In menopause your hair can become dry and brittle, making style choices trickier. Here are five hairstyles you’ll love - long, short or in-between…

Most of us like the idea of a new hair style to see us though what we hope will be long summer days and evenings, holidays, and a helping of sand and sea. But if you have been having a running battle with your hair during menopause, because it has become brittle and drier, what style would suit you best?

Many popular styles can be adapted to the shape of your face and will work with straight, wavy, or curly hair and with any skin or hair colour. But to make the most of your hair, whatever style you choose, a really good cut and the right sort of hair care are vital. We’ve put together a range of flexible styles that will work well for women with dry, brittle hair, plus some tips on how to make the most of your new hairstyle and keep it looking good all summer long.

1) The Pixie Cut – super stylish for very short hair

The Jamie Lee Curtis pixie cut

This evergreen favourite features hair cut into short layers, often with a slightly tousled look and a very short fringe. It works for women of any age, including post-menopause, and can be adapted for almost any face shape: for example, with a slightly longer, side-swept fringe or with no fringe. It’s great with highlights, although it’s best to stick to a non-drying natural tint for these, or frosted tips. The pixie cut has become very popular with celebrities in recent years: including Anne Hathaway and Scarlett Johansson. And, as Jamie Lee Curtis proves, it looks very stylish with glasses.

Opting for a very short style like this means that you’ll need more frequent hair cuts, but these will also deal with dry ends and help to keep your hair in better condition. It’s one of the easiest styles to manage, just air dry and go - ideal if you’re keen on sports and swimming.

See also: this pixie cut for curly hair.

2) The Crop – the short and long of it

Crop with side-swept fringe. Image credit.

Strictly speaking you could include the pixie cut in the crop category but a classic crop has longer layers on the top. That said, there are many variations on the crop, from trendy, choppy cuts, to razor cutting for soft, wispy ends, and a short, long, or side-swept fringe, which makes it an endlessly adaptable style.

Like the pixie, any crop style needs a regular cut to keep it looking good but it’s slightly higher maintenance, so allow more time for gentle drying and styling. It’s a great look if you have thick or grey hair or you want to make a statement with a bold natural tint or two!

See also: this simple crop for straight hair and this crop with colours.

3) The Bob – could be just the job for you 

Layered bob haircut. Image credit.

Is there a more versatile hairstyle than the bob? It’s a short to medium-length style that curves round the head in a straight line below the ears at jaw-level, or just above the shoulders. You can go for a layered bob if you have fine hair – it’s a good way of dealing with dry ends – or a straight bob for thicker hair, which just tapers at the bottom. A bob works beautifully with wavy hair too and is very much on trend.

See also: this straight bob, this longer bob and the wavy bob.

4) The Wedge - give your hair a retro edge 

A chic wedge cut. Image credit.

It’s not surprising that the retro-look wedge has been a popular style since it first appeared in the 1970s. It’s a short-layered bob that gives the appearance of volume, so it’s perfect for fine, thin, straight hair – although it looks good with waves too. You can opt for a short wedge or something slightly longer so, if you currently have long or medium-length hair and are thinking of going shorter, it might be a good choice. 

See also: this wedge with longer layers and this wavy wedge.

5) The Updo – classic or modern and never out of fashion

Julianne Moore rocking the updo. Image credit.

If you have medium to long hair and want to keep it that way, even if it has become drier and more brittle, you can’t do better in summer than choose an up-do. This is the 21st century name for a style that has been in vogue for centuries in which the hair is lifted, twisted and held in place at the back of the head, such as a bun or chignon. A bun is worn higher on the head, while a chignon sits on the nape of the neck. At one time, the chignon or bun was a byword for neat and tidy (think ballet dancer) but, since the advent of the fashionable messy updo, like Jennifer Lopez’s, it’s quite acceptable to have loose ends and wisps!

Another variation of the updo is a classic French pleat, given a flattering contemporary twist with a touch of softness. Classic buns and chignons that can also be given a modern touch are ideal for long, thick, straight hair and are popular with many women of Asian heritage.

You can adapt an updo to suit the shape of your face, with a side parting, for example, like Julianne Moore, or a soft fringe. The great thing about updo styles is that you can tuck away any dry or split ends... that said, longer hair needs just as much acre as shorter hair, if not more. Long hair thrives on a regular oil treatment (see below).

See also - this classic updo and the updo as worn by Halle Berry.

Keep your summer hairstyle looking good

While most of us love summer, the sun, sea and sand can take their toll on your hair, especially if it has become drier during menopause. Ruth Witney of Bodmin House Hairdressing in Somerset has many clients in their 40s and 50s and encourages them to give their hair regular oil treatments to keep it in good condition. A regular cut or trim helps too and will keep dry ends under control.

‘Argan oil is particularly good, ‘says Ruth. (Argan oil is great for nails and skin too.)

To give shorter hair, like a pixie cut, more structure and movement, Ruth recommends using a good quality hair paste.

If you tend to wash your hair more often during the summer, either because of night sweats, which can leave it looking lank, or through spending more time in the sea or chlorine-heavy swimming pools, make sure you use a gentle shampoo like Plantur 39, which is designed for fine, brittle hair. Air dry your hair and just finish it off with a hairdryer on a low heat setting.

 If your hair has lost some of its lustre, try a leave-in conditioner like Tints of Nature Seal and Shine, made from natural organic ingredients and free from parabens, sulphates and colour-stripping salts. 


Browse all Live Better With Menopause recommended hair products here.

More Live Better With articles on hair and hair care:

  • Changes to your hair pre-menopause
  • Brittle hair and nails

  • Visit: the Live Better With Menopause Community Forum for information, advice, and tips on hair care during menopause - and to share your own questions and suggestions.