It starts to feel like an obsession. It gets stronger every day. I search for images for just the right look. In the past, I’d scour hair magazines. More recently the internet. I chose a photo to bring to my stylist. The photo represents some new fantasy I’ve conjured up about myself. I know from experience the photo will never translate the fantasy into reality. I proceed anyway and get a very short haircut. I immediately regret it. Days and months of remorse follow.
I’ve tried to figure out this behavior many times. I’ve done it repeatedly and therefore it merits closer examination. Being the multidisciplinarian I am, this has been a wide-ranging exploration. There have been forays into psychoanalysis, anthropology, sociology, Greek mythology the Bible and literature. I remain mystified. My short term solution has been to instruct my stylist to refuse all future requests to cut my hair short.
I reflect and review my research. The word passion seems to re-appear and keeps catching on the hooks of my memories. Long hair and its feeling of freedom, sexual and otherwise has sometimes gotten me in trouble. When I have short hair life tends to feel a little less dangerous. Unfortunately boring and restrained. An unsatisfying attempt at self-regulation. The public performance of rebellion and submission with my hair as the main character.
My “Whatnowness” I’ve come to understand, is about discovering what passion means for me at this time of life. Letting myself have it whatever it turns out to be. Not being afraid of its intensity or its consequences. Owning it fully. No more giving it some lead and looseness and then jerking it back.
So I’m letting my hair grow. I’m letting it fall across my face. Look a little disheveled. Now wiser I hope, short bangs and side undercuts are the offerings I make to the gods of submission. This time my hair is white like a blank page. My hand itches to write on it.
What’s your hair story and what role does it play in your “Whatnowness”?
I can relate to your hair dilemmas, I too have had moments of passion and desire upon seeing a person or hairstyle that somehow makes a promise of an alternative lifestyle and exciting possibilities, this usually evaporates after about a day when my stylists’ magic has worn off and I am left with a too-short haircut and a burning desire to let my hair grow back again, which of course it will, but never fast enough!
Our hair does always forgive us as it always does grow back!
When I cut my hair it’s cathartic..it’s starting over. A rebirth of you will. Watching you has done the same.
The quarantine for the past several months has restricted my haircut routine. As my hair grew out of control I began to question whether I should go back to the original style. My hair is white and the appointment calendar was white with no commitments. I decided that everything was now very different. It seemed that control had awakened me to how before life was just mechanical. So, I relinquished preconceived ideas as to what my hair was to look like . Allowing my talented stylist to take was was there after 10 weeks and “ train my locks” ( and me too) to fall gracefully around my face.
Love her style, the possibilities are unless.
I have naturally curly hair. Grey as a goose and very fine. The curls are different all over my head. I’ve spent years straightening it. In the 60’s I cello-taped it to my cheeks to keep it straight. Even to the point of ‘wearing’ marks from said cello-tape on my face rather than wear it curly. I’ve tried to grow it longer but it didn’t actually suit me….ever. My life took on new meaning when Barbra Streisand appeared with very curly hair in A Star Is Born. Suddenly I wasn’t a freak just because I had curly hair! I embraced the look completely. It suddenly lost its curl overnight when my Father died suddenly but it came back slowly. I too am guilty of looking at a stunning girl in magazines/Pinterest and saying to my stylist “this please”which is usually greeted with a look of sympathy. It helps that I know my hair and what it can do to sabotage my look of the day. It’s like a toddler ‘I’m not doing it and you can’t make me’. Right now I’ve got a short curly style that’s doing ok…for the moment! Looks a little funky and I like it
The long journey of hair acceptance, glad you like what you have now.
Why oh why does that have to be the feature that defines me. Is it the creative sense I have that what looks good. Does it appear “they” have their stuff together. How I once wore my hair can’t ever really be the same, because my skin, hair quality and clothes are not the same as in my youth. The new me in hair style and clothing has yet to be acknowledged. Aging gracefully and chic!
My hair dilemma….my hair dilemma….well I’ll begin by saying I was a natural blonde as a child and a league swimmer in school as early as elementary. So,that kinda sums that up right? My mother started dying my hair when I was in the 4th grade if I remember correctly. I’m 53 years young now. I have no idea what I would look like with my natural color but I’m not a afraid to try. I stayed blonde until my late 30’s and then decided to do the Bonnie Raitt two tone blonde and deep burgundy and have stayed that style for years now. The dilemma is this. I now want all one color again and I have Pretty healthy very very long hair but, you see the RED won’t go away. It simply refuses to go unless I agree to knowingly add chemicals that are the equivalent of like chemo to cancer. Essentially they tell me to get the red out I have to do a process that’s called STRIPPING. Sounds kinda scary to a woman that has hair that is about 50inchs long right. So, do I just keep the red hair and let it grow out like I’ve been doing for the last 6 month’s or do I let a professional strip it and pray I have hair on my head when she’s done? That’s my dilemma.
Oh my gosh I understand all the problems these women have about having their hair long or short or whatever. I love longhair my mother thought I looked terrible with it so I wore a crop so close I didn’t know if I was a boy or a girl coming. Over the years I’ve worn my hair long and loved it and then I think about what my mother said and I get it cut so short my husband hated it. So I’m one of those women long I love it short I hate it but feel I’m supposed to have it that way my hair is now perfectly white I decided not to frost it or anything anymore let it do it’s thing and guess what….. I am
Going to let my hair grow long and just keep it that way till I die. I’m 77
Elizabeth, I think that is fabulous. I look love to have the guts to do that. I have really wavy a bit fizzy a lot of body hair. It’s great shirt with products and blond. I’m sort of want to go a little bit back to my organic self at 21, long wavy hair and see hii oh w the gray / silver comes in. Will I chicken out? Why should I . That’s how I feel. For others? Why I’m a young attractive 62 yr. old.
I let my died dark brown hair with golden n copper highlights grow out (was a journey all by itself – took over two years!) to find s beautiful silver n white with black salt n pepper. People of all ages stop to tell me how beautiful it is – n it’s to the bottom of my back n elbows – natural curly. This is who I am!
In my experience and observation of the desire and fixation to cut hair shorter or change styles in various ways…it’s about the need to have control in an otherwise stressful state of feeling like we don’t have full control of our lives in the moment. That’s precisely when I see others or personally experience the need to fixate on our hair.
Oh yes, this resonates. After half a year of hell I just decided to cut my hair short (ok, little longer than shoulder length), the shortest cut after 26 years. I love it and hate it at the same time. Want them long again and want to shave them off completely. I decided for stale mate.
When I was a girl my mother always said that my hair was my ‘’ crowning glory ‘’. Those old well worn messages from childhood live on as I’m approaching 72.
Nothing is the same as it once was, which is the nature of life.
My hair comes down to the middle of my back.
I’ve never colored. It used to be dark brown-now it’s salt and pepper.
I’m wondering ,what about women who wear glasses ? My glasses have black frames.
My hair is salt and pepper. My haircut is a very short pixie with a tapered fade in the back.
I wear glasses – my last frame color was black, my latest frame color is a soft gray. Need to try on frames to see what colors compliment your hair and your clothers.
I go through periods of shaving my hair off to growing it. I am currently long but soo tempted to shave it off again. Very cathartic.
Makes life interesting
I like your hair!!!
I recently had mine died red. I had been dreaming about for years… I told my stylist that I wanted to go strawberry blond.
I hated it! Everyone disliked it…. But, I don’t regret giving it a try!
It’s kind of fun that we can change our “look” every so often! Hey… hair grows back!?
Ah hair. My friends kept telling me to let it go white and it is well on the way. Sometimes I wake up in the a.m. and see myself in the mirror at the end of the bed and I can’t believe how old I look. I have a few minutes of panic while I wait for a salon to open so I can get it colored again. It passes and then I am ok. Going white is so much easier and less expensive than color but I still feel unsettled by those mirror images. I am 73 and finding that being serene about old age is just a bunch of bunk. It’s dam hard knowing that the clock is ticking. If you want to comment I welcome you but don’t waste your breath lecturing me about how awesome it is. I’m just a girl who still feels 18 inside.
Oh how I relate to your journey into snow white hair… what time is perfect for joyfully embarking on the sleigh ride of change? Will I ever stop missing the old mirrors? Am I ready for the new hour? Feeling 18 with but in a pure white frame? Oh to find the grace in aging I always hoped would find me…
I’m pondering letting my hair go all white. When the covid pandemic shutdown started in my area in March 2020 and all the salons were closed, my roots grew in more than I’ve let them grow in for years. I was genuinely surprised to see that most of my natural hair is now white with individual strands of dark brown or black throughout. I now have about 4 inches of white roots. My hair is also longer than it’s been in years.
As Madge said, I feel unsettled and uncertain about this change. Partly, it’s fun and interesting. It has the potential to be dramatic-looking. When I had it pulled back so that most of the white showed in the front, and with my facemask on, someone asked me if I was an artist. The person liked my hair. On the other hand, I’m sure that I look older than I did when it was dyed. Many of my friends don’t say anything but sometimes they hint that they think that I should dye it again. I think that some of their reactions are because they are used to seeing look one way, and now I look different.
It’s a big change for me because when my hair was dyed, people routinely seemed to think that I was 15 years younger than I am. I’m still deciding on what to do. I plan to let my hair continue to grow out for several more months. At this point, I’d like to reach the one-year mark and see how it looks.
I got a lot of those it makes you look older comments when I let my hair grow out. My question is what’s so bad about being older? I’ve been having the biggest adventure of my life white hair and all. At some point, we must accept that we are older and I’ve found there are many ways you can look modern and relevant despite white hair and wrinkles.
I’m looking at 80 in January. Because of covid I stopped coloring light blonde in March. Gray growing in but ever so slowly. Only 1 1/2 inch. Im looking forward to new look by January. I envy all you white hair people. I think at best it will be gray with brunette ombre.
I understand completely!
I so enjoyed you on the Today Show today! I too have changed my bob from short (too short) I have a rather round face and am determined to have some soft length T almost 72. I’m blessed to have good thick straight hair and even in my age, some natural blonde. You’ve encouraged me to use more color in clothing with one special or hip piece to make things pop. Thank you for chatting with us all.
I paint my white hair with black streaks, which I love. I want to wear it long, but I look more energetic when it’s shorter.
Fuck it. I am growing it out.
Strangely, at 67, my hair has never been thicker. My fine limp locks are now full, bouncy and fabulous. I will never wear it short. Being tall it would make me look like a pin head. Im a brunette for life. Ive had top tier celebrity stylists and some run of the mill. I would love to have Sally Hershberger do my next cut. She does have a special way of chopping up hair that is incomparable. How does one justify an uber expensive haircut? Hmmm, I guess Ill stick with my collar bone length mane and continue to dream of a Sally haircut. Whatever makes you feel marvelous is always the best choice.
I recently had an issue with my hairdresser over a comment she made at a social event about “cutting all this hair off”. My hair is about waist length, and although women my age (fifty some thing) aren’t supposed to have long hair I do. I absolutely refuse to let her near my hair again! I’ve found that people often express how they really feel in a joke or funny comment. I find nothing funny about someone threatening, even as a joke about cutting all my hair off. I have some reasons I keep my hair long, and they are truly my reasons, and no one else’s business! I often braid my hair to keep it in place under my motorcycle helmet. Short hair looks awful when it’s been in a bike helmet in our Florida heat. I also love doing different braids and styles with my hair. It’s fun!
The long and short of it (my hair story) is I absolutely love short hair! Years ago, before I got my first pixie cut (channeling Halle Berry), a “bang,” was a permanent fixture along with the permanent relaxers I used to straighten my curls. Once whatever “do” I had became undone, in between salon visits, my go to style was a ponytail and a bang. In my late twenties/early thirties, my note to self was, “You’re too old to be wearin’ a ponytail. ” This style didn’t reflect the woman I was becoming. On me, longer hair lacks definition. It doesn’t “say” anything. I love my tapered sides, with a little curve at the temples, framing my face just so. Nowadays, I still get pretty much the same cut, but I’m rockin’ my natural curls, and they are abundantly beautiful on the top of my head–except in that one lil spot where my hair is now thinning. On me, short hair says all I believe to be true about myself–beautiful, intelligent, sexy, confident.
I am excited to watch your hair grow longer.
I have long red hair and ignore all those who say it might not be a look for women after 50.
I don’t look good with short hair or medium length.
I saw a women who looked like you (Lyn) several years ago when I was sitting in Bryant Park. I don’t know if it was you, but I am sure it was and you were rocking a great outfit. Two ladies commented that it was “too young for her.” I was taken aback at the comment.
I loved it and shot them a look I am sure they understood and said “jealous?”?
Thank you for making it easy for me to wear skinny jeans, tall boots and my leopard coat!
What she has is called confidence!
