PDA

View Full Version : NY Times: Why Canít Middle-Aged Women Have Long Hair?



luxepiggy
October 22nd, 2010, 12:54 AM
Great article in the New York Times! Nice to see such a pro-long-hair article in a big mainstream paper :cheese:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/24/fashion/24Mirror.html?src=me&ref=general

Why Canít Middle-Aged Women Have Long Hair?
By DOMINIQUE BROWNING

MY mother hates it. My sister worries about it. My agent thinks Iím hiding behind it. A concerned friend suggests that it undermines my professional credibility. But in the middle of my life, Iím happy with it. Which is saying a lot about anything happening to my 55-year-old body.

Read more at link

JulietCapulet
October 22nd, 2010, 01:26 AM
I come from a hispanic background...and in latino society it is not a good idea for women to cut their hair short. They call it "Maria Macho" when a girl cuts it all off. It's true, men like long hair...so don't cut it! I have no idea why American society tries SO hard to take things away from women. Saying women should cut their hair after they are older is like telling them...you are no longer allowed, you no longer deserve to express your femininity...now you must be an androgenous it. All I can say is...sorry.

Bene
October 22nd, 2010, 01:52 AM
Off topic, but:




I come from a hispanic background...and in latino society it is not a good idea for women to cut their hair short. They call it "Maria Macho" when a girl cuts it all off. It's true, men like long hair...so don't cut it! I have no idea why American society tries SO hard to take things away from women. Saying women should cut their hair after they are older is like telling them...you are no longer allowed, you no longer deserve to express your femininity...now you must be an androgenous it. All I can say is...sorry.


I've never heard of Maria Macho, must be a regional thing :shrug:

peronella
October 22nd, 2010, 02:08 AM
What a great article! I've always been troubled by the pressure put on women to cut and dye their hair. Its like, says who?

My aunt is 11 years older than my mom and she dyes her hair and my mom doesn't. my mom has the most gorgeous salt and pepper hair (she keeps it fairly short because she prefers it that way) My aunt told me that she thinks my mom looks older than her becuase she let her hair go gray. I actually laughed out loud (sort of rude, I know but i couldnt help it). my mom looks great and her hair looks great. My aunt looks great too, but she does look older..because she is lol. I love her but she's got some funny ideas about what's "proper" and all.

funny thing is, her daughter, my cousin, has gorgeous TBL hair. and knowing her, she'll have it till she's old and gray. I cant wait to see it when it turns white! its going to be glorious!

jenwexler
October 22nd, 2010, 02:15 AM
I come from a hispanic background...and in latino society it is not a good idea for women to cut their hair short. They call it "Maria Macho" when a girl cuts it all off. It's true, men like long hair...so don't cut it! I have no idea why American society tries SO hard to take things away from women. Saying women should cut their hair after they are older is like telling them...you are no longer allowed, you no longer deserve to express your femininity...now you must be an androgenous it. All I can say is...sorry.

I come from a hispanic background as well...but I am not as cultured as I should be. I am Puerto Rican. What is your nationality?

Bene
October 22nd, 2010, 02:26 AM
I'm sorry, but I can't get over this generalizing of Hispanic culture. I sort of have a problem with the oversimplification and lumping ALL of the groups into one. There is no one "latino society", there are groups and different histories, varying on the social dynamics of each area.

I am Hispanic, my hair was kept short as a child. There were other girls whose moms kept their hair longer. It really varies from region to region. Older Hispanic women ALSO cut their hair short at the 40-ish age range, here in the states and in home countries. More so in the city areas, less common in the rural parts.

jenwexler, don't think about the terminology, it's regional slang. My parents made sure I was "cultured" and I've never heard of such universal importance placed on hair. I know of other Hispanic people who have, but it's not some mainstream latino tradition.

luxepiggy
October 22nd, 2010, 03:07 AM
What a great article! I've always been troubled by the pressure put on women to cut and dye their hair. Its like, says who?

My aunt is 11 years older than my mom and she dyes her hair and my mom doesn't. my mom has the most gorgeous salt and pepper hair (she keeps it fairly short because she prefers it that way) My aunt told me that she thinks my mom looks older than her becuase she let her hair go gray. I actually laughed out loud (sort of rude, I know but i couldnt help it). my mom looks great and her hair looks great. My aunt looks great too, but she does look older..because she is lol. I love her but she's got some funny ideas about what's "proper" and all.

funny thing is, her daughter, my cousin, has gorgeous TBL hair. and knowing her, she'll have it till she's old and gray. I cant wait to see it when it turns white! its going to be glorious!

My mom's older sister is the only one of my relatives with long hair, and I think she looks at most the same age as my mom. She was my first long hair role model (^(oo)^)

Toadstool
October 22nd, 2010, 03:34 AM
I come from a hispanic background...and in latino society it is not a good idea for women to cut their hair short. They call it "Maria Macho" when a girl cuts it all off. It's true, men like long hair...so don't cut it! I have no idea why American society tries SO hard to take things away from women. Saying women should cut their hair after they are older is like telling them...you are no longer allowed, you no longer deserve to express your femininity...now you must be an androgenous it. All I can say is...sorry.

Haing short hair doesn't make me or anyone else an androgynous "it".

Not everyone styles their hair or anything else to please men.

