Long Hair On Older Women – Sexy or Silly?

old-barbieDoes long hair on older women look sexy or silly? Christopher Hopkins, “The Makeover Guy” has it right when he says it’s really not about age.

“It’s a combination of how young you appear, hair quality, and whether longer hair looks good on you at all, regardless of age.

If you’ve never looked good in long hair, you likely never will. But if you’ve always had long hair and it’s still holding out pretty well, meaning it’s thick and shiny and can be worn without a lot of what looks like work, then likely you can still wear it well.”

So true! Nothing worse than seeing a gal with scraggly long hair, trying to hang onto her youth by wearing long hair just for the sake of long hair.  Long Hair women 40 plus

On the other hand, I can think of a handful of women and plenty of celebs over 40 who look stunning with long hair including: Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and Heidi Klum.

Long hair can look sexy, but be forewarned. You’ll need lots of time and money for all the super high maintenance involved. Then you can have gorgeous locks like Salma Hayek, Kathy Griffin or Beverly Johnson.

Long hair over 50


What about long hair over 50?


Do you like Meryl Streep in long hair?

I prefer her in short hair. Didn’t she look great in The Devil Wears Prada?


What about long gray hair?

Can a mature woman look fab in long gray hair?

Many of my readers love their long gray hair and have sent in photos to show their long silvery locks. Here’s one of my readers, the beautiful Nancy Todd.  Scroll down and read her comment below!

long gray hair over 40

Reader Nancy Todd loves her long silver locks.

Another reader, Dulchy sent in these photos to show off her long silver hair and how she loves to put in a pretty French bun. See her comment below too.   log gray hair

gray bun

Dulcy, a readers keeps her long gray hair in great shape and loves it pinned up.

long hair over 40

Here’s another reader, Diane who says she loves her long hair and gets many compliments.

So ladies, what’s the verdict? Do you like long hair after 40? Do you have long hair or long gray hair. Send a photo to myphoto@fabulousafter40.com and I will post it!

Still undecided about going long? Check out this other celebrity hairdresser post about the do’s and don’ts of long hair over 40.  

More From Fabulous After 40

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  1. Hi, I just sent you some photos. I am 61 with silver streaked waist length hair, light brown,a bit curly hair [light brown mainly in back] which is layered with long bangs and a v cut, which my talented hubby cut. I no longer go to salons as they try very hard each time to convince me to dye and go back short..It looks more silver in some lights than others.

    A lot of my white is underneath and shows more when I wear it up..I love it long , and silver streaked and will never go back to dyed and short,no matter what age I am.Nothing prettier than a silver streaked french braid with hoop earrings or a shiny french low chignon.

    Long hair in older women can be truly elegant. It’s not for everyone but I find all the talk about you cannot wear long hair after you are past a certain age or that long hair is straggly or boring or not stylish to be so,so,so wrong and it annoys me no end..I belong to several long hair forums and you’d be shocked how lovely long hair looks on many of the older members [their pics]and some are older than me..I wash my hair daily,condition it ,then dry with a floor fan [no heat or damage ] leaves my hands free and my hair is dry in 15 minutes. Much faster and healthier than a hot blowdryer.

    It is truly wash n wear hair. Nothing easier and my updos all take maybe 2 minutes to do.My hair costs nothing since I no longer go to salons,except now I like to buy unique hair toys to put it up with in different styles.[Ficcare clips, fancy wood hair forks,African butterfly clips Thanks, Dulcy

  2. I think that the religions and cultures in which women cover their hair have it right. I wish that all women covered their hair in the USA. That way my hair would simply be my own personal business rather than something that everybody else made judgments about whether it looked good or not. Oh well, what can you do?! From the moment a female is born until the moment that female dies, she is going to be looked up and down, and scrutinized from head to toe. I’m glad that my spiritual path is the most important thing in my life, and that when I die I am never going to reincarnate in this world again.

  3. I’m in my early 50s. For the past 20 years, I have worn my hair in the classic “bob” style. Sometimes angled, sometimes with bangs …. but a “bob” none-the-less. For the past couple of years, I have let my hair grow to the middle of my back and just for fun, I intend to let it keep growing. I keep it trimmed and cover up grays from my auburn color.

    I don’t think “age” should dictate how you wear your hair. As long as it suits your face and you keep your hair maintained, there is nothing wrong with wearing it long. I do agree that some women look like old hippies that got lost in a time warp on their way home from Woodstock … but there are styles for longer hair that are mature and look great on older women.

    I usually wear my hair “down” at home or at casual events. Sides pulled back in a low clip keep you from looking “kiddish.”

