I have a confession to make: I miss my long hair

It sounds silly of me to care about something that society tells you isn’t worth caring about, but at the

It sounds silly of me to care about something that society tells you isn’t worth caring about, but at the same time does. It’s very confusing. I loved my long, luscious hair. It wasn’t an immediate loss – it wasn’t as if I just woke up one day with very short hair. But one day I went to my hairdresser of 20 years and she remarked at how thin my hair was. I hadn’t noticed but she demonstrated how thick my pony tail was compared with now and suggested a few things to thicken my hair.

I tried in vain for two years as my hair got thinner and thinner before I cut it all off. It wasn’t liberating as some women had described – it was horrible. I’d hidden behind my hair in some respects, but for many women and men, you’ll know just how important hair is to your appearance. A bad hair day can set you in a bad mood; people comment on a new hairstyle; a new hair dye can make you feel like a new person.

I told some of my friends that I missed my long hair recently and one of them said “Oh, it’s just hair! It grows back” but she knows that’s not true! I’m not 20 years old any more and my hair doesn’t just sprout out like it used to. I’d be lucky if my hair went past my ears after 10 years nowadays! I hate when people say it’s just hair, because that is completely contradictory to what we are told. We’re constantly bombarded with hair commercials, ads and hairdresser signs, not to mention a celebrity’s new haircut can make headline news. Now tell me hair isn’t important!

I shouldn’t be such a whinger, my friends say, there’s people with cancer who have lost their hair. That’s completely true. But don’t tell me that those people didn’t feel quite upset when it started falling out… because they did. Having a bald head shows how sick you are even if you try to hide it. Yes, that’s different to how I lost my hair but the fundamentals are the same: hair is important to our self image. One of my nieces went through breast cancer and lost her hair, and she cried the whole way to the hairdressers to cut it out before it fell out in chunks. She was inconsolable for a number of days. Wigs didn’t make her feel better and it was very heartbreaking to watch. This was over 10 years ago but I still remember her feeling of not only losing a breast to cancer but also her hair. It was like her femininity had been taken away.

I’ve looked in to why humans love their hair. In 2001, Hillary Rodham Clinton told the graduating class at Yale: “The most important thing I have to say today is that hair matters. Pay attention to your hair. Because everyone else will”.

“Hair is Huge,” Rose Weitz, author of Rapunzel’s Daughters: What Women’s Hair Tells Us about Women’s Lives, told Huffpost. “Our hair is one of the first things others notice about us and one of the primary ways we declare our identity to them. Hair, and appearance more generally, matters in everyone’s lives, but especially in women’s lives. There is a wealth of research data that says that attractive people, but especially attractive women, get better grades in school, more dates, more marriage proposals, higher salaries, better job offers and so on”.

So, I want to know today, do you agree? Do you still have long hair? Or do you miss it? Do you like having hair or is it inconsequential?

  1. I am nearly 64 and I have long hair, and it’s coloured, shock horror, with highlights in it. My hair grows so fast that i have to do the regrowth every 3-4 weeks. I have had my hair short many times, but for some reason I never liked it. Had a hairdresser tell me a few years ago I was too old for long hair, told her where to go and walked out.

    • Mine is also long wavy and coloured enough to hide the white/grey that has been appearing since my twenty’s, alas I will am not able to match my natural colour of a mix of gold/red and light brown, I have settled for a golden blonde, my hair dresser thinks my long have is lovely and says she is jealous

    • Why shock horror about colouring it. You should see mine. I do it pink and blue and yellow and green and purple. It’s your hair. Wear it how you want and whatever colour you want. I am 65.

    • Love it Ruth mine is growing out loved my rainbow hair 😊 my hair was past my shoulder blades. Just recently I had it cut to my shoulders and it is now blonde again 😉 We’re mature not dead!

    • Zela Charlton Yesterday afternoon I went into our local hairdressers to see if they could just trim the very bottom edge of my collar length hair as I am very busy being all thing to all men at the moment and just don’t have time for much for myself. I clearly stated only a light trim and showed her exactly how much off. Sadly I walked out of there with men length hair badly cut. The lady had said no trouble i can do it for you before my next client gets here. She pushed my head forward a bit and much to my surprised I saw a large chunk of my hair land in my lap followed quickly by much more. I jurked up and saw and felt all but a short length on the back of my head. I aked what she had done to my hair and her reply Oh I wasn’t sure how much you wanted of??? so cut it off. Old people should have short hair anyhow. The damage done she had to try and make it look reasonable Even my fring which I always wear long to my eyebrows is crocked and too short. The owner/manager of that shop is getting a visit from me and a legal letter this afternoon. I am a natural auburn with very little grey/white. That too should in her view be coloured over to grey or white as I am too old now. The sad part is that my grand-daughter’s formal is on Friday and I did want to look good for the photographs now all I look is horrible with chopped up hair which looks like a little kid took to it. Bitch is all I can say well it is going to cost that shop big time.

      • Terri Rice  

        Oh Gail – I feel for you & thoroughly understand your hurt & anger. Don’t let this terrible place get away with what they have done.
        Hope it goes well for you at your Grand-Daughters formal on Friday. Maybe some hair adornments might help – or have you thought about applying some hair wax to lift it up? You may have lost some length but you could gain some height & even end up looking quite ” cool & spunky” ( to use teen-age terminology) !!

