Red carpet season offers a wealth of inspiration for beauty trends in the upcoming seasons, and that includes hair. From updos to new haircuts to intriguing hair ornaments, the red carpet is filled with daring hair inspiration. That's why we rounded up some of the most daring red carpet hairstyles from women over 50. While some celebs choose to hang onto their trademark haircuts and colors, other A-listers are a little more adventurous when it comes to their red carpet hairstyles. These daring stars like to experiment with bold accessories, out-of-the-box haircuts, and whimsical braids. They inspire those of us watching at home to try something a little more playful for our next big event or outing.
1. Halle Berry
Halle Berry stole the show at the 2021 Academy Awards when she debuted a new asymmetrical bob and baby bangs. The look was vampy and retro, and was a massive departure from her trademark long, caramel hair. At first fans thought this was a permanent change, especially since Berry shared an Instagram story showing her cut locks on the floor prior to the event. But that was just a joke, and her dramatic cut was just a temporary wig.
2. Kris Jenner
Kris Jenner is known for her trademark "momager" pixie cut, but she decided to shake things up at the 2019 Met Gala, where the theme was "Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion." The Kardashian-Jenner matriarch showed up to the pink carpet with a sleek blonde bob, and the look was all thanks to her youngest daughter, Kylie Jenner.
3. Cate Blanchett
In 2020, Cate Blanchett proved that a short bob cut was pretty versatile while walking the red carpet ahead of the movie Amants at the 77th Venice Film Festival. She added a whimsical touch to her embroidered Alexander McQueen top by coaxing her blonde hair into a sculptural swirl. The front of her bob was blown back, and then set into a deep wave that stood up at the ends. It gave her elaborate and classic outfit a playful and slightly futuristic touch.
4. Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek has been all about hair ornaments these last few years, and she has appeared on more than one red carpet wearing archival headbands and modern tiaras. One such example was her feathered headpiece at the 2020 Academy Awards.
5. Helen Mirren
Dame Helen Mirren doesn't believe in "dressing your age," and she proved that by stepping out in bubblegum pink hair at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The pink hairstyle was created by Stephane Lancien, and it perfectly coordinated with her rose-gold Elie Saab gown. But this wasn't the first time that the actress went pink. The 73-year-old actress last went pink at the 2013 BAFTAs, which she said was inspired by America's Next Top Model, of all things.
6. Viola Davis
The first time that Viola Davis stepped onto a red carpet with her natural hair was in 2012 at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood event. "I feel very powerful, I really do," said Davis, about wearing her natural hair. "I feel more powerful every day, more secure in who I am, and I've waited so long for that... It feels so divine."
7. Halle Berry
Halle Berry stunned at the 2017 Academy Awards when she walked the red carpet with a curly afro. The 'do wasn't a wig, but rather her natural hair. “It’s definitely a new look for her — we went for a very natural, curly, powerful asymmetrical ‘fro. This is something she’s never done before and it’s just ridiculous how good she looks,” her stylist Castillo told InStyle. “I would say I cut off at least 5 inches. It created a whole new shape.”
8. Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker wore a playful boho updo to the 2017 Golden Globes. Her braid crown consisted of feathered fishtail braids, which added plenty of volume at the crown of her head. Some believed she wore it as tribute to the late Carrie Fisher, as it resembled Princess Leia's hair. However, the actor revealed it was actually a tribute to her mother's hair.
9. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez channeled the 1990s with her 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards hairstyle. That year, she was up for her first ever SAG Award, where she was nominated for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role for her role in Hustlers.
10. Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson passed away in 2021, but she was known for her fabulous gray hair on red carpets. At the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Denzel Washington in 2019, the actress wore her gray hair in a dark gray bob accented with silver blue streaks.
11. Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda had a complete hair transformation at the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards. “Jonathan Hanousek my hairdresser [did this],” she told Peopleon the red carpet. “I am just kind of a limp rag and they do whatever they want. I’ve had long hair before. But these are my bangs. He cut the bangs.”
12. Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg wore her hair in stunning white dreadlocks for all of 2019, which she debuted for a role. Goldberg played 108-year-old Mother Abigail in CBS' The Stand. Goldberg was excited to take the role because it totally changed the image of what an "older Black woman" looked like.
13. Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton went for an architectural hairstyle for the 2017 screening of the film Okja at the Cannes Film Festival. She was 56 years old at the time, and she decided to contrast her elegant white ball gown with a shaved pixie that was topped with a rolling wave curl. She also traded in her usual red locks for a platinum blonde style, adding to her "Ice Queen" look. Swinton is known for going on the red carpet with minimal makeup, so she often lets her hair do the talking.
14. Lucy Liu
Lucy Liu swapped her natural black hair for a blonde hairstyle at the Netflix Marvel's Luke Cage Season 2 New York City premiere in 2018. She first debuted the look at the Obie Awards, which celebrates Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions.
15. Regina King
Regina King debuted a memorable hairstyle at the 2019 American Music Awards. The Oscar winner presented that year, but before she took the stage she stole the red carpet. Celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims styled King's hair, and he scooped it back into a high ponytail that was accented with a beaded headpiece that resembled jagged baby bangs. This hair piece matched the inky, liquid-like appearance of her Ashi Studio's couture dress. She made fans at home want to fashion their own I Dream of Jeannie hairstyles!
16. Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett rocked a playful headband at the premiere of Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War in Los Angeles in 2018. Her thick headband pulled her natural curls behind her shoulders, and it displayed a crisscrossing abstract bobby pin design.
17. Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson stunned fans with her bold look at BET's Black Girls Rock! 2018 red carpet. Both she and Naomi Campbell were honored that night, and she came dressed to impress. She wore a floral embellished Christian Siriano gown to the event, and offset the look with "a sky-scraping, sculptural updo," according to Vogue.
18. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez subscribed to the motto "bigger is better" at the 2019 IFP Gotham Awards. Her elaborate updo was once again created by celebrity hairstylist Chris Appleton, and it consisted of sleek coils woven into a tight bun.
19. Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek wore another regal hair piece to the 2019 Met Gala, which had the theme "Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion." The actor wore a custom Gucci embroidered tulle gown to the pink carpet, which she accented with a gold leaf head piece.
20. Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter is known for her offbeat hairstyles both on and off screen, but one of her best hairdos was for the Ocean's 8 UK premiere in 2018.
21. Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton rocked another architectural coif to the Suspiria screening during the 75th Venice Film Festival in 2018. This time around she had her hair in her trademark strawberry blonde hue.
22. Regina King
Regina King offset her cotton candy pink Gucci gown at the 2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala with a purple braided updo. "While there were ample fashion statements on the step-and-repeat, most striking were the hairstyles, which put a fresh spin on formal dressing with color, braids and sculptural shapes," The Root reported.
23. Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett went with a sleek '80s look at ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood celebration. She wore a black tuxedo Azzi & Osta jumpsuit to the event, which she complimented with an oversized leather headband that slicked back her hair, allowing her curls to pop behind her.
Madonna is always in costume, so it was no surprise that she wore something bold to the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards. Her jewelry and garb were inspired by North Africa's Amazigh people, whose pieces are often found in shops in Morocco, where the artist celebrated her 60th birthday the week prior to the event.
25. Janet Jackson
In 2017, Janet Jackson debuted a long fishtail braid at the OUT Magazine #OUT100 red carpet. Jackson is clearly the queen of high ponytails.
26. Lisa Bonet
Lisa Bonet wore her hair in an elaborate updo at the "China: Through The Looking Glass" Met Gala in 2015, which she accented with a silk fan.
27. Regina King
Regina King went with an I Dream of Jeannie inspired high ponytail to the HBO's Watchmen Los Angeles premiere in 2019. It was a playful addition to her equally flirty tiered halter gown by Oscar De La Renta. Her hairstyle was created by Larry Sims, and he wrapped the high pony with a black leather scrunchie for extra drama.
28. Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek brought out another one of her hair ornaments for the 2019 British Academy Film Awards. The mesh headband helped elevate her sleek bun.
29. Renee Zellweger
Renee Zellweger channeled a classic high school cheerleader's ponytail at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards, which was a playful contrast to her sophisticated navy Maison Margiela dress.