    At work or in a professional setting, I’ll pull it up into a twist or roll. I’ve also adapted a “fake bob” look ( a la “Boardwalk Empire” style ) where I divide my hair into sections, twist it loosely and pin it into place so it looks like a shorter “do”, but isn’t.

    There are many ways for “women of a certain age” to wear long hair so that it’s pretty, appropriate and yes, sexy. We all don’t have to be herded into the short-hair category.

  4. As a male, I have been a long hair lover all my life and an a quite mature male now. I think it is the most feminine thing a woman can have that is for all to see. My favorite style is LONG and no bangs. I’m sure to a point that stems from a girl friend early in my life who had very long hair and love it to fall about her head and create some mystique too. She also loved to drape and tease me with it.

    Ladies, I know that your hair is a pesonal thing………. but I’m one of the guys who loves it on you too. My ex (deceased) wife had long hair and I used to help her care for it. If you like it long, go for it………….. there are a lot of guys who agree with you. ;)

  5. woaw…frank…got mommy issues?

  6. Great advice Athena. It is so true. I YOU like your long hair, you will attract someone who also appreciates your look. My spouse and I often disagree about who looks good on the street and who looks hideous. I see someone unique, earthy, authentic and interesting and I’m drawn to them. He is drawn to the opposite. So, there are always people who will appreciate and be drawn to what you choose for yourself.

  7. Women have for too long cared about what “men” think about their look. If a woman wants her hair long, wear it! If a woman believes her hair style looks good, keep it and stop caring about what people like Frank think.

    You probably don’t want someone with such a nasty opinion as Frank anyway.

  8. Frank Pouch says:

    I’m a guy, and I would like to add to the discussion. I think older women with long hair look sorta HAGGY…I don’t think it’s sexy. Usually the hair is sort of dull looking, and it looks gross. Makes them look older, actually. Like a witch or a homeless person. Unkempt and messy and just sorta…pathetic, like they’re trying too hard to be sexy. Personally, I just think it usually looks sort of nasty.

  9. As a woman in her early 60’s, I still have long, very naturally curly hair, and intend to keep my hair long forever, if one gets the drift. It’s nobody’s business how a woman of any age wears her hair. I can braid my hair, wear it down, or do all kinds of things with it, and one never has that freedom with short hair, imo. Btw, I’ve had short hair several times during my life, hated it, and couldn’t wait for it to grow back.

    As for people who don’t like long curly hair…too bad for them.

    • Nancy Todd says:

      Hi Deborah, Here is a photo of me with my long hair. I say. Good for you with long hair in your 60’s. I am going to be 62 next month and I have wonderful long hair also. I can wear it naturally wavy or blow dry it straighter and I wear bangs. I’ve long ago let my color grow out and it is white and I love it. Many people are surprised at my age and they think I’m a blonde. I think a woman’s hair is her pride and she’s to do what she wants to with it. I love to braid it or even in a pony tail. It’s what I like and I don’t look like a hag.

  10. Kimberlydawn says:

    Most older women look better with medium-length hair, I think. Medium length (thicker) hair is short enough to visually “pull the face up”- yet not so short that it’s masculine looking.

    Most older women (any woman over 35, really) look silly with super super long hair. they look desperate, like they’re trying to be 18, and the hair doesn’t go with the face – or with the lifestyle of a woman this age, usually.

    Also, any woman with a lONG face – even if they ARE young, looks better without super long hair. The super long hair optically makes the face look longer. Also, any woman with thin straight hair usually does not look good with it long – ESPECIALLY if she is older AND has a longer face (double whammy)!

    The celebrities over 40 with super long curly shiny hair? Psssaw…people, realize..its all FAKE hair with them…that long hair is NOT real, you can tell by the “banana curl” look of it at the ends…maybe instead of extensions to lengthen their hair at these ages, they should instead wear extensions that just THICKEN the hair they have, at a slightly shorter length.


  11. Joey the gal says:

    This is a stupid article, there are no perceptive insights about hair styles, just statements of the obvious. And none of the women named are old, 40 is a totally appropriate age to wear long hair at, the countless photographs they’ve plastered affirm that its dominant style of the American media for women of all ages, unless perhaps they are very elderly. These women are not even realistic examples of their age, the geisha-like pound of make up, reconstructive surgery, lighting specialist and airbrushing, body building, dyes and highlights, implants and collagen, possibly hair transplants that leave these celebrities as passable for women in their twenties do not create a reasonable demonstration.