  2. Older ladies with long hair !!! It really adds years to your age ,looks old fashioned ,especially if it’s grey ,you would look so much younger ,with a trendy shorter style ,plus the thought of washing all that hair ,I couldn’t bear the though , also when you color ,keep it light ,black hair is also ageing ,and really blonde looks like ‘mutton dressed up as lamb’

    • Totally agree on that one …. I have a dear friend my age ( 64) and she had worn her hair tied back and long since she was in her youth … It’s do ageing

    • I have a couple of friends mid 60’s with long hair Grace, one colors it too dark, I think and it does not look as good as it could , it is thinning, the other friend has a thick mop to her waist and she doesn’t color it at all. The friend with the thick hair looks really good but if I think my other friend should chop hers off like I did

    • i think the stock standard short do older people have is ageing ,they all look the same, short and severe ,nothing wrong with long hair ,if it is done up in a nice way

    • I agree too Grace. I’m one of the lucky ones since mine is still fairly thick but nowhere near as thick as when I was young.

    • Agree Carol if too short it’s ageing and severe , you just need to get it right ,it’s not that hard ,almost touching your shoulder ,if you have really straight hair ,needs some large rollers to add softness ,

    • Time we moved away from cookie cutter assesments. Time we moved away from telling others how they ‘should’ look and how they currently look is not good enough. Particularly when you’ve not seen the individuals you are telling are prematurely aged and old fashioned. Ladies, be grateful you have hair and do with it as you will. Gents. ditto!

    • Nobody has the right to tell you how to wear your hair, mine is down to my shoulder blades and blond, has been for years and I feel good that’s all that matters to me !

    • So agree Robyn Green what does it have to do with anyone else what one chooses to do with their hair or how they dress? If it doesn’t harm anyone else………go for it 😊

    • What Robyn Green said! ! Some older people look great with longer hair others look daggy with short boring hair especially the old lady perm!

    • Carrol Hunter That so-called pixie cut hairdressers want to give older ladies is horrible on most. I have a longer face and short hair is terrible on me. I have worn a neat pageboy style for a long time and people always commented on how nice it was. Now I could cry over this mess I have right now.

    • Thank you, Robyn Green, my wife had long hair right up until she died and would never have looked right with it short, even in her 70s.

    • hella langer  

      Grace Boland, I totally agree with you. I find the current trend of long, not-so-flowing hair on older women to be unnecessarily aging, unflattering, and simply non-chic. IMHO, long grey hair looks best worn in an elegant chignon, or similar style that lifts up and flatters the contours of an aging face. Sadly, wherever one looks, there are older woman doing themselves no favours with their passé hairstyles and/or colours. The celebrity cult is driving the whole thing, I reckon, since so many of the aging stars, and starlets of yesteryear are setting a poor example for the gullible to follow.

  3. Psychologically, hair has more effect on us than we might realise.
    It is after all,’Our Crowning Glory’, and a bad hair day can often turn into just a plain bad day if we are not aware.
    My hair has been dragging me down for a while now since I decided to stop coloring and go natural.
    The regrowth hasn’t looked too bad because of the ‘pepper and salt’, my natural color has become over the years. And I haven’t actually seen my natural color for probably thirty or more years!
    Anyway.As I said, my hair has looking and feeling horrible for weeks!
    So a few days ago I cut and styled it. It has made the world of difference! Thank Goodness!
    I feel like a new woman!
    As much as ultimately, I want it long so that I can put it up or tie it back, its short now and feels full of life and bounce!

  4. And I love well styled, long hair on older women. It does depend a lot on the qualitybof the hair and the care taken with it of course.

  5. me too! Thats why at 62 and trying to be “sensible” and have it shorter for almost a year, I’m regrowing it.

  6. I got mine cut short, I mean really short for me , like most here I started out with long hair. Mine is curly, but since coming in here and seeing all your pic’s and listening to everyone. I decided to go grey, but it takes awhile for the dye to grow out and you look like something the dog would reject till it does. So I got a very short hair cut and actually I love it, it is so easy to manage 🙂 and the dye is gone now and I am a lovely shade of grey 🙂

    • well it doesn’t matter I guess how it looks but it feels nice   and you always look beautiful Victoria but what have you done with your hat ?

    • Cut all mine off 6 years ago. Now the longest I let it get us about 3″ all over. Then it’s time for a cut. And as you know, I colour mine every colour of the rainbow.

    • I did purple and hot pink streaks in my daughters hair a couple of weeks ago Ruth lol. Good on you, I don’t mind a bit of colour, used to put purple in the back of mine a few years ago.

  7. My mum was devastated when she lost her hair to chemo. Then when it grew back she looked so chic with a short styled cut.

  8. I like most people had long hair when I was young, however I have been wearing it short for many years thanks to a great stylist. Although I still colour my hair, I look forward to when I can just let it go natural however at the age of 66 it is still quite dark which I find is to dark for my skin these days, so I have it lightened considerably. I guess I will just have to wait a little longer for that completely natural look!

  9. I had long hair in my twenties and early thirties till hypothyroidism thinned my hair drastically. I now have a lovely hairdresser who cuts my hair every six weeks. At 69 I only have a few grey hairs and apart from a few experiments in my teens have never coloured it. Wear your hair the way it makes you happy.

  10. Anonymous  

    Mine is just below my shoulders and suits me for now. Do miss my almost waist length hair from my 20s though. Lol

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