I have had long hair all of my life. When I turned 50, I thought that I should cut it short because that was what was expected of me. I’ve always been told older women should not have long hair. Well, I did cut it and I hated it! I’ve never been one to get upset about a bad hair cut or color because hair grows, of course. But, I’ve decided that I don’t care what is expected of me due to my age. I’m going with what I know and love and I’m letting my hair grow.
As Lyn says, age is just an illusion.
I feel free, pretty and singer Whe i cut my hair.
Ahora jairef women, forma me are the quintessence of chic
Yes a good time to experiment.
My hair for 40 yrs has been white or blonde by nature…thin, non curly, no volume at all.
Like you it looks like I am eternally going forth and back regarding the length of my hair.
I am 56 and since I have heard my whole life that long hair is for young people, I keep doubting if I should keep it long (which I love) or cut it short, but then I look at my mother (83) and realize that if she wears it just-about-the-shoulders length at her age I can wear if lomg as well.
Elderly today isn’t elderly of yesterday BTW. My parents were at Woodstock. So, I think I earned my wings to wear my hair as long as I want as long as I want. And,my blue Jean jackets, and my leather jackets and my knee high leather boots and my hair down to my belt loops. The thing about keeping my hair so long that’s really cool is that I have so many options on how I’m going to wear it from on day to the next. I wear it up most days, so most people don’t even know how much hair I really have from first glance. I braid it, I bun it, I curl it, I wrap it just any old kinda idea you can come up with I can do with this long hair. So, you let your freak flag fly and do whatever you want with your hair honey you’ve earned it!
I decided some years ago that I liked my hair red. As a hairdresser I’d had every possible hair color there is, including a rainbow do that was waaay ahead of its time. I’m in my ‘70’s and still like my red hair. I’ll have to decide pretty soon if I’m going for the ‘artsy/fun’ old age, or try to tone it down to something more dignified. I may be really old before I can make up my mind…
I just turned 60 on February 26 and one of my customers as I am a bartender or server told me about you and showed me your page I feel so connected and pretty much actually even look like you I am not a professor but I feel exactly the way you do about fashion and inner beauty
I’ve learned not to fall into the “you’re older you should have short hair” stereo type. I hate my hair short… It’s not a very feminine look for me. Although I’ve done it a few times and like you, immediately regretted it. There is something sexy and freeing about longer hair. Maybe it is a fantasy we need to have in our heads to help us through this crazy world that we live in!
I just try to keep my hair length at something that enables me to wear it “up” in a clip. That way, I have options.
Oh, such a loaded topic – our hair & our identity. I am also struggling with identifying who I am now through my hair. Like you, mine is mostly white/gray and I am in love with the color. But, for me, short hair, and I do mean very short, has always meant freedom. Freedom from restraints and expectations. Freedom to make my own rules, to be a bit radical and unexpected. Now, I am curious about the color and some version of me in longer hair. But the process, for me, feels like giving in to convention and letting go of my boldness that I value so much, my ability to step in not back. So… I am exploring my impatience with patience and my ability to settle in for the long haul or maybe the long race. I’m trying to settle back and let the transformation I am going through internally and externally reveal itself versus charging into the notion of me that is in this moment lying on the surface of my skin or maybe just beyond it. I’m trying to understand my own knowing. I am also letting my hair fall across my face and scatter with the wind. Some days it feels like this veil I am peeking through at the world curious and intrigued and other days it just feels irritating, foolish and in my way. How can I know one if I don’t sit a bit with the other?
I love your post! I agree that short hair has always meant freedom and longer hair, especially in my older age age, has always felt a bit like surrendering to expectations to look as young as possible. I have the typical middle/old age bob but if I was following my heart I think most days I would sport a monk’s haircut. My bob’s bangs sometimes feel daring and free, but more often feel “irritating and foolish”. I share your “impatience with patience” and with trying to “understand my own knowing”. Good writing! And oddly enough, I share your name Jae.
This is a wonderfully written statement!
I have a stylist/artist who I have tortured for more than 20 years with phrases like “longer, lighter, looser”, to “more tidy”, to “more stylized”. She sticks with me no matter how many times I grow then cut bangs. She understands my need for changes and my periods of rest and acceptance. Hair is an adventure and is a reflection. I don’t care to track it and match it to what’s happening in my life or psyche at that moment. Alas, I carry on…
My personal rules are: no layering, no bangs, no perms. These rules came from specific times in my life and I remember vividly the unhappiness that caused me to make those rules. I too became aware of the heavy symbolism inherent in hair change and when the impulse to do so started to feel like “acting out,” so I just quit doing it and sat in the feelings that made me restless, irritable, and discontent. The feelings passed, and I’ve enjoyed long hair for over 20 years. The passage of time has added silver and I look like I spend a fortune for the color. Lucky me!
Love this. Thank you for sharing.
I am a hairdresser for 40 years and started out in Greenwich Village, New York. The mid 1970’s was a defining moment in hair affairs. Hair defines most of who I am, I cut my own, and have been told I am the hair whisperer.
Your hair is heavy and would look great with a long overdirected style, you would have to incoporate your bangs into the cut, no
separation. You are small so the cut should be wild but still hug the shape of your head. Massive amounts of long shredded layers and the slightest weight taken out of the back under the occibital bone without losing length. balance is everything, like a beautiful painting.
I am 69 with wispy thin fine hair. It will not support a chin length cut. And flattens with the side part longer on one side. My neck is LONG. i am tall & thin; 5ft 9 – my head is small sitting on top of my long now scrawny neck. Small deep set eyes. I don’t want to dye it for weight but thinking low lights. But the cut eludes me.
One word,,,,WIGS! At the fraction of the cost to the beautician, you can audition a plethora of styles and colors. They are SO well done these days!
It has been three years since my formerly thick, stick straight, no body hair began shedding. Having experienced the fallout of chemo ten years prior, I had already gotten my feet “wet” with false hair! I keep my bio hair long enough to pull back into a band for baseball caps and such. ( and easier to put up under the wigs) You cannot believe the freedom am always-ready head of perfectly coiffed hair affords. Give it a go. There are lots of wig companies online and also videos to see how they look on a real person. Check out Atypical60 blog. She is hilarious and gives great reviews of her “stable” of wigs. My current fav is Paula Young’s “Ada” in sun kissed blonde. ( usually under 50 dollars! And lasts for months!) Hair, schmair! Go for it!
P.S. just got an Estetica “Jamison” in ChromeRT color. Check it out! It is fabulous!
Thank you so much your message encouraged me… I am currently losing my hair… Don’t know why… Have not been to a doctor with this coronavirus thing going on… Guessing I am going to need wigs soon enough… Bless you for your reply.
Nikki are you still cutting hair and if so where. Am in search of a new cut as my hairdresser of 20 years moved away from NYC recently!
I’m with you….she could carry that off beautifully. Her style is edgy and her hair should match.
I am glad that a hairdresser is here! I am mixed race and have worn my hair long for years. It is black, wavy and thick. Well, it WAS thick. I could wear it natural with corkscrew curls, or after washing it I could put it in a pony tail w several hair ties until dry and slightly straighten it. I always took care of it; no colors, perms or heat styling, good quality shampoo/product, etc. It was one of my best features. Now that I have entered menopause (I turned 50 in March) my thick hair is now falling out, and rapidly. I am beyond depressed over this and don’t know what to do. Wavy/curly hair when thick is beautiful. Wavy/curly hair when thin just looks frizzy and ugly.
I’m not one of these women who is terrified of aging. I look good for my age, and have no desire to get a facelift or do Botox. But I am losing my most beautiful feature by the handful every time I shampoo, and I don’t know how to stop it, if I even can.
Oh I am so sorry to hear that your beautiful locks are falling out! I know how awful this feels. Please see a dermatologist who specializes in scalp issues asap. They can help you, most likely. I had the same issues with losing my thick, curly/wavy hair and had to switch to all natural products with no dimethicones, sulfates, anything that starts with M, etc. It’s been a process, but I can now wash my hair without having handfuls of my hair falling out, and I have a bunch of new growth. There are Facebook pages, like Curly Silvers, that give lots of information on this and other hair issues. Lots of information online, too. It’s taken me awhile to figure out what my scalp needs for my particular issues. I hope you find something that works well for you. Be patient and be prepared to throw a lot of products that don’t nourish the scalp, as you read and experiment. I had to quit coloring, in addition to the above processes.
Thanks for sharing this resource.
Yes hair matters! It has since ancient times. Certainly mattered to Cleopatra and Sampson! It’s a frame for the face and one of the first things people remember about you. Blonde is sweet. Brunette sexy. Redhead fiery and temperamental. Short is cute. Long is sexy. Beautiful gray hair is foxy. Lots of associations made when hair is involved.
On the matter of long or short…both Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor had short hair or relatively so. Beauty icons in the 1920s had short bobs. What’s my point? Hair is a cultural artifact that says a lot about the times in which we live. As for me my hair is short and sort of curly. I like to think if it as sexy.
Short, inverted bob,(my fave), longer full curly (the worst) just below ear bob (mediocrity)heading to just above ear shortness. Always brightest red. Thinning breaking hair as I age. arrrgggg. Hard to stay edgy.
I had my hair cut shorter this summer in a heatwAve mainly to get it off my neck. My regular hairdresser got a bit carried away with the thinning scissors. Too many layers for my liking. But it was good for regular swims even though I always wear a black rubber bathing cap. Old fashioned sort by French brand Arena.
It wasn’t my favourite length or look. But guess what it grew out.
Now in mid November it’s a reasonable length around chin length Bob and easy to use barrettes/stylish tortoiseshell hair clips to pin back the grown out layered fringe.
For me I didn’t overthink it at all. Hair nice and thick and straight and healthy. And grey colour and natural whiteish streaks improving all the time with minimal input and fuss. End of. As they say here.
This was my response to your question before Winter.
Here’s my update. I decided I preferred a longer look, far more flattering around the jawline and more feminine.
I continued to grow it with occasional trims into a shoulder length bob.
Lockdown was intimated in mid March here in England. Before they shut for months I had a trim. With hindsight I do wish it had been more radical.
Now at the end of June with another heatwave here I’ve had to buy clips, barrettes and elastic to pin it off my face and neck. Partly to avoid unnecessary face touching under lockdown. I write imploring emails to hairdressers still closed.
Eventually in July I hope to get a trim even walk home with damp locks.
Not returning to shorter bob, it’s staying longer. It looks better and is more versatile and pools indoor and outdoor ones locked too so a swim ready hairstyle is an irrelevance.
Texture and condition very good. Invest in good products. Living Proof the best I’ve found for my type of straight manageable hair. No dye a huge improvement on condition and pennies saved also.
Is your hair stylist still Jun? Loved your bob! Would you be willing to share your stylist’s name and salon? My bob needs updating! Thanks.
How interesting and the issue of short versus long hair is the reverse of my thinking and experience.
I notice women with groovy and strong haircuts and like you regularly collect pictures on my phone to take to my poor hairdresser. Always thinking “this is it, this is the one”.
I leave the salon more often than not disappointed and purchase an overpriced lipstick to “complete the look” or, more often compound the disappointment.
I also notice long hair on women and little girls and usually think it’s boring. Rarely does it excite me, unlike short cuts. I’ve seen some terrific short cuts on Japanese men and women who have the most fabulous strong and straight hair. I love the androgynous sense of these cuts.
I have a granddaughter aged 9 who looks glorious with a short bob, she’s short (petite she would say) with a very round face. Shortish hair looks good on her.
Recently Victoria Beckham’s daughter had the exact same cut and this was very timely as other girls in my granddaughters class had been mean to her about not having the traditional long hair. Interestingly I notice how despite having this hair to play with, it usually just sits there and seems unrelated to their features.
I’m still searching the perfect style for me and I question this ridiculous holy grail search I seem to have been on all my adult life. I do the same looking for the prefect lipstick. I am truly ashamed of myself for the financial cost and apparent trivial search which has blighted my life. Truly, all that energy could have been put to better use surely? I’ve been a mental health worker and therapist all my working life till retirement. You’d think I’d have worked it out by now.
Maybe I’ll follow your quest and get some ideas. I’m going to think some more. Thank you for the exposure.
I recently cut my very long hair short. It had been long most of my life & I’m almost 70. It was beautiful. It ruled me. People, men in particular loved it. It had defined me for a very long time. The day I cut my hair was a hot day even for Memphis. As I handed over my credit card to pay for my newfound freedom someone opened the door to come in & a breeze found it’s way through my shortened hair to my scalp. It was delicious! It allowed me to begin to rewrite my story.
The photo experience rarely or never works. My one successful attempt to imitate a famous person’s hairstyle (in 1968- Jean Shrinpton waves and bands) worked but no success since! I have settled for medium length- natural waves, letting go gray now. A very happy choice
Regarding “whatnowness”, I’m ending my teaching career this year and planning to dedicate myself to my art studio, recording studio, and fitness studio. I took up pole dancing (ostensively, to improve my bone density)and I’m living according to my own rules! I don’t know how long I’ve got left to enjoy the good life, but I’m grabbing every minute of it with both hands.
