20 May 2014

The Chop

New York, The Blond Having More Fun - Vicki Archer

 The chop…

What I mean is the haircut.

I had a biggish one recently… a chop, a cut… now I have a messy bob.

Not long, not short… somewhere in the middle.

One length but messy… not so strict around the edges… less formal. 

~ ~ ~

I started thinking about the long v’s short in relation to age.

I remember in my mother’s day, older women meant shorter hair and young girls meant mermaids tresses.

There was no in-between.

Grow up and cut it off.

~ ~ ~

Today the edges are blurred.

Any length/any age.

Of course it’s an individual decision… what suits and what makes you feel right.

I have always preferred long hair… I have mostly had long hair… so loosing 3-4 inches felt a little Samson-ish.

It probably looks much the same, but for me it seems very different.

~ ~ ~

When hair looks good, we feel fabulous. The right hair makes us grow in self confidence… become “stronger”.

If my hair is right… then the rest will fall into place… Silly… but that’s how it’s always been for me.

Do you know what I mean?

~ ~ ~

As much as I love my shorter, more modern cut… and I do… there is nothing so invigorating as  a ” new do”.

I have a feeling that the longer length may come back.

It’s a question of comfort zone.

It’s a question of age.

~ ~ ~

Older… and despite everything… I prefer longer.

There is a fine line… too long and the hair can drag us down… too short and we are middle aged before our time.

Very short hair is super chic on the right face… there is nothing more mignonne or sexy than a “boy cut” on a good looking woman.

There is nothing more unattractive than long flowing, un-groomed locks on an older woman.

~ ~ ~

Hair, like all aspects of fashion, is about interpretation.

Finding a modern edge and adapting it for yourself.

There are no rules… no strict guidelines anymore.

In some ways that makes progressing through life that much harder… decisions to make at every junction.

~ ~ ~

The only rule for hair is that it be well groomed.

Longer or shorter? Cutting or growing? What’s your length? xv



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Morning Vicki

Im so glad someone else feels the same as me. My hair has been every length – Ive had the chic 90’s bob, the Princess Di cut whilst at high school, 80’s big hair (those photos are well hidden!), pig tails/plaits/ringlets courtesy of my Mum (I can only wish those photos were hidden!!). As 50 slowly approaches Ive got clingy with my hair – I love it a bit long, although its short compared to a year ago, it flits and floats just past my shoulders. My Mum wants me to have it short – a little pixie cut I had when I was 3 . . . I know how she feels, Id love my darling boy to have his long blond curls back when he was the same age (hes now 26). Sorry Mum, Im keeping it long, just for a bit longer anyway . . .

Have a great week,

Ruthie x

Karen in Oxford

Good morning Vicki.
I wore my hair long for many years then gradually it became shoulder length and now I wear a short bob because I asked my hair stylist (whose opinion I trust) what she thought would suit me to change it up a bit. My husband has always liked my longer hair but when I walked in sporting my new hairstyle he reacted favourably. In fact, he told me I looked younger – not a bad thing! I miss being able to sweep it up into a chignon though but because my hair is becoming thinner as I grow older, I think I might have to accept the new bob as permanent.

Anita Rivera

Oh, another GREAT topic my friend. OK, when I was much younger, I wore my hair very long because my hair was EVERYTHING about me…or so I thought because it was so prominent and everyone loved it. I cut it off at age 30 and a woman at our church said, “YOU’VE CUT OFF ALL YOUR BEAUTY!” I felt hurt, but the rebel in me said, “I’m keeping it SHORT!” And I did. For years. I am now 56 and proud and I’ve grown all my layers out except for my bangs, my hair is still very black, it suits me, it is almost shoulder length. I agree with you: well-groomed hair at longer than shoulder length is essential. For me, as long as the woman is well-groomed and carries herself well with the least amount of bells and whistles (too much make-up and jewelry), then she looks great. Ines is a great example of that style and though I’m not as statuesque as she is, I can pull off the boyfriend jeans, the white shirt and flats with my hair well-groomed and feel and maybe even look ten years younger. Yes, hair is always an issue, and great products for keeping our locks shiny and healthy is really important and keeping it well-brushed!

Wow, this was a great way to get me started for the day. Now, what to wear on this spring day to my French class….

Leslie Nash

Sounds like the same as yours…… Had it longer cut it off a month ago to a sort of bob, but not, and I love it!