  12. Long hair can look VERY SEXY on an older woman. It depends on various factors whether it works well, but my advice to mature women is don’t short change yourself on the fear that it’s no appropriate.

    To my eyes, the sexiest women on Earth, the very image of feminine beauty, are 40+ and 50+ women with beautiful long hair. I love all types of women, younger and older, but a 40+ woman with long beautiful hair can just melt me like nothing else.

  13. I have just turned 42 a couple of months ago and I have got longish (planning on growing it really long) dark auburn hair. I dye it with henna, wash it with the noo-poo method, eat healthy and my hair has never looked better than it does now…shiny, silky soft and full of volume. According to some men and women I should have short hair by now, but why destroy something which is perfect???? I was forced to cut my hair a few years ago after a bleaching disaster, now I do not want to sound like everbodies mom now…but what ever you do do not bleach your hair, it kills it litterally and if you absolutly must bleach it, go to a salon never ever do it yourself at home!

    But never the less, I hated my short hair so much that I began using extentions, fake ones never the less due to my sense of morality (extentions made from human hair are of hair from Indian and Pakistani women in jail who have been forced cut) and it took me 4 years to get to the length that I have now. So I will be damned if I ever let myself be pressured to cut it short! Today I have layers in my hair but no bangs, I know that many say that older women look good with bangs, but bangs have never ever suited me…not when I was a child, teenager, young adult or now. I just wish that people would stop such as in this case, telling older women how to wear their hair. I think it is down right rude to do so, to be honest! If you hate long hair or you are convinced that you are told old to have long hair, then do not have long hair, but do not tell everybody else what to do!

    My theory about when all this crazyness about older women and long hair is that during the second world war in Europe there was no such thing as shampoo and conditioners and the good old baking powder and vinegar wash was either forgotten or considered outdated. Instead women used to wash their hair with harsh soaps and house hold cleaners and used to bleach their hair with house hold bleach according to my grand mother, so no wonder their hair looked a mess after years of that treatment. After the war came the perms and the dyes which were so harsh back then that it did not do wonders for their hair either. Best thing back then was to cut it short and perm it for more volume resulting in the very unflattering “little old lady” hairstyle. And facial skin care…well, just once in a while when their skin was really dry. However times have changed now, at 50 you do not need to look like your grand mother did at that age! Times have changed, some people might not like it, but do not let them control you!

    Eat healthy, stop using harsh chemical products on your hair and cut those split ends if you have any and you can keep your hair as long as you want to, no matter how old your are!

    As for the noo-poo method…well, just Google it! :)

    And as a final note: No, henna does not cause cancer. The only way that henna can cause cancer is if you eat it or if it contains PDD, which real natural henna never does!

    Keep your tresses, ladies…your are after all not your grand mother.

  14. Deborah, if you would care for a man’s opinion, I am a long hair lover on a woman and a mature male.

    I am a ‘mature male” and sure some will not agree with this opinion, but personally i think that very long hair, no bangs is the most sensual feminine thing a woman can have. For a male who likes it in today’s world is hard to find a woman who feels the same.

    The biggest complaint that over the years I have heard from my male friends is their S/O’s had it long to attract them, then once they were married, not long after they had it whacked off…… for a “reason” of somekind. They usually were not asked nor protested after the fact…… but secretly wished it has not happened too. Also many of the women after they did it, wished they had not.

  15. enny denis says:

    Hi Deborah,
    I am almost 68 and my hair is past my waist. I trim it every 3 months and get lots of compliments. They tell me I look good and young for my age. I keep the gray out of site, very clean and shiny and you should wear your hair the way it makes you happy.

  16. Hi, I agree with the article, It’s not so much the age it’s if the cut flatters your face. I’m 47 and got my hair cut short to grow out my natural gray. I’ve been growing it out since and am now wearing a short asymmetrical bob that I’m very happy with. I don’t feel that I look good with hair longer than shoulder length. It just seems to make my face look long and more haggard.

    One thing I think helps a lot in women who wear long hair is layers that soften the edge around the face. Most of the women with long hair my age that look pretty and fashionable have some layers.

    • Hi Michele,
      Well put!!! I agree with you!! Long hair can really drag a face down on some women especially if they do not have layers put in. Of course there are always exceptions…as we have shown here. My girlfriend looks best in long hair but she does keep it layered. One good way to judge is to look at a photograph of yourself and see if you think your long hair is flattering. Photos show us things we can’t always see in the mirror.

