It’s a long story

Should women of a ‘certain age’ have long hair?

I say yes.

So does Dominique Browning.  She’s a writer and former editor-in-chief of House and Garden.  At the age of 55, she’s sporting a rather impressive mane of long gray hair that reaches half-way down her back.

That mane has gotten her a lot of flack from her family, friends, and professional colleagues, and in a recent New York Times article, she posed possible reasons why.

She’s acting out.  Living in the 70’s.  Being high maintenance.  Trying to attract the fellas.  And she gladly owns up to all of them.

While I understand part of the issue really lies with her friends and family — anytime someone doesn’t conform, we question our own decisions —  I have to wonder why longer hair isn’t more popular with women in their middle years in the first place.

I understand why they cut their hair when they have children.  It’s easier to maintain short, and it keeps it out of reach of sticky, eager baby fingers.

It makes perfect sense.

But once the kids are older, and your skin starts to age and sag a bit, isn’t longer hair a nice distraction from the passing years?  I’m not suggesting you hide behind your hair…just give people something else pretty to gaze upon.

We do it all the time with clothing and jewelry.  Isn’t hair just another way to accessorize our look?


8 responses to “It’s a long story

  1. I read that article in the New York Times and I agree with her and you. Plus, it is her frickin’ hair. She can do whatever she wants with it. I have never understood “you turn 40 and chop off all your hair” rule. Dumb.

  2. I’m 49, I have long hair and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

    I have a friend who’s about 53 and she has salt and pepper long hair. She braids it, which drives me nuts, but hey, it’s her hair. If she feels comfortable in it, great.

    After a certain age, women just don’t care what others think. It’s a matter of comfort now. We’re not out to impress anyone.

  3. There was a news segment on this week entitled,”should middle-aged women cut their hair?” For the generation preceding ours, the answer was a resounding yes. I’m 50, have long hair and spend a fortune on color. Some day I’ll ditch the color, cut to an age-appropriate length (whatever that is) and eschew the skinny jeans in favor of the shirtwaist dress my grandmother wore. But not just yet. I’m counting on someone I trust to tell me when.

  4. I’ve always had long hair…down to my waist in high school. When I graduated from college with my business degree, someone told me it was time to “grow up” and get that business hair cut so people would take me seriously. Oh, how young and dumb I was and decided to chop it all off. I’m pretty sure nobody took me any more or less seriously than they would have…and I hated the short look. It’s long again :), although, I don’t keep it to my waist these days. And, when I need that “business look”, I just pull it up in a classic French twist. I say, keep it long for as long as you want and who cares how old you are!

  5. Dear God, in this age when civility is dead (according to the Today Show 11/1), I cannot believe that no one – not even a friend- has called a spade a spade. It is the fact that it’s the AUTHOR who looks absolutely dreadful in her long, coarse, frizzy, graying, unruly hair. Can you guess how many interviewers have bitten their tongues? Spews of blood, I suspect. It is most definitely not the Andi’s, Christie’s, Jane’s, Demi’s, and CARLA’S of this world who have made this a story.

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