Aging Hands
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Long Hair and Older Women

Forty-seven-year-old TGB reader, Peggy Race, emailed recently asking about old women and long hair.

“I'm getting subtle pressure to cut my long hair,” she wrote. “It is down past my shoulders at the moment and there seems to be some sort of law that states only young women can have long hair.”

Peggy's right that in general, the advice for women older than (even) 35 is to cut their hair short, and long hair, especially long gray hair is cause for comment, usually negative. The reasons given depend on the source:

  1. Women's magazines: Short hair is more manageable.

  2. Salon owners: Long hair makes women past 35 look older than they are.

  3. Bigots: Old women look stupid trying to appear younger.

None of these reasons is valid. Short hair takes a lot of work starting with frequent visits to the hair cutter. Unless you are blessed with the kind of hair you can run your fingers through and look great, keeping short hair neat can involve curlers or straighteners or curling irons and mousse or gels or whatever else keeps it in place.

Marianvaneykmccain My hair has grown nearly down to my waist now. I trim off the dead ends now and then, wash it every other day, let it air dry – it takes only an hour – and brush it. How simple is that. I pull it back in a clip for a low pony tail or pin it up in a bun. Either way takes only a couple of minutes. Marian Van Eyk McCain of elderwomanblog (pictured), wears her long, gray hair in a single braid.

It is conventional wisdom that long hair on older women calls attention to wrinkles and sags and makes them look older. Older than what? This reason presupposes that looking one's age is a bad thing which I've spent nearly six years arguing against on this blog. Plus, salon owners have a vested interest in short hair to keep women coming back for a cut every few weeks, so don't listen to them.

As to the last reason, unless a 50-plus woman is walking around in a miniskirt, bare midriff and too much makeup with her long, gray hair, I don't understand the objection. And even if she does wear all those things, who am I – or you – to judge her.

Nearly 40 years ago while walking across West 57th Street in New York City, I noticed a woman in front of me with long, straight hair hanging nearly to her waist. No big deal; many women wore long hair then, but not gray hair, as this woman had.

I'd had a friend who had gone completely gray in our mid-20s, so I was curious to know how old this woman was. I sped up and reached her at the next corner. Hoping for subtlety as we waited for the light, I took a peek at her face. She was not, like my friend, prematurely gray. She was, I was guessing, in her mid- to late fifties and she looked fabulous. Of course, she was also tall, slender, had cheekbones and a smooth jawline, four things nature left out of my anatomy.

Even so, I determined then and there that when I got old, I would wear my gray hair long. Part of the reason for the decision, even at age 35 or so, was that I disliked every moment and resented every dollar I spent at the hair shop. I thought it was necessary then for – well, what did I think? I'm not sure now; it probably had something to do with men.

Long hair is problematic in old age if it is thinning. Mine is and I'm still vain enough to not want to show off my balding spots. That's where the bun comes in; it covers the thin area on my crown quite nicely.

Given the prevalence of age discrimination in the workplace, it's probably a bad idea, if you're not retired, to stop coloring your hair and wear it long or in an old-fashioned bun – although in the past few years, young professional women have increasingly worn buns. But I'm pretty sure the same style in an older woman would be seen as “letting herself go.”

If, however, employment is not a concern and it pleases you to have long hair, gray or not, I say go for it, Peggy. The people who are who are pressuring you to cut it are out of line.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Ellen Younkins with a poem: CFO


After years of following the fashion trend of short hair for elders, I am letting my hair grow now. Partly for the reasons you gave, Ronni. Trips to the beauty parlor were difficult for me to arrange. In addition, my cochlear implant gadget (processor, battery and mic) keeps falling off. Long hair combed over the implant processor will help anchor it. (I confess to a smidgen of vanity, as it will also help hide it.)

I am at that terrible in between stage when it isn't long enough to accomplish the desired result and is so long that I have to curl it. My hair used to grow very fast and I am now discovering that it is like everything else in my body - slow, slow, slow!!!

Another discovery I am making is that my hair will no longer hold curl and those dratted bobby pins are a royal pain for me to manage. I refuse to go the perm route. Right now I feel like a teenager (neither child nor adult) and my hair is neither long or short. Sigh!