  17. I am 52 years old. I have hair down to the middle of my back. I keep it colored and in good condition. I do like some women in short hair, Helen Mirren, Sharon Stone, Cate Blanchate. As you can see, all of these women are blonds. I think short hairstyles look good on blonds but not brunettes.
    Brunetts tend to look like they have helmet hair.
    I have tried short cuts, but find it takes longer to style for me. Now I am keeping my long hair. I am Native American and I think this is just more natural.

  18. Bubbles says:

    Vicki, what a gorgeous post. I love the way you write. So, not only are you gorgeous, with long beautiful hair, but you’ve got talent, too. (I can relate LOL)

  19. Hag-Like says:

    Thanks to all of you who want to just be yourselves and wear your hair any way you want to. It is helping me stop trying to be what I am not and just be myself. I’m keeping the long hair. :)

  20. I’m 62, and my hair hangs down over my shoulders by several inches and I wear bangs. I dye my hair regularly, but I try to avoid blow drying it. My hair is thick, but its also fine so I need to be careful with it in order to keep it healthy. I like the convenience of the length because I can curl it and wear it down, or I can put it up in a ponytail and pull it through the back of a baseball cap. I don’t care if people think my hairstyle is too young for me. I don’t feel old, and I certainly don’t act it. Most importantly, I am very comfortable with myself. And the last three men in my life have ranged from 2 years to 22 years YOUNGER than I am. So that tells me I must be doing something right!

  21. Dorofee says:

    I just had my hair cut really short (like a man’s). I got dozens of compliments, but I HATE it. It’s is growing really quickly. I’ll be 60 next year and want to grow my hair and not cut it until my 60th birthday. I tend to do what others dictate for me. I am obsessed with my hair and how it looks. It’s completely gray but I color it myself all the time.

    • Hi Dorofee,
      I’m sure you look great with your short hair but its so much fun to try different things! Enjoy your journey into long hair, too! Good luck!

  22. Why do people assume everyone over 50 has grey hair, fyi some don’t.

    • Hi Lynda,
      Yes that’s my pet peeve too. You always get these token 40+ women in ads with grey hair. Nothing wrong with gray hair, but it’s only one segment of the mature women population out there! Let’s get real and oust that stereotype once and for all.

  23. Who made you the fashion police? Robert and Lucy

  24. Sorry, but I have to say that I find that long hair on older women just doesn’t seem very chic. By long hair, I mean beyond shoulder length. Most of the women I know wearing hair like this couldn’t care less about style or fashion. They wear baggy jeans, sneakers, no make up. They don’t color their hair. They appear not to care about themselves. The term “hag”-like comes to mind. I am not saying that anything is inherently wrong with long hair on older women, it’s just that I have very rarely seen it carried off in a stylish way. On the other hand, I have seen lots of older women with short, chic cuts that turn my head. Not all short cuts look good, obviously. A woman has to research a style and stylist that really works for her. But when she does, the results are far superior than just letting unshaped hair hang down one’s back with out regard for face structure, etc. It really doesn’t add as much as some women might think.

  25. Robert D. says:

    I have to say that I have never seen an older woman who looks good with long hair. I know…I know they all believe they look 10-15 years younger than they actually are to begin with. Most older women wearing long hair also seem to wear tight jeans, sweatshirts and sneakers. This is by far the worse fashion offense I can think of.

    • Tami Barrows says:

      Frank, you would hate me. hahaha That’s ok cuz you sound like my 92 year old grandfather who is always telling me I should “tie that hair back”. Gotta laugh because clearly your type is not my type. But isn’t that what life’s all about? I don’t find men in suits, at all attractive. Give me a construction worker anyday. Different strokes for different folks. Which is cool cuz there’s someone for everyone. But why judge others’ ideas of what’s attractive? Just because it’s not for you doesn’t mean it’s not .k. And btw, this 53 year old loves her skinny jeans which work better on skinny legs than old lady baggy ones. Plus they fit really nicely into boots. When I’m not wearing my sneakers or flip flops. And you can never ever have too many sweatshirts!

  26. Deborah Boland says:
    October 10, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Sure people are telling you that your hair is pretty is probably is. What is your purpose to growing it to your tush? Just curious?

    why not? and why do i have to justify how long i grow my hair to anybody?? like why would you want to look like a lesbian with short hair…just curious?