Having said that, it is interesting to hear of the prejudices your society has against short hair - equally oppressive as those who say women shouldn't have long hair over a certain age.

I enjoyed the article, Luxepiggy.

WinterInBloom
October 22nd, 2010, 03:34 AM
I know for sure I'm not cutting my hair off when I get older. It was an older woman with mostly white, looong hair in a magazine photo that pushed me to more seriously consider growing my hair long again. She looked gorgeous! And in no way did her hair come off as looking "inappropriate". I can't imagine how anyone who saw her could think so. :)

TessieAnn
October 22nd, 2010, 03:38 AM
Not only promoting long hair but also WO:


You would think that having long hair means you are spending a lot of money on hair products. I won’t even tell you what my Madison Avenue hairdresser, Joseph — the consummate high-end hair professional! — told me about how we shouldn’t even be using all those chemically laden shampoos. O.K., I will tell you: Those shampoos strip out the hair’s protective oils, and then you have to replace them with other chemical brews. He recommends regular hot water rinses and massaging of the scalp with fingertips. A little patience is required while the scalp’s natural oils rebalance themselves and — voilà — glossy, thick tresses, for free.

luxepiggy
October 22nd, 2010, 03:39 AM
Not only promoting long hair but also WO:

I know! I saw that and thought it was so cool :D

ericthegreat
October 22nd, 2010, 03:48 AM
I'm glad that a major newspaper like the NY Times ran this opinion piece. Perhaps now, other middle aged or older women out there who are also facing this kind of social stigma because of their hair will know that they are not alone.

I for one actually don't think anyone should be forced to accept to accept a certain look because society expects them to look that way. I feel that older women shouldn't be expected to cut their hair short, but in the same vain I also feel that they shouldn't be expected to keep their hair long either. I feel the same way about expectations toward younger women and also men as well. I'm of the opinion that really no one should be judged upon simply because of their hairstyle of choice. To me, a man is no less masculine if he has a military cut or if he has waist length hair. An attractive woman is still an attractive woman whether she has classic length hair or cuts it off into a cute bob.

The point I'm trying to make is that judgements on a person's character should NOT be based on their hair length. People everywhere should be free to look however they choose to look without having unfair assumptions about their character placed on them because they choose to look that way. The qualities that make them who they are would still be there regardless of whether they had short hair or longer hair.

Gypsygirl
October 22nd, 2010, 03:59 AM
I come from a hispanic background...and in latino society it is not a good idea for women to cut their hair short. They call it "Maria Macho" when a girl cuts it all off. It's true, men like long hair...so don't cut it! I have no idea why American society tries SO hard to take things away from women. Saying women should cut their hair after they are older is like telling them...you are no longer allowed, you no longer deserve to express your femininity...now you must be an androgenous it. All I can say is...sorry.

Sometimes I think many women here are afraid of their femininity at this point... They try hard to be strong and not to be "doormats" and then they get all confused and start hiding their femininity instead of being proud of it. Does that make sense, I don't know...

ericthegreat
October 22nd, 2010, 04:00 AM
Haing short hair doesn't make me or anyone else an androgynous "it".

Not everyone styles their hair or anything else to please men.

Having said that, it is interesting to hear of the prejudices your society has against short hair - equally oppressive as those who say women shouldn't have long hair over a certain age.

I enjoyed the article, Luxepiggy.

I agree with your post completely and this is exactly the point I was trying to make in my other post on this thread. A woman is no less of a woman regardless of whether she has long hair or short hair. So why should she be treated that way?

luxepiggy
October 22nd, 2010, 05:50 AM
The point I'm trying to make is that judgements on a person's character should NOT be based on their hair length. People everywhere should be free to look however they choose to look without having unfair assumptions about their character placed on them because they choose to look that way. The qualities that make them who they are would still be there regardless of whether they had short hair or longer hair.

I completely concur (^(oo)^)v

The one bit of the article that I disagreed with was when she started talking about long hair being today's "mark of liberation" . . . And all this time I've been mistakenly thinking it was a mark of my preference for having long hair - alas! :p

luxepiggy
October 22nd, 2010, 05:52 AM
Sometimes I think many women here are afraid of their femininity at this point... They try hard to be strong and not to be "doormats" and then they get all confused and start hiding their femininity instead of being proud of it. Does that make sense, I don't know...

It does - I used to see it a lot when I was working in finance (^(oo)^)v

Yozhik
October 22nd, 2010, 07:01 AM
Great article, Piggy!

DBF just sent it to me, and I think that it's great that the NYT carried it. :)

I love the look of long hair on older women, although I don't see it as often as I would wish.

Now if only I were brave enough to try WO . . . :hmm:

Rowanne
October 22nd, 2010, 07:12 AM
I don't know if it's a matter of preference or hair getting thinner or something else but there aren't a lot of long haired middle-aged women here where I come from. My dad's girlfriend is an exception, she has almost shoulder length hair - but on the other hand she wears extensions...

I've sometimes wondered if it's a credibility issue: I think that a lot of women feel that they can't look feminine if they want to be taken seriously. Short hair is also often considered modern and hassle free.

