Top Myth About Wearing Long Hair After 40, 50 or Older…

Long Hair Ivonne Schwartzman
Is this hair style age-appropriate? We agree with Billy Lowe…Yes, she looks FAB!

Dear Deborah,

I am so unsure about whether I am too old for all this hair!   I am 43 years old. Thanks,

Ivonne Schwartzman

I sent Ivonne’s question over to our FAF celebrity hair expert Billy Lowe and here is what he said:

Hi Ivonne!

Well, if you aren’t a throwback to “That Girl” I don’t know who is.  CONGRATULATIONS is all I can say for sporting a fabulous do, and looking so fun and fabulous while you wear it.  As I always say, you’ve come to the right place for your questions and I’m super excited to work with to help provide answers to great questions such as yours.

Here’s my rule: Too many “beauty experts” get caught up in the rules of the game and they forget the rest (time, lifestyle, work schedule, family, social responsibilities, etc).   So they tell their clients “You have an oval face so you need to wear X,Y,Z.”  Whereas I believe that once we tap into a client’s lifestyle, how much time they have, which products & tools they are comfortable working with, and how they feel in the overall cut, color or style.  I can give everyone the perfect “for your face” haircut, but if they don’t like it or if the cut & style doesn’t make sense to them, then they’ll only be frustrated in the end.

I think this is a GREAT look for you and here’s why. 

  1. It’s playful
  2. It has dimension
  3. Great framing around shoulder area, lots of space and movement in the hair
  4. You have a good “handle” on how to style and keep up with it
Billy Lowe
FAF Celebrity Hair stylist, Billy Lowe


And just look at how it looks ON you.   I think it’s absolutely fabulous.  Keep it.

I love giving hair advice to Fabulous After 40 readers.

To read more advice from Billy L

 For more information on Billy Lowe, please visit his exciting beauty blog at
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25 thoughts on “Top Myth About Wearing Long Hair After 40, 50 or Older…

  1. I want to thank all of you for making me feel better about my long hair! I am 54 years old and enjoy my long hair, as does my husband:)
    I have naturally curly/wavy hair, and only a flat iron helps. However, I am toying with the idea of getting long layers put in, hoping that it will tame the frizzies and I can wear my hair down when I choose not to straighten it. I’ve always dreamed of being able to do and have it look good. Thanks again, Ladies!

  2. “Long hair on old people makes you look MUCH older…. you’re certainly NOT a spring chicken anymore. People spend too much time trying to be something they are not. . .”

    Seriously? I can’t believe people exist that feel this way. I feel sorry for her, especially when she gets “old.” Click on my blog page to check me out with my long blonde highlighted hair (and yes, I do have a tat from my youth on my back), and you’ll discover that I’m trying to be EXACTLY what I AM. . .a vibrant, sexy, active 45-year-old wife and mother.

  3. When it comes to wearing long hair, I don’t think that age is as much a factor as whether the woman has the hair for the style and whether the style flatters her face. That applies to any hairstyle. I’ve always loved long hair, but my hair is thin, limp, and straight as the proverbial stick. It never looked good long when I was under 40 and wouldn’t look good now. I’ve seen ‘over 40’ women with beautiful, healthy, styled long hair and ‘under 40’ women with ugly, stringy, untrimmed hair. Long hair provides so many more options for wearing different styles (braiding, wearing it up, etc.), but so many women just let it hang with untrimmed ends, or worse still, wear it in a scraggly pony-tail. Of course, everyone has the right to wear their hair any way they please, and the style police aren’t coming with the scissors, but I wish all those women with long stringy hair would take an honest look in their mirrors and do something about it.

    1. Hi Patti, All your points are valid. As you can imagine, many ” factors ” go into this debate: your style, the condition of your hair, your face shape, and even your job. We are just trying to help put some perspective on it, but that’s as far as it goes. Some people don’t like change, and that’s their prerogative. Hopefully, they can read this and all the comments and open their eyes. Long hair can still be pretty, whether thin or thick, but the style and grooming can play a significant factor.

  4. I’m 62 and love my long hair and so does my family!!!! My son said I look like I’m 40 so I’m keeping it and having fun being young. My kids say you don’t act old Mom so I will keep my fun spirit and rock my long red hair!!!!

  5. Magdalene, how’d you find your hairdresser? How DO you find a good hairdresser (hairstylist) with AWESOME style?

  6. I have been reading these posts, and most keep saying you have to have the right face shape, the right texture, it makes you older, etc. what happened to a person’s right to do as they please with their hair, long or short it’s our choice, no one else has the right to choose for us, no matter how much they think they do. I’m 59 this year with hair down to the waist almost, and it’s going to keep growing that way with the occasional trim to keep it neat; no more than an inch; I keep my beady eyes on them as they cut it.

  7. I am 52, and I have hair 20 inches in length. My hair got thicker as I got older. It’s in the best shape it’s ever been in. I won’t let it grow longer than two feet. It’s straight, and I could be Ivonne’s twin. I have the same hairstyle with a bit shorter bangs. Shorter bangs for me, and I keep them a bit wispy. I’d never go gray, as my gray hair is a dark, ugly gray. I have a young face at 52. Most people think I’m 40. I get away with it. I spent years perming my straight hair, cutting it, coloring it, etc. I color it now and look on YouTube for great ways to pull it back and still look good. Women post great hair tutorials for long hairstyles on there. So, I tend to pull my hair back for a sleek look. If I cut it, I would look awful and old. Jadie, I respect your point, but I can’t entirely agree with it. It all depends on the older woman. Gray and short would make me look horrid. Ivonne, you look great, so don’t change a thing. Men never tell us to cut it, only other women who try to put older women in their place. A place they think we belong, but men don’t. My husband would kill me if I cut my hair. Jadie, take a good look at 58-year-old Christie Brinkley and tell me she should go gray and look like a grandmother. I think not.

