Should Women Over 50 Wear Their Hair Shorter? - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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Should Women Over 50 Wear Their Hair Shorter?


You know me. My hair. I joke with my hubby with talk of a morbid sarcastic nature, What would people say about me? “Well, she had great hair!”. Kidding, kidding. I had an interesting discussion with my hair stylist the other day. Why do women over 40+ feel that they need to go shorter with their hair?

Do you wake up, the day of your 40th birthday, or 50th for that matter,  and go, “that’s it. I just don’t feel right in long hair anymore. It’s not appropriate. ” I don’t think so! First of all, i am not one of those ladies that think anything with fashion/style should be classified as appropriate/inappropriate. Who decides, and who makes up these lists? Nevertheless, I have seen lists which say women over a certain age, should not have long hair. ( not wear denim, no shorts… etc)

I think I always will have long hair. Well, I remember, as a small child, around 7 or 8, when you went door to door selling Girl Scout cookies, my sister would accompany me to the neighbor’s house. The woman who opened the door, was that lady. Long, grey silver hair,  down the length of her back, scared my sister and I at the time. the “Witch Lady” we would call her as kids, just privately to ourselves. She was probably 55 at the time! in 1975, long grey hair just wasn’t common, like it may be today. Women today are letting their hair grey and wearing it long as a statement.

I talked about women having longer hair after 40-50+ just out of interest to see the opinion of my hairdresser. I used to think ladies at this age, just didn’t want to fuss, want the extra work of keeping up long hair. I learned something different. I think, for me, I like long hair, as i have an oval face, and some sharper features- not the delicate features I often associate with short or shorter hair. For me, long hair is romantic, or at least I perceived it that way, for me.

Once i became the middle aged lady, I thought more about it. The dreaded Menopause has many side effects, and your hormones are responsable for much of it. Low estrogen levels can change the texture of hair. Thicker hair can become thinner, or more fine. Whether I am in Menopause of Peri, my hairstylist will attest to my hair being more fine than it was 10 years ago. Add in daily medications, and the chemicals from them, also have an effect on the hair’s texture.

With finer hair, hairstyles become a consideration. My mom has fine hair, and she wears it in a layered style which suits her well. My hair is styled with layers and she usually does some face framing layers for interest in the front of my hair. When you look up hairstyles for ladies over 50 on Youtube, you get the barrage of short hair cuts, pixies,  bobs and layered shags. I asked my stylist if I ever decided to go shorter and wanted an angled bob, how hard would that be. She told me there was much more maintenece in the angled bob that the long hairstyle I had now, as I would need to keep it shaped and the angle cut, so trims often. More work was not what I wanted.

I certainly feel that everyone should choose the length and style that makes them happy. Short, medium or long, however you like to see yourself. I think when I was younger, I beleived he misconception of thinking that ladies just didn’t want to take the time to style longer hair . It really has to do with how as we age, our hair changes, and what we can do to create the best look for ourselves. Hormones and other factors create a change in texture. I feel it is all about keeping your hair healthy, whether it is long or short.

Id love to hear your thoughts on long hair and hairstyles for women at midlife?

if you enjoyed this, Read my post- Hair Changes at Midlife

Let me know in the comments. Thank you for the comments, I appreciate it !

Have a great weekend!

Jess xx

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  • Anne
    Posted at 12:19h, 05 September Reply

    I think women of any age should wear their hair however the heck they wanna wear it! 🙂

  • Claire Justine
    Posted at 05:44h, 17 July Reply

    Your hair is beautiful Jess. I only cut my hair short nowadays as I colour it a lot and it gets in bad condition when I grow it. I wish I had beautiful hair like yours. Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays 🙂

  • Miss Cellany
    Posted at 17:36h, 16 July Reply

    First thing to say is that your hair is very beautiful and, being a redhead, can well be described as a defining feature. I’ve had hair lengths from very short to long over the years and the advantage of long is that it is far more versatile, worn up or down. My hair has never been coloured and I think that may be why, in my mid-seventies, it remains fairly thick. It is currently cut to below my shoulders and I’m happy with it, but I may well feel like a change and get it cut short at some point in the future. Then I’ll probably feel like growing it long again! After all, hair grows!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 17:42h, 16 July Reply

      Hi Miss Cellany! Thank you for your input! Yes, i do find people noticing my hair, and i like it this shade and length. i do sometimes ponder the thought of getting a cut, but often just chicken out, as long hair is “me’ as I mentioned. That is someting that you have never colored your hair and I think it really is about the health and how the individual feels. So right, hair grows! :-)) xx

  • Suzanne
    Posted at 16:58h, 16 July Reply

    With gorgeous locks like yours I’d be very surprised if you chose to cut it. It defines you to a certain extent.