Regarding hair? I just wear wigs!!
Hello! I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one that has hair “issues”! You are rocking every hair, & clothing style, you’ve shared! For years I wore my hair long, just past my shoulders, sometimes with long layers. Then one day…I had it cut to my chin in all over layers for the “disheveled beach hair look”. It’s so easy to care for and minimum time to style & do! It’s a good style for me & it’s easy to “fix up” when the occasion calls. If I decide to grow it out again, it will just be to the top of my shoulders. I love the minimum time it takes to style & go!
You described it so well! Exactly my behavior, taking a photo to my stylist, cutting my hair and the same day regretting it bitterly. I thought about it and I know in my case it is an obsession. I like my hair but if i’m not happy with the way it looks on a particular day, I will go searching on the internet for this perfect cut and will not relax until I find it and then… It goes the usual way. Haircut and regretting it immediately. I tried the trick to tell my stylist (several!) never cut it short but I have a way of convincing them that this time is different. As a matter of fact today I’m about to make a decision to get a haircut, bold and different. One thing I have to add, I think there is a point when hair is at the in-between point and it’s been some time since last cut, so I use it as an excuse that it must be done. And once this thought gets hold of me it has to be done immediately. By the way, thank you for your post, I’m so glad that it’s not just me…??
Hello! This feeling does happens to me, too, but the reverse way! From time to time I feel a strong desire of let my hair grows but I can’t wait the time it takes and I return to a short hair. Natural gray, as I’m these days, or a bright red.
I too, go back and forth between long and short. Short is difficult to control due to humidity where I live now. I like well-kept hair and that manicured look. However, I am letting my natural white/gray grow out and also going back to long. I think it represents a simple, less constrained me. I am ready to move on to the next phase of my life that in which I have no need for a “professional” look that is well-controlled and polished.
I had long grey hair that I never coloured due to allergies. Hate the hairdresser. Got sick of the jellyfish up doo tangle and went to suburban hair salon. Said don’t layer it, I want it all one length. And she promptly layered away. Days of sadness. Is hair the ultimate site if dissatisfaction as I age? Mourning? I hate my new hair. What to do?
I so relate to this. For me the hair cutting has to do with respectability, perceived sophistication, being “proper,” or something like that. I am now, in my 50s, growing my hair. I stopped dying it. And it feels so good. I am writing my own story, and my hair is one of the pens I am using for that.
Your hair story sounds familiar. Alas, I never get past shoulder length before I submit to my comfort zone of a very precise, slightly asymmetric, chin length bob. FWIW, your hair adventures have been a style inspiration on more than one of my trips to the stylist.
A wonderful post. Women are obsessed with hair and what it means to others when they step out the door. I am obsessed with the imperfect. Always the disheveled look… in the late 80’s a friend at my place of work, a stiff corporation run by men and their intangible machinery, called my hair the just-fukked-look. hmmm…. and that was during a time when I really struggled with keeping it tame. I walked into work everyday pinched inside a tailored corporate suit, 2″ pumps, stockings, and rebellious attitudinal hair. It came natural you see. I didn’t do much to push my hair into what is wasn’t meant to be. My hair is completely opposite of yours, Lyn. I got the Italian fuzzy, textured, wild, curly hair that grows out, not down. I stupidly followed a gorgeous light-skinned recruiter into the Navy and it was there (before the corporate life) the company commanders and chiefs had a field day with unexpected screaming at me to get the tendrils out from behind my ears and nape. The scissors came out more than once… chopping off my curly layered look that I bunched and rolled into a bun that popped frizz and curls in all directions. “Off with her … head!!!” I heard in my mind. I hated those women who accused me of not following rules. My rebellion grew out of proportion. They took away my uniqueness at a time when I had little confidence in myself.
My hair was always that veil in which I hid. At one time, driving with a friend, she said… all I can see from the side is your nose. hahahahaha.. she laughed. I thought good! I like peering where I wanted to peer without always being exposed. Now I’m 63…. still feeling like I’m 33 in all sorts of ways.
Early this morning, I couldn’t put a wide toothed comb through my hair. I combed the top down to where the fat comb stopped yelled “ouch!” and that was that! I fluffed with my hands and wetted gel, and went to work in the basement of a higher-ed 100 year old building, where I’ve been for 15 years. Seems fitting. Seems right. Even as I type this I see fluffs of textured hair standing in the way of the corners of my glasses.
Always, my hair makes me feel, well, like me. True to self as I am, never blown dry, never cut short, long enough to touch my shoulders, crazy enough to spring back up and outward… lol It really doesn’t fit any mold and it represents me.
I made a decision several years ago to stop coloring my hair. I had grown weary of the upkeep , time and money that it took. Not to mention that I had developed an allergy to hair dye. It grew out a nice blend of gray and brown. Then I decided one day just to blow dry it on low and see what happened. No attempt to style it was made. I am a low maintenance gal, so this thought delighted me. I ended up with waves and big curls. I let it do what it wanted. My husband and friends loved it! So did I! It was so liberating! If my hairdresser cuts it a wee bit short, it will grow out, so no worries. So glad I decided to go “natural”!
Long hair can always go short with tons of variety in the styles. Short hair is always short unless you grow it out…again & again. Loving long silver curly tresses that can change to suit whatever fantasy I choose.
I wanted a change when I retired from the airlines. Stylist said no, no and no…for YEARS. I
finally left and found someone to cut it : messy, short and soft. The grey grew out…not very much for a 70 year old! I kept trying new stylists…And number 5 is a 29 year old who gets ME. Now I love my hair. It suits me. ..a bit wild, like no one else. I hardly have to do anything but mess it up more. Why did I wait? Fear. The transition took over a year…so worth it. Now I can age feeling like me!
“I proceed anyway and get a very short haircut. I immediately regret it.”
I could have written those sentences. ?
For me, it’s that my hair grows so quickly that a short cut needs a trim in a week or two to maintain that crisp look. I don’t want to make time for that maintenance.
I prefer longer hair due to it requiring fewer trips to the hairdresser.
This hair obsession is something I am all to familiar with. If truth be told, my whole world is rocked when my hair isn’t right and what I know for certain is that many woman feel the same way. At the age of 40 I went back to school and became a hair stylist. So it is from years of experience I can say that we cut out photos, wanting to look like someone else instead of the best version of ourselves. That journey of self discovery is a whole different story. The way we wear our hair, how we dress, and how we live our lives is all Art to me. They are an expression of who we are. Now at the age of 66, I wear my hair short and don’t even need to blow dry……a dream come true ! It’s truly freeing when we become comfortable in our own skin and with our hair!
My hair is short and asymmetrical. It has been that way for nearly 20 years, varying only in small ways. Sometimes I let one piece grow down to my chin for the swingy feel of long hair, but then I have my stylist rein it back in. I love the freedom of lightness and easy styling. I think the shortness is a bit of boyish pertness contrasting with my undeniable maturity. Most of all, I enjoy the hair recognition that for some reason has resulted from this hair style. People recognize me from afar and strangers remember my name. It is so comforting to be known and noticed. No delusions here that ‘it’s only hair’.
And I bring your picture to my stylist every month! I keep trying to get that white blunt bob version going only to learn over and over that it will look lumpy, not smooth and cool. So I go back to the layering. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
I enjoyed reading this.
My hair is my signature and my obsession.
I let my grey take over in my Early 60’s (now I’m 68).
At times I miss my younger self n other times I forget I’m no longer that girl!
This couldn’t be more timely. It’s as if I wrote it myself. Thank you for writing such an honest reflection on the complex topic of hair.
I must now read it again.
Umm at the risk of sounding unsophisticated and rather like a dim bulb, perhaps your over thinking it? Perhaps you’re over thinking quite a bit? Are you getting any joy out of your days these days? It doesn’t sound much like you are, just sayin. Or maybe I am projecting? Anyway, I’ve been growing my hair out since last March, I cut it very short, 1 inch all over and then realized it was time for me to renew my ID and the picture I am now stuck with is most unflattering and made me realize I should have more hair!
I have been thinking short hair equals “old lady” cut so decided to grow my hair longer. But what will I do with it; what will it look like? Looking at pictures helps but my curly hair never looks like the pictures. Still looking…..still growing my hair.
I have always had a thick full head of hair. As I got older, with the advent of gray and coloring, it became even bushier. With a thin face, it often overpowered me. It was always a love/hate relationship, as it could look fabulous one moment and “too much” the next. I drove myself and my dearest friends crazy with hair cut decisions. My hair played a big role in my identity.
Then I got ovarian cancer. Chemo took care of the hair issue. My hair is now white, short, rain proof, and smart. No fuss! The best thing that ever happened to me. I receive compliments on it every day! Five years out and blessed!
I just love your hair in the above photo. Gorgeous. Suzi
Well,. to start off, your haircut looks great on you. Me, I have styled my hair long my entire life, now 75 years,. and I am very tempted to cut it short because it has grown thin and weak – no longer that great mane. I find myself turning an eye at a younger person with beautiful bouncy healthy hair. I will get mine styled this weekend by a master and when he is done I will feel ever so beautiful and sexy, because that is what hair can do. I consider hair the jewel of your outfit and I design necklaces!
Ah, hair. I never cared too much about it, haven’t had a real haircut since I was about sixteen. My mother thought it was phase I’d outgrow. Once it reached my waist, it stopped growing, and at age sixty-five, the phase endures. I was and am determined not to surrender to the standard issue ‘old lady’ haircut or blue rinse, unless ironically. At least that’s what I tell myself (now).
Worth mentioning is that it seldom swings free. Knots and tangles are worse when hair is thinner and more fragile, so it gets put up in the morning and stays put until bed. Sometimes a braid down the back or two braids down the sides. C’est tout.
It feels like we grow into our hair as much it grows from us. Yours is exquisite: beautiful, soft, shimmery-silvery, very NYC or Paris, as is your sense of fashion. However you wear it seems a match.
Ten years ago I gave up a breast. It began to feel like what I’d assumed I’d have my whole life was disappearing. In aging, we sacrifice things about our containers, but often if we look, there’s a small gift left by the door; a new appreciation, a bit of wisdom, or maybe just a cup of fragrant jasmine tea to warm our old hands, and be savored.
I’ve had lots of hairstyles through the years- radical Barbra Streisand cut in the sixties (my mother told me I looked like a slut), my natural long blond hair in the seventies that I later permed a la Carole King.
Then radical spiked short and red henna in the nineties.
That grew into waist length dreadlocks. And now permed again-gold and silver- a bit too short for my liking but it was damaged and needed a good cut.
So it’s fat shoulder length curls which I’ll probably stay with. We travel full time in an Airstream so it’s easy to care for. My husband loves my hair and so do I.
I have succumbed on many occasions to my male partners’ long hair fantasies. As a natural blonde of English/Irish roots my hair has always been extremely fine. It was never truly suited to grace my shoulders. But I was concerned about my sexual attractiveness and bought into the idea that long hair somehow made s woman more desirable. Well – surprise, surprise. After chemotherapy (and a rough battle with Stsge IV Lymphoma) my hair grew back in and it was silver. Shiny silver. And I kept my hair trimmed as it slowly grew into a “style”. Four years later I have found my style! Shortish hair, shiny silver. My hair remains quite fine, but the cut makes it easy to convey the feeling of fullness. What do men think? I have never had more compliments (or suitors) in my life. Men from their 20’s to their 80’s seek me out. Who knew that as I approach my 70th birthday I would finally hit upon the right style and color for me? My style is not “edgy”. Do I feel like a fashion icon? No. Do I feel sexy and desirable? Absolutely!
I’ve done the dramatic hair cuts when I was younger. Now at 63 and fully grey, I am struggling to have it grow! It is frustrating to me that it is taking so long to grow. I did decide that I no longer wanted bangs and trying to go for that casual tousled look, we’ll see.
I chuckled when I read this post. It could’ve been me writing it. Lately I keep having the urge to cut bangs but I know from experience they will be a fail with my frizzy hair so I have decided to visit a wig shop and get some hair pieces to satisfy my urge to have what I cannot successfully have with my own hair.
Your post came just when I needed it. Especially this morning it is helping me get through a real snit I’m in. At 69 years old I have adopted a real “f-it” attitude but in a good way. I’m the reverse of you with the hair – I wore it long forever but recently chopped it off in a funky, asymmetrical messy short do – kind of like yours was! I am dressing less conventional and I just got a new tattoo that shows and updated my old one from 59 years old to same design but more daring. That was so empowering for me and I love them. I just came home from a lavish wedding, the first gay wedding I’ve attended and I never had so much fun or felt so much love. I wore a kick ass dress and a great fascinator and my new tattoo where my back meets my neck showed and I felt gorgeous. I was the most decked out woman there and got many compliments. So I thank you for who you are and what you do. I want to be just like you!
