This topic of age appropriate hair length has been bouncing around my head for a couple of weeks. I am not quite sure talking about hair length is an appropriate post for Small Steps to Health, but what the heck. If I have been thinking about it for this long, it means I need an outlet.
My friend, Ally, recently chopped off her long beautiful curls for a short chin length bob. With this one move, she instantly aged 5 years. When I asked her why she made such a dramatic change to her appearance, Ally told me that she wants to look more serious at work since she just turned 40. I have to admit that the shorter hair do make Ally look her age.
A week later at a birthday lunch, two other women in their late 40s, admitted to getting shoulder length bobs when they turned 40. These women also believe that shorter hair is more age appropriate.
After an informal survey of a few women in the office, it seems like all of them felt that “it’s time for short hair” soon after their 40th birthday. Once I started paying attention to hair lengths, it seems like a majority of the women over 40 have shoulder or chin length hair in my office building of 400 people. There are only a small handful of older women with hair longer than the tops of their shoulders.
Do shorter hair makes you look younger?
Doing a quick search on the internet, the consensus seems to be that a woman looks younger with shorter hair after the age of 40. But there does not appear to any real logically evidence supporting this.
According to emaxhealth.com, “long hair tends to make wrinkles and flaws more noticeable.” I am not sure how that can be a true statement. Scraggly, unkempt strands of long hair are never attractive on anyone, but it does not automatically make your wrinkles look deeper.
Granted the texture of your hair changes as you age and shorter can give the illusion of thicker hair, but surely it is an urban legend that shorter hair makes you look younger.
Maybe it is hard work to maintain long hair after 40?
According to about.com, “there’s no braiding or constant brushing – a boon to women who suffer from arthritis or joint pain. It’s just a quick shampoo, towel or blog dry, a little spritz of hair spray and that’s it.”
Ok, when you are suffering from arthritis and joint pain, I can see how it can make you cringe at the thought of holding a hairbrush. But at 40? Most of us are too young to be worrying about this.
If it is only about maintenance, isn’t the best time to have shorter hair be in your thirties when you are busy raising young children? Depending on the texture of your hair, it might just be easier to pull long hair in a ponytail than trying to tame it with hair products.
Maybe it is just the fashion to have short hair after 40?
I like Hair Boutique’s explanation of the short hair fashion myth; it is all about the money. With the invention of shampoo and wet curler set for shorter hair after World War II, it became very fashionable for older women to make WEEKLY visits to the hairdresser to get their curls and waves.
Who benefits from the myth that older women should have short hair? The hairdresser who shampoos and sets your hair. With long hair, you can go for months without needing a trim. But short hair often starts to look straggly after missing one hair appointment.
So am I looking at future of short hair?
I shudder at the thought. Up until the age of 12, my sisters and I all had the China doll haircut – chin length bob with straight bangs half an inch above the eyebrows. To this day, all of us have long hair. I might bow to this trend of shorter hair when I am 60, but definitely not sooner. Twelve years of short hair has created a lasting prejudice against anything shorter than my mid-back.
Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health.
Photo by: Kjunstorm.
- No similar post
Like what you are reading? How about subscribing? It's free!