19 Hairstyles Women in Their 20s Can Get Away With


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When you are in your teens and 20s, it is the absolute best time of your life to try out all types of haircuts, hair styles, and hair colors. Your hair grows as fast as it ever will in life, so if you get an edgy pompadour one month and you’re bored with it the next, you can grow it out into a bob, then a shag, then a shoulder-length cut and finally into long, beachy waves that you wear in a high ponytail.

And at every stage, you can try a new color.

At 25, you won’t look ridiculous in a braid (although Elle MacPherson was rocking a braid in Spring 2013 when she was nearing 50. She looked AMAZING), you won’t look silly in a top-knot and you certainly won’t be questioned if you exit your house with pink hair.

That said, Helen Mirren recently rocked pink hair and she was born in 1945. You do the math.

I don’t like beauty rules and I do love a rule-breaker, but it’s true you can get away with so much more in your 20s than you can in your 30s, 40s and older. So I say go for it. Figure out who you are, what looks make you the most comfortable. Experiment. Perhaps you’ll be thankful you did many years ahead when you’re an older woman.

In this gallery, I feature amazing haircuts, styles, and colors that you can get away with in your 20s. In fact, all of the women featured in this gallery are in their 20s. Let the experimentation begin (so writes this envious 40-year-old).

The Gamine: Short Hair, Long Bangs

Sveta Utkina.
Photographed by Olivia Graham for Grazia 07

Here are a few things to consider for a haircut in your 20s (I am partial to this absolutely gorgeous gamine hairstyle pictured here, by the way):

Tip #1: Consider your career goals. In your 20s, you’re looking to establish yourself in a career. If you’re in a more artsy profession, you can get away with a funky look but if you are in a more conservative profession you might opt for a more professional look. You might consider chopping off that long hair for a shorter cut. Check out this photo gallery of bob hairstyles.
Tip #2: Experiment with length and color. Now is the time to see how you look with super long hair, then cut it off and see if you take to short hair. At your age, your hair will grow faster and thicker than at any time in your life. So enjoy it while you have it. Hair color is the key to reinvention. If you had blonde hair as a kid, you’ll look great blonde now. Blessed with black hair? Try a lighter brown or red.
Tip #3: Beware the wrong short cut. What you don’t want to look like is a stock “mom” character. Choose a short look that fits your age and the latest trends.

Arizona Muse’s Long Bob Hairstyle

Arizona Muse.
Getty: David M. Benett, Anthony Harvey

It used to be that everyone wanted Alexa Chung’s shag hairstyle. Now everyone wants model Arizona Muse’s (born September 18, 1988) long bob hairstyle. So many blogs and magazines are featuring Arizona Muse and her iconic hairstyle, and it’s actually one that would look great on women of all ages.

This cut is perfect for naturally wavy hair, curly hair and even straight hair as long as it has some natural wave to it. If you have curly hair, put a dab of texturizing paste on your hands and run it through your hair to weigh down curls. If you have straight hair, spray in a saltwater spray and scrunch hair as it dries. Long hair can be high-maintenance because it takes forever to dry and can look ratty when not styled on a daily basis. This cut is perfect for mothers because it looks good air dried, blown dried or even pulled back into a casual ponytail.

The A-line (also known as the “graduated bob”) is a popular long bob option because it gives style and sophistication to an otherwise boring cut. Ask your stylist to cut your hair about an inch shorter in the back, allowing it to gradually get longer in the front.

“Just Off the Beach” Waves

Blake Lively.
Jason Merritt/Getty

Blake Lively (born August 25, 1987) has a head of gorgeous hair here. If you have long, thick hair, you can get away with this look. Even if your hair is on the thin side or doesn’t grow long fast, you can fake this look with the help of hair extensions.

I am going to bet that every single woman in Hollywood has had this hairstyle at some point in her life. It simply never goes out of style. It’s casual, super sexy and we all know men love long hair.

The secret to sexy, beachy waves is salt spray. Spray it on, scrunch your hair and off you go.

Ballerina Buns

Hilary Duff (l) and Sarah Hyland in ballerina buns.
Getty Images

For a while there, everyone who was anyone was wearing their long hair knotted messily on top of their head. While the topknot is still around, this version is much less mussy. In fact, it’s a ballerina bun perched way up high as seen here on Hilary Duff (born September 28, 1987) and Sarah Hyland (born November 24, 1990).

There are cons to this look including you’ll look like a fool if you try to pull this off and you have a long face like I do. It will make you look horse-y. Don’t do it.

See photos of gorgeous ballerina buns and check it out, the ballerina bun made the list of  The Year’s Top 20 Hairstyle Trends.

Straight, Middle Part

Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner.
Michael N. Todaro for Getty Images

Hair blown straight and parted down the middle is very popular at the moment. Check out these versions on sisters Kendall Jenner (born November 3, 1995) and Kylie (born August 10, 1997).

At Your Age, Dip-Dye & Colored Extensions Don’t Look Like Child’s Play

Matt King for Getty Images

Yes, Helen Mirren has been pictured recently in pink hair, but Easter Egg colors are best left to the under-30 set.

Jennifer Lawrence’s Shoulder-length Hair

Jennifer Lawrence.
Jason Merritt for Getty

If you follow my site you know I’m ga-ga for shoulder-length hairstyles. This length is, after all, flattering on almost everyone (see The Most Flattering Haircut on Everyone). And hey, if it’s good enough for Jennifer Lawrence (born August 15, 1990)… you get the picture.

Shoulder-length hair is simply the most versatile, flattering hair length on all face types and for all hair textures. The key to the perfect shoulder length cut lies, simply, in the length. It can’t be too long or too short and looks best when it just hits at the collarbone or a bit above.

“The finish should appear blunt but should never be blunt, as blunt looks cheap,” explains stylist Harry Josh in Vogue Magazine. “You texturize the ends with maybe a feather razor so the line appears clean, but there is actually a lot of movement in it. Too much of a block, and it looks heavy.”

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