On a side note, Maxine on Judging Amy used to be my hair idol before she cut her hair.

luxepiggy
October 22nd, 2010, 08:03 AM
It's currently #4 in the rankings of the "most popular" emailed articles - woo! (^(oo)^)v

Carolyn
October 22nd, 2010, 08:18 AM
There comes a time when a woman is old enough to pick her hairstyle and length and not give a crap about what others think of her hair and her choices. Life is too short to not do what pleases you. I was around in the 60s and 70s when a lot of us learned the attitude of 1. rules are made to be broken and 2. if it feels good, do it. This totally applies to me and my hair :gabigrin:

jane53
October 22nd, 2010, 08:22 AM
I don't know if it's a matter of preference or hair getting thinner or something else but there aren't a lot of long haired middle-aged women here where I come from. My dad's girlfriend is an exception, she has almost shoulder length hair - but on the other hand she wears extensions...

I've sometimes wondered if it's a credibility issue: I think that a lot of women feel that they can't look feminine if they want to be taken seriously. Short hair is also often considered modern and hassle free.

On a side note, Maxine on Judging Amy used to be my hair idol before she cut her hair.

My hair's gotten thicker as I've gotten older. It's because once it reached tailbone length--probably when I was 16--I started getting it trimmed regularly up to hip length. Regular, blunt-cut trims keep it thick.

ETA:
Posting again to say (I'm sure I've posted this elsewhere on this site)

One of the reasons I decided to grow my hair long was my grandmother, who lived to 97? 96? and had thick white waist-to-hip length hair until the day she died.

When I was about 14 and midway into growing out my hair, we were visiting my grandmother, who was in her 80s at the time. She had taken a brief after-lunch nap and I walked by her bedroom as she was neatening herself up after her lie-down. I had never seen her hair down before. I'd just assumed it was a short-hair bun. But there she was, brushing this hip-length, wavy white hair before she put it back up.

Messy Cook
October 22nd, 2010, 08:27 AM
Great article!
Thank you for showing it here! :)

sophiamarie
October 22nd, 2010, 08:29 AM
Wonderful article luxepiggy. As a "middle-aged" women I have taken my fair share of criticism upon growing my hair again. Actually, my best friend who is two years older than I am talked about this whole issue. We both have let our hair grow. Hers is beautiful, turning the most lovely silvery gray. Her husband thinks she is gorgeous with long hair as does everyone else who meets her. My husband absolutely loves it that I have been letting my hair grow. But the biggest thing for me is how much better about myself I feel with long hair. Thank you again for the article from such a mainstream publication.

Messy Cook
October 22nd, 2010, 08:32 AM
By the way, I completely agree with what Carolyn says:


There comes a time when a woman is old enough to pick her hairstyle and length and not give a crap about what others think of her hair and her choices.

I do believe I have reached that point in time :D

queenofhair
October 22nd, 2010, 08:34 AM
Haing short hair doesn't make me or anyone else an androgynous "it".

Not everyone styles their hair or anything else to please men.

Having said that, it is interesting to hear of the prejudices your society has against short hair - equally oppressive as those who say women shouldn't have long hair over a certain age.

I enjoyed the article, Luxepiggy.

I am sorry if this offended you, but whose side are you really on?

curlylocks85
October 22nd, 2010, 08:57 AM
Why did you post the article and then re-type the whole thing?

kabelaced
October 22nd, 2010, 09:09 AM
A very inspiring article. Thanks for sharing, luxepiggy! :)

No one should feel ashamed to have long hair in middle age and feel the pressure to chop it off. I see a ton of older "biker gang" men with long hair, too, and they look fabulous with it.

If you cut your hair short because you don't want to mess with it anymore, constantly have a hairbrush, etc. etc., then fine on you. :) It just gets me down when people feel like they have to cut and dye to retain that "eternal youth" standard that is so unrealistic, yet unquestionably pervasive in (American) popular culture...

curlylocks85
October 22nd, 2010, 09:11 AM
I am sorry if this offended you, but whose side are you really on?

I don't think this is about sides, but different points of view from different people and bacgrounds. It is a fair statement.

Wind Dragon
October 22nd, 2010, 09:12 AM
I come from a hispanic background...and in latino society it is not a good idea for women to cut their hair short. They call it "Maria Macho" when a girl cuts it all off. It's true, men like long hair...so don't cut it! I have no idea why American society tries SO hard to take things away from women. Saying women should cut their hair after they are older is like telling them...you are no longer allowed, you no longer deserve to express your femininity...now you must be an androgenous it. All I can say is...sorry.


Haing short hair doesn't make me or anyone else an androgynous "it".

Not everyone styles their hair or anything else to please men.

Having said that, it is interesting to hear of the prejudices your society has against short hair - equally oppressive as those who say women shouldn't have long hair over a certain age.

I enjoyed the article, Luxepiggy.


I am sorry if this offended you, but whose side are you really on?

I'm not Toadstool, of course, but I can't help addressing this. queenofhair, you ask that as if one must either be on the "side" of long hair or short. Bullhockey. I, for one, am on the side of choice. I've had the pixie -- rocked that sucker for about eight years, a couple of those years between husbands and managed to express my femininity exceedingly well while wearing it, thankyouverymuch. :eyebrows: I don't know about yours, but my femininity is not locked up in my hair, my boobs, my ass, my body size, my clothing or makeup choices or the way I smile or talk or walk, and I am on the side of people who feel the same way about it that I do.

