5 Transformative Haircuts That Bring Youthful Energy, No Matter Your Age

We are all aging. Some of us embrace it, others of us not so much. We get it: Aging in our culture can be complex. We're told to "age gracefully," yet are bombarded with contradictory messages about looking "ageless." If we appear to resist aging norms through our fashion and beauty choices, we're labeled age deniers, and accused of secretly loathing our aging body — the one we're supposed to try to keep ageless.

Ideally, we would enjoy every age. A 2022 article in Frontiers shows that feeling younger among older adults is associated with "fewer depressive symptoms" and a "higher satisfaction with life." While feeling younger could be an attempt to distance ourselves from our age, it also implies the idea of feeling youthful, which seems less focused on age and more on feeling invigorated and optimistic about life at any age.

Since youthful energy is all about living life to the fullest, our fashion and beauty choices should match that. Specifically, we want our hair to match our vibrancy and enhance us. In this very moment, we are literally every age we've ever been, and we have the experience to show for it. So let's take all that we learned and create a confident, energetic vibe starting with a great haircut. Check out these cuts for the youthful vigor you may be looking for.

The pixie cut

A pixie cut looks eternally youthful whether you are 24 or 94. A 2006 study in Review of Psychology shows that long hair on women was associated with maturity among other things, while short hair was connected to youthfulness and honesty. This largely reflects symbolic meanings associated with hair length, and short hair may signal a sense of freedom characteristic of youth. This may be why a pixie cut feels liberating and carefree. You can't hide behind your features, and in essence, it is telling the world: "This is me."


Whether you opt for classic bangs or ones with a cute shag number, bangs frame your face and soften it up. A rigid, austere look, perhaps like a slicked-back bun, might cause you to appear uptight, and hence less spirited (nothing against buns, they have their place too). Alternatively, bangs that cushion the face create the opposite effect. The softness connotes flexibility and perhaps more openness to experiences — a signature characteristic of youthfulness. For best results, be sure the length of your bangs fits your face shape, and the look you're going for. This is a conversation you'll want to have with your stylist. Very short bangs tend to look cool and funky, and longer bangs are more classic.

Layer, layers, layers

Longer-length hair without layers can feel heavy and weighed down. But when you add layers that make the back fuller and frame the face, your hair looks lightweight, giving a more buoyant look. You can wear straighter or wavy layers for a tousled look; or let your natural curls run wild, creating excitement to match your exuberant outlook on life.

Bob it

Cut right at the jawline, bobbed looks have a long history of being smart, sassy, and modern — all the elements of youthfulness. Be sure to choose the bobbed haircut that gives you what you're looking for. A stacked bob is longer in the front and gives you some bounce in the back. Meanwhile, a layered bob gives you movement throughout. A classic bob is one length all the way around — keep the ends bumped for a softer look or straight for a more edgy look.

The buzz cut

If the pixie cut is liberating, the buzz cut is full-on defiance. What better way to show that convention and the "old" beauty standards are not your thing than with an eye-catching buzz cut? It says counterculture in the most alluring way. This might have something to do with the idea that long hair has historically been associated with female beauty and attractiveness. And similar to the pixie, the buzz cut flies in the face of that archetype conjuring up images of fearlessness, rebellion, and youthful vigor.