Melanie LeFever

I recently went to a shoulder length bob, and , like you, am thinking about growing it a little longer. As long as it’s well groomed it looks good . My hair texture has changed as I’ve grown older, so I get it straightened using the Yuko Japanense Thermal system. It gives me back the silky hair I used to have, and is wash and wear. I love it. Can we see a picture of your new look? It’s interesting how much angst is associated with hair. When we’re having a good hair day, everything feels right, when we’re not, everything feels wrong.


It is not so much the length of hair with age, but the quality of the hair. If it is thin and wispy, long hair at any age does not look good. I have never had thick flowing tresses, my hair has always been very silky and fine. I have had it down my back and up to my shoulders; never shorter. The shorter length suits me better. I just don’t have the quality of hair that makes long hair look good.


My hair has reached the middle of my shoulder blades, on its way to the middle of my back.
This is the longest it has been since I was a teenager.
It is partly due to the fact that the man that cut my hair died .. I don’t know anyone here and I never see any decent haircuts walking around .. so I will wait until I do then pounce on the person and ask, Who cut your hair ?? (I will probably scare her to death)

I love it long. It is straight. It makes an excellent pony tail. I put it up and it is cool and looks cool :)
I like that I have white/blonde hair and I am not a young girl but I have a good head of hair. So I hate to cut it.

Maybe an inch or two .. no more ! :)


I would love nothing more than long hair flowing down my back but it refuses to grow. One of my best friends has been a hair dresser for many years, she was having me come in for trims every other month and swore to me that keeping the split ends at bay would result in long hair…about a year later she said “Wow, your hair really doesn’t grow!” lol. I usually end up with one clump of hair that’s really long whilst the others have broken and are much shorter.

I’ve never really had nice hair. Now that we live in Florida (hello humidity!!!) I just let it dry naturally and put it in a side braid or ponytail!

Karen in VA

I know exactly where you are here. I always loved long hair but never at any age looked good in it … Went there anyway occasionally for a while.

Chic shorter hair just looked better … Both lengths can look dated or chic.

I think if you look at pictures of yourself that have been taken candidly by others, eventually it will become clear to you which is best. That’s always how I returned to short, when I wanted to be long.

No matter what you do, I suspect you look good. The current style sounds great.

Karen in VA


Having fine thin hair I always thought shorter was better but during the big hair 80’s the perms helped to give the illusion of more, I let it grow almost to the shoulders, I like it and felt more feminine. Sadly my hair paid a price for all those perms and big hair went out of style. Once I stopped getting the permsI kept it quite short, which, as it turned out was my husbands’ preference. A few years ago I decided to see how it would look a little longer, jaw lengh, my new hairdresser asked if I wanted her to cut it with the curl, CURL?, I had naturl curl?? Heck ya cut it with all those curls! In reality I have more waves than curl with one stubborn ringlet on one side. Since then I have grown it to my shoulders. Wash it, scrunch some mouse into it, blow it upside down, and that’s it. I love it and my 22 year old granddaughter thinks I look younger with it long, so it’s staying, hubby got used but still lobbies for shorter hair every once in a while. I agree with you if you like your hair looks, all is right with the world.


I have been going round with this topic for a while. I’m weighing “should I just let it grow out so I can pull it back” versus “should I cut off the extra length into a just-beyond-chin length bob”. The last time I cut it I got so many complements but it was always long when I was younger and I somehow don’t want to let go of that. Oh well, it seems that when we reach a certain age we all have those issues!
As you so correctly stated — as long as it is well groomed, length should be a matter of personal preference.


Hi Vicki,

I’ve always had long hair, I’ve cut it to a bob a few times, and up to my chin a few years ago but i always grow it back. A new haircut is great and you do feel so good when the hair is right —but I can never wear short hair so for me, shoulder length is it even for middle age!


I hope you will share a photo of your new haircut with us, Vicki! I’d been toying with the same idea as my hair is one-length, just above the shoulders, which takes forever to blow-dry and flat iron every day. My fantasy is to have a haircut like Ines de la Fressange that could be “wash and wear”. I showed a photo to my hair stylist, but decided to put it off for awhile as I was feeling impulsive and that’s never a good time for a major change. How do you style your “messy” bob?


La Contessa

I have been letting mine grow!In fact I cancelled my last hair appointment!
I know exactly what you are saying………..will you show us your new do?PLEASE!

