Looking Your Age – Long Hair

A couple of months before I turned 40 (in February of this year) I posed a question on my Facebook page about whether I should cut my hair.  The reason I asked is because of that age old question of whether to keep long hair as you get older and at what point you start to look like you’re trying to be young, when you very clearly aren’t.  The general consensus was that I shouldn’t.  I’m not so sure.

I have really enjoyed having long hair.  It helps me to feel womanly (when the rest of me didn’t) and I have to admit, it has helped me to feel younger than I look.  I’m not entirely sure the dilemma is about being older with long hair anymore. I think I’m just fed up with having long hair and feel like I need to make the change.  I probably also feel that as my face starts to look less “fresh” then a haircut and proper style is the way to lift it up and help me to hang on to my youthfulness.

This is me now.

It looks ok today, but that’s because today is hair washing day.  Yep, I have a special day just to wash it.  The issue isn’t actually the washing, the issue is the drying and styling and straightening of it.  It has to last a whole week really because I just don’t have a spare hour at any other point in the week to do it.  Somewhere around Thursday I do have to employ some dry shampoo and stick it back in a low pony tail.

I would be happy to wash it more than once a week if it was shorter.  I would also be prepared to use an extra 5-10 min to whip a straightener through it if I had to, but at the length it is currently, it would take me a lot longer to do and quite frankly I can’t be arsed.

I had a chat with our hairdresser a week ago.  She’s about to go on maternity leave and should be back around Christmas time, so we talked through some options.  She completely agreed with some of the styles I had in mind.  Bobish, layered, longer at the front, versatile.  I’m actually getting a little bit excited about it.

Here are some of my ideas.

I’m going to keep it just above the shoulder at the front and not too short at the back.  If I like it and I get some confidence about it then I might look to shorten it further.

The advantage, I think, of this style is that it will take me less time to dry.  It will be easier for me to manage although I think I will be spending more time styling it, but the upshot is that it will look nicer for longer in the week.

I’m planning to straighten it into a tidy bob most days, but if I do go out (ha ha ha ha….*hysterically laughs*) then I can curl it or make some bits stick out in a messy way and it will look different.

If it all goes horribly wrong and I hate it with a passion, then at least I’ll have tried it and can grow it out a bit and still have longish hair.  Anything has to be better than the awful thick and messy hair I now see reflected back at me on most days of the week (except for today, today it looks nice).

So what do you think?  Am I taking the idea of being 40 a bit too far?  Am I right to want to cut off my hair or should I hang onto the length for as long as possible?  Really interested to hear what others think.

PS: Whilst wrangling with the new photo gallery option on wordpress for this post I got so annoyed with everything I ended up tying up that lovely long hair.  Unfortunately something I do so very often because it’s actually a hindrance. One day it’s going to get caught in something and I’m going to be dragged into some sort of industrial mechanism to my death.  On that happy thought…………..look forward to reading some comments.  🙂

About freefallinginto40

I am 40 years old. I blog about how I'm coping with my "new" age at www.freefallinginto.com . I'm a married mother to two after years of infertility. I have a 6 year old called Pickle and a 3 year old called The Monster. I work 4 days a week. We are also planning a move to the country! I blog about that at www.ourmovetothecountry.wordpress.com
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21 Responses to Looking Your Age – Long Hair

  1. Mummy Plum says:

    I’m nearly 38 and have had long hair my whole life. A friend recently said to me “You can’t have it long forever you know” and I then went through many of the same thoughts you’ve been having. Mine is a hassle. I wash and blow dry it every day! Personally, I’ve decided to stick with mine. If Elle Macpherson can get away with it..so can I. (Ha ha).

    I like the styles you’ve chosen, and I think the advantage of a Jen type bob is that if you do decide a) it’s more work than you thought b) you don’t like it at, at least it won’t take too long to grow it to a length where you can at least tie it back again. Happy cutting!

  2. Thanks. I agree with your comment about Elle MacPherson. I think I’m after a change now. Fingers crossed.

  3. Notmyyearoff says:

    I love how it look now and don’t think it needs cutting just because you’re now 40. Mine used to be slightly longer than yours and now it sits just past my shoulders and it’s sooo much easier to maintain. There’s been mornings I literally wash and dry in about 15 mins and that includes having a shower and brushing my teeth!

  4. gracefully50 says:

    You have beautiful hair! No matter what age!
    The styles you’ve picked out are all very nice. Don’t let the age be the only reason you cut your hair…I think it’s very pretty!