My hair started going gray at age 29. I colored it every 2 1/2 weeks until 6 years ago. I am 61. Now I get blonde highlights in the white, until it is sufficiently white on top. I’m almost there. My hair has always been a huge part of my identity. I’ve always had “great hair” so they say. After my son died, I didn’t care to color it any more. I embrace my “state of gray” and it is what it is. It will be completely natural soon and I look forward to the freedom I will feel.
It’s nice to be able to pull it back, so I keep it a little longer than yours in the picture above, which by the way is stunning. Love your blog and your writing. Keep it up.
i too starting going “platinum” in my late 20s–had a shock of silver hair such that looked like cruella deville; i then colored my hair except for the streak for many years–until i started getting the “skunk” look down the middle part as the hair grew out between color jobs. Finally i had enough and went to my long time hair dresser and said “get your bleach”–we are going to do a strip of blond down each side of my face and let the color grow out. It was quite striking i have to say–saw a friend a few months later and she said “you hair looks so exotic”–i said, as in stripper exotic or what? we got quite a laugh out of that. Now i have a head full of shiny silver hair, which i straighten ever so often so that i dont get the dreaded gray fuzz ball look. My hair is definitely one of my best features…i wear it in a bob, no bangs.
Ahhhhh I almost cut my hair short last summer. For most of my life I have had long hair three times I cut off pixie cut~ Twiggy style when I was a teenager ~ in my early 30’s the modeling agency I was with sent me for a new look befitting a “classic “ aged model then again in my late 40’s. Of all those pixie cuts the one in my 30’s was the best the other two times were terrible. But being of a certain age this last summer, when my stylist of 12 years was on maternity leave, seemed to be the time to cut. I have very dear friends who supported me but one said don’t do it. Why? Because, she said, you will miss all of the things you do with your hair, braids, French roll, even pony tail. I listened. I’m glad I listened. My hair remains well past my shoulders and I plan to let it grow even longer. I was a blond then light haired child my hair in m6 teenage years turned reddish brown . My hair has been blond ~ twice for long periods of time, red for a while and dark dark brown. My stylist says my hair is now 40% gray but we keep it brown. I wanted to go gray but she said I would need to cut off short then let it grow out. No. So for now I will color and perhaps someday just let it grow wild. Being a crone won’t be all bad.
I have a form of alopecia. Hair loss determines what style will suit me. It is no longer a choice of what style is better for my face shape, or easier to accomplish, or on trend. Styling is now a matter of practicality and camouflage. I have a wig and it looks great, but I am still attempting to wear my own hair for “authenticity” as well as for comfort. I quit coloring my hair, and the grey is a better option for me all around. In our minds, hair is related to sexuality. A full head of hair is a symbol of youth and femininity, our “crowning glory.” Hair loss is a devastating blow to the psyche; it is humbling and maddening. And yet, I am grateful that it is not life-threatening, that it can be hidden if not cured. And I have come to accept it as part of my own aging process.
I have a form of alopecia also and it plagues me. My thick healthy hair was a big part of my identity — now it’s about half the volume it used to be and I’ve lost well over an inch of hair all around my hairline, front and back. (Also lost my eyebrows!!) Can’t wear my hair up anymore and can longer do the graduated bob I had for years. I still have a decent amount of hair so it’s not apparent to anyone but me and my hairdresser, but my daily job is to accept my flat hair and pray that a treatment that actually works will arrive soon. Your hair looks great and you inspire me to be more daring with my look.
Hello, Karen. I, too, have alopecia. I’ve been enjoying reading these comments about hairstyle and I agree that a degree of camouflage is my primary goal. I’ve named my spot, about the size of a mango, Babs. Big Ass Bald Spot. Recently I’ve discovered a short haircut which seems to fill the bill. I’ve checked into wigs, but my fear is that they will feel too overpowering and, mainly, hot. I’m happy with the blonde/brown/gray color and will plug along as you do, content that it is not life-threatening. This is just who we are now, women of a certain age with experiences and love to share.
What heartfelt piece, which I totally resignated with
My hair takes up way to much space in my brain
Because I’m a natural curly women, I have struggled for decades, until finally submitting to embrace my curl. I fantasize often of cutting it to extremes but have never done it
As to your blank space of white hair, I commend you
I, on the other hand am still struggling with that dilemma
I am well into the seventh decade of my life, and although I admire some stylish women who have thrown caution to the wind and stopped dying their hair, I have not
I am to afraid of being discounted in the world as old
It seems that I’ve just been able to stand up as a strong vibrant women who has value, which I treasure
Will becoming a white curly haired seventy six year old stop that ?
This is the question I’m struggling with today
Well I can tell you that it’s a FACT silver is IN and the 20 and 30 something’s are coloring themselves SILVER today. So, just some food for thought in your process
You speak for many of us! Thank you for putting our hair angst into eloquent words. Your longer hair is beautiful! Do I dare copy? ( And here we go again. . . )
Your hair is fabulous. A sharp short style always seems very chic and confident to me.
I find myself in the same dilemma- in the past my change in hairstyle has been a bit of self expression for me. Just now I am contemplating shorter hair. I think that yours looks great by the way but totally get how you feel. I have instructed my stylist not to let me grow out my bangs or go too short so we’ll see what happens on Friday! Thanks for the post!
I could not relate more! Time after time telling my stylist not to cut it too short and certainly not a dumpy grandma cut!! I’ll make it 3-4 months only to have her cut it short again. While I long for longer hair, I’ve taken the opposite approach and have decided to embrace my short white hair. Now that I’ve made that tough decision and have a great cut (which is always the key) I feel alive again – it’s fun, trendy but yet conservative. I’ll always dream of sexy longer hair but hey! Short is sexy too!! Lol!
This post comes at just the right time for me! I too suffer from haircut amnesia and right now in the midst of a long journey to growing back my curls from permanently relaxed hair. In eternal awe at how you sew together the words that describe my feelings.
For me, going super short was a rebellion against all the years I spent being unhappy with my hair – I’m not interested in fussing with it. No matter what I did with it, I was never happy with how it looked for more than an evening. Over night it always became a mess and daytime I’m wearing hats, so had perpetual “hat hair”.
My new, super short, hair can be dried in 5 minutes, hats can’t seem to mess with it and I can look in the mirror and not turn away because of my hair. It’s complete freedom for me, from the tyranny of trying to please men by having long hair.
I have lived your pain, This is my story too. X
How fun a depiction. Over the years I have ridden the same rollercoaster but gratefully without any regrets. I have curly hair and Lorraine Massey – The Curly girl founder now Curly World and author has been my friend, guide and stylist. This last year letting my hair grow long and silver has been the most liberating hair journey to date.
Bobbie the Fashionably Wealthy Rich in Style- Style Liberator.
Your hair looks wonderful. I have long hair with bangs that taper down, and love it when it is windswept. I gave up looking at hairstyles, just ask the stylist to do something natural so that when the wind blows, or I use my hand to brush my hair off my face it looks ok. People remark they like my hair better now. Even though I am 70, I have hair down to the middle of my back and love playing with it with combs, clips, etc.
I loved the look of very short.
One of my boomer girlfriends said she’s going to have engraved on my tombstone: “She’s finally quit complaining about her hair.” With thin hair, an extremely high forehead and a natural mousey/taupe colour it’s been a lifelong challenge. Much as I’d love a classic bob, my hair just doesn’t lend itself to that style so I wear it in variations of the same short pixie cut and try to make every strand count. How I envy those of you with gorgeous white or grey hair. That colour always plays so well with dramatic cuts and fashion. Soldier on. I empathize.
Last week, I lost my dearest friend. As I was sitting quietly, my cat came up behind me and licked my hair — grooming me — then pressed herself close to my hair to “mark me” as her human. It was incredibly sweet of her, and a classic way cats show affection to each other.
Hair is a huge topic for women, tied closely to sexuality. In some cultures, women’s hair must be covered because it is beautiful and alluring.
Many of my friends have opted to go grey or white and it looks beautiful on them as it does on you.They have found it freeing. I, on the other hand, want to remain blonde, there is something glamourous about being blonde.
As I’ve gotten older, I have stopped fighting with my hair, which is thick and wavy and can be overwhelming. No more “dos” that require a flat iron or curling iron. When I go to the stylist, who I trust, I try to pick hairdos — also from the internet — that will work with my texture. I’ve become practical and appreciate what I have, rather than trying to be someone else. I got sick and tired of flat irons, hair dryers, hot rollers etc. I’m too impatient.
I have bangs because it prevents hair from falling in my face when I am working or reading. I’m also letting it get long again, there is something in the “zeitgeist” about long hair right now.
Long white hair will be very beautiful on you. I enjoy hearing about your thoughts. Cheers!
Oh my hair, my hair becomes an expression of who I am at that particular time in my life. I have had a hundred hairstyles, I have tried many colors, but finally found one that is not just an expression of style but my personality. My hair is red, deep deep red. I don’t know how many times I have had people come up to my hair and touch it, or try to copy it or even talk about it in front of me like it is a third person. People love it or hate it. But finally it is me after all these years. I am 68 years old. It gives me an edge, and reflects the person I sometimes show, which is embedded in my soul. Janet you are a redhead, inside and out. I am an artist and it reflects that part of me. But it also, says I am unique and I am strong and only listen to the beat of my own drummer. Thank you for asking. xo
My hair was almost down to my waist in my early 20’s. As I look back, each shorter style represented response to what I perceived my level of responsibilities to be. More grown-up, more “professional”, too busy to deal with long hair, etc. Now in my early 70’s, I am letting go of coloring and cutting my hair (except for trimming for hair health) as I return to the freedom of the hair I missed so much. Thank you for opening up this conversation!!
Ahh. Hair. Who amongst us whatever age we are doesn’t feel “right” or optimistic on a bad hair day? My hair is in a state. Texture has changed. Grey? Dye? It’s not familiar to me. It rarely looks good. And of course there’s much less of it. What I wish there might be is a stylist who understands hair of a certain age. Meanwhile I keep trying. And my response to today’s writing is—your hair is beautiful. Silky, white and lovely. Let it grow to your ankles and revel in it.
You have the most wonderful expression in your words. My hair has always been my Achilles heel. Thin and lifeless with no body. The opposite of me! Allowing my silver to appear has been an incredible experience. The silver takes center stage to the previous ‘bad hair’ and it’s no longer the Achilles it was. Now I see it as precious metal.
I’ve been cutting and coloring my own hair for 20 years now. It started as a means of saving money and eventually it became my own control over my hair. I’ve never been unhappy with my haircuts. I keep it simple, a chin length bob. I know historically that the bob was invented by women cutting off their own long Victorian locks for the freedom to live unburdened by their hair. It was as simple as putting their hair in a ponytail and cutting it off close to the head. That’s how it got its distinctive shape. Luckily, it works on my hairtype and the ponytail method makes it easy. Freedom from hair restraints and money in my pocket for shoes!
I had my first gray hair at 51 – began coloring myself (Preference Medium Brown) when I was 57. My style was neck-length “fluffy.” From 65 to 69 I tried various transitions to silver, but it wasn’t “me.” At 69, I cut my hair into a short bi-level and bleached some blonde streaks – I found the new old version of myself. Now, nearing 76, I’m totally blonde (Preference Extra Light Blonde), apply light “beachy” makeup and wear skinny jeans and cute jackets. Every woman needs to explore and find her happiest look.
I love this reflection – my hair has been a source of “I want to be her” for most of my life. I’m finally nearing “I want to be me” and that means a short pixie cut dyed platinum. I feel my power and passion (personal, professional and sexual), I feel interested and exploratory, and the cut juxtaposes with my hourglass shape to create that “hmmm” moment. I can’t wait to see more of your passion hair; thank you for walking with us throughout journeys.
Hair color can be so much fun! Even if it’s only a stripe or two… If you’re feeling kind of bummed out and depressed, get some outrageous (or not) hair color. If you’re careful, you can just use an artist’s brush and paint small strips wherever you want them… doesn’t have to be a whole head project. Bleach out a tiny strip, dye a piece red, do a little something in blue or hot pink…so many options now. It can be a real lift, and fun to do with a girlfriend, even if you’re not exactly ‘girls’ anymore. All the more reason!
I LOVE/enjoy/feel great in my short hair. Finding freedom in the shorter the better. I call it a “tossed salad”. Getting out of the shower, add little product and go.
Some have asked, “did you ask your husband if you can cut your hair that short”? Mystified, I get out a “what” reply?! And the question is repeated! I don’t understand that thinking and never had.
I am 60, stand 6′ 3″ and my short hair sets me free, it’s my “brand”, I feel strong and empowered.
I certainly can relate! I now understand it is my alter ego that nags me to go short blonde and edgy…then a few days later my softer more romantic side wants the long hair back. I have danced this dance many times. Grateful that even at 50 it grows fast. Thanks for sharing.
Exactly the way I feel as I let my hair grow longer to celebrate my 80th birthday! I, too, have cut my hair short repeatedly and always regret it. My hair is going to shoulder length and I am excited to watch the progress.
