Can An Older Woman Get Away With Long Hair?

Illustration for article titled Can An Older Woman Get Away With Long Hair?

Jerry Hall, 51, has the same flowing locks she had 30 years ago. Two women, Esther Rantzen and Marcell D'Argy Smith, debate whether it works when a woman of a certain age has long hair in today's Daily Mail. Rantzen argues, "only Jerry Hall looks like Jerry Hall. The rest of us risk looking like Ozzy Osbourne." She acknowledges the reason why women hate to cut their hair as they get older, but reminds us, "there's the unattractive truth that when most people get older, their hair changes texture and becomes coarse and difficult to tame. Think of all those elderly hippies with their brindled hair flying in the wind: not a good look." Hair length and vitality are linked, she says, but women need to be realistic.

We are determined to stay feminine and alluring, and that means, we think, keeping the luscious tresses of our youth. Though, in truth, those tresses may not be luscious any more, they may be thin and wispy, and they are certainly not youthful.


On the other hand, D'Argy Smith asserts that in the past, it was sophisticated and groomed for a woman over 25 to cut her hair short, "so you didn't have it falling around your neck and shoulders like a little girl." But these days, she writes, "there is no real cut-off point. Some women never cut their hair short." She swears:

Every time my hair has been cut shorter (never really stylishly short), I vow to never do that again. I feel so ordinary and I lose any vestige of glamour, so I tell myself long hair is easier to manage.


And before you start thinking, wait a minute, short hair isn't devoid of glamor! Short hair can be hip, sassy and youthful! Take a look at the Golden Girls coiffs of Winona Ryder, Paris Hilton and Diane Lane. While it's true that we're living in modern times, where a woman can do as she wishes, is it just plain tacky when a woman keeps her hair as long as it was when she was younger? Does it smack of wishful thinking, of literally not being able to let go of the past? Or, once you become a certain age, is one of the benefits of being older that you can do as you damn well please without caring what anyone thinks?

So Can An Older Woman Carry Off Long Hair? [Daily Mail]
Related: This Trend Must End: Grandma Hair [Glamour]

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If you want to look good (if you don't care, power to you) then you should really REALLY ask yourself, do I look like Jerry Hall or Demi Moore, or do I look like I have a long bedraggled dead animal on my head? Most women could use a little lightening up, some layers perhaps. It's called shoulder-length or collarbone length, you don't need to go all Granny. I do love the way some women keep it super long but in a bun even when they're very old. But when I see a lot of women (yes mostly ex-hippies) with the super-long, really fried hair that's doing nothing for them, I just want to grab them and give them a makeover. What are they trying to hold on to? It looks sad.