Recently I have been pondering the question of age versus long hair… Not intentionally… more because I found myself with hair longer than normal. Not because I was growing it… or trying out a new style… but because time got away and I never made it to the hairdresser. I am not talking Rapunzel here… although it was a lot longer than normal… I think I am a bit ‘eccentric’ when it comes to hair…my hair must be some kind of security blanket or perhaps I had a trauma with a short hair cut when I was young… anyway the truth is I don’t ever wear short, short hair… but usually just above the shoulder line. Lately my hair had grown well below and for me, this felt like ‘long hair’… One day I liked it…and the next day when I looked in the mirror… all I could see was the ‘wicked witch’… Once that unattractive image started buzzing around in my head…time stood still until I made an appointment for a cut. I cut it… and… a good bit off… My hairdresser, who has known me for some time, asked if I were sure (he likes it longer)… I mentioned my ‘wicked witch’ and ‘dancing around a cauldron’ images… he promptly found the scissors and an immediate chop followed… Who was he to argue.
The inevitable happened… (When will we girls ever learn to be happy with what we have?) I don’t like my hair this short now… and prefer the extra few inches to play with. We women are never content… It is certainly not the end of the world and this is only a little frivolous chat for a Wednesday but it has made me reflect on the question of ageing and longer hair. Traditionally as women grew older, their hair became shorter… I think this has changed and I believe today we can have our hair as we like it and as it makes us feel comfortable. Obviously the style must flatter and longer hair needs to be well cut, groomed and in top condition. But I believe those are the parameters to long hair… not age.
Coincidentally as I was having a catch up with friends yesterday, one of the women, with great personality and style, announced that she was off to the hairdresser to cut her hair off. This woman, she was in her 50’s, had very pretty silvery hair and it was long… but it worked, it suited her and she looked beautiful. I asked her reasons… explaining that I had just done the same thing and wasn’t sure that I liked my shorter hair. She said it was because so many of her girlfriends had told her to ‘ditch’ the long locks… She went off to the hairdresser, to please her girlfriends. I do believe that this was the only reason because to me, she seemed entirely secure and confident with the length of her hair. I can’t help but feel that she will be unhappy with the result.
I think I am going to take the reverse approach to ageing when it comes to my hair. I am going to wear it longer… it won’t be rivalling Lady Godiva… but it won’t be short either. When I am a doddery ancient old thing I will opt for a French roll or a low slung chignon…. My impression is that longer hair these days is more youthful… softer and feminine. The previous stipulations of middle age no longer exist and in truth, what is middle age? Women are intellectually and physically more active than ever… Professionally, many women are achieving more in their middle decades than they ever did before… How we wear our hair has only one rule… and that is, no rule… Hair… the length of it, the style of it, is an individual decision not a commandment.
Short hair… or long hair… Are you cutting or growing?… xv
Have you read Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen?
‘Advanced Style is Ari Seth Cohen’s blog-based ode to the confidence, beauty, and fashion that can only be achieved through the experience of a life lived glamorously. It is a collection of street fashion unlike any seen before—focused on the over-60 set in the world’s most stylish locales. The (mostly) ladies of Advanced Style are enjoying their later years with grace and panache, marching to the beat of their own drummer. These timeless images and words of wisdom provide fashion inspiration for all ages and prove that age is nothing but a state of mind.’