Having just ‘surrendered to the hair’ yet again, I find that I have had to accept that the white hair for which I waited so eagerly is now thinning. My white bob, which used to elicit compliments on the street from fascinating people, is not what it once was. I am channeling Annie Lennox and Judy Densch now but still do not recognize my reflection in store windows.
I had to cut my hair short in the middle of a health issue last spring (not cancer) because I physically couldn’t manage my very lng hair. Unlike your experience I do like short hair, very much. “Wash and wear hair” is great. Or, would be, if I could get the subsequent stylist to do the same cut the first stylist did just prior to her moving away to a bigger city with more creative opportunities, and of course much nicer income than in my very small town in western Oregon. When I went to the next stylist I showed photos, front/side/back of what the first haircut looked like and instructed her thusly: NO CLIPPERS, please do not slice the nape off straight across it is too masculine a look for my taste, and please be sure to taper the back as I do not want a “shelf” of hair a la our fearless national leader whose orange shelf sticks over his collar in a messy and most unbecoming way (IMO). What did she proceed to do?? If you guessed she did exactly and precisely what I asked her NOT TO DO, you guessed correctly. I am now waiting impatiently for enough length to go get it FIXED. This time when I see a stylist pick up the electric clippers I WILL get up out of teh chair before the clippers even get turned on and refuse to pay for anything. I’ve been in and out of salons on a regular basis for all my seven decades and I still do not get why so many stylists do the exact opposite of what you tell them. Drives me absolutely nuts.
As a stylist, this post is intriguing. When presented with pictures of drastic changes, I immediately change gears and ask the client what attracts her to the inspiration photo, what she hopes to achieve from the big chop, what about her present style is frustrating her.
Often, her answers will lead me to suggest what may be more satisfying is much longer hair. Not always, but enough that I have learned to inquire before cutting.
You look amazing, btw, no matter what your length!
Great to have your perspective!
Coco Chanel reportedly once said “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” In deed many women cut their hair when they broke up with their significant others and when the kids move out and they become emptynesters. Another aspect is that women in sciences (even the 20 somethings) still fear to look “too female” and hence try not to dressup (perfer to dress shabby or frumpy) to not harm their career. To hide among the male scientists they keep their hair short or even go for a men’s cut. One of my colleagues even uses one of these pet trimmers to cut her hair 2 inch long! My personal hair story is a really painful one.
With you in the “what’s next” fog. Just knowing yet what I don’t want. That’s at least something, isn’t it?
I love your haircut…and would go immediately to my hairdresser with a pic of it and demand it the same…but I’ve done it before…many times.
Now silver grey shoulder length, no fringe, newly clean and down, up in a minute feels a little bit sophisticated…and in warm weather way, way out of my face.
In September I celebrated my 70th birthday. When people say I don’t look 70, I don’t know what that means.
I am okay with the eyebrows thinning and the disappearance of my once full lip line but this hair thing.
It is not the slow change to gray. It is the change in texture which produces waves and cowlicks I never had before.
It so happens I am going to a new stylist tomorrow.
It bothers me that I spend so much time thinking about my hair, but after reading your blog I see why.
It is not that I want the always-dependable hair of days gone by. I want the feelings of those days – the freedom to explore, speak up, try 10 new things in a day. The knowledge that I would prevail.
None of that came from my hair but the hair contributed to how I presented myself.
I know that girl is still here somewhere – bad knees and all – I just don’t want her presenting herself to the world with an old lady hair style.
I always look forward to your blog. It points me to paths of thought I might not have found on my own. Thank you.
I decided once to layer my hair. My hair was waist length. It was fine until they go to trim it and trim it and every time my hair was cut, it was shorter and shorter. Slightly, but when my hair was shoulder length. I decided to let the hair grow out. Still have multy lengths.
I’m excited to see what your hair will look like when it’s long. It might be a style I’d like to try (I’m especially curious to see what “side undercuts” are). No matter how you wear your hair, or even, if you decide to shave it all off, you’ll always look beautiful!
Jeannie, an “undercut” is when the top layer is the longest layer. As for this cut on the sides, you have the look you want, but it keeps the layers from resting close to your head, or laying flat to your skull.
OMG girl, I’m totally with you here….I’m 62 and had long hair up until a year ago. I not only liked the way it looked (and the versatility of being able to put it up, curl it, etc) – but I felt like a rebel since people will always say “women of a certain age” shouldn’t have long hair, which I call BS on. A woman should wear her hair – and clothes – however she wants! But I cut mine, just like you (with what I thought was a really cool, cutting-edge style on a model) and – ugh – my hair obvi isn’t like the model’s and also I’m not that good at styling so…regrets. I guess the good thing about hair is that…it grows back…
I cut my own hair – have for maybe 25 years. What freedom! Now an almost shoulder length layered sort of bob, tapered and shorter around my face. I even get asked where I get my hair cut — recently by a woman who owns a hair salon. Just this week, in amazement, I discovered that I have curly hair! Who knew? Was told, after a bit of surgery, not to blow-dry my hair as I might have some numbness and could burn myself. So, without any styling product in it, my hair air-dried itself. And then there it was – a soft, light, curly, angelic texture. A youthful, free, fun, pretty new style all by itself, like a little miracle. All the white, ash blonde, platinum threads blended and mixed into a new silvery gold halo. I’m renewed, refreshed, with my pretty new halo.
I’m the opposite. For me, short hair is dangerous and exciting. Long hair is messy and boring. When my hair fell out during chemotherapy, I enjoyed the freedom of not having hair. So when I decided to let my hair stay silver when it grew back after chemo, I also made the choice to keep it short. It became part of my new post-cancer identity. When I’m feeling impulsive, I tell my stylist to cut it very short. No regrets… it’s just hair. It’ll grow back!
Being natural grey/white for 3 years, I am settled for the color. However, the length varies a bit, but never short! Simply I cherish my hair to be medium length, and naturally wavy. I believe we are confident by now. I truly believe that the confidence stands out, as our best “accessory” at mature age. Whatever keeps us confident – I also love classic fashion, and a good outfit just to be sure of myself…
As you seem to be interested in many things, changes are always welcome even in hairstyle. Trials are risky and fun. Never really a disaster, just a learning: what not to do/wear…
For me it’s like messing about in boats (ref. Wind in the Willows quote). It’s just plain fun, fascinating, daring, harmlessly addictive and forgiving. For most folks hairdo mistakes grow out but even the growing back presents plenty of play.
Because your hair style – to me – always screams “This is me doing me!”, it never occurred to me that you go through the same hair angst as the rest of us. My elusive goal is to look like a woman who is still as vibrant as ever, even with short grey hair. And, of course, the joke on me is that it’s not the hair that provides the vibrancy; it’s the way I approach life. Even so, “short hair edgy grey” has a high place in my search history.
It could be me writing this narrative! This morning as I was walking the dogs my mind went to getting a short haircut. I too always regret it after it’s done. You helped me think through the motive and the results, without the agony of needing to wait for it to grow out. You’d think I’d have learned by now, but even at 77 I give in to that urge for a short haircut, always prompted by photos of lovely women with lovely short hair. But not today….thank you.
Hair is very important for me because, then years ago I had breast cancer and with the chemo my hair felt out and I was bold! When my hair started to grow again it changed all the time, I had different colors, then it was very curly and now it’s straight!
From that time I promised to myself that I would never cut my hair short!!!! My hair stylist helps me with giving advice but she has respect for my decision. Now I am thinking to have it a little bit shorter just on the shoulder, but I am not convinced yet….
I so relate. My hair is thick and unruly but gorgeous when groomed. Alas, this is a daily endeavor. I LOVE short hair but not on myself. So, I’ve experienced the same when I’ve chopped it off, even dream of it being long again. I loved your hair short but longer, too. It will always be a wrestling for me…I think…
My hair has been long, short and every length in between. It has been black, blond, red and multi coloured over the years. Two years ago, aged 63, I decided to let my natural colour grow out. I am so in love with the different shades that it has now and I am growing it long once more. In my head I have a vision of a long thick plait hanging over one shoulder. I’m halfway there already, and I can’t wait!
Yes I thought that shaving the sides of my hair would be a very hip and now look for a boomer. Feeling the air on these areas gave me a very light and freeing experience, however I hate the way it looks. Since it’s winter I’ll wear hats and head wraps until it grows back.
Hair. A lover’s fingers splayed through it in an intimate moment. Blowing through the breeze on a Tahoe motorcycle ride. Disheveled after an intense round of loving. Said lover, pulling it back from behind me. A lock of hair cut from the nape of my neck to hang in the lover’s locker. The lover- years later- “I miss the smell of your hair”. Kept forever long to remember…
You can tell a lot about a woman by the way she takes care of her hair. Yours was always… always… gorgeous, full, aromatic, and pleasing to my touch. It invited caressing, and I responded often. It’s been almost 18 years since we were last together, but I remember its feel, and beauty, and I would be able to discern its scent from that of any other 100 women. I loved that you enjoyed my hands in it, in both our casual and passionate moments. I see pictures of you now… almost two decades later… and I know it would be the same.
Let’s see a photo!
I learned to curb this same behavior by looking away… I give no more than a passing , admiring glance to the hair styles i covet-; when i feel the urge to call my stylist I turn and look straight into the mirror instead and focus on what will work for my face, hair type & features it’s helped bring me into reality and avoid years of slow growing hair regret. Also I’ve been enormously helped by a thyroid condition where I lost the majority of my hair years ago- i intend to never forget that- i get a feeling of being thrilled to have any air ugly, frizzy, out of style etc i LOVE it. In turn i now get admired my hair and told it looks great, who’s my stylist etc.. This is so ironic when i stopped trying to have a style -I somehow got one- that is life.
Well this came at just the right time. After much deliberation I was about to make an appointment for a cut. Have now decided to keep going with my hair . I had it cut as I was told my hair looks better shorter as I have a small face, it drags me down, and so on. But looking at yours longer I like how it looks on you. Softer somehow. Are you going to keep the bangs ? That will be the next decision presumably.. I like an unstructured look. . It’s easier to look after. I have thick hair although it has thinned a bit as I have got older, so I find if I have it short there is constant maintenance. Visits to the hairdresser have to be more regular which translates to more costs. I think The answer is to obtain just the right length that suits. Also of course bangs or not is the next question… I have constantly had the same dilemma as you when it comes to my hair. The pictures to the hairdresser, never works, always disappointing. I believe hair is important because it’s what you first notice about a person, the first description of a person generally begins with the hair . I will look forward with great anticipation to seeing how you proceed .
The problem, well, one of the, is that what I see in the mirror is different from what shows in the photograph. Somewhat unsettling. And I’ve lost faith in hairdressers. One, in my entire life, could cut my hair so I could leave the salon happy. This was far too long ago. Nowadays I only come across hairdressers who might know about cutting hair, but don’t understand hair. This goes for all expensive ones I’ve been to and I am more successful in the €16 ones these days.
Love your style in the picture.
I’ve always believed in the old adage; “Change your hair, Change your life”. Not always in that order. However, Menopause brought me a miracle: Lovely Hair. After nearly 50 years of wimpy, wispy, colorless, misbehaving hair I found I now grow thick, lovely hair, that holds color and shape. Ive never been one to use daily products, maybe this is the payoff? I find Ive become quite lazy about it and this is so freeing. I do an occasional trim & color and spend time practicing my “thank yous” to the almost daily compliments.
I have ultra short hair for 20+ years because it was my husband’s favorite. Now rhat he has passed, i haven’t gotten the courage to cut it and it is growing in directions absolutely unfamiliar! What do i do with it? Remains a questio. For the moment.
You and your hair are in a WHAT NOW MOMENT.
I have no hair. I have Alopecia. I look at women with full heads of hair with envy.
BUT. Try wigs if you want a change. That way you can change your look without disastrous
That’s a fabulous idea, thank you!
Bangs, no bangs, should I grow out, or layer, etc. Hours upon hours agonizing every pre- hair appointment, searching on line pouring over magazines, then, vacillating between showing a picture or not. Maybe, I am hoping beyond hope that my stylist of over 20 years will soothe my hair anxiety this time because he knows best, which takes it out of my hands after all. Crazy…
Hair. “Flow it, show it, long as G-d can grow it, my hair.” Hair v. Age. It’s a dilemma without end. Long, short, dyed, natural – we always seem to want to change it to look dramatic, dignified, younger, wiser, eccentric, wild, beautiful, authentic – different. Mine is white, thick and naturally wavy. I’ve spent more money than I care to count to keep it straight and camera ready. In the last year, I’ve grown it long and often wear it with natural waves. At long last, I’m happy and have lost that internal pressure to update it into something fashionable or daring. You are onto something letting it grow – you will love the freedom it brings.
