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Should Women Over 40 Cut Off Their Hair?

Jambalaya

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Let's focus for a moment on something lighter than all the misery in the world. I just read something saying that women over 40 shouldn't have long hair - that is, longer than shoulder-length. I've heard this before. Do people really subscribe to this idea or is it a hangover from an earlier era when women turned up their hair after coming of age? I'm old enough to have had a grandmother who reportedly had waist-length hair but I never saw it down - it was always tied up in a ribbon. I've always had long hair and I would never cut it. I don't care what anyone thinks - I don't care if I look like mutton dressed as lamb. But some people seem to feel pretty strongly about older women having hair past the shoulders. I'm amazed that the cutoff seems to be forty. So young!

However, when I think of all the ladies I know who are 60-plus, I can't think of a single one who has long hair, and all my parents' women friends had short hair as far back as I can remember.

Should women past 40 cut their hair off?

Why do hardly any older women have long hair?

Why does anyone care?

Is it due to practical concerns - ie hair gets so thin with age that you really can't wear it long? Is it because long hair really does look not-great with older faces? Or is it just another attempt to control women?

I've never had great hair. Some people have naturally amazing thick glossy hair, but I don't, and it takes quite a bit of work and then it's only OK. But I still prefer it to short hair and it wouldn't suddenly morph into great hair just because it's short - it would probably look worse. I'm a little hurt as to why society says we olds should have short hair. It's as if we're not attractive enough to have princessy hair just because we're not young. :(sad
 

Andelain

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I'm mid 50's and wear my hair down to my shoulder blades in curly locks. Here's a pic of it that's just a few years old.

WF-RSTG_Earrings-MH.jpg
 

sonnyjane

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I have a couple more years until 40 but I certainly don't plan to chop mine! DH's mom has hair down to her butt at age 60. I think it's a bit too long, but she survived three bouts with brain cancer, surgery, and chemo that forced her to lose all her hair, so after that she said no way she is cutting it short!
 

monarch64

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I've never heard that 40 was some sort of cutoff for having long hair. (Pun intended.) Where did you read this, or did you just stumble across one of Dancing Fire's old topics?

I would like to know what the consequences are of breaking this rule. Will the state refuse to renew your driver's license if you're over 40 and come in for your new license with long hair? Will you be passed over for awards and promotions? Will children point and laugh at you?

Seriously, though, I think it probably has to do with men, and how they can tell if a woman is still capable of reproducing. Don't most really stupid rules go back to the world revolving around their need to populate the planet and dominate everything? :read:
 

manderz

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I see it a lot, as well. All the women in my family have gone for the big chop, many of them earlier than 40. I feel like I'm the exception to the rule in that I have always (with the exception of a couple mistakes) had very long hair, and I have no intentions of cutting it, at least not any shorter then Andelain's. My hair is now about to my bra strap, and I have been considering a chop to that length. There's no way I could go shorter than that though. I just don't have the right face shape for it.
 

Rockinruby

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I've heard this from a young age. You aren't supposed to wear your hair long once you are in your 40's. Kind of like not wearing white after Labor Day. :rolleyes: I complimented someone on their new haircut recently and the lady replied that she's getting too old to wear it long. I think she looked nice with either short or long hair though. :dance:
 

Gypsy

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Ridiculous. Old fashioned. Out dated.
40 is the new 30. First of all.

I do think that as you age your hair loses moisture. Plus as women go gray many decide to color it. All of this results in damaged hair that doesn't look healthy at longer lengths, so many women opt for shorter hair styles as a result.

But just look at Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie. Both are over forty and their long hair looks great.

With new advances in hair care like with Oplex that makes the coloring process healthier. And hair care lines like Living Proof that are aimed at keeping hair healthy as it ages there is NO reason for any arbitrary rules.

Do what you like.
 

