Remember that old-fashioned rule? “Thou shalt not grow your hair past your shoulders after the age of 50.” In the past, if older women dared to hang on to their locks, they swept it into a dowdy granny bun.
No more! Have you noticed that baby boomer women – and I’m not just talking about celebrities – are bucking the idea that you must lop your hair off at a “certain age?”
I’m one of those boomers embracing longer locks. Turns out this is a new trend. Which is kind of funny. Usually, by the time I discover something is a fashion trend, it’s already over.
But I can see why times are a-changing. Boomers are discovering that long hair can look flattering. For one thing, it hides some of those unflattering problems that pop up as you age. You know, like a wrinkly turkey neck or a double chin.
Plus, I think women are tired of society telling them how they should look.
After I had my first child, I fell for the myth that you had to cut your hair short to look like a proper mother. Although I was only in my early 20’s, I suddenly felt old with my not-so-stylish pixie cut. Not to mention, a bit naked and awkward without my long hair. For decades afterwards, my hair was cut into a sensible bob and – as was popular at the time – permed like a poodle.
By the time I hit my 50’s, I was getting tired of the term “age-appropriate” and ready for a change.
Mind you, I’m not talking about clinging to the 60’s or 70’s with straight hair parted down the middle reaching my butt. But, as you can see in the photo below, my hair is a few inches past my shoulders.
If this is your preference, and you want long hair, I say go for it! Have you gone gray? No matter. Personally, I’ve seen some women look like gorgeous silver foxes with their long tresses. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a hairstyle:
- A good haircut with a few layers around your face is flattering and can give some extra lift to your hair, making it look more modern and healthy.
- Long, side-swept soft bangs can be a boomer’s best friend, drawing attention to your lovely eyes and away from a wrinkled forehead.
- Avoid a formal coifed look and go for a more relaxed style – that goes for whatever length of hair you choose. According to hair stylist Sally Hershberger, best known for creating Meg Ryan’s iconic blond shag, “Once you get older, you have to get messier or you look like a newscaster or a real estate lady,” she says in an interview with Zoomer. “Conservative hairdos are aging. Hair needs movement.”
And, since hair grows slower, thins, and becomes more fragile as you age, here are a few hair care tips for longer locks:
- Experts say you don’t need to wash your hair every single day, which can strip your scalp of essential oils. When you do jump in the shower, use quality shampoos and conditioners specially formulated to encourage growth and keep hair strong and healthy,
- Use a wide tooth comb to minimize breakage.
- Reduce drying time by allowing your hair to dry naturally for the most part. Use the coolest setting on your blow dryer. Avoid curling irons whenever possible.
- Keep your hair healthy from the inside out by staying hydrated and eating a healthy diet.
One more thought: If you prefer short and sassy, more power to you. After all, how you wear your hair shouldn’t have anything to do with rules, what your husband, kids, or grandkids thinks looks best, or what’s trendy at the moment.
Instead, your hairstyle should make you feel beautiful, confident, match your personality and fit your lifestyle. Girls, it’s all about you!
What’s your verdict? Do you like long hair on women past the age of 50? Do you love your long or short hair? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!