Cher won’t ever have a pixie cut, I can guarantee it. She’ll wear long hair as long as she can.
Speaking with Good Morning Britain earlier this month, Cher reflected on her next milestone birthday. “My friend Paulette and I were talking about when we were going to have to cut our hair and stop wearing jeans because it seemed like in those days that’s what women did, and it hasn’t hit yet,” Cher says. “I just can’t believe I will be 80 at some point, sooner than I wish, and I will still be wearing my jeans, and I will still be wearing long hair, and I will still be doing the same stuff I’ve always done.”
Cher choosing not to conform isn’t exactly surprising, but it did give us pause. Why do we expect older women to leave behind their luscious locks?
Well, we know that our hair texture can change as we age, becoming harder to manage with the years. Add that to increased hair fall and all the years of damage, it might just seem easier to do away with the length. Of course, these days we have lots of ways to maintain the health of your long hair. But at the same time, there’s certainly a societal expectation for women to choose shorter hairstyles.
According to celebrity hairstylist Johnny Lavoy, this long held belief is beginning to finally dissolve. “Women have been told that they have to cut their hair once they reached a certain age,” Lavoy says. “I’m not sure when or why this fable started but it’s important here today to dispel this rumor. I’m a fan of longer lengths on mature women. In fact long hair can take years off and enhance sex appeal.”
Keeping Mature Hair Healthy
The changes our hair goes through as we age may mean a shift in our routines, but it doesn’t mean we need to abandon our long hair. And keeping your healthy will always make you look younger.
“Long hair that is dry or damaged will actually age you regardless of your age so it’s important to keep your hair in its best possible condition,” Lavoy explains. “Like your skin, your hair will show signs of aging so it’s crucial to use products to combat the affects of aging. I like the Brazilian Blowout ReWind system that consists of an in-salon deep treatment, a shampoo and conditioner for at-home maintenance, and a leave-in spray treatment. It’s designed to reverse the effects of aging hair.”
Additionally, a seasonal refresh in color or a slight change in style can go a long way towards bringing life and warmth to your face.
“Long hair that’s not frequently updated will look begin to look dated,” Lavoy says. “Now, an updated hairstyle doesn’t have to mean drastic change. An updated look could consist of a seasonal color change, a change of styling like adding a wave or taking a wave away. Maybe switching from a side part to a center part. I suggest having a variety of styling tools. The good thing is today you can get interchangeable tools that do a lot but don’t take up a lot of space. The NuMe 8 in 1 iron set is great for creating a variety of curls, waves and texture to keep it modern.”
The Celebrity Women Over 50 With Long Hair
At 78 years of age, Helen Mirren has only recently forayed into the world of longer hair, thanks to COVID lockdowns.
“You’re not supposed to have longer hair after a certain age,” Mirren says on Lorraine. “But during Covid, I started growing my hair and I hadn’t actually had long hair since I was in my 20s. And it sort of grew and grew and grew, and I couldn’t be bothered to cut it, basically.”
There’s also plenty of reasons you might prefer your hair long, including to keep a style simple and easy to maintain.
Known for wearing her fiery hair long, Julianne Moore revealed to Redbook that her choice as a lot to do with maintenance. “My hair is naturally quite wavy, so it was like artichokes coming out of my head,” She explains. “One of the reasons I wear my hair long now is that the weight helps keep it smooth.”
Demi Moore has done just about everything to her hair, but wearing it long might just be her favorite. Last year she explained to People that whatever comes next for her hair, it will be her choice and no one else’s.
“I remember hearing someone say that when women get older, they shouldn’t have long hair. And something about that stuck with me,” Moore says. “Like who says? It made me feel like, well, if it can grow and it’s not unhealthy, then why shouldn’t we? I’m not comfortable with rules that don’t seem to have any real meaning or justification.”
Revealed in Apple TV+’s new The Super Models documentary, Cindy Crawford keeps her hair long for a shockingly personal reason. Early in her career, famed fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier cut her hair without her permission. “The very first night, they send the hairdresser to my room to give me a ‘trim.’ They comb my hair, put it in a ponytail, and chop my ponytail off without asking,” Crawdord explains. “I was in shock and I just sat there in a hotel in Rome crying. And people wonder why I’ve never really cut my hair since then — that’s why. I was so traumatized.”
She adds that, at that time in her career, “I really felt I was not seen as a person who had a voice in her own destiny. It wasn’t that I didn’t like my hair short, it was that I hadn’t voted myself in to having short hair.” She recalled thinking that, “If this is what it means to be a model, I’m just not ready for this.”