Dancing Fire

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Maybe not over 40 but before you hit 50.. :bigsmile:
 

Natylad

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Oh, my God Jambalaya... Why did you have to start this thread? It took me a long time to recover from a fight with my mom about this exact issue...
I live in Europe and it seems that cutting off your hair after the age of forty is something like an unwritten rule here. In the past, the situation was worse but even nowadays, I notice so many friends and relatives cutting their hair much shorter than they used to wear it, when they reach approximately this age.
What are the reasons or excuses to do so?
1. They have children and they are very busy and tired all the time, so they don't have the time and energy to take care of their long hair. (I have seen women giving birth and having a haircut two weeks after :wall: )
2. Sooner or later the quality of their hair will degrade, due to age, so they'd rather have the haircut earlier, before they reach the stage of having thin, brittle, dull looking hair.
3. A woman after forty is not supposed to wear long hair and pretend to be very young, because in fact she is not, and she should come to terms with reality and accept her age (by...cutting her hair :shock: ) because this is the proper thing to do... :rolleyes:

In general I respect other people's opinions and I don't take personally their views, if they are different to mine, (because, as Kenny says: People vary...) but this specific issue is pushing all the wrong buttons inside my head and makes me very angry.
I am 42 years old and a lawyer. So many times I've heard that a girl my age (yes, I am a girl and I feel like a girl ;)) ) should have a much shorter hairstyle, because my long hair is not "appropriate" either for my age or my profession :angryfire: :angryfire: :angryfire: I think that all this is NONSENSE. Truly nonsense. I know for a fact that if I have a haircut, I will instantly look at least ten years older and less fresh. I also know for a fact, from my experience, that people in court take me very (VERY) seriously and my long hair never stood in the way of receiving the right attention and respect in my professional life.
I wish that people minded their own business and didn't feel that they have to bully other people like this. I honestly feel insulted with these comments. The worst part of it was when my own mother suggested that I cut my hair because I am a "middle aged woman".... ehm... No, I am not.
I exercise my right to look as I choose. And i choose to feel young and beautiful. I choose to ignore all those comments, even if they are coming from my own mom (whom I love very much but sometimes she can really drive me crazy), and keep my beautiful long hair, wear it down all the time and feel happy. I choose to look exactly as I wish and as my Dear Husband wishes. And I choose to practice law with long blonde hair :D
Last but not least, I am a very hard working person and I have two children, a husband and a household to take care of, but I still find time to take care of my hair and myself. Lack of time, is a terrible excuse...
I attach two pictures. the first one was a photo taken by a dear friend of mine, who is a professional photographer, last summer. The second one was taken by my niece, again last summer. I'm looking at them and try to imagine how I would look in the same photos with much shorter hair... :knockout: :knockout: :knockout:
GIRLS... Stick to your long locks regardless of your age... :appl:

img_3718_copy__3_.jpg

img_3835__2_.jpg
 

VRBeauty

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Do they have to? Of course not - many older women look stunning with long hair. Take Emmylou Harris for example - she's my hair idol! But I've known many women in my mother's generation who had gorgeous long hair that they mostly wore up for much of their lives - think French twists and the like - who went short when they hit their 50's or 60's. I think they did it mainly to simplify things.

I think the conventional wisdom comes from the concern that long hair might echo and emphasize facial sagging that starts to happen as you get older. I know without surgical intervention, I'm likely to be in the bagging and sagging group. *oh well.* I started wearing my hair shorter several years ago, but it had nothing to do with age or aging - I think. ;))
 

Dancing Fire

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natyLad...wish my lawyer was a "hot looking blonde" like you ... :naughty:
 

kenny

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If any person, of any age, of any gender wants long hair or short hair ... groovy! :appl:

Do whatever you want.
 

tuffyluvr

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No!!! I feel like that's such a dated idea. I agree that as you age you need to take better care of your hair since hair tends to become more brittle and dry with age, but a head of shiny, healthy hair is beautiful at any age!
 

Laila619

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No way! I'm only in my thirties, but I plan to keep my long hair for many, many years to come.
 

dk168

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Each to their own.

However, mutton dressed as lamb is not a good look IMHO - the whole package, not just the hair.

DK :))
 

diamondringlover

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I am in my mid 50's and I wear shoulder length hair, sometimes just a tad longer...I use to wear it a little longer but I will never cut it real short, it would make my round fat face look fatter......
 

missy

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I am 50 and I don't subscribe to rules like these. I do what I feel is best for me and my appearance and right now that is to keep my hair length at below my shoulders. Attaching some recent hair pics. I think it is ridiculous to follow rules that tell you how you should wear your hair/clothes/jewelry etc. Do what makes you feel good. You're not hurting anyone keeping your hair short or long right? So do what you want to do and stop listening to what others think you should do.