  27. I am 53 with hair six inches past my waist. It has not been dyed, bleached, streaked, permed, or anything else. It is a natural medium brown with red highlights, and a few “rogue” silver hairs which are brighter and more noticable than grey hair, and I don’t intend to dye my hair ever. If it goes completely silver which I doubt it will remain natural…along with my freckles.
    I get compliments all the time and sometimes people want to touch my hair men included.
    I have had some people say I should cut my hair, but why? It is easier to look after, no fuss styling, just blow it dry, and even at that it has no split ends….my secret I DON’T BRUSH OR COMB MY HAIR except when I condition it to detangle it when I am in the tub.
    I think since the “fashion” industry is run by men who sleep with men who the hell are they to tell me what looks good on a woman anyways……especially since they prefer men?
    I’m not cow towing to society’s idea of how long my hair should be.
    Strangely enough it is women who tell me I should cut my hair, men just want to play with it.
    I might mention that since I have never been a sun worshipper I look 10 years younger than my true age and my hair adds to that “image” for a lack of a better word.

  28. I’m 58 this year and my hair is mbl,and I’m planning on waist length. I’ve given up arguing with my sisters when they tell me I looked better with short hair in my twenties. Hey, Deb I’m older now and I’ll wear my hair as long as I please. My husband and son love it long and they are all that matter. As far as my hair length goes I will be growing it until I die and they can plait it and stuff it in the coffin with me.

  29. Women should wear their hair the way they want. I used to be a slave to the fashion magazines that told you what to wear when you were a certain age and what hair style you should wear. Forget it. My hair is a couple of inches above my shoulders. It is perfect for me because I can wear it in a short ponytail or down. I went to a few hairstylists who were determined to have me in short bobs or stupid mullet styles–finally found one who cuts it so I don’t have to do anything except leave it loose and wavy. I spend the most money on color–base and lowlights and highlights–I am gray and staying dark blonde. Forget magazine articles that dictate what you should and should not do.

  30. I am 52 and have long auburn hair. I have stalked every website available trying to justify my hair at my age after my mother tried to hard to make me cut it into a short bob with bangs saying long hair is not a style for a middle aged woman. I thank all the ladies on this site for making me feel better about my decision to keep my long healthy hair for as long as I can.

    • Hi Cheryl,
      I agree that age is just a number and that it is not a reason to cut your hair. Many women look best in long hair and so as you mentioned that yours is healthy then go for it!

  31. What bothers me is that there are still societal assumptions dictating how women “should” look. Why are we so hung up on looks? In Europe, I’ve seen overweight women in their sixties wearing two piece bathing suits. I don’t have the courage, but I say, more power to them. For those who say they don’t want to see that, hey, don’t look!

    THere is so much ugliness in this world that we can work to eradicate….poverty, cruelty, pollution…that a few jiggly tummies or frizzy gray heads are hardly worth concerning oneself over.

    I think that women should wear their hair however it best suits them and if that means long and gray, go for it. I remember approaching my mid 30s, becoming a mom and people starting to comment that I would have to cut my hair. Says who? I’m 47 now and long hair still suits me. It reaches the middle of my back….a good lenth for me as it’s versatile and manageable. I spend all of 5 minutes a day on styling. I don’t color yet, only have a few grays and my hair is full and healthy.

    I work in an office where a lot of the women are in their 60s and have the ubiquitous “older lady” hair do….sort of like a man’s hair style circa 1955. Sorry but that hair style doesn’t even look good on men! Helen Mirren has short hair but it’s swingy and feminine. There is no reason to de-sex women just because they’re over 40 or 50!

    Fwiw, I also hate the “rule” that says women should go lighter in hair color as they get older. A shade lighter than one’s natural color, ok, but what is with all the older women I see with bleached blonde hair? Blonde hair looks gorgeous on a woman with the coloring to pull it off, otherwise, women should wear their hair in a color that looks good on them. Throw away the rule book and look in the mirror. Like what you see? That’s all you need to know!

  32. I am 41 with waist length hair which I am growing to bum length. My hair is thick and wavy and very shinny, i often get complimented on how healthy it looks. I went short on a whim 5 years ago never again, i looked 10 years older and it felt like id lost my identity if people dont like my hair long thats there problem, i intend to keep my hair very long until i die…get used to it!

  33. I am 62 years old and I wear my graying hair loose and long. I trim it myself according to the Framer’s Almanac “best days to cut hair to increase growth”.
    My hair is now almost to my hips. I lost a few years of progress in growing my hair after I used hair coloring on it. Bad idea. Hair dye broke off my hair and dye is carcinogenic, so I stopped.

    Women at my job have given up on trying to convince me to cut off my hair. I love my long hair and plan to keep growing it as long as possible before I die.

  34. I’m 48 – have had long hair for 7 years already – (it was a promise I made 7 years ago) – I am in the stage where I feel I need a big change – how short should I go? My husband loves my hair – (and I have to say I do to:)..