    I do believe that life is all about perspective. We all thought crazy things about “older” people when we were young. Now I look back and think what a fool I was. People can do whatever the heck they want with their hair, no matter their age.


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 17:40h, 16 July Reply

      So true! Yes, I beleive the same thing Suzanne! Long, med or short, it is whatever makes that person comfortable. I will only trim it, as I do find it doesnt take that much time to style and it is “me”. xx

  • thestylesplash
    Posted at 05:48h, 16 July Reply

    I don’t think age should dictate how you wear your hair, it’s about what suits you. You have beautiful hair and the length really suits you. I prefer my hair about shoulder length with layering as it’s easier to manage and suits my face shape. When my hairdresser decided to cut it quite a bit shorter than I wanted in February I thought it made me look older – I’ll make a point of asking for a just a trim next time!

    Emma xxx

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 13:39h, 16 July Reply

      Thank you Emma! I like your hair alot , it looks lovely with your face shape and so shiny! I go with a trim, but it is always longer. Summertime is the only time I wish it shorter as it is so hot in the South. I really think condition and the shape of your hair matters, so I have been using more products to maintain the oils and health to my hair. xx

  • nobasisinreality
    Posted at 20:16h, 15 July Reply

    I think it’s all about the attitude! If you can rock it – go for it!


  • closetplayimage
    Posted at 13:56h, 14 July Reply

    I’m right there with Pearls and Pantsuits! Lovey long hair suits others no matter the age, but I’m more at home in short hair. For me “long” is to the shoulders, and it’s just too much. Ear length or shorter is best for my features, face and frame… And has been since about 4th grade!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 14:05h, 14 July Reply

      Thank you for your comment! I am getting that most women just want to accentuate their features and what looks best to them. It sounds like you have lovely hair and are most happy with short. I have run the gammut with my hair, but will always be long. It is interesting to hear! xx

  • Elle
    Posted at 12:53h, 14 July Reply

    you have the most exquisite hair. Never ever cut it. I also enjoy wearing my hair long despite the cultural norms. I am happy that I think that particular dogma is waning. I also like shorthair for its convenience and sporty style, but for me the versatility of longhair is exactly what I want.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 13:13h, 14 July Reply

      Aw, thank you Elle. I have always felt like “me” with long hair. Just a feminine style that I think works for my face shape. I agree, I see women over 40, 50+ with longer hair, and mainly i feel if it is in good condition, it works. Yes, I do like the ability to wear it up, in a ponytail or chignon.. etc. Thanks for popping by! xx

  • Rosemary Davis
    Posted at 07:26h, 14 July Reply

    Your hair is gorgeous,Jess!
    I think the guidelines (rules) are to always aim for our best features and forget about the age issue. The the rest will take care of itself. The challenge comes when we are not truthful with ourselves and are wearing something that does not flatter us in our very best light.
    Your hair is beautiful, healthy, well styled and compliments you in every way.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:30h, 14 July Reply

      Morning Rosemary! So true. I think whether we wear our hair long, medium or short, is really is how confident and comfortable we feel in it. At times I envy the ladies that can wear their hair short, wash and go! Thanks for popping by! xx

  • Amy Christensen
    Posted at 18:26h, 13 July Reply

    Your hair is gorgeous. I think it is the case that many women feel shorter hair is easier to manage than longer. I keep mine a little longer, because my hubby likes it that way and in the summer, I just throw it up in a hair band or a french braid. I think all of us just have to decide what is right for us. Great post, Jess. – AMy

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:29h, 14 July Reply

      Thank you Amy! I do have a great hairstylist, but for me it is making my fine hair look thicker and keep using products to add oil to the hair as it is dryer. I throw my hair up in the summer too! xx

  • Madam too Much
    Posted at 13:20h, 13 July Reply

    Your hair is healthy and very pretty. Most of the time us older ladies cannot have long hair because we just don’t have it. Our hair gets thinner and many of us loose their hair. Because of genetics (Thanks Mom) I am team short hair. Enjoy your summer. . .