Long hair, short hair, inbetween hair - what on earth does it have to do with age?

I confess to not wanting to look like the back of a bus, never have done, so I make the best of what I have, provided it takes up little time and even less money. Shortish suits my aging face and jawline best; I am the sort of dirty grey that bleaches every bit of colour out of my face, I don't bother wearing make-up, so I have a tint. If any of that became an effort tomorrow, I'd give it up.

What did the sisters burn their bras for in the long ago if we are still fussing about the prevailing fashions?

I wear my hair short, because it's easier to care for and looks neater. My husband prefers long hair, so right now mine is at a compromise length; I'd like it shorter. But, he's more accepting of shorter hair now because his mother at 90 has long hair and looks even older, unkempt and not always clean. She seems to think it makes her feminine identity clearer. She likes it. That's good for her. We and others think she looks sloppy and, although she's still a sharp and wise lady, people treat her like she looks, an old woman of little consequence.

Boy did I need this today! At 43, I've listened to my mother's opinion that I need my hair cut short and poodle permed for at least 13 years. I do color it, but I keep it long past my shoulders. It's good to hear I'm not the only one that doesn't follow the "rules" of middle age :)

Sometimes I think I'd like to grow mine out and pile it on top of my head. It would certainly save money! I hate the growing out process, though, and I usually give in and get it cut after 2-3 months.

I would love to let my hair grow.
It is so fine that you could put it all in a cup. It is like baby hair. So, short and curly seems best for me. But may just let it grow and stop the every 6 months perm.
You - with thick, long and gray hair I envy you.

My hair is super thick, dry and bushy. I wore it long in the 70's..parted in the middle and down my back. However, it took huge rollers and two hours underneath one of those portable cap hair dryers to keep it from looking like a shrub.
Now, at 65 (October 17 birthday), I do color it and keep it in a shortish bob. This requires a cut every 6 weeks, conditioning, blowdrying, curling ironing every two-three days.
I do think long hair is less trouble on a daily basis and I see no reason why anyone should bow to pressure to cut theirs.

How come we can put a man on the moon, but can't grow hair on balding heads?

I fantasize this: a new invention, say, like a vending machine, with pictures of hair, all hair, from everywhere... cat, dog, human, skunk, raccoon, horse, mule...

you select which one you want, stick your head in the opening, BAM! you come out with a ton of hair.

How come as we age, we grow hair on all sorts of other places, like nostrils, ears, chin?

Why can't all stray hair report to the head once we reach age 40?

How come, at 40, my tweezers became my best friends?

My hair is short, fine, like feathers. What am I, a bird?

If so, I want to be an eagle.

Eagles fly solo.

Thanks for this. Out of work, I have been stretching going to the beauty parlor to 8 weeks unless I have a job interview (few and far between). I was totally grey at 40 and was thinking of letting my grey hair grow in. But I have a very pale complexion and the grey made me look terrible.

At this age, I don't give a you know what except I still need to work. And I have wrinkles so, two strikes and you are out on interviews.

So I do what I have to do but believe me, if I get a job and am doing well, the grey will come back in...effem.

Great subject as it deals again with the keep people in boxes which so many love to do. I was told in my early 20s (by a male hair stylist) that I should not wear my hair long past 30. Well I did and then would cut it and then would let it grow again. The shorter look (neckline not bubble cuts) was like a new me and it was fun but pretty soon I'd want it long again. When I got to my 50s I kept it a little longer than collar length as that seemed right but began to want it long but this time a new element added the picture. I had begun coloring it in my mid-50s after a bad experience a salon permanent (the only reason I ever went to a salon was for permanents) that dried it out really badly. When I wanted to wear it longer, I knew I wouldn't want to dye it; so that took awhile getting the color gone. I did it by coloring less and less to avoid the skunk stripe as by that time I had a lot more gray.

Anyway today I wear it long, in the back below the bra-line. I wear it tied into knots, braided, but most of the time loose as except when moving an irrigation line with the wind blowing, I like the feel of it better loose. For me the long hair is perfect and I do get compliments on it because so many do color it but I felt like to have hair this long and coloring it would mean I was trying to fool myself as to my age. I have enjoyed letting it go gray as much as growing it long.

