Do you disguise your age with your hair? 139



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We look to plus-60 celebs and they’ve got smooth faces with barely any wrinkles and perfectly coloured hair. They look a fraction of their age, in fact they could be wax models! We all know this is not realistic but we’ve got to wonder what should a plus-60 look like nowadays. Are we being manipulated by the media to spend our hard-earned cash on the latest ‘miracle’ cream to remain looking youthful?

The Journal of Aging Studies looked at spending patterns on clothing, hair and cosmetics among post-war ‘baby boomers’. Interestingly, among older women they were more likely to visit hairdressers throughout their lives and are increasingly spending more on cosmetics, such as makeup and anti-ageing products. This would suggest that older women are becoming more conscious of their appearance and are willing to spend money to maintain it.

So, how far are you wiling to go and how much are you willing to pay to keep yourself looking young?

Research suggests that one of the main things we spend money on is our hair because it helps us control how we appear to age. The hair on your head (or the lack of it) becomes a very prominent feature as we get older. For instance, when in conversation, our eyes are immediately directed towards the other person’s head. A person’s hair is a way we learn to stereotype and judge others, such as myths surrounding blondes, redheads and brunettes. As a result, it’s not surprising that as we age we tend to focus attention to our hair. It has become part of our identity whether we realise it or not.

Unlike other features, your face and body that bear the stamp of time, your hair can remain unaltered for decades. You don’t need to inject botox to help it remain “young”, rather you can cover up the grey. Changing your hair has become an accepted way to manipulate your apparent age.

As the Journal of Aging Studies outlines, the so-called normative age patterns and expectations for what’s appropriate at certain ages is no longer relevant – now you age the way you want to. Your “bad” hair day can be transformed into a good hair day in which your luscious locks resemble a much younger person. Older women are paying more attention to controlling their hair to avoid the stereotypes of ageing. Society has made it normal for this generation to disguise their grey hair. But has this trend gone too far and led to a false idea of ageing?


Tell us, do you colour your hair? When did you start to go grey? Do you care?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I also colour my hair, well at least the hairdresser does every 5-6 weeks. Trouble is I am 71 and my mind thinks I am 30ish.

    8 REPLY
  2. No gave it away a few yrs ago. Im not 70 yet. People comment on how lovely my hair is. . So why bother. I like it and that’s all that matters lol

  3. Yes your skin colour does change so does your makeup to keep looking good i get my hair coloured dont need to look old before my time and my family all love it

  4. Yes I do some grey hair looks good but mine is part grey and it’s a dirty colour .So I think it’s what makes you feel good about yourself

  5. Going grey is liberating. Very,very short hair is so easy to manage with an active lifestyle. Best for me!

  6. I have allowed my hair to go to its natural colour, which is a respectable shade of grey and although I am told it suits me, I do feel older. I won’t go back to dying it again but may get some highlights.

  7. Been tormenting my hair with colour changes since I was in my mid teens. I still have my hair coloured every 5-6 weeks and not about to give up yet.

    5 REPLY
    • Me to Wendy … Back then it was called French plum , U could buy it at Coles variety stores… It came in a bubble (easy) it just gave your hair a hi lite … Later I now use lite ash brown …. I can’t imagine being grey , wen I’m as old as my mother (who’s 96) I’ll think about it… LOL

      1 REPLY
      • I remember the french plum bubble in NZ

    • Both my sisters were blondes and I was a brunette, so I used to bleach my hair with peroxide in an attempt to look like them!! Im lucky that I still have hair, after such drastic treatment. But LOL like you Pam, I’ll keep colouring my hair until the day I feel old.

    • I remember French plum Pam…. All the hair colours had exotic names back then. I used to love going to Coles & looking at them all & the makeup! Simple times hey??

  8. Tried going natural, hoping it would look platinum! Just looked white. Can’t imagine not colouring, even though it’s pale blonde!

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