The Long of The Short of It.... Hair that is!

I am often amazed by the way that women make (cruel and harsh) judgements about each other. By far the most vitriolic are stimulated by the contentious issue of hair styles for older women. 

I have only to put a photograph on Facebook of someone with long grey hair for the comments to roll in. "Older women shouldn't have long hair". "She looks like a witch". "Women should cut their hair over a certain age otherwise it looks inappropriate." Then we have the other contentious issue of hair colour. "I'll dye my hair to my dying day". "Grey hair makes you look old". Although many women leave comments saying that they love their grey hair and get many compliments about it.

Let's Start With The Long vs Short Debate

Long thick tresses have always been emblematic of youthful sexiness (and nowadays for all little girls, Disney princesses). Who can forget Brigitte Bardot, the ultimate sex symbol when I was a teenager who would have been far less alluring without that mane of blonde hair. Men seem to love the stuff and there is no doubt that attractiveness is associated with beautiful long glossy tresses. I can remember going out with my (very pretty blonde) teenaged daughter about 20 years ago when she caught sight of a group of boys. She had her hair up in a scrunchie and immediately pulled it out and shook her hair free - signalling as loudly as she could "look at me - aren't I gorgeous?" I have to say that there were many boys who thought so!

short-hair

But long hair on older women? It's thought by very many women to be unseemly. I think that the reason is that over a certain age (55? 60?) women are expected to become invisible. It's partly biological - we are now post-menopausal, so there is no longer (in evolutionary terms) the need to attract a man. So instead of being associated with sex it gets associated with very negative images of 'mad old bats'  who have long ratty, straggly hair and should be locked up for witchcraft. But in this day and age with hair care and beautiful cutting and good nutrition hair can stay thick and lustrous - like Nicky's in the photo above. Look Fabulous Forever did the makeup for this photo-shoot with White Hot Hair - a company that has great products for naturally grey hair. It was when I posted the photo of Nicky that we got deluged by negative comments. Isn't it time we women stopped being so censorious and accept that on some women long hair can be fabulous?

Now to Colour, Another Contentious Issue

Women largely fall into two camps - the Dyers Forever and the Embracers of Nature. And then there are strange women like me who actually have their hair dyed grey because it's NOT GOING GREY FAST ENOUGH! My only point here is to challenge the assumption that having grey hair makes you look older than you are. I personally feel that a solid block of too dark hair with a pale older face underneath is the quickest way to add 10 years. The reason grey hair works so well with an older face is because it complements the skin. Having grey hair enhances rather than detracts from an older face especially when it is beautifully made-up.

colour-debate

I am sure that I will have changed no-one's mind with this blog! All I am asking is that we stop 'policing' each others' style choices. I'd say if you have the right kind of hair and it's fabulously well cut, then let it grow (like Rapunzel). If (like me) your hair looks far better cut short in a simple modern style then that's the best choice for you. If you hate the idea of letting your hair go grey - then keep on dyeing but don't pour scorn on women who have let nature take its course (nor assume that you look younger as a result - no-one will tell you that you don't!) We have earned the right to do what we want! Long, short, coloured or grey/white - wear what suits you, your lifestyle and the image you hold of yourself.

Tricia x

Note: Following the hair concerns I wrote about in this blog, I decided to do what I do best and create my own range of products! See below for my line of volume boosting, nourishing haircare products for mature hair...