The attitude toward old women and long hair has changed. I read a piece this year about how it's okay if it doesn't go down below the breast. The hairstylist I used to have in Tucson before she retired had long hair and was good about understanding mine as when I go in for a permanent (which I do a time or two a year), I want someone who is familiar with long hair and will watch the timer very carefully. A bad perm is a quick way to be back with shorter hair. Although I wear mine in pretty long layers, I have always been good at hair cutting and do trim it myself between permanents. My hair takes very little care and it's how I like it.

Wonderful topic.

I delighted in seeing one of the big Vogue staffers with long, curly, bright red hair as contrast to her wrinkles. Made me want to cheer. No helmet hair for her.

At almost seventy, I have beyond shoulder length brown and grey hair. It was very long when I started my water aerobics. Now it is up almost to my shoulders and feels as if ten pounds were removed with the cut.

I hop out of the pool, shampoo and go....with wisps of bangs covering my receding hairline. As long as I can put it in a clip and out of my eyes, I will be fine.

My husband has alopecia and male pattern balding. He finally went to a military barber and told him to do a high and tight. He came home bald. It works for the job hunt he is on now as my shorter hair works for the pool.

I have reached a place of greater acceptance of how I look. I am blessed to have good hair, not much to complain about. I color it,'s vanity. But I don't have beautiful gray hair as some women do. I find that shorter hair suits me best, though I would love to have long hair that I could twist up into a knot at my whim. I say, go girls! Whatever feels right! Must be ten years of living in a 55+ community...I am more appreciative of the beauty in healthy aging.

"Even so, I determined then and there that when I got old, I would wear my gray hair long. Part of the reason for the decision, even at age 35 or so, was that I disliked every moment and resented every dollar I spent at the hair shop."

Ronni, once again you have made me giggle, I'm sure without intending it. Your reasons for keeping your hair long are exactly the same ones I give for keeping my hair short. It has been at least seven years since I was last in a hair salon - when I was going on interview. I wore my hair short from age 16 - 38, then wore it long until age 56. Air drying took my long hair 4 - 100 hours, depending upon the humidity. In Albuquerque, 4, in Florida it would never get dry (I made up the 100-hour figure!) It still takes at least a couple of hours to dry, even though I keep it about 1" - 1.5" long. To each her own!

Where I live in the somewhat artsy town of Ashland, Oregon, there are quite a few older women who wear their hair shoulder length and longer, and their hair is often silver or gray or white. It's a very refreshing sight. I would love to have long hair, but look better in shorter styles.

Ah, Doctafil, a woman who speaks for me, too. Why so little hair on the top of my head? The skin on the top of the head is not supposed to be so visible. Chin and lip hairs, many dark brown of course, are many and seem to grow faster than I can tweeze.

Scientists unite. The first one who can migrate hair from chin to head -- or can find the anti-fat pill -- will be rich!

And a tip for those with thinning hair -- dark hair emphasizes the visible scalp more than gray/white hair. Mine's been snow white for years.


I think I was about Peggy's age when my mother said to me, with a worried look on her face,"Of course, you will get your hair cut before you turn 50 won't you?"
My puzzled response was "No, of course not. Why on earth would I do that?"
" Well you can't really go on wearing a ponytail, can you?"
Needless to say, I could and can and at 73 I still do. Or, as Ronni says, a braid. I don't wear it loose because that style has never suited me, but some gray-haired women look fabulous with flowing, gray locks. Check out Rain's picture in the 'Quarterstaff' section, for example. She's gorgeous.

Great post, Ronni. It's an issue with me since, oh, about three years ago when I hit 55. I've worn my hair long to medium-long most of my life and loved it most when I could just let it flow in my teens-30s. Then I began mostly wearing it pulled back in a barrette. And now I have to wear it pulled back or up on top of my head because I have some sagging at my jawline. I've tried to wear it down but it looks like hell; I just can't do it anymore. But, oh, well, it's still long and I'm loving the gray as it comes in.

My hugest fear right now is that the possibility of my husband's job with the State of Oregon will be cut next February and we'd both be looking for jobs. I'd have to color my hair and seriously think about a style, which I would hate more than I can express (and I'd hate having to go back to work even more!).