  5. Don’t do it! Your hair is stunning. Yes, it’s up part of the week but for the times that matter, you have the hair most women aspire to! My friend went from your length to mine last year and she’s regretted it ever since as she couldn’t believe how much harder it was to manage. Do you have a blow dry bar near you? I get mine done most weeks – only cost £8 and lasts all week. I’m hoping to get to your length by the big 40 birthday…we always want someone else’s hair, don’t we?! x

  6. Ruth says:

    Go for it! If you don’t like it you can always grow it out again!

    I’ve tried really hard to be a long hair person, but mine is just too thick and after getting it down past shoulder length I always get completely sick of it and end up chopping it off again.

    Short hair is brill – so convenient and easy, and it can be super sexy and feminine too. Good luck, make sure you post the results!

    • Yay! Thanks for the vote of confidence. Yes, my hair is really thick and heavy and I’m a bit fed up with it. Won’t take me long to regrow if i change my mind, will it? * looks hopefully*

  7. Gail Carson says:

    I found your site while surfing blogs looking for hairstyle ideas. I’m a part-time stylist. A woman’s age shouldn’t dictate her hairstyle. I know women in their early 50’s who wear their hair past their shoulders and look fabulous doing so. Othe women in their 30’s look best with a short layered styles because their hair is thin and lacks body. As a general rule, short hair makes a young woman look younger and it makes an older woman look older. But that “rule” is not so applicable during “middle age”.

    I think your long hair is exceptionally flattering and would strongly recommend that you keep it long. You most certaintly don’t look even remotely close to “too old” for long hair. Many women in their 40’s would love to have your “problem” of long, thick hair.

    However, if you simply must try short hair; I like your choice of the Jennifer Anniston bob above the shoulders. I might suggest that you get the back cut shorter than the sides so that the bob is graduated (stacked). Those graduated bobs are very popular and will save you a lot of styling (and especially drying) time. My clients who wear that style love having their hair “gone” in back, while having a style that still appears quite long from the front. And it’s pretty easy to grow out if you want long locks.

    🙂 Gail

    • Thanks Gail for taking the time to reply. However it’s comments like this that cause me such a dilemma!! I do like my hair on wash day, but it does look a right state 2 -7 days later. Thanks for the tip on the bob. I think your right.

  8. Gail Carson says:

    Why don’t you wear your hair down for a couple of days right after it’s washed, then try some up-do’s or loosely braided styles for the rest of the week? Your local hairdresser should be able to help with some suggestions. Try a very simple styling tool called Topsy Tail. Works great on long hair for creating lots of different styles where your hair is “up” or “back”.

    Or just spend an extra hour each week so you go through your hair routine twice in a week. It’s really worth the time … as attractive hair always makes people feel better about themselves, and all women love the envious attention that beautiful long hair (like yours) brings.

    I looked more at the photo you posted of yourself. If you really want to try shorter hair, you might like the picture posted at: http://s1102.photobucket.com/albums/g451/NewHampshireGail/?action=view&current=Style-Copy.jpg

    I still think your hair is way too pretty to cut.


  9. Grenglish says:

    I am 39 and have long hair, although more by accident than intention. Also going for the chop at my next appointment as the styling is just too much.

  10. I love your long hair! it’s gorgeous down and it’s much easier to do up-dos with longer hair. I am currently growing mine out (I tried an A-line cut but it didn’t really fit my face) so that I can wear cute up-dos that I see on Pinterest! Keep us posted on what you come up with! xo

    • Thanks! I do think it looks quite straggly most of the time. I can’t wear it back to tightly as it hurts, or too high (get a headache) so I’m limited to tying it to the nape with my front swept sideways. Sometimes I braid it. It’s been this long for about 2 years. Just a bit fed up.

  11. Okesanne says:

    This takes me back. when I was approaching 40 I decided that the long hair had to go and went for quite a short cut. I hated it. Don’t get me wrong, it looked fine, it was so easy to manage and rarely looked messy, like only long hair can. But I felt it took away my femininity. I Know some women look fantastic with short hair but it just wasn’t ‘me’ I grew it out and it’s been shoulder length ever since.

    • Thanks for the warning. I keep veering between wanting to do it and not. I’ve had this long hair a long time, so I think it’s more about change than the age thing now. My hairdresser has suggested a longish bob for the first cut and longer at the front than the back. So the front will be around shoulder length….so still pretty girly I think.

  12. Pingback: Old | Free Falling into 40

  13. RJ says:

    If you still have your long hair, you look SMOKIN’ with it, Girl!

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