Donna Baker

Cut it off recently after 40 years. I really do believe subconsciously, long hair is the way a woman thinks she has to attract a man. After menopause, it is freeing. Really, men only care about the anatomy, not the hair. Of course if it is crazy, like a helmet, or purple, or bald, they might care. It is said women dress for other women. Men who know what a Missoni dress looks like or Van Cleef and Arpel Alhambra jewelry don’t like women if you know what I mean.

Pat Herndon

Love to see a photo! I have an appointment Thursday–in the valley of indecision…


Yet another hot topic from you Vicki, Isn’t it odd how attached we become to our hair? It is our armor of sorts. Our identities are directly correlated with our locks. At least that is how it is for me. I have deep emotional scars over my mother taking me at about age 7 to have my long wavy brown hair cut to a pixie. My grandfather laughed when I walked into the room, and I just burst out into tears. Through the decades I have endured the “perm”, the rock hard “helmet hair”, and the Dorothy Hamil!Now in the 5th decade of my life, I busy myself and my hair dresser with the up keep. Quite the challenge to keep the gray at bay! The once lovely brunette, now blonde! Why? So much easier to camouflage the gray with blonde highlights. Recently, I noticed that my thick, layered, shoulder length, blonde hair was falling out, not just a little, a lot! So much so that the shower drain and hair brush needed to be cleaned daily. I felt absolute panic! I thought to myself, well I guess it will be gray, thin and short! The culprit I found out when I went to my Dr. with a bag of my fallen hair, literally, was my thyroid. Hypothyroidism affects women more than men, and I now have come to terms with the fact that I will take medication for the rest of my days, but I am happy to do so to have my hair grow back! I no longer care about the bad hair days, I’m just happy to have hair to care about! Although, I must admit, there is nothing better than a good hair day and a brand new outfit! Powerful! We, the readers, would love to see a photo of your new do!


I’m with you Vicki, anything goes if it is what we feel best in and the perfect cut, I think it’s in the cut……then the color…..I thrive on a good cut, have super thick hair, use some good product and a spray “shine” that I carry in my car…..it is great stuff to have around and can be used quick like a hair spray but it’s for “shine”……my hair is tossled and I don’t spend a lot of time styling, never have, it looks best the first day back from teh salon, ha ha ha…..so my cut is made to look messy but healthy and free…….”its in the cut”……xo


If I had really nice, super thick hair I would have it long, like maybe Brooke Shields. But, I have thinner hair. So, shoulder length, with just a few layers at the ends, works for me, like Naomi Watts. I can still pull it back or wear it down so it is versatile.


Great topic! When younger I wore my hair very long (as in, I could sit on it) Now – pixie cut and I will never go back. I’ve worn it long, short and now shorter. Love my hair and this middle-aged woman will keep wearing it short.


I agree that there are no rules when it comes to age and hair as long as it is healthy. I am petite and for me a chin length bob works best. I have strangers come up and ask for my stylist’s name so I think others agree. I think a messy bob is a great look for summer so hope you are enjoying your new look!

lisa thomson-The Great Escape...

I’ve always been a chin length girl but in the last year I’ve grown it out. It’s collarbone length which is considered mid-length but for me it’s long :) Bangs and nice layers. I’m liking this because I can put it up for exercise class or a run and it’s fairly low maintenance. I spend less than 5 mins on it each day. I wish you put a picture of yourself on this post, Vicki! I would love to see your new hair style!

lisa thomson-The Great Escape...

I wanted to ask you Vicki, what do you think of the ‘wash your hair every other day’ advice? I’m torn about it. I don’t feel well groomed if my hair isn’t washed everyday but I know it can get dry by over washing. What do you recommend?


I think it depends on your hair, Lisa… I only wash mine a maximum of twice a week… unless it’s summer and I’m swimming… then I use a hair mask regularly. My hair doesn’t get that oily… it’s quite dry so that probably explains why I don’t need to wash it often. They say the more you do, the more you need to… I have found this to be true.
I think let you hair decide… :)


I swear you can read my mind . I have an appointment booked for next week and have been standing in front of the mirror lifting my hair up and down going through the same old dilemma. Good on you for taking the chop but I know exactly how you feel. Every time I do go shorter – I regret it and begin the growing process again. Changing our hairstyle is one of the few things we can do to really update our look,apart from new glasses as we age since most of us have our fashion fairly “down pat” by now. I’m considering a kind of skimming the shoulders, all one length as I approach my 50 th very soon and milestone birthdays always seem to require a freshening of one’s look. Would love to see a photo…


Vicki I am right at shoulder length, really where I feel like an inch off is needed, it just feels fuller and more manageable!