My hair is fine and straight. When I was in my 20’s, I allowed a friend in beauty school to give my long hair a perm. It ruined my hair and he had to cut it short, about an inch long all over. I was hanging out with a lot of lesbians and they adored my short haircut. I was so torn. The new attention made me want to explore different sides of myself. But I became uncomfortable with the way I looked and knew that it wasn’t me. Ever since I’ve let my hair be long. Now that I’m older, it’s a shoulder grazing cut with side bangs.
The wonderful thing about hair that’s a little wild is that if you’re in a business setting and wearing a tasteful,conservative tailored suit, your hair says “I’m here, but I’m not here.” I love it.
Hair! I have three sisters (one is 60 and rest of us in 70s). When we get together for a visit we will often just sit down and “talk hair”. Sometimes an “intervention” is suggested for someone. What were you thinking, etc. ?? All in good humor with lots of cross talk and laughter. It’s such fun and never really changes.
I have always had good hair. Thick, with body and wavy. It can get BIG in humidity. Lots of cowlicks and a natural part. I used to cut it myself as a teen and got by as it is forgiving. Remember ducktails? Bangs never really work because they just get into a big wave and go sideways, alas. I love short close-cropped hair, and have worn it, but my two big cowlicks on nape of neck make a nice hairline there impossible. Best short hair cut was when I went to a barbershop and had a razor cut….as I had noted men with thick wavy hair had a smooth cut. Worked great! When I was young my mother would take me to her beauty parlor to have my hair “thinned”. It seemed illegal to have thick hair at that time. I can still hear the crunch of those thinning shears. I weaved, dyed for many years and now have let the gray come in. I get many positive comments about it and my hairstylist loves it. I keep it simple, just above the shoulder, and often a small clip to keep it out of my eyes. Of course, gray hair is usually dryer and coarser and I often want more shine. I finally discovered a tool that allows me to blow and style at same time (one hand) which has made a big difference. I always could just air dry and sort of scrunch it into shape. Never owned a hair dryer until lately. The scrunching still works but the ability to have it smoother is nice and gives a younger look somehow. Thanks for letting me share with all of you.
I started to fall out. Became much thinner than it had been. I cut it to 1/2 inch all over while I figured out how to salvage what was left of its thickness. I look terrible in short hair. Still not sure where this will end up
At almost 47 I’m coming to realize I have white hair. It’s time to stop coloring and toning. It’s time to be who I really am. All wild curls, white hair and all. But the transition may kill me. I’m impatient. I want this new attitude now.
The transition was the hardest part for me but then once it happened it is so liberating.
As you wait, start to play with the color of your clothing. It passes the time. I am lucky to find the jewel tones and grays that do not pull all the color out of my face.
I live in Australia where we don’t have the same obsession with long hair as Americans seem to. In fact, here it seems to be the opposite; if a woman is making any sort of life-changing statement, she is more likely to cut her hair short! Short hair is considered sassy and sexy here.
On a personal note though, I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago, and after a couple of surgeries, had my first chemo therapy treatment last week. In anticipation of losing my hair I had it cut very short – almost a buzz cut with a few centimetres length left on top. Having my hair this short is not a problem for me, but knowing I will lose it all has caused me a great deal of anguish.
So, yes, our hair, regardless of its length is powerfully significant to we women. For the record, I am 65.
Have got short hair now and feel good about it. Had long hair Dreams on and off, but long hair is not for me. Have accepted that.
Oh my gosh. HAIR. I feel your pain. Personally, I don’t know what to do with hair, cowlicks, waves, edges, product – any of it, so the shorter the better. And yet, I feel this conundrum as well. Keeping it short has become a cop out. Why not try something new? Why not? Absolutely why not.
My hair is my crown. I lost it all once – they said it would fall out 2 weeks after my first chemo treatment. I’d hoped they’d be wrong – they weren’t. Psychologically,It was one of the worst parts of my treatment. To lose my hair was to lose my femininity, my identity, my accessory to whatever I wore. Now, many years on from treatment, I have my hair – long and beautiful, sparkles of grey. It is my crowning glory, I love it!
Alas! The dreaded genetic hair thinning gremlin reaps more of my locks every year. She’s a bitch like that! Going gray several years back was a kindness to my naturally curly hair. However, my curls have turned into a cotton candy frizz atop my noggin. What to do?
Lavender and purple to the rescue! I use a great colored conditioner product that gives me fun, funky tresses! I love the change.
As far as that short hair thing…I’d be near bald without my long hair! Take that, gremlin! My “whatnowness” is quite pleased with my purple halo. ?
It seems the yen is to the extremely short cut, like a pixie. Rarely do with start with a shoulder-length bob. We crave extreme change, a shock. Yet, it is only hair, it grows back.
I love reading about your hair as I too have been there ! But for the past 9 yrs I have resisted the cutting and coloring and let it grow . Once in a while I take a couple inches off do slight layers and bangs . I am now white/silver and a lovely dark brown . I love it .
I can also relate to your search for the cut that makes me feel right – at least for the moment, but my hair is baby fine and thinned now to the point that short is the only solution. I’ve let it grow only to imagine it swinging and stylish like the Sassoon cut I wore in my younger days. In reality it hangs thin and limp, my ears now poking through. I look tired and worn. A fresh short cut feels and looks good for a few days, then the discontent sets in again. I know it so why do I go through it time and time again. That, as you say, is the question.
I have recently gone from long hair all the way down my back to an asymmetrical cut, chin length on one side and to the ear on the other. I had it long for several years, grey with streaks of blue and purple. Being shorter than 5 feet, I felt like my hair was beginning to weigh me down. My hairdresser thought I was coming in for my usual trim, but we made a very major change. It is cute. but I find that it takes much more time and attention than when it was long. I miss my braids and my buns. Like everything else in life, this too shall pass. I will probably keep it short for a while longer but soon, I will be ready to let it grow again.
Your hair looks fabulous, edgy and rebellious any way you cut it, Lyn.
I feel the opposite about short hair–I always wanted a boy’s haircut but didn’t feel nervy enough to do it.
Now I do. For me, the super short haircut I wear today, like the buzz cut my daughter sports–and dyes various colors–seems more dangerous and norm-defying than the bob or shoulder-length hair I wore for decades.
Don’t Be too hard on yourself! You are not the”Accidental Icon” for nothing! you are an inspiration for most of us, especially those who like to experiment with new fashions and hairstyles which will transform our personalities, if not for a little while! So the hairstyle didn’t turn out! At least you know, there are so many likable styles to try on as if a new outfit. At the end, you may stick to the style you like, and see fit, which in your case, would inspire many fans!
Oh my, this is my story. I will be following your hair evolution. Not just to see the style but to listen to your revelations regarding NOT cutting it and being at peace with allowing your hair to grow And to flourish.
I’ve allowed my hair to, but in the past I’ve cut it in the spring. I attributed that behavior to my childhood and my mother chopping it in the summer or another idea I have is that as soon as my hair looks nice I sabotage my looks?
I will follow your journey.
Omg!!! I thought I was the only one who went through such weirdness with my hair. The promise of a new carefree life awaits if I could only get that look smiling up at me from the glossy page of a new magazine with the latest styles. Of course no one tells you that matching the hair cut and stylish clothing only works if you are the person on that page actually sporting them and even then not so much. It only lasts until the next time you wash your hair and launder the clothes and it’s then that you are the same old you that you have always been in the mirror that consistently disappoints.
My hair is fine, but I have a lot of it. No matter how much I have it can look very limp and flat to my head. This has caused me to have a love hate relationship with my hair. When I read this post I resonated with the idea that our hair can really effect how we feel about ourselves. If I think about it, changing my hairstyle from long to short has been about needing a new start or some sort of change in my life. It has been a way to get an immediate result….unlike raising children. There is a lot of monotony in being a full time mother. Yes there are rewards, it just takes time. I do think , as I look through Pinterest, I envision a different lifestyle or fantasize about what new adventure this different hairstyle might bring. As I read what I’m typing it seems a bit ridiculous that I should think such things. The more I think about it, for me, changing up my hair a bit has been about looking and feeling refreshed. But the times I’ve done a drastic cut, like a pixie cut from shoulder length hair, that’s been more about standing out so I don’t get lost in a crowd or feel like I’m going invisible. Possibly even a challenge to myself or a reminder to say I don’t have to be what society thinks a full time mother should be, or look like, I can be much more. Thank you for your post x
Honestly, I have short hair and love it. I loved your hair when it was short and angular. Just my opinion.
Lynn , this resonates with me as I am on the cusp of finally ditching the colour and allowing my salt and pepper natural colour to come to the fore. Do I cut my hair really short or be patient and let things progress organically, these are the questions I am asking myself at present.
I do like your longer hair , enjoy the process as you embrace your nowness.
I love your hair in this photo, and you look stunning! That is a wonderful outfit, too. I recently took a photo in to a hair stylist, and came out with something totally different than what I had wanted (and shorter, too), but once it is cut off there is not much to do but make the best of it, I suppose. When I worked I felt more professional with shorter hair, but loved longer hair with flowy dresses when I was not working. I am seriously thinking of trying to grow it long again, even though that doesn’t work as well as it used to!
I can definitely relate to your short-hair spontaneity – I too have done the same and I’ve realised that this happens when I am tired of playing just one aspect of my-self, having squeezed myself into some familiar safe daily regimen, initially it is satisfying, comfortable but eventually, I rebel and have the need to breakout and into the new. So, when we practise the same behaviours repeatedly, then life seems to lose its creativity and the adventurous side of my nature becomes somewhat buried – so it’s almost as though I need to shock myself into the new —- therefore, the short haircuts! But, no longer, I am aware enough to sit with it and wait until I create something more satisfying in my life, something new.
Familiar safe, daily regimen. Screaming my name right now!
I was meant to have long hair through college, though I kept it long for much longer than that. My fine, thin, straight hair, when bobbed, makes me feel simultaneously pulled together and elegant, rebellious and sassy – not a bit submissive, on the contrary. I would have made a good flapper.
Just cut mine shorter than it has been for years, mmm not feeln it at all, have been told its cute…cute ? Was not what i was going for! Approaching my 65 th birthday , i wanted some thing FUN! SASSY! a bit “tumbled out of bed” look….I too look on the internet for ideas, take pictures and my hair never looks like the pic. I do color, not ready for the grey,just yet. But i dont want to be a slave to curling irons and flat irons, so i dont…maybe that is the problem ? Love your post!
I used to take the scissors to my hair, and then have the hairdresser fix my mess. Or I would get it “hacked off” and then let it grow out for six months, and then do it again. Now, after hearing my mother say over and over that women of a certain age should wear their hair long, I have not had a haircut in over two years. Long, flowing, out of control grey/white hair. I’m not sure what the future holds.
Although I am no longer capable of growing my hair long, my fantasy hair style is a french braid.
My hair has been cut too short by my own direction or usually, my own inattention…and I admit to being shaved here and there….
At 73, my greying red hair is now blond….the style is somewhere between an undercut short bob? Always messy…but on trend….I love it…with or without a hat!
I understand this completely, and I have decided to let my hair grow out long, and it is now down below my shoulders. I turn 78 this month, but I like my hair long. Everyone says you should keep your hair short when you are older, but I am ONLY older in body. My mind is and has been for as long as I remember, ageless. I don’t do anything special now to it. I used to color it so it wouldn’t be gray, but in my family, our hair only turns white. Mine is still a sort of blonde, and I don’t even care anymore if it is white or gray or whatever. I am who I am and I am proud to be who I am. I have led a full and fascinating life, and so I have no regrets. If someone likes me or loves me, he or she better like me for who I am because the change I am experiencing in life are evolutionary, and I am fine with it. I am not an old lady at all. AGELESS, AGELESS, AGELESS! Loved your post as always.
Hair History: Blessed with thick heavy “dirty dishwater blonde” hair…High School (late 60’s) had me in a stylish Kenneth bob. That lasted until my rebellious best friend talked me into the Mia Farrow cut while keeping her company while she got. Hard to keep our majorette crowns in and not a good look for most other than Mia. I proceeded to rebel on my own, and didn’t cut my top o’my thighs personal blanket until my late twenties when I entered the teaching world. Over time it got permed and sensibly shortened until I was close to retirement. Close to retirement, with lots of gray having emerged, a feeling of independence, anticipated freedom, and a youthful WTF attitude…I began growing it like I did in my twenties. Today, still thick, heavy and beautifully gray, it lives in a high ponytail that swishes with my every step…I have my maturing face full forward and a little party going on in the back. That is how my hair expresses my “Whatnowness”. At great place to be at 67.