You rock your long hair Naty girl! Looks fantastic on you! And you too Andelain! :appl: :appl: :appl:


Hehe Gypsy, I thought 50 was the new 30 and 40 is the new 20. That's my thinking anyway. :cheeky:

hairlength.jpg

backofhairaugust2015.jpg
 

House Cat

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Oh heck no!

I love my long hair. Once my hair is silver, I plan on looking like this woman.


gray.jpg
 

CJ2008

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I think hair health and whether the style is flattering or not is what should dictate length, not age.

If your hair is dry and brittle it is not going to look attractive even if you're 21. And even less if you're older.

Look at Judge Marilyn Milian - her hair looks good long because it's healthy. She's in her 50s.

On the other hand, the actress from The Walking Dead (I forget her name in the show) - the older woman leader in the community - I think her hair looks terrible. It is barely to her shoulders but it looks really dry and brassy and full of split ends - it makes me sad because it just looks like she's desperately trying to hold on to something she no longer has. :(( She must be in her 70s - and I think in her case she would look so much better if she went shorter. Or even if she wore it up, like in a low bun, or another hairstyle.
 

cflutist

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My late mother had long hair which she colored until she passed away at age 76.

Here is a picture of her on her 60th birthday.

mom003.jpg
 

Asscherhalo_lover

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cflutist|1450020472|3960927 said:
My late mother had long hair which she colored until she passed away at age 76.

Here is a picture of her on her 60th birthday.

She's gorgeous!

I just turned 30 and I have no plans on chopping my hair unless I want to. I have had my hair VERY long and VERY short, right now it's on the short side growing back out to long. I don't color my hair even though I've had increasing amounts of silvery strands for at least 5 years now, if anything I'll do a henna treatment which is not at all damaging. I also do not heat style my hair except for special occasions. I look forward to having long flowing white hair one day!
 

Niel

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My mother is in her mid 50s and has beautiful dark brown hair a few inches down her back.

I know she has felt like she's "too old" for it, but she likes if, my dad likes it, and it works for her lifestyle.

Rock it as long as you can.
 

stracci2000

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I had very long hair(past my butt) for a long time while I was a stay-at-home mom, and found myself mostly twisting it up everyday.
It takes a lot of work to keep very long hair healthy, to avoid split ends, dryness, breakage, etc.

I once heard a hairstylist on a TV show remark that long hair draws the eye down your back, and short hair draws the eye to your face.

I guess that idea was always in the back of my mind after hearing that, so I did eventually cut my hair shorter.
Now that I'm over 50, I have an angled bob, which I like.
 

Tacori E-ring

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My mom is 66 and has very long hair (mid-back). I say do what you feel good about and screw the "rules."
 

tyty333

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I'm in my mid 50's and mine is down to my collar bone. I admit that I put it up most days because I live in a hot state. I say go with looks good. Sometimes gray hair gets a witchy texture that I don't think
Looks good long but if you enjoy that way, who am I to tell you to cut it
Off? And if you have beautiful long hair like some of the girls on PS I would be more likely to tell you not to cut it!
 

Calliecake

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Andelain, NatyLad and Missy, Please don't cut your hair. You all look beautiful with long hair.

Cflutist, Your mom was a very beautiful woman.

I get the same comments from my mom that Natylad gets. I'm in my 50's and like wearing my hair long. When I no longer like it long I will cut it. I am so tired of hearing these old dated comments about women cutting their hair short once they turn 40.

Natylad, My mom has been better about the comments this past year. She was brutal and would start the comments as soon as I walked in the door. About a year ago after she finished with the nasty comments I told her I didn't particulary like the way she wears her hair but felt it was better to keep hurtful comments to myself. I haven't heard a comment about my hair since.
 

Natylad

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Dancing Fire|1449996541|3960884 said:
natyLad...wish my lawyer was a "hot looking blonde" like you ... :naughty:

DF... I will take this as a compliment ;))
 
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