If you feel that long hair is a valid expression of your femininity, good for you. Wear it proudly and sexily and with conviction. But have the good grace, please, to consider that not everyone puts their values in the same bucket and do not lay that conviction on me. I may yet rock a pixie again some day. If I do, it will drip with femininity. Or not, but it certainly will not be because anyone told me that I should; it will be because it's what I want.

wimsey
October 22nd, 2010, 09:13 AM
It's now the #1 most emailed article. Interesting.

Cheeks1206
October 22nd, 2010, 09:26 AM
I am sorry if this offended you, but whose side are you really on?

It isn't about sides. Making it about "sides" seems a little ridiculous when many of us here, myself included, have had short hair in the past and may have it again in the future. I cannot speak for someone else, but I will say that having short hair does not make me or anyone one else less of a woman. It's a personal choice that I made and had nothing to do with society's ideas of femininity. I still felt like a woman and I am positive no one would mistake me as otherwise. While I understand what your saying about the idea that short hair in our modern society is trying to make women androgynous, I think there a many other factors that come into play as well.

marzipanthecat
October 22nd, 2010, 09:52 AM
Off topic, but:






I've never heard of Maria Macho, must be a regional thing :shrug:


I've heard a version in Glasgow (Scotland) and also in Ulster (Ireland) which is ironically a "Hairy Mary" - it's a derogatory term that can be applied to men or women in a variety of situations, but the first time I ever heard it, it was being used about a fairly butch woman with cropped (pretty much shaved off) hair.

It's a nasty term and I don't like to hear it.

I just thought it was interesting that Mary/Maria becomes a universal name for Woman!

Nightshade
October 22nd, 2010, 10:07 AM
Why did you post the article and then re-type the whole thing?

Because some people (like me, at work) have web-censoring programs that can prevent someone from accessing news sites. Also, people are generally lazy and are more likely to read something that's right in front of them rather than click on a link :)

x0h_bother
October 22nd, 2010, 10:51 AM
You'd be hard pressed in my corner of the US world to find women over 40 let alone over 50 with long tresses. However, not to be crude, but the ones that do are usually 'milf's. Which again speaks to the appeal of long hair to men. I think women look younger with long hair, however, some women are mean and think that older women are 'trying to hard' to retain their youth, snip snip. Um, what's wrong with retaining some youth?:confused:

& I enjoyed you posting the whole thing, luxepiggy. like nightshade said, I am one of those 'lazy' ones ;)

frodolaughs
October 22nd, 2010, 11:11 AM
I just found this NYT article, and was going to post it here--I should have known someone else would have beaten me to it. I enjoyed it.

Toadstool
October 22nd, 2010, 11:14 AM
I am sorry if this offended you, but whose side are you really on?

There are no sides. This question is ridiculous.
I was pointing out that your attitude is as judgemental and restrictive as that you purport to despise.

Angeletti
October 22nd, 2010, 11:19 AM
Thanks for posting this article, it was interesting. It's always been a pet peeve of mine the notion that one must cut their hair when they get a certain age, society makes me sick most of the time when it comes to telling people what they should and shouldn't do regarding appearance. Hopefully this article will let some women realize that they can wear their hair as long as they want at any age and to not worry so much about what everyone else thinks.

Monkie
October 22nd, 2010, 11:52 AM
I come from a hispanic background...and in latino society it is not a good idea for women to cut their hair short. They call it "Maria Macho" when a girl cuts it all off. It's true, men like long hair...so don't cut it! I have no idea why American society tries SO hard to take things away from women. Saying women should cut their hair after they are older is like telling them...you are no longer allowed, you no longer deserve to express your femininity...now you must be an androgenous it. All I can say is...sorry.

I live in an area of Brooklyn with a large I think maybe Puerto-Rican population, all of the little girls running around do have the most amazing hair, it's long, shiny, dark, thick, straight, or wavy, really really gorgeous, and down to their waist or up in braids. But then I look at their mothers, and they're bleached the **** out of their hair, It's always maroon or orange, tons of gel in it, looks kind of greasy or crunchy. It makes me cringe. I worked for awhile in a restaurant where most of the kitchen staff was from Ecuador, and they had NO problem at all telling me that I would be better looking with long hair.
I was reading online yesterday about a certain period of Japanese history where the noblewomen never ever ever cut their hair for their entire life. I was like 'damn'.
I dunno where I'm going with this, except, that Hispanic women have awesome hair! And I feel more 'myself' when my hair is long and I don't have to fuss with it as much.

Pixna
October 22nd, 2010, 12:03 PM
Wonderful article! Love it! Thank you so much for posting this!

Jenn of Pence
October 22nd, 2010, 12:36 PM
Yeah, thanks luxepiggy for posting and retyping. ;)

Except for the bob mistake in 7th grade (after 30 minutes of enjoying the newness, I realized I goofed big time) I've had long hair and believe I always will, health permitting. It's just what is "right" for me; it is the image I want to hold for myself and to portray to the world. This image encapsulates all of my femininity, self confidence, uniqueness, and dedication. So that is how it shall be, regardless of what people say. I shall take pleasure in scoffing scoffers and wowing girls (and boys!) like myself who are just longhairs at heart.

luxepiggy
October 22nd, 2010, 12:36 PM
Why did you post the article and then re-type the whole thing?