  8. I’m 58, my hair is just past mid-back length, and I have no intention of cutting it; I’m growing it longer. My sisters have tried in vain to get me to cut, and I ignore them; why should I listen to a stranger giving their opinion? It gets a tiny trim once every three months to keep it tidy and occasionally a few curls for the body; it is mainly held in a ponytail or braid; listen to anybody else; not likely; they don’t get to vote on what I do with my appearance.

  9. Jadie, are you serious? I am well over 40 and love my shoulder-length hair. I would never consider cutting it into “mom or gramma” hair! How dare you make such an idiotic and blanket generalization! I take time to have excellent, current cuts and buy products to style them well! My husband loves it, and he would freak if I ever cut it ‘short’…and let it go “gray”.. YUK! So Jadie, I can’t wait for you to hit 40 (what are you, like 19?), and I think your attitude will change! Negative people like you should be 100% ignored!

  10. I think some older women look fantastic with long hair. I have a friend who went gray early – think of those pictures of Heloise, the home hint columnist. She looked terrific with long gray hair at 40 and just as great at 60. On the other hand, once I reached 30, long hair just weighed me down. I always looked tired. My hair was so straight and heavy that it was tough to do anything with it. I have a very high hairline at the temples, so pulling it up was not an option, and, even if it were, ponytails made me a headache because of the weight of my hair. One day, I cut it off in a pixie style and got many compliments. For a few years after that, I tried to grow it back every so often, and every time, I felt the same – tired and old. So I decided I would stick with a sure thing and have worn a pixie cut for the past 15 years, just tweaking it every so often to keep it looking current. I still wear it dark, too, although I suppose I will have to consider letting it go gray, but not as long as I am working.

  11. Jennifer Lopez is in her 40’s and over 50% gray. I can’t imagine her going short and her natural color; I don’t think anyone else should have to either.

  12. Long hair on older adults makes you look MUCH older….you’re certainly NOT a spring chicken anymore. People spend too much Time trying to be something they are not. Old people with tats and colored hair with it long does NOT look “cool”…think “stupid.” Time to grow up, ladies, be satisfied with what God made you; you’ve EARNED all the grays. I see many older women who look more dignified who are happy with the stage of life they are in, and it makes them look YOUNGER than those who keep tryin’ to turn the clock back. Ain’t no time machines round here to go back. Time will keep marching all over you–make the best of it and spare yourself the humiliation of trying to look like your 20-something children.

    1. Hi Jadie,
      We beg to differ with you on this point. We have seen some lovely women of all ages wear long hair beautifully. However, there have to be a few things that go with that statement. The hair should be thick and well groomed. More extended but not LONG LONG, you have to have the right face for long hair. We have learned never to say “never” when it comes to fashion! It is subjective to too many factors, and trends tend to come and go. It is undoubtedly essential to keep updated and to keep well groomed. Long hair does not seem to go out of style, but how you wear it can be updated!

  13. I’m 59 in November. I “caved” a couple of years ago to a suggestion by a hairdresser that I should go shorter. What a mistake that was! I went to several stylists, thinking it might be the cut, but no, it was the length: not me. The stylist I found now I went to on the recommendation of a friend who said he is fabulous for helping hair look stylish while growing out (he is). Even he had doubts about my ability to carry off long hair; he believed that older = shorter. However, as it grows, he is loathed to cut off any length whenever I go in for my trims and reshapes as it gets longer. So even he agrees: older does not necessarily call out for shorter. I have great hair, and baby it to keep it that way. Hair that is soft, shiny, and moves is a heck of an accessory, provided that the cut is flattering.

  14. I believed a woman’s biological clock controlled childbearing and hair length.
    Then I thought some older women used the age card to not care for a longer head of hair.
    Now I see many more women in my age category (50+) looking fabulous with longer hair!
    It’s beautiful, just like Ivonne.

  15. I just turned 60 last week and love my long locks and intend to keep them. I don’t care what anyone has to say about it.

  16. I don’t believe in all those “age” rules. A decision on hair length should be based on personal preference. However, long hair is not flattering for many women. I see too many with long hair, usually over-colored and over-permed, too much makeup, and “young” clothing that looks old while trying to appear younger. Long hair can also pull your features down, so any sagging or wrinkles are exaggerated. I must say Ivonne looks great with her long hair.

  17. Love my long hair,turned 50 in September and am not afraid of the numbers ahead! A great stylist is what was needed so I could express my personality!

  18. The concept of longer hair on older women is fine, but so many of the women who keep their hair long do not have the right “looks” to wear it. Wrong face shape, wrong glasses, etc. Also, wrong STYLE. They keep the style of their 20’s, not realizing that the world has changed, and so have they. I am 64, and see great hair in many styles on many older women, and many lousy ones.

  19. I agree Ivonne looks great but for me there is another consideration and that is the “condition” of your hair. Her hair looks like it is in great shape. Keep it long and enjoy !!!

  20. Ivonne you look great. I’m 46 & my hair is about the same length as yours. I have no intention of cutting it & actually think that many women who get the chop after 40 actually look older. Keep your beautiful hair & don’t be coerced by anybody into cutting it off.

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