Age appropriate hair?

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Me, at the family Thanksgiving dinner, with my just past shoulder length hair.

For awhile, I tried to believe my husband.

I told myself I was being overly sensitive and that my stepmother-in-law did not mean the “hair comments” the way I was taking them.

But, the length of my hair comes up every time I see her.

My husband, a former hippie, loves long hair. Every day he says so. As long as my hair is washed and combed, he doesn’t care if I blow it straight or let it dry curly. He gives me compliments.

I think all men have a visual picture of “their” ideal. And that my husband’s ideal has long hair.

Which my stepmother-in-law pooh-poohed by telling me about one of her friends who kept her hair long because that’s what her husband said he wanted. Then the foolish woman saw the light, became liberated and listened to her hairdresser.

The change was dramatic. The lady’s husband said he had no idea the lady (his wife) could LOOK SO MUCH BETTER.

That isn’t a subtle hint. I don’t think I am being overly sensitive. That story had a moral.

I know my long hair days are numbered.  I don’t think I’ll want long hair in my 60’s or 70’s.

But, when and how will I know the time has come?

I’ve been going through pictures of women close to my age or older. How long will THEY hold out  and keep their long hair?

It’s a dilemna I think many of us eventually face. But in the meantime, I gotta say…the women pictured below…they’re hot!

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Ann Curry, age 51.

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Bo Derek, age 51.

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Christie Brinkley, age 53.

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Meredith Viera, age 53.

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Diane Keaton, age 62.

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Dyan Cannon, age 70.

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Jane Goodall, age 73

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Cindy McCain, age 53

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  1. christine’s avatar

    i think that your hair looks nice and as long as you find it pleasing, that’s all that matters!

    Personally, i hope to wear my hair in a long braid until the day i return to the dust.

    Hi Christine and thank you for your kind words!

    You have a good point about the braid and I bet yours does look great. Between a long braid or a ponytail or pulling hair back in a chignon or up in a french twist, length does offer versatility.

    Reply

  2. Jennifer Cote’s avatar

    That’s real “funny” about your stepmother-in-law. Don’t most people know that as we age, our hair thins out? So any “older” woman with a head of decent hair is pretty blessed.
    I cut my hair shorter when I finally admitted I didn’t have one of those heads of decent hair. I’m just glad I have what I have! It’s not going to get any better either.
    Then there’s also the women who don’t really have the right facial features to wear long hair. For a long time, I imagined I could look like other long-haired “hotties”, but I really don’t have the face for it. Trust me. Not everyone can wear long hair.
    I suppose you could just laugh at step-mom-in-law’s comments, because those comments can’t possibly apply to you. Her info may apply for some women, but you look great. Some people (like step-moms-in-law) can’t always see us for who we really are. They’re caught up in us being “wife of my son” or any other label, and they just can’t hear/see/feel us for ourselves. But that’s their problem, right?! Personally, I think step-mom-in-law is jealous.
    PS Love your blogs
    Jen

    Hi Jen!

    Thank you for your kind words.

    Yikes to hair thinning with age! Count me among those who wasn’t aware of that. The celebrities, I found pictures of, DO have the advantage of hair pieces and extensions and hairdressers to put them in right.

    I think we are fortunate to live in a time, though, when there are many fashionable styles from which to choose. Looking through the celebrities pictured on this post, Ann Curry and Christie Brinkley have very different looks and personnas…but both, in my opinion, are equally attractive.

    Reply

  3. Strawberry Lane’s avatar

    Looks great !! You fit right in with the other glamorous girls!

    My understanding is … step-mothers are supposed to say sweet comments like that. Envy, I’d say.

    And, by the way, I know a lady in her 80’s with shoulder length hair … and this lady looks classy and acts young. Hope to be like her, someday.

    Keep those scissors in the drawer.

    Strawberrry Lane….thank you so much for the story about the lady in her 80’s with shoulder length hair that looks classy!!!!! Stories like that are sooooo inspiring!!!!!!

    Reply

  4. Strawberry Lane’s avatar

    Adding to my earlier comment …

    I just realized that is your ” stepmother-in-law”.
    Woe … they can be lethal. Just keep your armour handy.