I posted the link back to the actual web location because I wanted to properly credit the article, but I thought it would be easier for people to read the text in the thread (^(oo)^)v

BrightEyes7
October 22nd, 2010, 12:55 PM
I'll keep my hair as long as I can take care of it. Hopefully I'll get to TBL soon. Then Classic maybe. I don't know. But I'll keep it that long. Then when I get older if I can't handle that much hair I'll cut it back a milestone until I am able to manage it again. If that is a pixie... so be it! No point in having hair I can't take care of.

eri401
October 22nd, 2010, 12:59 PM
I've sometimes wondered if it's a credibility issue: I think that a lot of women feel that they can't look feminine if they want to be taken seriously. Short hair is also often considered modern and hassle free.


Yup! As I've progressed into my career and out of my 20s, I've been pressured to keep my appearance "professional."

Another factor is having kids! All of my friends who have young children have cut their hair relatively short (shoulder length or higher). Partly it is because they want to keep their hair simple when living with sticky fingered children but they all say pregnancy and giving birth temporarily made their hair fall out!

My mother also said that menopause made her hair quite thin and she prefers to keep it short so it looks more full.

There are all kinds of reasons why older women tend to keep shorter hair. But the important thing is that we don't judge each other for our choices or appearances. Whether you keep it long or decide to cut it short, it should NOT be a comment on our gender identification, feminine pride/fear, or cultural "problems."

Caldonia Sun
October 22nd, 2010, 01:35 PM
Great article; thanks for posting. I'm 56 with APL straight, silver hair. I wear it loose or braided most of the time. I rarely see anyone else with this type of hair in my area. I don't know what other women think. Some like it because I do get compliments sometimes, even from younger women. Some probably do not and wonder what in the world I'm thinking. My 40'ish neighbor, who always keeps hers colored and cut very short, said to me last week, "You're hair is getting long," all the while smiling and nodding her head in a "yes" motion. What it meant, I don't know. Then she asked if I was letting it grow. I got uncomfortable and muttered something unintelligible. I'm probably considered odd. But my hair is shiny, in great shape (no splits), nice blunt hemline (I keep it trimmed), so I'll keep it til I'm tired of it. If it were to thin out a lot, I'd probably cut a little shorter.

All of the women living around me who are in their 50/60's have short, dyed pixie cuts. There is maybe three or four chin length bobs. No longhairs in this neighborhood other than one young mother who is almost at BSL.

Dani
October 22nd, 2010, 01:45 PM
Partly it is because they want to keep their hair simple when living with sticky fingered children but they all say pregnancy and giving birth temporarily made their hair fall out!


I just wanted to say that I have a 4 year old dd, and hair thickening during pregnancy and shedding a lot after the birth is very common, and I'm sure something happened with my hair but I don't recall anything. "Falling out" makes it sound scary, but it's really just a lot of shedding, which can happen to anyone's head of hair for many reasons.

I had bsl hair when my dd was about 1, and then I chopped it to SL one day, then pixie the next day on a whim (a dumb, dumb whim :p), but it was only because my dd would grab my hair if I forgot to put it up and it was heavy and driving me nuts. I should've hopped on here and gotten some help, but I was in sleep deprivation land. Anyway, it's taken me a few years to get used to getting my hair to my shoulders and now I'm finally getting past SL and I LOVE IT. I'm going to grow and grow as long as I want, and now I'm older and can fully appreciate everything that goes along with this, and I am more ready than ever! I distinctly remember how pretty I always felt with long hair, and I want that back. :D Anyway.. just my random thoughts. :p

P.S. Kids are freakin' awesome, btw, if one is the type to love kids, I shpoze. And I be. :D "Me fail English? That's unpossible!"

FrannyG
October 22nd, 2010, 01:54 PM
Well, for me it was a wonderful experience to read a positive article about long hair on middle-aged women. LHC is the only place I feel fully accepted for wanting to grow my hair longer. Both in real life and in the media, I am constantly being told that I should cut my hair, by some family members, and even by strangers. And my hair is only at about BSL!

As a woman whose hair will be at waist length for my 50th birthday next year, I find it refreshing to see an opinion in a huge mainstream publication that actually advocates choice in hair length for women over 35.

Most articles I've read this past year have been negative both about long hair on older women and about very short hair.

Given that, I also loved that she mentioned that short hair is also appealing and didn't try to make it sound as though all of us should be the same.

It's all about choice, and that article respected that.

kmoc123
October 22nd, 2010, 02:03 PM
I am 50, my hair is just past my tailbone, and I have no need to cut my hair off ever!!! I do teeny trims and dusting occasionally, but NO CUTTING...and I don't care what others say. MY GUY loves my hair...his is bsl, too.

ilovelonghair
October 22nd, 2010, 02:18 PM
Nice to read a positive article, I loved the way how she described everything :)

Where I live it's not uncommon at all for older women to have long hair and I was surprised to see a 'poodle-cut' the other day, they are very very rare here and I am glad for that, I think that is the worst hair style ever, it can only compete with the mullet and the reverse mullet LOL.

luxepiggy
October 22nd, 2010, 03:00 PM
Nice to read a positive article, I loved the way how she described everything :)

Where I live it's not uncommon at all for older women to have long hair and I was surprised to see a 'poodle-cut' the other day, they are very very rare here and I am glad for that, I think that is the worst hair style ever, it can only compete with the mullet and the reverse mullet LOL.

