Hairstyle inspo for every decade of life

Wondering whether it’s time to change up your hairstyle or colour? Experts reveal the most popular styles and colours among every age group.

“Acting your age” is an increasingly redundant expression – and thankfully, that extends to hairstyles.

“There’s this myth that as we age, the best thing to do is to go lighter ‘to hide the greys’ and shorter ‘because older people don’t suit longer hair’, but I couldn’t disagree more,” Sydney hair educator and freelance colourist Michael Kelly says.

“For anyone who seeks my advice, I talk to them about wearing their hair the way that makes them feel most beautiful, which in turn will make them feel more youthful.”

But there are some distinct hairstyle trends among the different age groups, experts say.

“Styling hair for age will play a part in what we do, as someone who is in their 50s may prefer having a more elegant look and get their inspiration from someone like J. LO, whereas someone in their 20s might crave something free flowing and fun, taking inspiration from the likes of Hailey Bieber,” UVA salon colourist Caroline says.

“That being said, if a client in their 60s requests a cool topknot, we will definitely do it.”

Popular hairstyles requests by age group


“People in their 20s usually love low maintenance colour from blondes to balayage with minimal regrowth. It’s youthful and shiny, utilising most of their natural tones,” Caroline says.

“Clients in this age group typically have their hair long and luscious.”


“Clients in their 30s typically experience a hair transition; some start to get grey hair, so therefore working out a plan to help them tackle it,” Caroline says.

“Some incorporate semi-permanent colours to help blend the greys in and this is a beautiful, shiny introduction to helping camouflage the greys into the client’s hair.”


“Some women in their 40s start to experience thinning, so we introduce foils if they haven’t already to help make their hair feel thicker and more textured,” Caroline says.

“Another common request among clients in this age group involves incorporating tints for brunettes who have grey hair and blonde foils for those who are blonde.”

Michael says it is common for clients in this age group to “either go shorter to create fullness to hair or add a few pieces of hair extensions to fill in gaps that may have formed from the hair density changing”.

“Hormones change with age, which in turn means that your skin and hair follow suit too,” he says.


“Most woman in their 50s have a full head of grey hair, so usually we alternate tints and foils to blend the greys in,” Michael says.

“Sometimes a client is coming every three weeks because they can’t stand to see their greys, which can result in banding, so we sometimes put foils to camouflage that.”

60s and beyond

“By this age, most woman know what they want,” Caroline says.

“People in their 60s can be daring and like to incorporate and try different things. Usually, their hair is thinner, so we then cut their hair shorter to make it fuller and add foils for thickness.”

grey hair

Grey is not a scary word

Michael says grey hair can start to emerge at any age.

“It’s not really a sign of getting ‘old’, but rather a sign of having a genetic predisposition to greying,” Michael says.

There are various techniques to soften or cover the greys, if you choose to.

“I’m a big fan of ‘grey blending’ over grey coverage for as long as you can,” Michael says.

That means using highlights or lowlights to work with the natural depth of your hair, blending and disguising the greys.

“Soft contrast is the aim of the game, rather than full coverage. If you have significant greying and you want to step up the coverage, try introducing a demi-permanent colour that shifts the natural depth enough to add a soft veil of colour over the greys so that they are covered, but still transparent,” Michael says.

For stubborn greys, the last resort and most effective is full coverage, permanent dye that removes and covers the grey hair completely.

“Research your colourist and make sure they specialise in grey coverage and my top tip is to ensure your colourist is using a lighter shade at the hairline; this is most important because it will emulate what the hair does naturally and will avoid your hair having an inky, dark or black hairline,” Michael says.

Written by Charlotte Brundrett.