Some time ago a blogger in South Africa that I read had a wonderful post titled: Dear Future Me (click), in which she mentions the issue of her long hair. It's a great piece and her post titled Dear Past Me (click) is truly beautiful.

Your vision of the woman with the waist-length gray hair was wonderful. Isn't it wonderful the ways in which we inspire one another (this post being one of them)!

Well, I was a bit jealous when both my sons had longer hair than mine, down to the middle of their backs.... One still does, the other just cut his chin length. ;^) Mine is shoulder-length, trim it myself, still color it 'cause it's salt and peppery dirty blonde right now.I keep hoping for gray or white, but it's not gonna happen. ;^) Coloring your own hair is just not that hard, really! And most of the home based ones are less chemically harsh on your hair, too.You can even get all natural ones without all the chemicals in them.

Some ways to have better hair:

Ditch the sulfated shampoos for a sulfate free one, and add a nice fine oil spray or shea butter conditioner, and the dry hair goes away. The usual shampoos all have sulfates that dry out your hair. Shampoo every other day and keep more oils in your hair. Stop perming it, for goodness sake! Terrible for your hair. Use a GOOD boar bristle brush and a bamboo comb. Give it a nice hair mask once in a while. Easy peasy!

Great topic.
I enjoyed reading all the comments too.

Fortunate, I guess, to have little gray at 64, and since my natural color has always been one of my best assets, I don't color. Nor do I intend to.

However, I do thrive on the the emotional lift that change provides.

My hair grew out from a modified page boy I was wearing at 50, to below my waist at 57. I wore it in two long braids piled on top of my head (just like my grandmother wore hers). Many of my friends felt it made me look matronly. I didn't care, it was so easy to take care of and I liked the feel of it on the rare occasions I wore it down.

Then came another urge for change and I cut it shorter than I'd ever worn it. A pixie cut I could wash, let dry and go. Okay, maybe I'd add a little product, if I wanted a sense of style. My friends told me how much younger it made me look, but I didn't do it for them, or for that reason.

6 years of short hair and I'm letting it grow again. It's currently chin length. I'm looking forward to it growing a few more inches, which will allow me to wear it loose, pulled back with a barrette, or up in a french roll.

Though, I don't think it's a matter of, length, color or style. It's a matter of how we feel about our selves.

If it feels good to color, color. If it feels good to wear long hair, wear it long.

My hair is fine and straight. I was working on growing it out, having decided I wanted to be that lady with the long grey braid. then I noticed it was looking a bit thin in the front and, thinking that growing it out would make that worse, I recently got it cut chin length, and layered. Part of the reason for the layers is that I'm in a play, and they were going to make me wear a wig if I couldn't get my hair to look like the 1930s. Visualizing Margaret Rutherford playing Miss Marple, I got it layered, and apply hot rollers before each performance.

I may go back to growing it out after the show is over. It is starting to grey, but, first it darkened from the ash blonde it used to be. I like the grey.

You have opened a fascinating window on how we look at our aging selves. First hands. Now hair.

I confess that I was dealt a great hand in the hair department. I'm mid-fifties, with hair that is thicker than average and gently graying. I've worn it shoulder length in my early forties, but it's currently very short. But as soon as I'm free of the workplace; I'm headed to braid town.

As for color. Don't be silly. I teach twenty-somethings, and I've earned the right to be gray.

My hair has been different lengths at different times of my life -- long red curls my Mother told me she brushed around her fingers, pigtails later, short hair and for some reason a few years later, home permanents, then short hair without a permanent.

I had several years of letting my hair grow almost to my waist and I don't think it was that becoming to my features, frankly. My hair was heavy and disappointingly I could never get it to stay up in a bun. I finally had it cut short as the natural red was gradually darkening. Have never dyed my hair any color and it's quite silver and gray now. I have a lot of issues about hair dyeing, but if others choose to do so, that's up to them.

I love my gray hair as it is and keep it short by choice. It requires little care from me which I also like. I do indulge myself in a weekly shampoo and blow dry, a reward I gave myself years ago when I started working and one I'll likely continue in the future. Weeks ago I had a friend take a picture of my gray hair for the purpose of posting it on my blog when I get around to completing some accompanying commentary.