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:27h, 14 July Reply

      Thanks so much! Yes, I do understand that my hair is thinner and more of why women choose different styles. Changing hormones and as you mentioned genetics play a big role. Happy summer to you too! xx

  • Gold Coast Girl
    Posted at 10:09h, 13 July Reply

    I love it long!

  • pearlsandpantsuits
    Posted at 10:03h, 13 July Reply

    I’ve had short hair forever. It feels more like the real ‘me’. Every time I toy with the idea of growing it out, I reconsider and chop it off! I feel like, for me, longer hair drags me down and overwhelms my face. I just feel perkier with my short hairdo! I’d love to have your luxurious locks Jess! I might just buy a wig one day and shock people!In red! Like yours! 😉

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:06h, 13 July Reply

      Morning! I think that is the key. How do you feel most like yourself, or most comfortable ( hair length) Like you, I fell like the “real me” is with long hair. Your short hair suits your face very well and is lovely! Thanks for stopping! xx

  • Jodie
    Posted at 09:00h, 13 July Reply

    I wanted to have longer hair so bad, once I retired. But mine is thin—and has always been. So it just looks better shorter….totally a bummer in my mind!! Because when I look at you Jess, I have hair envy!! It’s so long and luscious!!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:01h, 13 July Reply

      Thank you jodie! I think your hair looks great short. xx

  • thisblondesshoppingbag
    Posted at 07:39h, 13 July Reply

    I have lots of hair problems – trust me – I’m working on a post about it. Your hair is gorgeous and I love it long. I don’t think age should dictate length of hair, I say as long as it looks healthy and flattering it’s all good!
    Have a great weekend beautiful lady!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:59h, 13 July Reply

      I wouldn’t have known! I agree about age and hair length- it really is about the condition of the hair. If mine were straggly or unhealthy I would go shorter. I have had to use more oils and such on my hair to keep the condition of it good. You too, happy Friday! xx

  • Susan Clark
    Posted at 07:24h, 13 July Reply

    I am 60 and wear my hair slightly below my shoulders and i enjoy it. I think that longer hair over 50 has it challenges. Thinning hair and changes in texture and color can require a thoughtful hair-care plan along with the skills of a good hair stylist. I think it is great when women support each other in their unique ways of expressing themselves.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:08h, 13 July Reply

      Morning Susan! I agree! I think women should wear their hair however way they want, and what feels most natural to them. Your hair is lovely too, I had hair at my shoulders, short hair when I was very little, and in between. Yes, for me my longer hair does take some maintenence, and a fair amount of conditioning to keep it healthy. Thanks for popping by! xx

  • Leslie
    Posted at 05:58h, 13 July Reply

    I 💓 your hair!!! And yes it is the first thing I notice. You have been one of my inspirations for growing out my hair!!! And I DO have grey hair…call me a witch but I feel sexier and more feminine with my longer hair…so I guess I’m a sexy old wiotch!!! 😂

    • Jess
      Posted at 06:30h, 13 July Reply

      Leslie, thank you for your lovely comment. I think you look great with each hairstyle you have. Shorter, long etc. As a 7 yr old, in 1975, you didn’t see in my neighborhood many ladies with long, white grey hair, so as a kid, she scared us. Now adays, there are many more ladies going loner and grey, so it’s a different aesthetic now, and can be lovely ☺️

  • Heather Lord
    Posted at 03:40h, 13 July Reply

    I’m with you, Jess – I don’t believe in all these so-called “rules”. either I’m 62 and I have long hair. As a child, I desperately wanted long hair, but wasn’t allowed to grow it. I think that has “scarred me for life” as I’ve always hated short hair. I’m not planning to cut my hair any time soon! I will keep colouring my hair as long as I can, too!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:49h, 13 July Reply

      Thanks Heather – Ive gone through all phases, short, medium and long. i think it is always a personal preference myself, as I dont beleive in rules with aging! xx

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