When I was a child growing up in the 1960s, my mother cut my hair in a bowl cut. A psychiatrist/psychoanalyst once suggested that she might have been trying to tamp down my femininity. It worked. My hair, my glasses, and my intelligence ensured that I didn’t attract any attention from boys (my father instructed me not to act too smart around them; I didn’t listen). I often played “the teacher” in school plays. I was the oldest child, followed by two brothers, one who apparently walked on water, the other “an accident.” When I was in 7th grade, I got contacts and grew my hair long and argued with my mother about keeping it out of my face. I kept my hair long until my junior year of college, when, while studying overseas, I let a stylist cut it short in the Dorothy Hamill style favored at the time. I regretted it. I let it grow, never letting it get shorter than a chin-length bob. The longer it grew, the more sexual I felt. Now that I’m in my mid-50s, I’m in the midst of seeing how long I can let it grow before cutting it shoulder-length again. This is coinciding with a period of creativity. We’ll see.
I didn’t expect to write so much. Thank you for this post.
So happy you did!
Wow can I relate! I am unshakable about who I am on the inside and what I believe in; but boy am I crazy when it comes to my hair. My craziness relates to its color. I have cut my hair super short to get rid of dye and go silver and then colored it again more times than I care to admit. If I am honest, I love my silvery white hair but then I worry that it makes me look too old. Actually, I have had many complements on my platinum strands; so why can’t I just leave them alone? LOL
I decided long ago to take control and not be governed by my hair. As it is now white and below my waist, I can curl it, wear it straight, up in a bun or ponytail, all depending on my mood. Simplicity and ease are my driving motives.
So fun to experiment with hair—color, length, texture. And it grows and I can start all over again. Hair can be the defining element. My brilliant hair stylist and I have fun creating looks. Once he cut my hair like Blythe Danner’s. I don’t particularly look like her, though we are both of a certain age and of English heritage. While I wore that haircut, people stopped me in the street and in the shops: “You look just like that woman in…” yep, Blythe Danner, though they didn’t always remember her name. I gave a new hair style now, and thus I no longer look like her. But it was fun. Long or medium or short, hair is an adventure.
I really loved your hair short, but it looks great windblown and free with the longer bob. Your color is magnificent and one I wish I could ware. Just turned 72 I am very fair with dark eyes and am brunette now of course it comes out of a model. When my husband and I got married I was a blond. Started having it streaked that’s what we called it in those days. Kept getting more and more decided to go all the way to blond. Stayed blond for probably 10 years. Was always looking so washed out finally decided I needed more color. So moved to red. Went up and down the red scale from light to dark. My skin turned very sallow. When the Color me Beautiful craze was happening I was told to go back to brunette. I truly thought the consultant was nuts. She advised me to try on a wig. She was so right. Instantly my skin looked better. Finding the right color I now put all my attention on the style of the moment. You name it I did it. When I see pictures today of some of the styles I wore I cringed. My hair is fine but I have a lot of it. One day many year’s ago I attended a conference in Dallas. It turned very cold and had not packed a coat. Not to worry Neiman’s was just around the corner. Headed there to get something warm. The sales professional had a great bob. Complimenting her on her hair she told me she got tired of all the hair nonsense and decided she would do what her hair wanted to do . Her statement hit me in the head like a ton of bricks .And was so happy I left my coat home. So I grew a shoulder length bob and kept it that way for years and years. As I got older and gravity set in I cut it off to a pixie. I love it its very chic which at 72 I prefer being chic over sexy been there did that. I love the silvers and whites and told my stylist and good friend I wanted to white. She said wait a minute I want to show you something. She came back with white powder and put it on my hair ! I faded away and looked so much older. My skin tone requires I have contrast between my skin and hair color. So even at my age I look better as a brunette. Hair can take over our lives. I still long for my bob. But I really love just washing towel drying and our the door I get from the pixie.
a great example of this issue of grey or not NOT being an either/or. Always the objective is to do whatever makes you feel you are the best version of you!
I have long hair. I have gone through phases where I contemplate having my hair cut, but I don’t. I think that I’m one of those women who will always be “a long-haired girl.” The freedom of my hair, messy and wild most of the time, makes me believe that I can do anything and be anything. I know it’s just hair, and it will grow back, but my hair defines me.
Oi vey! Hair. I get bored quickly with hair styles although since I let mine go grey, while I was still teaching, I’ve kept pretty much the same and I colour my fringe. Right now it’s black but it’s been purple, pink, blue and peach. I constantly think I should let it grow and change the style but it’s cool and fairly easy and I get tons of compliments so I keep it the same, I think I really should change but long hair doesn’t look great on most of us as we age so I talk myself out of letting it grow! Oh a first world dilemma!
I’ve played with the idea of doing something with a pastel color.
Do it! I rocked pastel pink and was surprised how fun it was to listen comments from all age groups!
Oh, I too suffer from this dilemma and have all my life, with curly, red (natural with help on the roots) hair. Alternating from short, but not too short to avoid looking like a Brillo pad, to long which ultimately I feel is too much hair, like I’m hiding under a bush. So, I just recently cut it again – not too short, since I sometimes believe longer hair can hide or at least disguise the sagging jawline. But, with short, I am told I look younger. Hence the dilemma which I think we all face.
Let your freak flag fly. By allowing the mane to go wild, outfits automatically become more artistic and even bohemian which always makes a woman of a certain age more enticingly interesting.
I was so unhappy and disgusted with my short haircut, I came home from a walk and shaved my head, which made my hair even shorter, of course.
My hair grew out and I let it go until the length was to my shoulders. If I pulled it back in a short ponytail, it looked good. If I left it hanging straight and unstyled, I looked like a bag lady.
Finally I found a photo of a model with short straight bangs and a blunt cut below the ears (much like a Louise Brooks cut). My hair stylist approved. She bleached the hair around my face to blend with the gray and white hairs elsewhere. Turned out to be one of my best looks in years.
Ironically, I found a photo of myself at age eight with exactly the same haircut, without the highlighting. I guess the guy at Jay’s Jip Joint (back in 1958) knew what he was doing.
Gosh I have done exactly the same so many times….I have now returned to a Louise Brookes Bob…I am 62, and have had every style in the book and now have the same haircut I had when I was 5! I follow your journey with great interest…as a retired teacher in the UK, and now a Vintage Dealer called Sunny Morning Vintage…your life looks full and interesting, wishing you power and fun! Christine,xx
I too can relate to the haircut disappointments and wishing I could have long hair again. Long hair is such a way to express yourself with all the many braids, buns and different ways to fashion it. But, I feel sloppy and unkempt when my hair starts to grow. Add to this, the battle I’m having about whether to continue coloring my hair and I’m starting to dread my hair appointments.
Oh no! How can we make you see what can happen to your hair now as a creative adventure!
For me, the long or the short of it has been the least of my worries,
as far back as I can recall my hair texture has been my enemy!
As a small child I would sit at my fathers knee whilst he cut it with a large pair of kitchen scissors as though mowing a lawn!
The times I spent daydreaming that I would simply wake up one school morning to find my hair being the same as that of my cousins, long braids, hanging down my back, to swing & bounce as I played in the school yard!
Until the day arrived when I was introduced to the flat iron, this also included the application of copious amounts of coconut oil, the smell, of burning oil & frazzled hair! Arrr… fond memories.. I think not!
Over time I progressed to the application of chemicals, to try & secure myself the straight glossy look of my dreams, this mostly resulted in a whole knew set of problems which nevertheless were occasionally interrupted to my delight by, ‘hey, looking good today girl’ moments, that would however on occasions swiftly turn into, ‘Cinderella ‘s left behind her glass slipper’ moments, at the first sign of rain.
Yet still I continued to seek the ‘Holy Grail’ especially as a teen, as I so wanted to be like my girlfriends with their glossy swishing 60’s bobs!
Over the years many, many, times I tried to make peace with ‘my crowning glory’ but failed time & time again.
Instead I continued on my journey of trying to get my hair to behave in a way that it naturally just wasn’t meant to do.
Then at around the age of fourty five along came the grey, requiring more chemicals & often resulting in more disappointment.
Up until a month or so before my sixtieth birthday I said to myself, enough is enough, I will at least embrace the grey, bring it on ‘mother nature’ bring it on!
If only I could have been as brave when it came to the texture of my “tresses’, sadly it took another two years before I threw in the towel & finally made peace & accepted the ‘bounty’ that was bestow upon me.
Here I am now, fast approaching my sixty eighth birthday with a head of grey curly coils that on rising every morning look as though I have just been plugged into an electricity socket, but are now easily tamed with a spritz of water/leave in conditioner, or washed & conditioned whilst taking a shower.
Needless to say my bathroom shelves are loaded down with the next, best, whatever amazing new conditioner there is out there, because there is always one that promises to do a better job than the one before!
Once a year I take a three hour round trip to a salon where the stylist, (although not having much hair himself & what he does have is as straight as a dye), is trained (a former student of the renowned Lorraine Massey) & experienced well enough to know what to do regarding cutting my curly coils, into some semblance of a shape, whilst allowing for shrinkage (because that’s what this type of hair does), so that I do not leave looking like I have just emerged from a circa 1950’s barbers shop after having requested a ‘short back & sides’!
I have to say I always wanted that look and even had a very curly perm when I went grey. I think of it as powerful when I see a woman with her head framed with “crazy” curls.
Interesting, how many of us desire the opposite to what we have, until we have the ‘ah ha’ moment?
I too can relate. To me, short hair means “ready for adventure!” That is why it often got cut for the summer. These days, I have (finally?) accepted that a well cut chin length style not only looks better on me, it is also easiest to care for.
Hair color has become my new horizon: at 58, my hair is drab brown with some, but not yet enough, white. My stylist adds color but works around my white.
Daring to embrace white hair in a world obsessed with youth…
Interesting how many younger women are dying their hair white and there are even anime characters sporting white hair.
During my career years my hair was meticulously styled, technically precise but never dyed. On trips to Europe with our family I would seek out the next style, study that head intensely in fleeting moments of observation and challenge my hairstylist to replicate my finding. He always rose to the challenge with intensity, passion and precision.
When I retired, I also finished my last round of chemotherapy. My tufts of remaining hair shaved off, I longed to renew the boundless energy of my youth, a time when my hair flowed down my back and blew in the wind when the car windows were open and the music was loud.
I continue to visit my hairstylist occasionally for minimalist interventions when I need a few layers to create some movement. However, my undyed hair flows down my back and yes, it blows fiercely in the wind.
An inspiring story on many levels, thanks for sharing it
I’ve had the same hairstyle for years and I still love it. I do play around with it though, like a couple years ago I added pink cotton candy extensions and in a couple weeks when I go for my 8 week hair cut I will have my stylist shave the back of my head so when my hair is up in a ponytail the shaven part will show.
Your haircut is stunning and suits you. It is sophisticated.
I’m 61, let my hair go gray around 40, and wear it short and spiky. Yes, I got called “grandma” by strangers when my children were young. I’ve been told I have lesbian hair. I’ve been told I’m lucky to look good in short, natural hair. So many opinions. None of them matter except for my own. It suits me. My facial features. My lifestyle that includes regular swim workouts. My idea of who I am and want to be. It takes bravery to be yourself.
I’m seeing all the swimmers speaking up for short hair! definitely a lifestyle thing.
This is so pertinent at the moment as my wife is at that 5 week hiatus of time to get the hair cut … she trawls the web in search of the perfect short hair cut. The imagination, aspiration and reality very rarely coincide and thank god for her hairdresser who has a calming influence and in general she returns happy and looking fabulous …. though at the moment she is trying to be even more out there.
Let me start off by saying that you look amazing! Your picture depicts boldness and intrigue. I don a rather large afro as my crown of glory. I am 54 and in 2011 I decided to do something that I wanted to do since age 10 wear my hair natural. You see after age 10 is when my mother started to send myself and my 4 sister to the beauty parlor to get our hair chemically relaxed. I wore my hair that way for over 30 years until I couldn’t stand it any longer and that’s when I decided I wanted an afro as large as Don Cornelius had in the 70’s. I don’t regret my decision to go natural at all. People often ask me if I miss having my hair relaxed/straiten and I say nope. If I get nostalgic for my relaxed hair I will thumb through old photos which make me love my afro even more!
Maybe instead of looking at “whatnowness” try, “What’s Next?” That way it feels more like an encouraging urge than a downplayed obsession. Or, you could ask, “What do women like me want to see next?”
My hair is my Achilles heel. It is thin and there is little of it. Which means I spend a lot of money on an excellent hairdresser and good hair care products. And still it looks like shxt when the wind blows. So no hair experiments for me anymore. No long hair either. A bob is what I can achieve (when there is no wind). Short hair I hate.
Oh well, I have to live with it.
No idea why you keep going back to the hairdresser with a photo in your hand haha. Experience has tought you not to do that anymore.
My hair is wash n wear short, tucked my ears, efficient, practical, shiny + has been this way for 25 years!
Yet why do I dream of plaits, chignon, ponytail’s + French rolls as the other version of myself?
For me now, it comes down to my lifestyle versus the other long-haired self I’d like to be!
Early morning swims, yoga then quick shower, off to work simply doesn’t seem to allow for the extra luxury of time!
After years of long hair, ‘professional’ bobs and feeling ‘old fashioned’ I have a buzz cut. I have never felt so free ever before. I am 76.