    Strawberry Lane,

    Actually I think my step-mother-in-law thinks she is being “helpful”. And I, personally, like the way SHE looks. She is always perfectly turned out…even owns and wears classic Chanel (Like Big’s mother on Sex & the City). I also wonder if she “forgets” she “helped” me already the last time she saw me.

    Reply

  5. risingrainbow’s avatar

    Personally, I think it’s none of your mother-in-laws business. It’s your hair you can wear it however you like. You can shave your head if you like.

    My guess is if you do your hair like she thinks you should, she’ll just move on to something else to nag you about. It’s probably part of her nature to be picking at people.

    And you are right about the Hollywood types, most of them are out there with long hair regardless of their age. If you like it, keep it.

    Hi rising rainbow!

    I actually was surprised when I looked through pictures of celebrities that many still have longish hair.

    Which doesn’t take away from Audrey Hepburn’s style or classic beauty either. As, I said before, thank heavens we live in a time of choices.

    Reply

  6. merrimerri’s avatar

    I totally agree with Risingrainbow…
    It is NONE of your mother in law’s business;
    she is probably jealous!
    I think that you look great with long hair!
    I too have long hair and am in your age group..
    I am personally determined to keep mine as long as I can…
    YES those actresses look fabulous!!
    KEEP those scissors in the drawer!

    Hi merrimerri,

    Thank you for your kind words. We will hold onto our hair together!

    Reply

  7. Rhea’s avatar

    It’s funny but usually long hair hair doesn’t ‘work’ on older women. But all of the examples you present here (including yours) work great!

    Hi Rhea,

    Thanks for your nice words.

    I am thinking as I respond to these posts, though, that I have done women a disservice by only showing pictures of celebrities whose living depends upon looking a certain way.

    I think my selection of who is a beautiful mature women needs to be expanded.

    Really what is beautiful goes beyond a hairstyle or a certain kind of face. I have known women who do not fit traditional standards but that are extremely attractive because of who they are. I am looking for some examples now and will be adding them to my post.

    Reply

  8. Cathy’s avatar

    I think you look great! I would’ve never guessed Ann Curry is in her 50’s, I swore she was in her early 40’s. They all look fantastic, and so do you!

    Hi Cathy!

    I would have guessed Ann Curry as being in her early 40’s, too. But, they had a birthday party for her on the Today Show recently.

    Thank you for your nice words!

    Reply

  9. barngoddess’s avatar

    wow-you are beautiful!

    I like your hair, very very attractive 🙂

    ignore all others opinions………..

    Hi Barngoddess,

    Thank you so much for your kind words!

    Reply

  10. Katie’s avatar

    You look great! That’s the bottom line. I’m 46 and my hair is still past my shoulders. Short for me since I just had it cut off. I like my hair. My younger daughter would like to see it shorter to be more stylish. My older daughter wears her hair long as well. If you like it, what else matters?

    My ex mother n – law’s comment when I had ulcers and the Dr put me on a diet ? “Maybe you will lose some weight. ”

    Regardless of how these mother-n-laws look they do not have the right to be rude. However, in your mother n laws case maybe she is simply tactless? Mine definitely had her claws out every time our paths crossed.

    Very interesting post.

    Enjoy the gift of your day!

    Reply

  11. jayedee’s avatar

    i think your hair suits you….completely.
    we wear white after labor day now, why not long hair into our 60’s?
    about a month ago, though, i caved and cut 21 inches off of mine. it’s just at shoulder length now and i wish i’d left it alone and just kept dragging it back into a pony tail or braid. live and learn, i guess, even at this late date! LOL
    remember the immortal words of ricky nelson :-p, “you can’t please everyone so you got to please yourself!”

    Reply

  12. sweetrosie’s avatar

    I think you look absolutely stunning. Gorgeous thick, shiny hair. Like the kind of hair I had to admit was never going to be mine when I finally cut my hair short lst year.
    NOW I do look “right”. But you look “right” as you are.
    You’re very lucky 😉
    I am sure your MIL is a very elegant, stylish woman who would just like you to have the benefit of her experience…
    I don’t think many ladies cut their hair to suit their MIL’s ( do they?) 🙂
    Have a fabulous holiday. The photos of the decorations and tree are beautiful.

