizzes.

And I agree with Cara4Curls, that a specific haircut for curly hair is probably the best option, not something flexible that you can wear straight but like a Deva cut where they cut to free up the curls. This really helped me to be able to wear my hair down and have it look "curly" not just messy.

And also agree with her that you shouldn't really worry about matching your haircut to your age. Match your haircut to your hair, lifestyle, and climate. If you can get one where you can wet, gel, scrunch and go you will be very happy I think, since that's what you liked before.

It does take some experimentation to find the products that work, but I am sure that you can find a haircut and products that will get you back to, or at least close to, scrunch and go.
2c / C / iii (FIA)
Med-Coarse, LowPorosity, NormalElast (LCLF)

Shoulder-Length now.

Wash: DevaCare Low Poo
Detangle & Rinseout: Walgreens or Sally's Conditioning Balm (always)
Leave-in: DevaCare OneC (budget choice is GFTN)
Style: ReCoil & DevaCare Arc Angel (budget choices are HESMU or Got2BSpikedUp)

Henna!
I agree - it can be challenging finding a *style* for mature women with curly hair. If my hair were thicker and more curly, I'd go for a stacked bob. Unfortunately my hair is fine and 2 - 3a. I used to always wear it in a pixie. Now that I'm approaching 50, I find that I want it longer because at this stage real short hair just feels like OLD LADIES HAIR to me, lol. I'm growing it out to just below shoulder length so I can let it be wild and wurly or pull it back into a loose pony or up in a twist. I'm hoping the length will provide more options - a nice change of pace.

And I haven't found any particular hair magazine exclusively for mature women. There's More Magazine which has occasional hairstyle articles, but that's about it. I did find this website for hairstyles for celebrities over 40, for what that's worth.
Originally Posted by 2poodles


Great website...thanks.
3b, fine textured,thin and normal to high porosity.
Noone would ever accuse me of being sophisticated, either. ...But, I guess I'm still a young 'un at 45. I say, find a stylist who LOVES your hair curly and knows what to do with it. ...I know. I know. Not always an easy task. But, personally, I think that's going to be the key to unlocking your true curly potential. Long or short doesn't matter - as long as you're happy with it and it fits your needs.
Janet ~ Northern NJ
Properties: Dense, Fine, Low Porosity, Low Elasticity
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What I used in this photo:
Cleansing: Suave Tropical Coconut Condish
Conditioner: CJ Smoothing Condish
Styling: CJCQ
well i am about to hit 61 and my 6th anniversary of going CG. at the time my hair was above my shoulders and now it is waist length when wet. i am starting to let the gray come in too after years of coloring-felt it was too dark for the aging face and i am not willing to bleach--last color was june. i get it cut at devachan and it is in long layers. my next cut is next wed. so i will post pics when done. no bangs-i hate them on me. i only use 2 products, suave naturals for co wash and another thicker co to leave in, like boots or garnier regular co. i like the deva prods but way too costly as i do my hair daily after i swim. since i spend most of my days hiking in the woods i cannot have a real "do" and it is not me anyway. luckily i work as a self employed shrink and a bit of frumpiness does not hurt my credibility as a professional. i really love my long hair and am so happy not to need the "zen master" cut to let the color grow out...
Susan suburban NY
3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
CG since 11/11/04
http://public.fotki.com/banjolady/
PW: banjo
HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos http://www.youtube.com/user/lazycurls
SparklyCurls's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 163
I'm 50 and been doing the curly thing for over 5 years. Today, my hair is enormously curly, white, salt & pepper and black and I LOVE every bit of it.

On my free time I wear it wild but for business it's always kept curly and neat - most times in a curly updo.

As for products, I'm not into high end designer brands. I wear very little makeup but will spend money on a good moisturizer and for hair - Curl Junkie has won out every time so thats my investment in hair control and I'm happy.


Last edited by SilverCurls; 10-22-2010 at 09:27 AM.
SilverCurls, which CJ product are you raving about? I am making a CJ wish list...
Location: Texas
Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Salon Care Honey Almond, Devacurl OC, Acure Argan Stem Cell+Argan Oil, Mill Creek Botanicals Keratin Repair
Leave-ins: BWC, KCKT, cno overnight
Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG
DT: Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak, Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
SparklyCurls's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 163
SilverCurls, which CJ product are you raving about? I am making a CJ wish list...
Originally Posted by Spiralli
I can't rave about only one product as all work for me. I've been using CJ since the startup of Marsha's company (2006?) and like fine wine they get better as time goes on so, now I'm onto her new line and as always my hair is loving them.

I don't use all of them at one time but I do like to switch them up for different results - using a mixture of 2 or so products at a time.

For me, CJ gives me confindance of good hair days. And, if wondering, no I don't work for CJ - just one of their proudest clients.

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