I want my hair to look good when the wind blows
Haha…so many comments, it took me forever to get to this blank space?. Phew?
I almost shaved off all my hair today watching a YouTuber who shaved hers off.
I’ve always been a #shorthairdontcare kinda of lass.
With that being said, I’ve had the TWA(teeny weeny afro), afro, tree trunks as my daughters called it(aka freeform locs), bald, bald…then bald again?.
My happy place is shaving it all off. It’s so liberating – I’m also lazy with my hair, but it keeps growing despite me doing very little with her.
This look looks great, I love the combination of the earrings with the dress and your hair looks perfect
I just wanna say that I love your hair in the above pics.
I recently resisted the urge to cut my hair short…again. It seems that about every two years or so, I feel that short hair will somehow transform me, make my life more edgy and exciting, and show the world the real, fun, quirky, non-conformist me. Then I remember each time I have given in to that urge, and the subsequent – and inevitable – regret followed by months and months (no, years) of growing my hair out again. The short cuts were cute and stylish but required so much effort (and product) to achieve the desired look only to have it fall flat again within two hours. Each time I cut it, I return to the classic, versatile bob with bangs. It has become my signature look, one that works with my hair, my features, my lifestyle, and my moods. I’ve decided to play a little with color going forward rather than cut it off and regret it later. Your current style is my go-to inspiration for when I see a pair of scissors and start thinking…
The new year will see a big closet clean out (and donations to charitable organizations) and some lifestyle changes as I edge closer and closer to being an empty nester. Travel has become a bigger priority than ever – experiences over things. Thank you, Lyn, for inspiring me and my bob to shed the superfluous, wear what is comfortable yet fun, and live well in my own skin. Happy Holidays to you and yours!
I follow you on Instagram as well, You are so inspiring , your style is amazing ! your for fierce
Hi, Its a pleasure to be on your site.
Yes, my struggle to ditch my pixie ( which has been tweeked,colored,gelled, etc) is a long, endless quest…”but you look so cute” ” your face is perfect for a pixie” ” fits your personality ” my various hair stylists protest….so now, sporting a pompadour I vow to let it grow long enough for extensions! Thrilled to discover you, and break out of my rut and into a new me for 2020. If not now, when?
I can really identify with this particular aspect of a woman’s appearance. I recently went to my hair stylist of many years at a well known salon in my area where I live. I don’t know what possessed me, but I had color done but decided to wait on the highlights and lowlights for another month.
While not inexpensive and considerable time spent in the salon, I walked away distressed. My hair was way too dark and to me looked like I had had my head dipped into mahogany furniture dye. I lived with it for 2 days and then called the salon, convinced that there was an error done in the color of my hair.
When I got to the salon, my hair stylist said that it was because I did not have the highlights done. I was still not convinced but lo and behold, after the highlights were placed and I looked in the mirror, it was me again! The blonde streaks had softened the dark color, looked natural (which is important to me), and most of all, I felt like me again.
I realized how important it is to “feel like me.” My hair did and does make a difference and I had no idea how much until this experience. In my opinion, hair is a visible and viable expression of who I am. While clothes are important to me and I often will change into two or three different outfits before I am happy with how I feel before going out to face the world, I think my hair is even more important as it is an actual physical part of me.
So, honestly, I get it! I know what you are saying and I agree! I was grateful that my hair could be fixed so quickly, but yes, hair can and does grow back, but it is the time in-between where one is trying to make peace with a decision that might not have been the best one to make that can seem like an eternity.
where are you?
I am an optimist because every time my hair dresser cuts and styles my hair and tells me I can get the same look by using a round brush- I believe him.
I read all the comments and see tons and tons of people complement your hair. Such a beautiful hair style and color.
I have been two and a half years growing my hair, braiding it back to keep it out of my way. It’s not fancy, but it gets comments and compliments. This is what 56 looks like, for me. It is a freedom of sorts not to be hacking at my bangs, only to go to the hairdresser to repair my errors. Not to be worrying how my hair looks, or reacts to the day. I wish I had always been this enlightened.
You’ve transparently and nobly presented your case. It leads me to wonder, are we asking the wrong question of ourselves? Our hair is part of our identity and an expression of our personalities. These can be adaptive in the same way you’ve described the changing directions of your hairstyle preferences. Perhaps the lens by which we view our hair should be “what attribute of my authentic self am I wanting to project? The choice will always be the right one and so expertly timed.
In fifth grade my teacher thought I was a boy when he was handing out our school photos. Mind you I had on beads and a flowery dress. Granted, I had taken my glasses off for the photo and had just gotten one of those shag haircuts. I was still bothered, though, and my dad took my side and said, “Girls should have long hair.” So I usually stick with longer, even when mid length, styles.
I had the same hair color and cut for years. I was tired of coloring my hair and decided to see what lay beneath. The true me was crying to get out. I was delighted at my new white hair with a touch of grey. I decided that I needed a whole new look. I chose an extremely short haircut with a longer quiff in the front. It says “Here I am….deal with it.” I love and should have done it sooner. A more real and confident me emerged.
I had the same hair color and cut for years. I was tired of coloring my hair and decided to see what lay beneath. The true me was crying to get out. I was delighted at my new white hair with a touch of grey. I decided that I needed a whole new look. I chose an extremely short haircut with a longer quiff in the front. It says “Here I am….deal with it.” I love it and should have done it sooner. A more real and confident me emerged.
When I cut it short it’s usually because I feel in the verge of a new chapter yet revisiting a look I’ve done before.
I too get inspired by celebrity looks or instagram fashion photos
Sometimes I realize the cut I chose also who I was at an earlier time in my life
When I had more moxsie and freedom. This time May stylist sensed my need for change when I asked her “What do you think ?” She said “did you see Natalie Portman on the Oscars”
And Boom! I went short and blunt!
I had wanted to go shorter
I had wanted to make a statement
I no longer wanted to pull it back or up or over… I wanted it to just be! And more highlights will follow
Comment Hola, muy interesante el blog y curiosas las opiniones sobre el cabello. Tengo 52 años y hace 10 que dejé de teñirme y lo llevo largo. Estoy encantada, no me ha costado nada adaptarme a mi nuevo aspecto en la madurez.
“ I remain mystified “. I can only assume you stole that phrase from me. Hair. Specifically my hair has potential ( limited) that it not only does not exceed but never reaches. Sometimes, I cut it myself and color it and am forced to make up a terrible lie about who did what and why to it. But let me just say that after 60 yrs of this emotional tug of hair war, I absolutely know that cutting it is NEVER the answer. Falling in your face is good. Baseball caps with longer hair are good ( not with short hair). Being gorgeous and interesting and smart and vulnerable at 66 is fabulous. Not going super short or dowdy is important. I believe ( not honestly believe- geez) that sexy in your 60’s gives you a bit more power if you want it. Cool hair helps.
I am so sorry that I don’t know you. You would be one of the people I’d invite to that fantasy dinner party- the one with Einstein, Jesus and, for me, the cast of Best in Show.
Long hair, to me, is ‘feminine’ and conservative. it’s what men want women to have. So, I have embraced short hair since I was 18 years old. It’s scary to me that the majority of young women have long hair now… There’s so much time spent on: blow drying, straightening, colouring, etc. etc. it feels like a major drag and obstacle to women to have the obligatory long, straight hair, or be thought of as ‘lesbians’ or even worse, ‘feminists’. Patriarchy rules. have the courage to say NO
Short hair, to me, is liberating. No need for a hair dryer. It’s wash and wear. I love that freedom!!
I used to think my beautiful fine long blonde hair defined me. My feminism, my sex appeal, my trade mark…..until I developed Alopecia Universalis after a hysterectomy. ? I felt devastated and cheated. Time heals and A loving husband and daughter- helped me learn that I am beautiful bald. 10 years later, it comes and goes And I am ok with that…. but still miss my flowing golden locks.
I wear short hair, very short hair. I feel just the opposite…liberated. Nothing to hide, you see my face, neck and skin. I’m free of blow dryers and product. I’m comfortable. I’ve had long hair many times and ever so often I get the itch to grow it back out but after a few months I have it cut. My hair accentuates me it doesn’t define me.
LET IT GROW LET IT GROW LET IT GROW!!!!
We never outgrow that feeling, never ever.
It’s not about the men or even vanity, much deeper.
It’s not even about good hair or beauty -much deeper.
I too did the short thing twice more after vowing not to.
Now I don’t listen when something says Cut.
My hair lets my face be whatever it wants.
Every morning when I wake up my first thought is,
I’m so happy to have long(ish) hair, old-lady thin
and crinkly as it is.
This is the subject of myth.
Over the course of 12 years starting in 2006, I lost my hair twice to cancer. I had so much fun with numerous colors and styles of wigs. When it grew back in both times I embraced the Annie Lenox look. I learned that my hair didn’t define my inner soul. Since the last grow in I have had fun with the help of my stylist to land on something funky, fun yet classy and “me” (with an option to always shake things up lol). I was born a redhead, went blonde over the years- it grew in both times dark, but yay for bleach! I am 67 no grey but dark roots to maintain. I love a day at the salon leaving feeling fab- she says I am her muse 🙂
I’ve had 54 years of hopeful haircuts and nightmare regrets. Every time I have come out of a relationship, I cut my hair very short. I’m compelled to “start over”. And I always regret it. You would think I’d learn, but it’s something I’ve never been able to control.
Then, 10 years ago, I finally got the upper hand and I didn’t cut my hair, no matter what. So, 2 weeks ago, I’m looking in the mirror, my hair is long past my butt, and I’m tired of curling, styling, blow drying for an hour…
I flip my hair over and the scissors take control!!
No, I’m not happy, I knew I wouldn’t be. But I’m back to square one.
Although supplements are great and the health of the hair does come from within – some hair is just more porous by nature and has a rougher cuticle ( the outside later of hair ) causing the hair to not reflect light, the only way to really remedie this is by leaving something IN the hair to moisturise it just like skin – I use hot oil in this case – Jojoba heated and massage into the ends of your hair an hour or overnight before you wash your hair – adding shampoo to dry hair and then adding water will ensure it will all come out leaving a small amount behind on the hair to shine and moisturise it – it’s an inexpensive natural and effective solution
Great tip, thank you.
I’m the opposite…I’d like to shave my head. ALL of it off. I’ve had a love hate (mostly hate) relationship with my hair. I’d try to grow it out but the reality is, long hair dies nothing for me. It makes me look tired and old. It brings my features down. Makes me feel tired and depressed. The shorter the better. Now if I could only find a stylist who isn’t afraid to do what I want.
I am constantly battling my hair. Short to long, long to short. ‘Pretty’ blonde to ‘dirty blonde’ and back again. Curly, wavy, straight. Does it make me look younger, smarter, prettier, tough, edgy, sexy. Maintenance vs. ease. Society vs. me. Vanity. Giving in, giving up. Bangs, no bangs. Fear of looking ridiculous for my age. Fear of looking frumpy at my age. Fantasies of shaving it all off, knowing remorse would be my consequence. Wishing a pulled back into a ponytail looked good on me, it doesn’t. Wishing a short pixie cut like Jamie Curtis looked good on me, it doesn’t. I think I look good with Honey West hair. Problem is, it takes time, product and practice for me to achieve. I get resentful about the amount of effort it takes. I think about wigs. My mom had some for travel and camping trips. They always looked like wigs, never her real hair. No wigs. Good hair days and bad hair days. At least, I have hair!
At my most recent appointment , I had my hair cut very short. When it is longer, all I see in the mirror is my mother whom I loved very much, but I’m not her. At 62, and approaching the end of my teaching career, I’m struggling to maintain relevance and a sense of me.
A common struggle we can all relate to.
I find the results of your analysis strange – the exact reversal of my own short hair/long hair cycle.
Long hair is the compliance and submission to conformity, short hair is liberty and independence. How different we all are.
Interesting how we all have lived lives that somehow shape our perceptions. It what makes life interesting.
cutting my hair short has alway felt like a punishment. it began when I was around 12 years old and finally had grown my hair to shoulder length. I loved how it bkew in my face when I ride my bike ir just stood in the wind. then my mother and aunt took me for a haircut. they decided on a very short overstyled pixie and that was that. I remember crying as it was being cut. fast forward to my iwn choices – short haircuts have been done to rememdy a very bad haircut once received at the vidal sassoon teaching salon, and after that to get rid of over bleached damagebthatbI did on my own. I too dutifully bring in the pictures and am always surprised tgatni dont look like Meg Ryan or Jennufer Aniston when im done. i also lived through 1 phase wher I likened myself yo a punk rocker and cut my hair very short very much like Annie Lenox back in the day . These days im obsessed with growing out my hair. i dont care if its wring for my face or enhaces my droopy jawline . i want that damned ponytail back.
I loved and related to every experience you have described. I found myself cutting my hair short when I felt I deserved some koind of punishment and in the aftermath always regretted it.