    Reply

  13. Aunt Jenny’s avatar

    I think you look great with long hair. I have the same problem with the comments on my long hair (nearly to my waist..I am 49) but mine are from my own mom..who has always had short hair..always! My problem is that I really do tend to look better with long hair. whenever I have given in and cut my hair (not above shoulder length in 20 years at least) I just start growing it out again..so I don’t see the point. I am just not a person to be getting my hair trimmed every month. I think about getting it cut shoulder length again sometime…but we will see. I think you have to do what makes YOU happy.

    Hi aunt Jenny,

    I have had my hair shoulder length in the past but no shorter. At least not on purpose. There were times the hairdresser got carried away and I ended up crying because I hated the cut. Anyway, we ALL do want to look our best. BUT, sometimes it is a decision knowing how to accomplish that. Sometimes those that swore they KNEW exactly how they would make me look fantastic, DIDN’T. And it takes sooooooooooo long for hair to grow back. Cutting is a major decision. I know there will be a time. But I’m gonna put some time in deciding how and when.

    Reply

  14. paperseed’s avatar

    Wear your hair however you feel like… not your husband’s preference or your mother in-laws, and try not to have doubts. If you change for someone else, you won’t be doing you any favors. Besides, a little doubt now is much better than a lot of regret later – unless, you want to go shorter, and you’re afraid of taking the plunge. That is different. Then you’ll never know unless you try. 🙂

    Reply

  15. Marc’s avatar

    DH is right…your long hair adds to your being a total hottie. I think you do need to take a stand with the in law…tell her jealousy is not a pretty color on her. But if you are tired of the maintenance required for the long hair…cut it…it will always grow back. BTW- next time the step mother in law brings up the hair…talk to her about the virtues of veracious vein surgery. Maybe she will get the hint and chill out about the hair…..lol. Love you Turkey Creek Lane lady!

    Reply

  16. Jan’s avatar

    I just found your blog post about your hair about 1 week after I had mine cut. I just started a new job and my hair had been long and straight for about 4+ years now. It was half way down my back. Now it is just a hair (pardon the pun) shorter than your’s is in the photo. It is still longer than shoulder length and I will always love long hair but I just needed a change. I did it for me and no one else.

    I do believe that age has nothing to do with style. My 13 year old daughter has had long hair from when she was very young. She finally got fed up with taking care of it and went short. She now loves her very short (above the shoulder) length hair. Her hair is normally curly and I bought her a hot hair straightner and she loves it.

    Reply

  17. Debi’s avatar

    I just turned 48 last month … and my hair is the longest it’s ever been in my life. I always try to keep my hair at about shoulder length (if it gets much shorter, I start looking like a guy — I have large-ish facial features). Shoulder length has worked great for me for years and years. But two summers ago, I set a goal for myself not to trim my hair all summer long and see how long it would get. I’ve essentially been growing it ever since (I do get regular trims to keep the split-ends at bay). I think one reason women “of a certain age” tend to get shorter hair is that often our hair changes texture as we age. I find that my grey hairs are wirey and wavy and just sort of awful looking. But I’ve discovered the joys of a hair straighener! Not only does it make my hair straighter, it also tames the wild grey hairs and they settle down and look fine. Although the natural texture of my hair right now doesn’t suit long hair at all, using a hair straightener and super-duper conditioner does miracles.

    My mother-in-law used to regularly make derogatory comments about women with grey long hair. But I’ve made a point of noticing lately and there are numerous women walking around these days with BEAUTIFUL long, grey-streaked hair.

    I think what was true in the past generation about hair on older women just doesn’t hold true anymore. We have so many more options and styling equipment available to us than they did even 30 years ago.

