17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

From the Tales Inbox: How Long is Too Long to Wear it Long?

I am having a hair dilemma. Please help me. I have long, straight (at least when I blow dry out all the wierd kinks I inherited when I got pregnant the first time), ugly brown hair with large-layers. I will turn 30 this year. My husband likes it long, but I know there comes a time when you just can't get away with it anymore. I don't think I need to go too drastic and go MoTab lady or anything. But we have all noticed women before and thought to ourselves "She is way too old to pull that off". I don't want that to be me! What should I do?


  • WHY can't you "get away with it" anymore? There's nothing to "get away with." *scratches head* As long as *you* like it, having it makes you feel pretty, special, sexy, whatever, then wear it how you like. I might recommend trimming it so that the layers are all even but that's more for practicallity and all the fun ways you can put it up. See here for some ideas. This is my personal favorite and takes practically no time, especially if I only do it with one braid. You might give The Long Hair Community a look also.

    Do whatever you want with you hair but do it because you want to, not because you think you "can't" do it anymore.
    posted by Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve at 2/11/2007 03:30:00 PM  

  • Do what you want! Look at site's find people whose hair you love. Ask around for a great salon, and go-- make sure the person doing your hair will let you know if it doesn't look good- or what she/he may think would look good for you.

    I love to do radical stuff- and it's a load of fun! I even just cut off about 10" of hair on Thursday after school.

    In the end, it doesn't matter who loves your hair what way. DO it how YOU want it, how YOU like it. My hubby loves long hair also- I love my hair short- so I grow it out, cut it off... :)
    posted by Blogger MelnHead at 2/11/2007 05:59:00 PM  

  • It's hard to know what to do with your hair w/o a picture of you. But off the bat I think, you're only turning thirty! It's not like you're turning 75 and have long flowing hair (not that there would be anything wrong with that anyway). I'm turning 30 this year and am in the process of growing out my hair. I don't feel too old to do that or anything. I get that there is a stigma about having long hair when you're older, so I understand why you're thinking about this. I agree with other posts. Do what you want. Do you have a stylist who you trust? Maybe go in and ask them for advice. Or stop other women whose hair you love and ask them where they got it done. Just some ideas....
    posted by Blogger Beth at 2/11/2007 06:41:00 PM  

  • I have been known to say NO to long hair in older women (I think I said this on MMW). I do think that long hair should say goodbye as you continue to age, as a general rule.

    However, if the texture, color and cut are up-to-date and your makeup and clothes are also age-appropriate, then long hair is probably ok. Look to celebrities like the model carmen (she has white long hair, models for target etc.), demi moore, kyra sedgewick, natalie cole, oprah...they are doing good with their long hair looks.

    Examples of women who I think should have let go a little sooner or by now...Lisa Kudrow, Bo Derek, Morgan Fairchild. Maybe I have a thing against blondes...maybe it's that their looks have not changed in decades...and that's what ages them...there is just something that doesn't work.

    proud daughter of eve, I think the hairstyles on your websites will completely age you, unless you are pairing that hair with super cool fashionable vintagey funky style...and even then, if you are past 50, it might be hard to pass off those up-dos as NOW, but maybe your goal is not to be NOW..just to have hair freedom.

    I personally have had short hair for a decade, and as I approach 30, I am panicking, and I have begun the long, arduous journey of growing out my hair...one last time...before I am 40 (which I consider too old for super long hair)...the FRIENDS girls were pushing it (in my humble OPP).

    Bottom line, you should like it, and it should flatter your face....and not shed.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/11/2007 07:08:00 PM  

  • Oh, goodness! I understand your dilemma! I am also turning 3-0 this year, and just a few short days ago I got my LONG hair chopped off. You can see my new length here http://rococomocco.blogspot.com/

    I think you TOTALLY CAN have long hair at our age and I FULLY intend to have long hair whenever I darn well please!! I would never follow any age "requirements"

    I would ask myself these questions-

    1. Do I feel stylish, up-to-date, and pretty with this hair style?

    2. Am I in the MOOD for a bigger change, or would I be happy with a smaller change, like maybe getting bangs, or just a trim with a tweak on my layers.

