Celebrity hairstylists reveal how YOU can wear long hair at any age

Celebrity hairstylists reveal how YOU can wear long hair at any age

Yes, you CAN have long hair over 50! Celebrity stylists reveal the tricks to make your hair look thicker and more youthful like Nicole Kidman and Demi Moore – from an elegant centre parting to clever layers

  • Nicole Kidman is the latest celebrity proving long hair can look good at any age  
  • Celebrity hairstylist James Johnson explained layers give illusion of thicker hair 
  • Added should put at side as too much shaping at front can look harsh and age us
  • Stylist Ava Holland said extensions add colour without damaging natural hair 

Women of a certain age have long opted for shorter hair, believing that longer tresses are too ‘mutton’ or else look thin and lacklustre after a certain age. 

But stars including Madonna, 62, Jennifer Lopez, 51, and Demi Moore, 58, prove there is no age limit to a longer style, especially if you use clever tricks to make your hair look thicker and more lustrous. 

This week 52-year-old Nicole Kidman – known for her flowing locks – debuted a chic fishtail plait in the trailer for her new TV show, restarting the debate on how best to style long hair after 50.  

Steph Stevenson, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Marie Claire Jetstyle & HNB Salon and Spa, explained that since peri-menopause has become a topic spoken about much more openly, women have become more comfortable asking for hair extensions.

‘In turn this makes women more comfortable wearing their hair longer and the perception of women over 50 having to have shorter hair has changed,’ she said.

Speaking exclusively to FEMAIL, a selection of celebrity hairstylists have revealed their top tips on how to look good with long hair at any age – from adding layers to give the illusion of thicker, bouncier hair, to using extensions to add colour without damaging natural locks.

In the promo for her chilling new Hulu series Nine Perfect, Nicole Kidman (pictured), 53, stole the show with her plaited, waist-length hair – and celebrity hairstylists have now revealed how you can wear long hair at any age

THE IMPORTANCE OF PRE-PREP 

Longer hair should always have a good wash and condition before styling, according to Scott Beszick, celebrity and session hair stylist and make-up artist.  

‘Pre-prep is so important – if hair isn’t fresh you’re just “burning” products and dirt into the hair when you’re styling,’ he explained. 

‘Shampoo de-clogs the scalp and removes dirt and impurities so always cleanse and nourish the hair before styling. Longer hair is obviously older further down the lengths, so nourishing and deep conditioning is essential.’

The expert went on to recommend trying a product which contains Broccoli Seed Oil, which mimics the initial effects of silicones naturally without the negative build up. 

‘Historically silicones were favoured in haircare to create an initial glossy, silky smooth feeling, however over time these silicones build up causing problems for hair and scalp alike,’ he said. 

‘Broccoli Seed Oil provides the positive effects naturally, whilst nourishing the scalp and hair.’ 

Scott Beszick says Demi Moore’s look (pictured) isn’t dissimilar to Madonna’s but is a ‘softer version.’ Pictured, on March 17

LAYERS 

Celebrity hairstylist James Johnson says that we often think getting older means as things start to drop, the hair should get shorter with the chop – but he strongly disagrees. 

‘Women of all ages can wear hair different lengths, and actually, having it longer as we age can look just as good as it did when they were younger, if not better,’ he said.

However, the expert notes that having a long mane doesn’t mean leaving it and hoping for the best – adding that even long lengthy needs the same upkeep as a shorter style. 

‘Yes its more forgiving if left to grown out, but then ends still need a trim and the layers still need refreshing,’ he explained. ‘Ratty ends are not cute, no matter the length or age!’ 

The celebrity hairstylist went on to explain how layers work well to give hair movement and shape.

‘Whilst layering the hair does remove the weight, it can also add the illusion there’s more hair than there actually is, making it appear thicker and bouncier,’ he said. ‘This means even if our hair is thinning as we age, with some added layers we can instantly thicken our locks.’

‘It’s important to keep our layers on the side rather than too much shaping around the front. Keeping the front soft will help make us look younger, anything harsh and solid can age us.’

Aaron Carlo, Lead Stylist for TRESemmé, added: ‘They will soften long hair and create shape to highlight and lift features like eyes and cheekbones, think Demi Moore vibes.’

Meanwhile, Scott Beszick says to ask your stylist for long hair with a centre parting and long/no fringe.

Speaking of Madonna, Demi Moore and Nicole Kidman, he commented: ‘These are all centre partings which look more elegant versus side partings which are more sultry and sexy as they leave you with one eye peeping through a fringe.’  

CONSIDER COLOUR  

Scott advises that to achieve Madonna’s clean blonde look, a blonde shampoo will keep brassy tones away. However, he warns you need to be careful because some blonde shampoos can be quite drying. 

‘For a silver shampoo to work effectively at neutralising yellow tones, the hair cuticle needs to be opened so that the pigments can be absorbed into the hair shaft,’ he said. ‘The more the cuticles are opened the deeper the pigments penetrate and the more “cooling” effect you achieve.’

Celebrity hairstylist Scott advises that to achieve Madonna’s clean blonde look, a blonde shampoo will help keep brassy tones away. Pictured, on April 21, believed to be in the US

He continued: ‘The problem is when the cuticles are opened or raised too much, the hair also releases moisture, making it dry and brittle.’

‘Use shampoos with milder surfactants to avoid opening the cuticles too much which stops the hair getting too dry, balanced with an increase in the strength of the pigment (since the pigments wouldn’t penetrate as deep into the hair). 

As for colour, Scott says Nicole Kidman’s look is ‘bang on trend.’ 

‘We’re picking up on 70s fashion at the moment with flares, prints, florals, 70s colours and boho all over the runways, we’re getting back to the hippy vibe, which suits Nicole’s long lengths,’ he explained.