What's a poodle cut? This sounds like it's going to be amusing :p

Feline
October 22nd, 2010, 03:39 PM
Actually, long hair on older women was the standard until about the 1920s- that's when younger women started bobbing their hair, and many of them kept their short do's for the rest of their lives. Also, during WWII women working in the war plants had to keep their hair short or at least severely restrained for safety reasons-the War Dept even asked the popular film star Veronica Lake to cut her famous long blonde hair short to discourage other women from wearing their hair that way, and it basically ruined her career.

I had always considered a very short, pin-waved hairdo to be an "old lady" style, because my grandmothers and many of their friends wore them. It turned out to be a flapper style! As a kid, I always liked my hair long, and my mother kept at me to get it cut short in a "Shirley Temple" or a pixie. Those were her own particular ideas of a good hairstyle, cut short and permed to death. As time went on, she added dye to the mix. My two younger sisters are also of the cut-perm-dye (curl up and dye? :D) opinion, and they are the ones most likely to criticise my own long hair. Perhaps the fact that both of their husbands had admired it has something to do with it? My usual response to people who ask why I wear my hair long at age 57 is that I like it that way, my husband of 34 years likes it that way, and nobody else gets a vote in the matter. :p

Elenna
October 22nd, 2010, 03:39 PM
Great article, nice to have someone's perspective who isn't a conformist.

Read the comments, those are refreshing too. One commenter spoke of being able to pigeon-hole people to be able to sell products and services better. So if we are resisting the cultural/consumerism norms then we are upsetting them being able to sell to us for a lot of money. Cutting and dyeing hair is "big business."

About long hair, how about easy to take care of, easy to style and elegant.

Feline
October 22nd, 2010, 03:51 PM
Just checked the article online- not only is the article on the most emailed list, there are 701 comments. Even for the NYT, that's a lot.:cool:

skaempfer
October 22nd, 2010, 03:54 PM
Good point Elenna. Kind of reminds me of the diet industry...

MissManda
October 22nd, 2010, 04:56 PM
Thank you so much for sharing this! I thoroughly enjoy articles that are pro-longhair for people of any age. I also like that it was positive towards shorter hairstyles, too.

If being the #1 e-mailed article and getting so many commentswasn't enough, I just found an article (http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/who-says-middle-aged-women-cant-have-long-hair-2402323/#photoViewer=1) that was written in response to it. Although not quite as awesome, it does have a slideshow of celebrities over 45 who have long hair that I really liked.

MClass
October 22nd, 2010, 05:16 PM
there is an article posted on yahoo today that references this article and includes pictures of beautiful, "older" long haired stars!
http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/who-says-middle-aged-women-cant-have-long-hair-2402323#photoViewer=1

KarpatiiSiv
October 22nd, 2010, 05:29 PM
Thank you for posting this, it made a nice change to read a positive article about long hair on middle-aged women.http://www.millan.net/minimations/smileys/whitehair.gif (http://www.millan.net) I'm in my 50s with tailbone length hair and have always had long hair, I like it that way. I've learnt over the years to ignore derogatory comments from friends, family and the media about women over 35 with long hair.:lala:

Petite Simone
October 22nd, 2010, 05:41 PM
I absolutely love this article. There is something so liberating about it. And in a very well known paper, too! Thanks, Piggy!

Jessica Trapp
October 22nd, 2010, 06:40 PM
Love this article!

frodolaughs
October 22nd, 2010, 08:31 PM
Thank you for posting this, it made a nice change to read a positive article about long hair on middle-aged women.http://www.millan.net/minimations/smileys/whitehair.gif (http://www.millan.net) I'm in my 50s with tailbone length hair and have always had long hair, I like it that way. I've learnt over the years to ignore derogatory comments from friends, family and the media about women over 35 with long hair.:lala:
Agreed. Also, it's nice to read a positive article about middle aged women, period. :)

Kat
October 23rd, 2010, 03:55 PM
Saying women should cut their hair after they are older is like telling them...you are no longer allowed, you no longer deserve to express your femininity

There's a point here, though. I read an article recently about supposed women's and men's biggest fears...and they were saying women were afraid of getting older and looking older, becoming "invisible." Because you know, in this society you have no worth if you're not pretty and you ARE sort of invisible sometimes. So the question is, is society saying "older women should cut their hair short because long pretty hair is for young women but you're old and will never attract a man so you don't need to try to look good"? I'm not saying short hair can't be pretty, but there's sort of this societal idea that long hair is beautiful, sensuous, etc....does that mean older women aren't allowed to be these things anymore? I never thought of it that way.

Unfortunately though, I didn't feel like the article was as strong as it could be. Some of her points would alienate most people. Like the point about being stuck in the 70s--most people don't see that as a good thing, and she comes out and pretty much says "I'm a big dork who still thinks the 70s are cool. Discredit everything I say because I have no fashion sense." Well, that's an immediate write-off. The WO thing will make most people say "EWWWWWWWWWW, she doesn't even really wash her hair! Long hair is dirty!"


Then she asked if I was letting it grow.
"Well, I don't want to let it, but when I try to cut it it gets all belligerent and makes threats...I wanna send it to boot camp like those uncontrollable kids on the talk shows..." I mean, really? What kind of a question is that? "Letting" it grow as opposed to....what? Forgetting to cut it? "It's not in a buzz cut, therefore, yes, I must be letting it grow!"