I read here, Ronni, that you've mellowed a bit in your attitude toward dying hair though you still don't dye your own.

I think people should wear their hair in whatever length they prefer. Whether or not it is becoming to another's eyes may be quite a different matter. I must admit that my personal view is that I haven't seen too many older women with long hair they've allowed to flow freely that I've thought was most attractive for their facial features.

Often the long hair I've seen on elders has been frizzy, flying in the air, almost as though it was electrified. I do hear a lot of younger people '30s to '50's+ who don't have very complimentary comments to make about the oldsters long free flowing frizzy hair. Often the comment is, if the long haired women are of a certain age, "They're still stuck in the sixties!"

I think buns are much more becoming for most older women, but whatever each prefers is fine with me. People may not like my short hair for all I know.

My grandmother, lived into her 80's,had long white hair that fell below her waist. She always wore it in a bun. When I was young, I was fascinated when she let it down and started to brush it. My mother cannot remember a time when grandma's hair was short.

Well this is great! When I have my next appointment this is what I'll be saying. "I don't want short hair. It is up to YOU (the hair stylist) to make it look good."

I think the texture & thickness of one's hair ia a big factor in choosing a length. After years of coloring to change a mousy natural cast, am now delighted with a glowing shade of platinum that nature has come up with. Who knew?

The shortest I had my hair was shoulder length in my 20's. I've grown my hair out and have kept it long since.

I'll be 54 in November, and my hair reaches a little past my waist. If I'm lucky, it will grow longer, though it does take longer to grow these days and the hair shaft, itself, seems thinner.

I get more and more gray as time goes by. It makes me smile to look down and see long strands of gray intertwined with the darker hair, which is getting lighter all the time.

I'm way too lazy to dye my hair. Wash, blow dry the bangs (Yes, I have light bangs and like to frame the hair around my face...I guess bangs are supposed to be a young thing, too, right?), and air dry the rest.

I wear it free hanging down my back, or if I want a braid, I'll loose braid one long braid over to the side and front, letting it lay across my shoulder to the front. No ties top or bottom. Just let the hair fan open or curl at the ends, whatever they feel like doing.

On the other side that doesn't have a braid, I'll pull a few strands loose so there are long feathered strands hanging off my neck and down the other shoulder.

I like it. I could care less if anyone does. Although, I have received a number of compliments from both men and women - strangers, who just felt like saying something - wearing my hair that way,obvious gray and all.

Your hair is part of your body. You ought to wear it the way you want, and the way that reflects who you are and in a way that pleases *you*.

People who criticize or set up arbitrary rules need to get a life. If we spent as much time exploring what's right for us, as we do dictating to others what we think is right for them, our lives would all be a bit happier.

Have been letting my hair grow for the past 10 months or so -- because I cannot afford to get it cut any longer. I do not suppose it helps with my never-ending job search, but no one was hiring me with short hair either, so what's the diff? I will be happy to conform with any employer's appearance requirements -- as soon as I have an employer.

Short hairstyles for older women help add body and shape to aging hair. As we age, our bodies naturally slow down. Your body produces less melanin, giving your hair less pigment and thus less color.

The length and color one choses to wear their hair doesn't have anything to do with age, but to do with skin tone and features. If you have a small face, you wouldn't want long straight hair to make it look smaller, or if you have a fat face, you wouldn't want big hair to add to it. I have a friend that is 62 (same age as I am)and she wears her hair down to her waist,and colors it black, I wear mine short,and color it a soft brown with light auburn highlights...People have asked me if she is my mother. Her hair adds 10 years to her age. I was a hairdresser for 16 years and there is nothing worse than an old woman coming in with long hair and it coming out in your hands when you shampoo it, so consider the factors before choosing your hairstyle.