    ~Debi

    Reply

  18. Robear’s avatar

    My wife is 52, and for the past 4 years her hair has not gone above her waist. It is 98% natural brown still, but I think it’s crazy that women think that there is some age at which their beautiful hair has to get zapped. Almost always, a woman over 30 who gets a major cut starts to look matronly. I know women in their 70’s who are stunners thanks in part to their refusal to adopt their husband’s hair length. I don’t know if even 5 of 100 women improve their sexiness quotient or look younger with pixy or close-cropped haircuts. Look around. It’s true! At least, that’s how this man sees it.

    Reply

  19. ~anne’s avatar

    You are a fabulously gorgeous woman with beautiful hair! I’m a heterosexual female, so my comment is purely sincere.

    Offhand, I’d say your mother-in-law is rather envious. She probably was told, when she was your age, that she couldn’t have long hair. And it may pain her to see you not only with long hair, but with long hair that is extremely youthful and beautiful.

    Here’s how to drive her nuts without it being used against you: agree with everything she says with a nod, smile, and a simple, “oh yeah.” Then, do exactly what you want!

    I think it’s criminal for women to pressure other women into looking into the (original) women’s pre-conceived minds. I support women chopping off their hair — IF and only if that’s what they want. If you want to grow your hair to your ankles, more power to you.

    At the end of the day, you are the one looking in the mirror, and it’s most important for you to like what you see.

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you so much for your kind comments. I wrote the post because I think I must not be the only woman of my time facing the decision.

    I always assumed after 35 I wouldn’t care what I looked like. Ha…35 came and went. As did 40.

    I think when it is time, I will know.

    Reply

  20. Me’s avatar

    When it comes to what looks better, you gotta ask – “to who?”. I think the right order in this case begins as follows – 1. to you, 2. to your husband.

    Step somethings probably come way down the list.

    Besides, No husband in his right mind is going to say he hates the new “bob” even if he does! And what would you say to a friend who asked you about their new short do, even if you thought it made them look like an androgynous old gender confused version of Rosie? If you are polite, you come up with something like “that really lets people see your beautiful face”.

    Reply

  21. James’s avatar

    I have this argument all the time with my wife, who delusionally seems to think that she needs to cut her hair off.

    If your husband prefers it long, why wouldn’t you want to keep it that way? Your husband is a better judge of what looks good or doesn’t look good than you are, and it matters to him more than it does to your friends (to whom it doesn’t matter at all).

    Reply

  22. Mark’s avatar

    I think you have very nice hair and it looks great on you. When I was younger I think I bought into the ‘short hair for women of a certain age,’ idea but now that I am in my 50s I see plenty of women who look great with shoulder length or longer hair. Geeze, our generation has been breaking stereotypes for a few decades now, why should we stop now?

    Granted, not everyone can pull it off, and I think accepting age is important to aging gracefully, but long hair on a pretty woman is feminine and appealing. You wear it well and too bad for those who cant. All of the significant women in my life in their 50s wear their hair at least shoulder length and they all look great. I’m personally happy that my girlfriend likes to wear her hair about the same length as yours. I love it.

    Reply

  23. Sophie’s avatar

    Please, please do not cut your hair! My mother is 59 and she looked so much younger when she had longer hair. Obviously it is different if you decide that you do not want to care about your looks anymore and find it easier to cut your hair off. But short hair in my opinion only looks good on very thin and very young women who can pull off the “gamin” look, after 35 it certainly doesn’t work anymore!

    These women in the pictures are just so beautiful, this is what I want to look like when I’m their age! Please help them fighting such a stupid, unwritten law stating that “women should cut their hair short somewhere between 50 and 60”!

    Reply

  24. Goldy Locks’s avatar

    You do you. The next time anything is ever said about your appearance or to enhance you, please flip it and ask what they’re doing to work out be healthy look great feel great. Or do what I do and say nothing at all.

    I have a job where I am in the public eye and people constantly make comments scrutinize and make jabs at me. I really have learned not to care. If you love what you see when you look in the mirror smile and be happy even have breath to breathe legs to walk eyes to see ears to hear. If you have some hair left that’s just a big plus.

    I think you look beautiful. Wear your hair however you’d like for as long as you live.

    Reply

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