  35. short_hair_middle_aged_and_hating_it says:

    I’m African American and my hair has been very short and curly all my adult life. It simply doesn’t grow beyond my ears, and when it does it looks awful…all uneven and whatnot. I wish it did grow out long to at least should length, but alas. It’s been my cross to bear. I’ve had people mistake me for a guy (either that, or they knew I was female and was just being rude…not sure which). Women say all the time how nice I look in short hair, but I’m not looking to attract other women. I want to have man, someone who is willing to get married. Yet, they can’t seem to get past my short hair. So should I go the wig/weave route, and then how do I explain to the man that it’s not my real hair? I’ll be 50 next year and fact is I’m not getting younger. HELP! I don’t want to stay alone through my 50s.

    • Hi Sabrina,
      It sounds like you are wanting to look more feminine and your hair is holding you up. You should definitely go the weave route rather than the wig. Many women of all cultures are getting weaves and extensions and so you should not feel bad about thinking that “it is not your real hair”. There is a price tag, but they can last for several months at a time.
      We hope you will go forward with this and let me know how you look and feel! Until then, if you wear makeup and some earnings,you will soften your look and should not get mistaken for anything but beautiful you! Good luck!

  36. I just turned 50 and have waist-length hair, I’d thought about cutting it shorter–maybe even wearing it “boy short” like I did in my twenties, but I find long hair is SO much easier, and I get compliments on my long hair and my natural “highlights” (gray streaks) all the time . . . I tell people, “Yeah, this is the highlight where my son fell off the porch, and this is the highlight from when I didn’t have a job, and this is . . .” It usually gets a laugh. Just last week I got the ultimate compliment from my fifteen year old son. He said, “Mom, thank you for not looking like every other mother. Why do moms get to a certain age and dye their hair, get identical short haircuts, and start wearing sports shirts in pastel colors? It would weird me out if you were a clone of every other mother!” It made my day to have my son even NOTICE what I look like, let alone thank me for being me. I’m happy to oblige him now by staying my crazy, age-honest, long-haired self!

    • Hi Liz,
      It is so amazing how many different, confident women we have on our site! Thanks for sharing your heartfelt story! How wonderful that your son admires you for not succumbing to trends and dressing for your authentic self. We are not here to be the “fashion police” and all our suggestions, are just that…suggestions. So when we hear that you are doing your own thing, it makes us happy that you are so comfortable in expressing your beauty in the way that you do.
      Thanks for sharing, you sound like a beautiful Mom, inside and out!

  37. June Price says:

    The short style tha I dislike on older women is that one that has a little fringe and is a little puffy on top but very short. It is usually worn by round women and they look very ugly. Sometimes they have horrible coloured blobs in it too making them look absolutely disgusting! I blame the hairdressers! They are supposed to make you look as good as you can be and they give women these ugly haircuts! with stupid colours….supposedly streaks but more like blobs on short hair. Then these women insist apon wearing trousers and shirts! They look like men. I am 55 and have long hair just past my shoulders. It is far easier to look after than short hair as I just brush it and go. Short hair has to be styled and forever cut to keep the shape of the style. Too fussy. Long hair can just be tied up and forgotten.

    • Hi June,
      Yes, there seems to be a plethora of over 40 “man” cuts that women wear. They are going for ease, but end up looking pretty masculine, your right. However, unfortunately many women have thinning hair and a longer style will not work for them. It is very tricky getting a hair style that is “easy”, bottom line is that to look fabulous most women have to put a little effort into it, unless you are just naturally lucky to have think gorgeous hair!

  38. Long hair, short hair. Since when did age have anything to do with this? I thought it was your facial structure that determined your hair length as well as the health and thickness of your hair.

    I have to agree with Pepe, I’ve seem many older women for whom short hair does nothing but make them look like men. And I also despise the weird androgynous spikey short haired look a lot of mid-age women adopt or the short helmet hair look. Gag me! Very few women look good in these looks.

    Let your face determine your hair length and style, not your age. That said, women look better with hair that has life and movement long or short.