Thank you for posting all of these comments, which I just came across. I was debating whether or not to let my silver/brown hair grow out and get longer or to cut and dye it. I wore it short for over 30 years when my late husband had begged me to let it grow. It became so cumbersome for someone over 30 to look 16. I had my last cut a year ago. It looked awful. I didn't dye my hair for a year. The other afternoon I caught a glimpse of myself in the TV and wondered who the old lady was that was sitting in my chair. I scared myself. I think dying my hair will take 10 years off my face and so will cutting it short again. This blog tells me that's what I have to do. I can't control the way my face aged, but I can control my hair.

do as you feel, wear it long if you want, who gives a crap, we are all going to die way too fast, may as well
enjoy what you want when you want wher you want. mine is long, i am 56 and i belive the women my age who say it is silly to wear long are jealous cats. jealous because they can't grown theirs out anymore so have to rag on other women that can.

I couldn't help noticing how many women in their 50's defend long hair. I suppose that when you realize that you have lost much of your youth, turning to the long hair style of the usual teen ager helps to make up for it. It's simply insecurity that causes so much defense.

Long hair is comforting. I loved to twist my hair when it was long and I was concentrating on a difficult task or reading. I liked having long hair to brush and choices to make in how I wanted to wear it on any given day. I could change my hair to suit my mood. Short hair offers no such choices....bland, bland,bland. I recently went to a college reunion where I saw a close friend from that time. The last time I saw her she had the usual 50'ish short haircut. This time she had let her hair grow long again. She looked 10 years younger. I decided that it was time that I did that too so that I could stop hating my hair that I had cut simply because society says women over 50 must have short hair. I have always hated short hair, but I conformed. At 61, I don't feel the need to do that any longer, so I'm letting it grow. I can actually twist it again, and that feels good. So, lpearl56, it truly is not about insecurity. It is instead is about the security that comes with age that allows me to say Bah Humbug. I'll wear my hair however I want from now on, and I want it long.

I've had long gray hair for several years, and you would never believe how many compliments I get from total strangers--especially men!

As a child I loved the old ladies with snow white hair, even the blue tint many of them had from using Stewart's Bluing to counter the yellowing effect of iron in the local water. I knew I would never color my hair but I've been daring with hair styles, even wore it G.I. Jane short a couple of times in my youth but now I'm turning 50, my naturally straight salt and pepper hair is 6 inches below my waist and I am enjoying the compliments I'm getting from local college students and men of all ages. yes a few relatives think I should cut my hair but I have never but one to bow to the influence of others!

is a jealous bald ass

My grandmother cut her hair in a daring bob sometime before WWI, and never looked back. When I was a child running and playing in her house, she would say, "Honey, don't you hate having all that hair flying in your face?" Now I am my grandmother and I like my hair short. If I get a good cut, all I have to do is wash and comb, and I'm good to go.

After going gray since the age of 20, I finally stopped dying it when I turned 50 and now (at 52) it's a little past my shoulders. It is straight and fine, and I still have as much as I ever had. I wear it in a long, layered style that I can wear up or down. I am determined to keep growing it to distinguish myself from the "short set" that is so ubiquitous.

Younger women must realize that older women are not trying to look younger just because they wear their hair long. The reason I wear mine long is because, although I love short hair, I don't want to look typical, and the silver color (I think) is very striking, and compliments my coloring.

Besides, haven't you ever seen an older woman with dark hair that's obviously been dyed? I think that ages you more than letting the silver show. Just because you dye your hair, you're not fooling anyone. And short hair is not flattering on most women, no matter what their age. For older women, it just accentuates the wrinkles and sagging jawline, in my opinion. A short, tousled, boyish cut looks cute on a young women with a perfect face, but it just makes an older woman look more mannish.

After so many years of dying my hair both while I wore it short or long, I gave up. Now at age of 52 I wear it way past my waist line. It's salt & pepper, mostly salt. Dying it won't take away my wrinkles or saggy skin. As long as I am happy with it, and I maintain it nicely groomed to wear as I see fit, is all that matters. A lot of us wore long and gray before Hollywood made it cool.

I absolutely LOVE Rita Mae Rose's awesome comments from August 25th 2010!! Too darn funny... and so very true!! You go, girl!!

I am 49 and my hair is past my shoulders, and very shiny and healthy with a slight wave to it... and I plan on letting it grow past the braline and maybe even to my waist! Not only that, but I stopped coloring my hair about a year ago, and I'm about forty percent grey... and I love it! It's so fun to have long hair and your own unique natural silvery hair color! I just simply do not give a rats what others say... and it's usually out of jealousy, envy or insecurity!