    Just really think about it before you do IT! It will take some time to grow back should you regret it. On the other hand, it might be a breath of fresh air to have a great new hairstyle!

    Hope that helps!
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 2/11/2007 08:06:00 PM  

  • One more thing - I think the reason a lot of older women don't have long hair is not so much that it is "out of style", but that your hair just isn't as healthy as you grow older. It is harder to have beautiful long hair when you're approaching 30++ than when you were in high school. The ends are dryer and they split. If you have long hair, you want it to look healthy. I personally didn't have a problem with the "FRIENDS" long hairstyles, but then again I'm pretty sure they had at least SOME extensions. Good Luck!
    posted by Blogger Beth at 2/11/2007 08:48:00 PM  

  • What do you have against blondes, Kage?
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 2/12/2007 09:27:00 AM  

  • If you look better with long hair, leave it long. If you look better with it short, cut it off. It's when you look good both ways that the real dilemma begins.

    I don't think age has much to do with it, although I struggled with a similar problem a while ago, because I look better with short hair, and I was worried that it was making me look like I had mom hair instead of cute hair. I accepted the fact that short is better for me, and moved on.

    More important than the lenghth, is a good style. A good cut is crucial. And you don't always have to pay tons of money for it. (but sometimes you do)

    If you like your hair the way it is, don't let this birthday mess with it. I know 30 is hard, I am 31, and I remember clearly the feeling that my life was ending. It didn't, and I can still be cute.
    posted by Blogger The Wiz at 2/12/2007 10:23:00 AM  

  • 30 is old???? I just turned 30 last month and I love it! I don't feel old at all or too old for ANY hair cut. Not that I think we should look to celebrities for much direction, but in this case a lot of them make the age thing obsolete and I don't think they're the only ones who can pull it off.

    I also agree with Beth--I think it's more about your hair not looking as good long the older you get. And ditto what others have said--just do what looks good on you.
    posted by Blogger miggy at 2/12/2007 11:16:00 AM  

  • Ok, I'm 34 and I have long, super thick, very curly hair. It's usually in a knot or bun or tied up because it is CRAZY hair.

    Here's the kicker- I HAVE cut it off, several times, but it's so curly that I end up looking like a poodle. I can, no joke, hide things in my hair and they will stay.

    SO what's a girl to do with hair like that? I have three kids under 5, so it's not like I can take the time to straighten it every morning...

    Wash n wear, or minimal time is required, and thus I have settled on the "knot". Please advise...
    posted by Blogger tracy m at 2/12/2007 11:18:00 AM  

  • melissa, I have nothing against blondes in general, especially you...I just think blonde is such a youthful look, add that to long hair and an older face, it just doesn't work most of the time....like the two blondes on Real Housewives of Orange County....need to switch it up...it just seems like they are trying to hold on to something in the past.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/12/2007 12:14:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/12/2007 12:14:00 PM  

  • Kage: I totally have better, more fun things to do than keep my hair looking "now." Not to mention more imporant things to spend the money on. (Not a judgment of others; we're just broke!) Plus, well, I *like* old fashioned styles. They're neat, elegant and they let me have the fun of long swingy hair when I want but having it out of my way when I don't.

    I've had long hair and I've had short hair and overall, I'd say the long hair is easier to deal with. If I don't feel like doing anything with it, a part and a brushing in the morning and I'm good to go.

    Also, when I was five my hair was so long I could sit on it. For me, long hair has always been an "I'm so special, I'm so pretty!" thing. I can't imagine cutting it. One time, the stylist and I had a misunderstanding and I ended up with hair that still long by most people's standards but about 4-6 inches shorter than I was expecting. My husband describes my reaction as traumatized and, remembering the shock as the brush ran through my hair so much sooner than I expected, I have to agree!

    As for stylists, my mom told me to look for a stylist who has hair like yours, that way they are intimately familiar with the foibles of your hair type.
    posted by Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve at 2/12/2007 12:17:00 PM  

  • 30 is not old. Not even close. You're still a young, hot mamma!!! Do what YOU want and what makes you feel great. Life is too short to be governed by fashion "rules".