  39. Reading some of these posts have definitely made me feel better today! I am going through perimenopause (45yr.old) and am having a really rough time with accepting my age and getting older. My hair was about mid back length about 4 years ago and thats about when I first hit peri. so I began having these mixed up feelings where I couldn’t make up my mind on anything. So I went back and forth from my natural color hair (md. brwn) and blonde several times in a 2 week period and my hair ended up being total mush and had no other option but to cut it super short. I was just sick from doing such a thing! I couldn’t deal with the super short hair so I looked into getting extensions, great lengths. Bad idea. Wore those for about a year and when I got them out my hair was in bad shape and had to stay really short. Then after trying to deal with looking like that for a while I decided on a different kind of extension, hairloc, which was supposed to be a lot less damaging. Wore those for 2 years and got them out last August because I started to feel weird being my age with long hair. My hair was damaged on the ends so I had to go cut it all off again! Now, after many months later I decided to go get the newest extensions out called platinum seamless. People told me that I looked good with the short hair but I couldn’t see that. I actually felt like I looked older and frumpy. And on top of that I guess I felt that if I’m having to deal with extra weight coming from out of whack hormones I could at least have long hair to make myself feel a little better. I just feel more feminine and sexy with longer hair. So it is now mid back length. This is expensive but I don’t spend my money on anything else so why not. I do keep feeling like maybe people are looking at me and thinking “she’s obviously too old to have hair that long, she must be desperate to hang on to her youth”. I’m back and forth with these feelings right now. But like I said reading some of these posts have made me feel a little better about it.

    • Hi Kimmie,
      It sounds like you are looking to your hair to feel pretty. This is a common theme for women all our lives! Why don’t you let your hair grow out naturally (yes, you can still color it) and then make sure to keep it cut in an updated style. Next, spend your money on a few new wonderful pieces of clothing that will make you look hip and chic all over. With a little grooming, hair, make up the right clothes and shoes, you will feel like a new woman! Long hair can still look good on certain women over 40, but it is best if it is combined with the entire updated image.
      Thanks for reading and sharing your story! Keep me posted.

  40. I will be 52 this year and my hair is almost to my waist. I have thick, wavy hair that I keep in long layers. I often wonder if I should cut my hair to ‘fit my age’, but I get compliments all the time such as “you have the most beautiful hair!” or “your hair is so thick and pretty!”. My husband loves my long hair and I’ve asked to him to tell me when this style starts to look too ‘young’ for me or when my hair begins to look stringy or damaged. He hasn’t said anything yet so I guess I’m good for now. It has been an issue I think about, but I agree with Vicki and the other women. If you can wear your hair long and it looks healthy with a good cut, then wear it as long as you can! I do feel sexy (for now) with my hair long and who knows… maybe no one will notice my wrinkles while admiring my hair! I can only hope! And by the way, I did cut my hair very short in the late 80’s (a cross between Pat Benatar and David Bowie) – made me look 10 years older!

  41. As a studying anthropologist, I find this an interesting cultural issue. I noticed that in South America, this is also starting to become an issue that women face. Long or short? Truth be told, from a woman’s point of view, I have heard that it is easier to deal with longer hair and others say short. From a man’s point of view, hair is just an accessory. However, there are men who go for longer hair on mature women, others who like short, and others who don’t care.

    A Brazilian friend’s mother told me this, (roughly translated and paraphrased) “as long as you feel sexy, that is all that matters”. But, I have seen some older women that went short and immediately became a woman who looks like a metro-sexual male (WWLLMM). That isn’t really sexy to guys, unless they dig guys and you can convert gay men. So, if you are doing this change for yourself, the sky is the limit. But, if it is for a special somebody, get their input. You don’t want to scare somebody away because they don’t like your cut.

  42. I disagree completely with what you said about Meryl Streep. She looks EXCELLENT with long hair – you just happened to post a bad picture of her with long hair, and an terrific picture of her with short hair! Hehe. Meryl is gorgeous and looks closer to 45 than the actual 60-the long hair suits her perfectly.

  43. Hi :)
    I am 47 next week :) – I started growing my hair when I was 24 – all my life my dear Mum had tried to ‘help’ my ‘problem’ very fine but lots of it dark brown hair – we permed it, bleached it, cut it very very short. It mattered to me, my hair and it wouldnt ‘go right’ so I turned to hating it.I was also NIL on confidence, very thin, shy and geeky – no hope of teenage love or admiration for the likes of me! One day Mum saw another “plain” girl who was drawing attention for her fabulous well kept natural very long hair. “Look at HER!” she cried, “you could be like that!” (all well meant by an exasperated Mum who knew I hated being so “ugly” with my by then frazzled bleached, hacked to bits hair. I grew it when I was 22. It looked a mess for about 1 year then, after trimming regularly, plenty of care (never used a hairdryer, products or tongs etc), plus cod liver oil tabs and head massages – I was blessed with traffic stopping shoulder blade hair!. The compliments increased as it grew to my waist and for years I enjoyed actually being pretty and marvelled at. I LOVED my hair. It seemed to go with my artistic, ‘romantic’ ways too and was truly “me”.