DiablitaNoir
October 24th, 2010, 04:41 PM
Fabulous article! It will definitely serve as an inspiration to me, as I plan on keeping my hair long even when I'm middle-aged and older. :)

twopoints
October 24th, 2010, 08:13 PM
I think that choosing to have long hair is a personal decision and not something for others to decide.

curlylocks85
October 24th, 2010, 09:03 PM
Because some people (like me, at work) have web-censoring programs that can prevent someone from accessing news sites. Also, people are generally lazy and are more likely to read something that's right in front of them rather than click on a link :)

Oh, I see. Good reasons. :p

curlylocks85
October 24th, 2010, 09:08 PM
I posted the link back to the actual web location because I wanted to properly credit the article, but I thought it would be easier for people to read the text in the thread (^(oo)^)v

That makes sense. :)

GoldLady
October 24th, 2010, 11:00 PM
It looks like Dominique Browning put that constantly resurfacing mandate to rest quite handily in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/24/fashion/24Mirror.html?_r=1&hp) recently.

soopahgrover
October 25th, 2010, 04:13 PM
What a great article.
Scary to read the comments and see that more than one person thinks women with long hair are "afraid to cut it". But a lot of the comments are positive, and it's nice to see that the article got more than a thousand comments in a week.

Madora
October 25th, 2010, 04:19 PM
Thank you for this interesting article.

Personally, I've always loved long hair and have had it (in one length or another) for the past 50 years.

I'm 64 now and happily still loving my hair. The general consensus that you must relinquish your long hair once you hit a certain age is preposterous..but you can chalk it up to the industry's insistence that you look as "up to date" and "young" as possible...and cutting your hair is the first step in that direction. Balderdash!

If you want to cut your hair, fine..but if you want to keep it longer, more power to you!

Also, apart from issues of health, I think a lot of women are frustrated with caring for long hair because they don't know how to fashion it themselves and there are darn few salons who cater to long hair care..and when you DO locate one, it costs a small fortune. Also, let's face it, long hair does take time and patience to nuture and grow. Not many people want to wait for results!

Also, some women panic when they see grey creeping in and rush out to dye their hair, something not truly feasible when you have waist length hair...so out come the scissors.

I worked hard for my little grey streaks. They're growing nicely and look interesting when I crown braid my hair.

mrs_coffee
October 25th, 2010, 06:06 PM
I'll admit that a small part of the reason I am growing my hair out now (I just turned 40) is because I'm "not supposed to." I don't like the restrictions society tries to put into place, especially on women.

Centaur
October 25th, 2010, 08:13 PM
I'm sorry, but I can't get over this generalizing of Hispanic culture.

I was a little taken aback to read that too. I also didn't much care for the generalization about American culture either.

darkwaves
October 25th, 2010, 10:42 PM
It's nice to read articles that support the choice of long hair!

I'm in my mid-50s, and my hair is longer, thicker and healthier than it's ever been. (And it's growing even longer...)

Like mrs coffee, I started growing because I wasn't supposed to -- most of the women I worked with looked just like me, so I rebelled. Yech! I had to wear a uniform as a school girl; don't need that now as a professional!

(Besides, I love long hair... and being a rebel...)

kschr2004
October 28th, 2010, 05:54 PM
The Today Show actually aired a segment with the author of this article today. It was pretty interesting. She had beautiful BSL gray hair. They also brought a hairstylist on, who said that she would like to cut the front shorter and to give her highlights around the temple area to brighten things up. Dominique's reaction to those suggestions was actually pretty funny. I could tell that there was no way that she was letting that stylist near her hair! :cheese:

And here is a link that includes a picture of her in May. While it is a picture of her through a window, you can clearly see the length and color of her hair:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/may/30/dominique-browning-life-after-redundancy

Jessica Trapp
October 28th, 2010, 06:26 PM
I'll admit that a small part of the reason I am growing my hair out now (I just turned 40) is because I'm "not supposed to." I don't like the restrictions society tries to put into place, especially on women.

I totally relate to this! :cheese: I'm 40 too.

:D jes

luxepiggy
October 29th, 2010, 05:17 AM
I'll admit that a small part of the reason I am growing my hair out now (I just turned 40) is because I'm "not supposed to." I don't like the restrictions society tries to put into place, especially on women.

The stuff you're not supposed to do is always the fun stuff, isn't it? :p

mariika
October 29th, 2010, 08:15 AM
Thanks for the article, luxepiggy
The author says that Europeans are easier on women certain age. Long hair issues included. Well.... I guess we are but to an extent.... Polished short hairs are indeed considered more professional.

FullMoonTrim
October 29th, 2010, 08:34 AM
Great article! I signed up to follow her blog Slow Love Life.

Honeylove
October 29th, 2010, 02:58 PM
Great article in mainstream media. Thanks for the link, luxepiggy.



The author says that Europeans are easier on women certain age. Long hair issues included. Well.... I guess we are but to an extent.... Polished short hairs are indeed considered more professional.
As with many things, I wouldn't generalize that. In Germany there's quite a high pressure on middle-aged women to cut their hair short and dye. Many chop their hair as soon as they have their first child.

