Who started this long-hair rule, that women should wear “age appropriate” hairstyles? What age is appropriate? And who categorizes the hairstyles? Is a bob age appropriate? What about a ponytail? At what age do we lop off our ponytails in favor of the shorter bob?
Listen to your mother. I did. Briefly. She was adamant that it was wrong for a woman over 40 to wear a long hairstyle. I believed her.
Then. Not any more. Not only am I over 40, my dark, curly hair is halfway down my back. Sorry, Mum. Rules are made to be broken.
This rebel hairstyle stems from childhood. Even then, my mum wanted me to have short hair. I hated short hair; my hair had always been long. When I was nine, she took me to her hairstylist. Unbeknownst to me, she paid her to cut my hair into a pixie. I was emotionally traumatized. No kidding. I took a wooden chair and placed it at the end of our hallway, where there just happened to be a full-length mirror hung on a closet door. I sat there for days. Crying. Just sitting. And crying.
I probably don't have to tell you that she never did that to me again. That's how this little girl taught her mum a lesson. I didn't just tug on her heartstrings; I ripped them out. She admitted much, much later that she felt bad. And she never said one more word about my hair. I let it grow long again, and it's been long ever since.
Who started this long-hair rule that women should wear "age appropriate" hairstyles? And what age is appropriate, anyway? And who categorizes the hairstyles? Is a bob age appropriate? What about a ponytail? At what age do we lop off our ponytails in favor of the shorter bob?
Audrey Hepburn sported a short, cropped cut in the early 1950s, but had a ponytail later in the decade. Elizabeth Taylor wore a close, striking cut, too; her style inspired many women, including my mum. Then along came Twiggy (aka Lesley Hornby). Her short pixie-bob made her a household name, and women flocked to their hairstylist to imitate the cut. Numerous women cut their hair to follow these fashion trendsetters. My mum was one of them; she thought she was supposed to go short. But that was then…
Fast forward to 2015. Mum, some rules are meant to be broken. This hair "rule" has not only changed; it no longer exists. Women over 40 look younger and better than ever. It doesn't matter if your hair is long, short, or somewhere in between. Here's the new rule: there is no rule.
If it feels good on you, then do it. If it looks good, too, then that's even better. You want to wear your hair knee-length and pink for your 40th birthday? You go, girl. Be you. Break rules. I never looked good with short hair. My husband doesn't want me to cut my hair; neither do my children. High five.
Need more convincing? There are lots of gorgeous, over-40 rule-breakers with long hair: Christie Brinkley is 61; Jane Seymour is 64; Carol Alt is 54; and Demi Moore is awesome at 52. Oh, and we can't forget about Heather Locklear, who has long hair AND still rocks a bikini at 53. Cher is the original rule-breaker and looks better than ever at 68. Our "friend" Courtney Cox recently turned the big 5-0! Her long, silky locks are the envy of women everywhere. Even her "friend" Jennifer Aniston wears long layers at 46. And have you seen 69-year-old Jaclyn Smith lately? She once did commercials for Breck shampoo and still has gorgeous hair. I dream of looking like that at 69! Twiggy even rocks longer locks at 65.