The Arts by Karena

Anita Rivera

I was thinking about hair all day after this post! Another thing I think that is essential for me, is healthy and trimmed hair. If the ends are trimmed and kept neat, even if you sport a longer, layered look, healthy and bouncy is the way to go. You really got me thinking, Vicki!

Esther George

Hi Vicki – To Cut or Not To Cut that is the question 24/7… I think it becomes more complicated as you get older. My daughter has had a pixie cut and it looks great on her but I wouldn’t get away with it. At the moment it’s past my shoulders but I do need a cut soon. I’ve been looking at pictures…no idea yet. Thank you for reminding me not to be lazy. Till next time Regards Esther from Sydney. PS one thing about me I get it cut in layers and I hate myself till it grows out you think I’ve learned my lesson?

Martine Alison

Bonjour chère amie,

Avec le printemps souvent on a envie d’une nouvelle tête ! On hésite souvent toutefois à faire le grand pas lorsqu’on a les cheveux longs. Il faut y aller progressivement.
La semaine dernière j’ai moi aussi fait raccourcir de quelques 15 cm les miens… qui restent encore longs d’après mes proches !! mais je me sens plus légère tout de même.
Quand on a les cheveux qu’on aime on s’aime un peu plus ! c’est vrai…
Un joli billet !

Gros bisous ♡


I recently decided Le Chop was to be my new look after years of a perfect chin length red bob with bangs! I love having short hair, my dead straight locks suddenly have body and bend, even a little curl! I don’t need to shampoo every day which I’ve always done (such a time saver), can play with mousse, gel, spray etc. and get different looks from smooth and chic to messy bed-head looks, can wear hats/caps and not end up with ‘hat hair’ – just a fluff with the hands and it looks good. Have a darker brunette base color now with reddish highlights – am getting positive comments from all, including the husband! Cut/color every 5 weeks – next week when I have my appt. I may go even a bit shorter as I’m off on a cruise and this is the perfect hair for shipboard life!

Have not had long hair for eons – and now at this age never will!
What works for each of us is very personal when it comes to our hair. I don’t think one should make drastic changes unless you feel stuck in a time warp or rut. I guess I was ready and I’m happy I changed my look. I was considering growing out to my natural grey but will continue to have my hair colored….at least for now!

Happy week Vicki –
Hugs, Mary


Mine also is a shoulder-length bob, with bangs to cover the forehead wrinkles. I had bum-length hair when I was 14, then cut it pretty short, to a Dorothy Hamill-style wedge and kept it pretty short since, usually around the shoulders, sometimes above, sometimes below.
I think Dame Judy Dench looks super with her radically short hair. So do some other women. But I think that, as the estrogen factory shuts down, most women look a little more manly and it helps to soften that. At least to avoid the shaved neckline, which is far too masculine and unattractive, especially if there’s a marked difference with permed curls above. It requires a more skillful cut.


I too, cut my hair 4 days ago to a short bob.(I have been growing it out for a year) I think she cut it to short, but it is hair and it will grow. I have let my natural gray at the temples grow out and every six weeks she puts in foils to gray the top which is still brown. Talk about coloring in reverse! But, it is so much easier to take care of. Last year I had a pixie cut which my husband liked but, I really never felt feminine in it. I felt that I had to wear more makeup and more jewelry. This length, I feel that I have a more natural and clean look not overdone.


Vicki I have a bob, have pretty much always had a bob, it goes up and down in length, from hitting the very top of my shoulders to chin length. It is a classic on me so I never change much, just up or down. Would love to see a pict. of your new cut!

D. A. Wolf

I usually cut my own shoulder length hair (really), but about a month back I went to a local place to get a “professional” trim with a little bit of layering to lighten the weight in the back.

They made a mess! And it’s hard to make a mess of my hair (I have thick, easy hair). Not only did I wind up with weird, uneven choppy parts, but in order to fix it (which I did myself) I had to take off about three inches!

Fortunately, my hair grows quickly. But I’m hiding from everyone (including cameras) for at least a few more weeks!

Bad hair? Bad mood. Good hair? We can face the world and deal with anything…

(Good shoes help, too, of course.)


Lesley Hughes

Are you going to keep us in suspense. Would love to see a pic of your new hair style. I am sure it is lovely.


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