    Last May my dear Mum died of Leukaemia. For some reason, trying to sweep the pain of this away I suppose, I went and had most of it cut off, into a high maintenance modern bob type cut. I came out, after he’d snipped it off to make me look “younger and trendier”, charged me the earth, covered it in filthy products and tong straightened it to death – it smelt burning! I cried, but tried to live with it. Its now starting to grey – I have spotted 8 white hairs. However – I dont care – I’m growing it again! I have nice clips for the fringe to grow out with and Im getting it trimmed to keep it good condition and hey! it was “me” to have long hair and I dont ever want to have it hacked off into a standardised ‘shape’ for the hairdresser to follow his fashion trends!

    I can wear it up, halfway up or down – its MY hair, I love it and I will keep it and look after it until I’m dead and gone! There is TOO much pressure put on society by greedy money clawing ‘beauty’ advisors !!! Look at Jemima Khan, Jane Seymour, Demi Moore and ME – living proof that the hair you really truly want – is the hair you should award yourself! Short hair can harden and age people much much more than long, clean, shiny, well trimmed hair.
    Love, vicki x

    • Hi Vicki,
      What a hair adventure you have been on! You mention that your style is “romantic and artsy”, well long hair is certainly can be one way to achieve and be in harmony that look. Moreover, it sounds like you keep it healthy looking, trimmed and conditioned.
      The important thing here is that YOU are feeling good about your hair. I was just chatting with a woman (age 43) who just cut off her waist long, gorgeous thick curly hair. She was beaming from ear to ear and said her long hair had been dragging her down for years and she wished she had cut it sooner. (it is now cut to her shoulders) She even said, she was going back to get MORE cut off!
      So you both are happy and that is great! Getting your hair cut can be traumatic, but at least you tried something different. The good news is that hair always grows back!
      Thanks for sharing!

  44. Dear Jane,
    We hear you loud and clear. You say you are “feeling old and you think your hair is letting (you) down”….

    However, it can be disheartening when a “friend” says you need a makeover. That kind of “advice” is never welcomed when not asked for.

    But to address your first comment…we hope we can be of some inspiration to you.

    We have seen first hand over and over, those who have gone out and update themselves, have had such wonderful results. We get countless letters from women who have felt stuck and then tried a tip or two of our and tried our “Tweak Your Chic” approach to dressing. At this age, its not about a major makeover, its about just a little tweak here and there.

    You might want to start with baby steps and see how you feel. If you decide that your happy the way you are, then thats great too.

    Good luck and let us know what your up too, and if you have any other questions!

  45. I am 44. Today I am feeling old and I think my hair is letting me down. But I think people have lost their manners. I have been having a rough time in my personal life and instead of friends listening to me (the way I have listened to their hundreds of ‘issues’) I am listening again to them. This week a ‘friend’ told me I need a ‘makeover’, I need to dress better (this is in the same week where a stranger in a cafe told me that she was admiring my style and when I thanked her she said ‘only the French know how to pu together an outfit like that’), and that I need close fitted clothes and not all these shapeless outfits(can’t think of one since I am a ‘waist is best’ gal). She bases this on watching those makeover programmes. The makeover will commence with a change of friends.

  46. I am female and will shortly be turning 44. My hair is brunette and the length is down past my behind. I work in an office and twist my hair up all day, yeah I know, “that look”. I wear my hair down out of the office, often braided. I have had complete strangers in stores grab my braid. The other day I went into work on a Saturday but some others also ended up going into work and my hair caused everybody to stop and stare because nobody had any idea that my hair was that long. It took me slightly over 7 years to grow it that length from a very short haircut. I tried the short hair and short hair doesn’t suit me that well. I have had long hair all my life. I grow it for 8 years maybe and then cut it short and start again growing it out.

    I have come across a lot of females that don’t like hair that long. People with poor memories try and tell me that I look good in short hair, even though when I had short hair they constantly told me that it was needing combed, because of the natural curl, it stuck out every which way. I believe that I do look older when my hair is short. If nothing else, long hair makes a statement everywhere I go.


  47. Yes, you are so right! We agree that too short can be aging as well. Even women that look really good in short hair, many men, might disagree. However, never say never, we know some men that find a women’s neck very sexy and love short hair!

  48. Where do women get the idea that guy haircuts after they turn 40 look great on them? Not from many men, I can assure you!!