Cheers to all the positive-thinking, free-spirited gals out there who are happy and secure being themselves!!

I turned 60 this year. Most of my life my hair was long. A few years back I got it cut shorter above shoulder length. The whole time I felt something was missing and because I have very fine thin hair, it was my hair. Now I've grown it out again and it's to my bra line, however the last 3 inches or so look thin and scraggly so I really need to think of a haircut again and start all over. Groan, my hair takes forever to grow so I do have a problem with that. I would like a style that will give my face some shape instead of dragging it down but when they do that, off goes more of my fine thin hair, then I do feel bald. I do get a kick when I go for a haircut. The hairdresser combs my hair down, one snip and she's done and she wants $25 for the haircut, and expects a tip on top. The last few trims have been done by me, but I am a little chicken to take off a lot of length at once.

20 years ago I gave up a lucrative job in the city and moved to a rural location on top of a mountain and let my bob grow. I am 52 now, sit on my mountain at night and let the wind blow my long hair. I am free. Free from the lifestyle expectations of my old life and free from society's expectation of what an older women should look like. I never cared what people thought. In fact sometimes I would even do the opposite. I just like being me. Life is short. Don't spend it trying to impress anyone. Cindy

whatever happened to live and let live.i think it extremely rude to push your opinions on people and expect them to do as you say,i'm 58,have long hair have been growing it for5yrs and have no intentions of cutting it anytime soon.if any person,male or female comes near me with scissors they had better be a fast runner because i am.i like this quote i read on another post"i'm not here to decorate your world"say's it all i think.

Oh, Cindy Campenella... Bravo!!!!! I absolutely love your comments so much, I have goosebumps! I couldn't agree with you more! I did the same thing with leaving the corporate world, except that I don't have my own mountain... yet! You go, girlie!!

I am 58 with hair to my waist. Six months ago, I decided to allow it to grow in natural. The natural hair is grey in front, silver in the middle and salt and pepper in the back. I would not say it is pretty. Honestly it looks dirty sooner wich requires more washing. I love it long. I do not look in the mirror because I am so pale, it is not pretty. Lately,I am tempted to color it again. My son told me he thinks the gray is pretty. I don't know if that is because the color stops people from thinking I am his date or if he is trying to be supportive. I do not know that old lady in the mirror. She shocks me every time I catch a glimpse. I do not feel old,I do however Think I look it.jen

I am 44 years old and my hair began to turn white at age 21. Having never dyed it, choosing instead to love myself for who I am, I now wear my hair down to the middle of the back featuring now most of my hair white or grey. As women, we must accept ourselves for who we are and not for who the magazines tell us we need to be. Our beauty comes from within and radiates outside of us. We are beautiful for who we love and who loves us, not because our hair is short and red because we turn 35.

I just turned 59 this month. My hair has been about every length. Long and also really short. In my youth, my hair was long and straight. I've always had naturally wavy hair. I went through the perm phase, have also had it layered. Awhile back, my mother said, "Your hair is getting too long. You need to get it cut." I didn't say anything, and every time after that when I would see her she would ask me when I was going to get my hair cut. The last time I got it cut just so I wouldn't have to listen to her harp about it. It is all one length now and has grown to about chin length. Now, the next time she asks me, I'm going to smile and say, "I'm not going to get it cut. I'm going to let it grow as long as it wants to." Then I'll watch the horror on her face. But, really, I want my hair long just to see how it looks. If I don't like it I can always go back to a shorter style. Also, I have never put any color on my hair. My hair was once really red, now it's lightened with some gray. I have never put any color in my hair and I don't intend to at this time. I'm so glad to see this post and all the comments from everyone. Who says you have to wear you hair in a short permed style after 50? Not me.

I have long gray hair because I swore off short hair about 20 years ago when I saw myself on videotape with a new haircut. I hate how I look in short hair. I do get it trimmed about twice a year; I recently switched haircutters because mine kept bugging me to color my hair, telling me I looked "too old.' I warned her I'd stop coming to her, but she kept it up. Adios, said I.

