Cutting Hair Short Beyond 40 – why you don’t have to
Hair and how you wear it impacts your confidence in huge ways. How many times have you heard someone say “women need to cut their hair shorter after the age of 40”? What are your thoughts about that statement?
There are women that are able to wear waist length long hair in their 60s and look great. In day to day reality this doesn’t work for most women over the age of 40 for many reasons.
The bottom line is that our hair changes as we reach our 40s. It may have a tendency to become drier, thinner and more brittle. Grey strands begin to overtake your natural colour and hair loss may be occurring due to hormonal fluctuations.
There is no way that you would want to look 16 from behind and 60 when you turn around. But truly at the age of 60 you probably wouldn’t care about what anyone thinks anyway!
Long hair that is dry, brittle, straggly, over processed and out of condition is difficult to manage. You are more likely to wear it up in a banana clip or pony tail on a day to day basis. Length can also drag your features downwards and age you in the most uncomplimentary way especially with a thin face.
If your hair is full, thick, and healthy looking, then hair just sitting on the shoulders or even longer can look fabulous. Women with fuller looking faces tend to suit a longer length due to the fact that the longer it is, the more it will pull the features downwards which isn’t great news for a thin face.
If your face is long and thin and you wish to soften your lines and wrinkles, then choosing to keep long length could be aging you more than you realize.
Shoulder length hair can look good on many women over 40, particularly when soft layers are added to flatter, frame and soften the features of the face.
A chic bob can look lovely on women with oval or heart shaped faces due to their slim jawlines. Soft layers allow the bob to move naturally, and bobs can be styled in different ways too.
Have you noticed that some older actresses such as Meryl Streep, and Catherine Deneuve love to tuck their hair behind their ear sometimes? This is a great way to draw the eye upwards, show off a fabulous pair of earrings, cheekbones and looks stylish at the same time.
But what about grey hair?
Pardon the pun, but this too is a “grey” area. Some women can carry it off magnificently, and many can’t.
Due to the hair becoming more dry and coarse, a short funky, pixie hair style can look great. Think of Dame Judi Dench. Equally a great bob can wonderfully too. Women who choose to wear their silver hair long, or waist length will have to spend a fair bit of time in maintaining condition to keep it looking good. If you end up pinning it back in a ponytail most of the time, why have it long in the first place?
Avoiding the Time Warp
Styles tend to go around in cycles, whether that is clothes, hair or make up. I have found one of the mistakes I could fall into easily is going back to a style I had in the 80s due to my naturally curly hair! Not a good look for now.
Stay chic, stay current, stay stylish. Condition your hair regularly, and use good quality products. If it is dead and thin on the ends, then have a few inches cut off. It will look much healthier straight away.
Go to a stylist who works with “older” women’s hair. Have a consultation and discuss what you have in mind. Listen to the suggestions the stylists make. They will take into account your lifestyle, the shape of your face, and the condition of your hair.
Styles in your 40s should look and be:
- Easy to manage
- Flatter your features
- Compliment your bone structure
- Work with your skin tone
There are women with bold, quirky personalities such as Helena Bonham Carter, and Vivienne Westwood, who choose styles to suit who they are.
A woman in her 40s generally knows who she is and is more likely to do what she damn well wants. The great thing is, that is her prerogative. Why fit in, if you want to stand out?
What about colour?
There are so many wonderful colours and hues to choose from. Make sure your stylist takes your skin tone into consideration. You don’t have to be short and boring, use colours that reflect your personality and who you are too.
Ladies over 40, you are just getting started! Those old rules no longer apply to the degree that they once did. You can wear your hair longer with the right cut, style, products and maintenance.
There is no need to give in to the belief that because you have hit your 40s you have to opt for the chop to avoid the “mutton dressed as lamb”look.
Cutting your hair is more dependant on the condition of and willingness to spend time styling it. It is also about the lifestyle you live, and what is going on in your life on a personal level.
The long thick, healthy and lustrous look is challenging for many women with thin, fine hair, but extensions can come to the rescue; another blog entirely.
Ask for a fresh style, rather than a young style. There is a big difference between the two.
If you enjoyed this blog, then you may enjoy our other blogs and the Image Makeover blog on the site too.