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Why Shouldn't Older Women Have Long Hair?

It's a long story...

While there’s nothing wrong with rocking a pixie cut à la Judi Dench, we can’t help but admire celebs like Barbra Streisand and Christie Brinkley who’ve broken free from tradition and stylishly so.

Why does there seem to be an unwritten doctrine that as women get older, their hair length should shorten in accordance?

Beauty ‘rules’ like this one drive me to want to do the very opposite. (I was a very conformist teenager; this must be my attempt at rebelling.) For the most part, I’m an advocate of doing whatever feels good and right for you. So while there are lots of great reasons for wanting to cut your hair short, looking ‘age-appropriate’ certainly shouldn’t be one of them.

If rocking waist-length locks at 70 is your vibe, then more power to you. However, while long hair doesn’t have an age limit, as we get older, hair does begin to lose pigment, change texture and weaken in durability, so a little more TLC is going to be required. For long hair to look supple and shiny, it has to be in good condition, so a well-balanced diet, rich in protein and iron, should be the starting point for everyone, regardless of age. Next, adding some length- boosting treatments – both at-home and in-salon – to your routine will stand to reinforce the longer strands that might have become compromised by colour processing or heat- styling over time. 

Call me old school, but even if you lined your bathroom shelf with the most targeted, fortifying hair products on the market (which will certainly aid the length challenged), I’m sticking with the widespread agreement that getting a regular trim is still the most important thing you can do to save those last hard-earned centimetres. Allow eight weeks or so of growth and then have half an inch trimmed.

And yes, I appreciate the irony that I started out renouncing the majority’s ruling, but some beauty rules are simply there to be obeyed.


Elvive Dream Lengths No Haircut Cream, €7.99, L’Oréal Paris

Deeply Rooted, €75, Hush and Hush

Phytokératine Extrême Cleansing Leave-In Cream, €33, Phyto

Originally published in the May '18 issue of Irish Tatler. 

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