‘Hair styles usually reflect fashion as hairstylists pick up on the style and create a look to go with it.

‘The boho chic retro vibe is reflected in Nicole’s colour – her softer shade is quite a pearlescent ashy colour.’

However, the celebrity hairstyle predicts the lighter colour isn’t here to stay, and that  she’ll go slightly deeper next autumn. 

HAIR EXTENSIONS

Using weft hair extensions saves your own hair condition while giving a ‘much thicker cleaner finish,’ according to Scott Beszick

He explained: ‘This is because when you’re using heat tools like a wand for the Nicole Kidman look, you’d wand the wefts rather than your own hair which would be hidden within the wefts, then diffuse with a bit of beach spray, and then plait – your own hair isn’t damaged at all.’

He went on to say it’s a look he often uses on photoshoots and can easily be achieved at home.

‘Go round the occipital bone, make a horseshoe shape just underneath from ear to ear, and clip the hair up,’ he said. ‘Get a tiny bit of hairspray on the root line and backcomb slightly – this acts as an anchor for the wefts.’

Ricky Walters, founder of SALON64, advises using waves and curls to add an element of ‘softness and fun.’ Pictured, Beyoncé in America on 28 April

‘Clip the first weft in, then take another horseshoe from the recession line (so higher up), and do the same again. Comb your natural hair over the weft and wand or blow dry it into shape. Make sure you get a good quality ethical brand of weft.’

Scott advises that to achieve a nice smooth look similar to Madonna or Demi Moore on longer length wefts, use a blow out cream to blow dry hair first, section off, then gently go over with a heat styler.

He added: ‘Go gently, you don’t want to flatten hair, you’re just giving it a smooth over. Start on a low heat setting and let them glide over the hair – no clamping!’

The expert also suggests using a shine spray to pin any natural hair down against the weft – and has a top tip if you’re not the best master of disguise.

‘If you’re not good at disguising the weft but can manage a plait, plait two small pieces from the side round to the back to give a 70s festival look and anchor the wefts in,’ he said. ‘Wanding is another good way to finish the look which will bring the weft and your natural hair together nicely.’

He continued: ‘The good thing about the wefts is you can take them out easily and because they’ve been treated, even if they’re real hair they’ll be much stronger than your own hair – you can even wand them when they’re off the head.’ 

Ava Holland, artistic stylist at Gielly Green, agrees that hair extensions really help with giving extra volume – especially at the sides. 

‘They can also add colour without having to bleach or colour your actual hair,’ she explained. ‘This really helps with making long hair look healthy and manageable if you want to keep your now long lockdown locks.’

‘We talk about this daily with our over 50 clients. They all say as you get older you want a softer look for you hair as if makes you feel the best version of you without feeling to over done.’

STYLING

While many may assume that going for the chop would make their hair routine easier, think again!  

‘Shorter hair needs styling more,’ said James Johnson. ‘Your hair needs more upkeep to stay in shape, and most of all, it’s harder to style and change up.’

‘With longer hair, it’s easier to change into different styles, ponytails, buns, down – you’ve got it! We’ve all had them days where we just want to tie our hair up and be a sloth…having longer hair allows that!’

While the expert says tying it up and getting your locks out the way when you’re in a rush is easier, he points out that styling your hair is just as important.

‘There’s no point having long hair for it to stay in a bun all week,’ he explained. ‘Nicole Kidman has played around with plaits, this makes the whole look more youthful and fresh, yet still super pretty and cute!’

Jennifer Lopez posted a photograph rocking her long ponytail at SoFi Stadium in America, alongside a caption which read: ‘When rocking a ponytail … you know it’s about to go down’ 

He added: ‘When styling long hair, opt for waves as straight ends and more undone hair can be more flattering and youthful.

‘Too much volume as we can age can make it look older! Softer is more flattering on the face instantly makes you look cooler and younger.’ 

Ava Holland, artistic stylist at Gielly Green, agrees, adding: ‘The wave gives you a softer look which does definitely have a fresher look instead of big 90s hair or dead straight can be aging.’

Ricky Walters, founder of SALON64, also advises using waves and curls to add an element of ‘softness and fun.’

‘Don’t over style the hair,’ he warned. ‘Work with the imperfections and don’t go too strict and structured. More Kate Moss less Kate Middleton.

‘Using a curling wand, wrap the hair loosely round the wand and rake through at the end for your desired boho wave.’  

A GLOSSY, SMOOTH FINISH 

Davina McCall’s brown locks always look in good condition due to a regular trim. Pictured, during the promotion for ‘Long Lost Family: What Happened Next’ on 15 April 2021

Scott notes how Madonna’s full-length, long shiny blonde hair is a completely different look for the singing sensation – and is complemented by cleaner make-up, and a softer lip. 

‘There’s almost a 70s Cher vibe to this look, and although her hair is very straight it’s not the ironed-to-death poker straight of the 90s,’ he said. ‘For a lot of straight looks now we do a good blow out with a blow out cream for a soft shiny finish.’

Scott, who says Demi has always been the ‘poster girl’ for long lengths after a certain age, believes she’s always epitomised wearing it well, especially in the Charlie’s Angels film when it was super long.

‘It’s not dissimilar to the Madonna look but a softer version, and being dark it looks completely different again, she also has that 70s feel and wears the look in a relaxed but sophisticated way,’ he explained.

‘Demi always goes for a glossy finish on the hair – she’s never overdone make-up wise and the glossy hair complements that perfectly.’

He continued: ‘For this style you need a good nourishing product – try an anti-frizz cream and a wand styler to give a soft finish and close down those cuticles.’ 

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