Long hair on middle-aged women is a rare sight in Germany, but I've recently noticed an increasing number of women age ~40 + with long hair. Long gray or white hair in a bun or braid also seems to be making a slow comeback, and these women are so beautiful to me. Altogether, it's still a rarity.

I've heard that things are different in some southern European countries, like Italy and Spain. But that should be told by someone who lives there. ;)

Kat
October 31st, 2010, 11:12 AM
Because some people (like me, at work) have web-censoring programs that can prevent someone from accessing news sites. Also, people are generally lazy and are more likely to read something that's right in front of them rather than click on a link
Also, sometimes the NYT makes you make an account and sign in to read articles. I hate sites that do that--I'm not going to make an entire account, give you my email address, etc. just so I can read one article/knitting pattern/whatever.

dragonette@1
October 31st, 2010, 12:00 PM
I love this thread. I am 53, and maintaining at just below bra strap length about 26 inches, til I can trim off old damaged colored hair. I work for a bank, so pin my hair up to look "professional", but wear it down at home for me. I shared this link with my girlfriends. Sophia Loren and Jane Seymour are my hair idols. Beautiful mature long haired women!

darkwaves
October 31st, 2010, 02:05 PM
Actually, long hair on older women was the standard until about the 1920s- that's when younger women started bobbing their hair, and many of them kept their short do's for the rest of their lives. Also, during WWII women working in the war plants had to keep their hair short or at least severely restrained for safety reasons-the War Dept even asked the popular film star Veronica Lake to cut her famous long blonde hair short to discourage other women from wearing their hair that way, and it basically ruined her career.

I had always considered a very short, pin-waved hairdo to be an "old lady" style, because my grandmothers and many of their friends wore them. It turned out to be a flapper style! As a kid, I always liked my hair long, and my mother kept at me to get it cut short in a "Shirley Temple" or a pixie. Those were her own particular ideas of a good hairstyle, cut short and permed to death. It's so interesting, isn't it, how style ideas change? My mom has the short permed hair-do down pat -- and has for the past 60+ years! (I recently found some magazines from the 50s, and all the models had my mom's current cut!)

My maternal grandmother cropped her hair in the 1920s -- and all of her daughters and granddaughters were brought up to be neat and short! Long hair was just not right.

That said, though, my mom loves my hair -- especially when it's up. It reminds her of her grandmother, the last one to have long coiffed hair. My gt. gran was apparently a very elegant woman, and my mom remembers her hair as a symbol of polished style.

I think because long hair hasn't been the norm for so long, women have forgotten how to style their hair, and that's partly where the current "short=professional" myth comes from.

Sooze
October 31st, 2010, 02:40 PM
I wonder too if it isn't that society associates long hair with "virginal women" and therefore once you get past late teens, it's seen as a sign of immaturity, or a woman trying to be "something she's not."

Ageism is something which can strike any age group.

I've seen men and women with long hair well into their late fifties and sixties who look good. But, I've also seen men and women in their 40's with long hair that I itch to take a pair of scissors to, because their hair is thin, unkempt, stringy and not well maintained. I have no right to judge, but I can't help the feeling. :confused:

autumnsakura
November 1st, 2010, 08:51 PM
My friend just forwarded this article to me. I think it's great. I do think the short hair on middle aged women trend is part of some kind of rejection of female sexuality, especially since many women finally reach a sense of acceptance about their own sexuality right around this age. But I also think that it's fine if a woman chooses to have shorter hair because of convenience or preference or whatever. I'd like to think I'll let my hair grey naturally and that it will be whatever length I choose without bowing to some ridiculous cultural preference.

WinterInBloom
November 1st, 2010, 09:07 PM
Something just occurred to me..... my own mother has long hair and is middle aged, lol! She's turning 49 (I'm pretty sure anyway, she doesn't really advertise her real age anymore so sometimes I forget what it really is). She looks younger than she really is, and certainly doesn't "act her age". I've found the idea that she doesn't act her age kind of funny, it's not that she's immature like some people would assume, it's more that she's energetic and fun instead serious and crabby, like some other women her age expect her to be. Anyway, I guess I just don't think of her as middle aged at all, but now that the connection finally happened in my head.... Yeah, I have a middle aged mom with long beautiful hair, and she's not showing any signs of wanting to cut it.:D

akuamoonmaui
November 2nd, 2010, 01:33 AM
That said, though, my mom loves my hair -- especially when it's up. It reminds her of her grandmother, the last one to have long coiffed hair. My gt. gran was apparently a very elegant woman, and my mom remembers her hair as a symbol of polished style.

I think because long hair hasn't been the norm for so long, women have forgotten how to style their hair, and that's partly where the current "short=professional" myth comes from.
__________________

I agree with this, too. An older woman with long hair is my idea of polished style, too and that for so many generations women with long hair have forgotten how to style their hair. All the beautiful buns/hairstyles on this site are a wonderful way to bring that back to the forefront.

Tanita
November 5th, 2010, 06:13 AM
Great article. :)


While those sexy sisters are hovering, I might note, with a sense of wonder, that Europeans are much more comfortable with long hair on women of a certain age.

Perhaps in Italy or Spain.

In Germany the media and star-hairdressers say women have to wear short hair at the age of 40.
It's modern, young and chick with short hair. :brickwall

Perhaps I'll be exotic as an old woman with very long hair, but it doesn't matter. ;)