I always wore my hair short since the coloring process seemed to damage it enough that I couldn't grow it long. At 54 I began experiencing hair loss, so I quit coloring as one of many attempts to stop the loss (also used a minoxidil solution, drank more water, ate more protein). My hair is now much healthier & shinier than it's ever been, a natural platinum blonde & white color (who knew) and a much more flattering chin length bob. I'm trying to get it a little longer to shoulder length, something I could never have done when coloring. I never used to get compliments on my hair, now it occurs regularly. I don't think I'll ever color, go short, or perm again. I'm happy with who I am and think others need to choose the path that suits them best.

To me, long hair requires good hair. You can be 20 and look bad with long hair, if it's super thin or in poor condition. Trying to compensate for lack of shine, body, and volume with length doesn't work.

I'm still in the working world so color my hair (I'm 56). But it's long (couple inches above my waist), with bangs. And it hasn't thinned, although the texture has changed - wavier than when I was young. Since I look at least 10 years younger than my age, even if long straightish hair ages me (which I doubt) it won't make me even look my age. I'll color it until I retire and then perhaps I'll go natural.

Just come across this and agree with the story. I have worn my hair short and "neat" since the age of 25, was lucky to be one of those that just ran their fingers through and it was done. However I hit 51 and broke loose.

My hair has been growing wild for a year now and before I hit a very stressful period it was growing thick and curly as it had done when I was little, I am lucky that it still has a lot of it's own colour but there is grey becoming more obvious now, this funnily enough bothers other people more than me.

The stress has caused some loss and lack of lustre but it will recover. I love it, I love feeling the hair on my back and I love the way the wind makes it look wild and messy and I am longing for the day when I have a head of white curly hair. I don't care that it will age me. Why? Because I will be old and finally me, without needing to conform to the expectations of others. I love my hair, I am proud of my hair. It's part of me.

I started growing my hair when I moved to Hawaii. It is not unusual there for women over 50 to have very long hair. I'm 55 and my hair is past my waist and healthier then my daughters with long hair that are 25 and 33. In Hawaii it was much easier to pull it up. I've had my hair short most my life Long hair is so much easier for me to take care off. My short hair is not the easy care hair type. My long hair I wash air dry brush and put it up in a bun braid ponytail or leave it down. I've had complements on my hair and people think I'm younger then I am. I have always worn my hair the way I want and dressed how I want. To each her own why does anyone worry about the length of anyone's hair. It sounds like people with control issues.

I'm a sixty-something year old woman with long, very curly reddish hair, who insists on wearing it long, regardless of what other people say or think. I like the fact that I can do different things with it and wear it in different ways; Loose(around the house and apartment complex.), a single side-braid, 2 pigtails, and just simply pulled back in a low bun, or ponytail, either to the side, or back.

What a pleasure to be able to do pretty much anything I want with my hair!

I moved to an area of the country where no one know how to cut short hair...
It takes a lot of time trying to get a bad hair cut to look good...
I've given up and am just letting it grow to see what will happen.
I haven't had hair this long in 60 or 70 years... it's not too bad.

Letta--You might try a barber. Some barbers are also licensed cosmeticians and I was even fortunate enough to find one who taught in a school of cosmetology.

Long hair is less high-maintenance than short hair, because I get my hair trimmed by my wonderful stylist every six to eight months, as opposed to every six to eight weeks.

I am a 67 year woman with rather a plain mannish looking face.I often get my hair cut very short but everyone including my mother tell me I look to butch with short hair so im growing it to a layered colur length style which suits my face better.I would love short cropped hair but it just doesn't suit my fat round face..i just look like a man.Oh how I wish I had the features for very short hair! I look terrible with a mannish short cut,makes me look very butch,but I don't want it long either,would look awful on me..colour length suits me best.

Waist length, uncolored, mousy brown/grey here at age 62. It’s easy to put a low bun, low pony, chignon, or hair sticks (chopsticks), or straight. I’m still full time employed and I’ve had someone tell me it needed a change. The best change was when that person went away. I have nothing to prove or defend. There’s never a good excuse for the rudeness of someone who categorizes, or stigmatizes other people, because of age. I love my hair and the person I am.
Thank you for this blog, it’s quite interesting!

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