    I just got back from the grocery store and noticed Courtney Cox on the cover of some magazine. Her hair is super long in the picture and she looks healthy and fabulous. (I'm sure photoshop and makeup had something to do with it, but still!) I'm pretty sure she is over 40 and she was rockin' the long hair.
    posted by Anonymous Elle at 2/12/2007 01:06:00 PM  

  • This comment will let everyone know how "not-in-the-know" I am, but, I have never heard that you shouldn't have long hair after you are 30. What? What about all the 30+'s out there that don't look great with short hair? What about all the under 30's who don't do well with long hair? I can never have really short hair - if I can't pull it back into a ponytail I am LOST. Guess they will be whispering about me when I 31.

    I do think it's important to dress age appropriate (something I am struggling to figure out right now) but hair styles? Didn't think there was an age appropriate (obviously there are extremes and those are exceptions)
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 2/12/2007 04:10:00 PM  

  • p d of e, I heard this little ditty once about a small town that had only two barbers. One barber had great hair, the other not so much. So which do you choose? The one that had great hair?...nope, because the only other barber in town is the one that cut it...make sense?...(they cut EACH OTHER's hair....)

    But I do know what you are saying about a stylist relating to you if you have the same type of hair.

    I think that if someone is asking "how long is too long to wear it long"...then they are concerned about the now/fashion issue...am I right guest poster?...otherwise why ask the question? and who cares?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/12/2007 04:35:00 PM  

  • Another part of this might be to clarify what 'long hair' acutally means. Past the chin? Past the shoulders? Past the shoulder blades? Lower back?

    Having said that, I hearitly agree with the sentiment that if you have healthy strong, beautiful hair then your age shouldn't matter one lick. I knew a woman who had sit-on-it long hair who was in her mid 40's. It was beautiful hair that she took excellent care of. I still dream of having hair like that.
    posted by Blogger Starfoxy at 2/12/2007 08:10:00 PM  

  • I think it's safe to say you can pull it off until the texture of your hair changes. You know how older women have thicker, coarser hair? Well it turns that way as you age and that, to me, is the dividing line between hip and hippy.
    posted by Blogger scribbit at 2/12/2007 09:25:00 PM  

  • You mean as I age it's going to get THICKER???? NOOoooooooooo!
    posted by Blogger tracy m at 2/12/2007 10:19:00 PM  

  • keep it long until you tire of it, but I don't think you need to worry about anybody thinking you're "too old for that" until 45 or 50. And even then, if you like your look, who cares what people think?
    posted by Blogger cchrissyy at 2/13/2007 09:10:00 AM  

  • 30???~ you are kidding, aren't you? I am 51, and decided at 45 that short hair looked better on me, and I was getting too old to where my hair long. So, guess what? It is shoulder length now, I am happy with it, and I'll probably get tired of it soon, and go on to something else. 30 sounds like nothing to me! Wear your hair as you want to, I say
    posted by Blogger Muum at 2/13/2007 03:05:00 PM  

  • Well, thank you all for your encouragement to wear my hair long while I still like it that way. And for making me feel young as the dreaded "30" comes my way.

    Daughter of eve, I loved those hairstyles on the link, and would feel like I stepped into a favorite Jane Austen novel, but how could you ever do that yourself, wow. I can't even work a round brush.

    I think I prefer my long hair to short for the ease of it. I have 4 daughters ages 7 and under and don't have a lot of time to primp. I love being able to throw it up in a twist or ponytail, but then blow it straight and wear it down for a nice occasion.

    I was just worried because I am so fasionably challenged in so many other respects. I don't feel I have much of a chance catching up with my clothes and make-up, but that maybe I could at least keep my hair up-to-date. and if long hair can still be fashionable after 30, I am keeping it.

    I also live in Honduras and don't have a stylist down here I trust to chop it off with a nice cut.

    thanks again for all your thoughts
    posted by Blogger Sarah at 2/14/2007 07:36:00 AM  

  • I've had short hair for...ten years now?
    I'd say, as many have said, go with what looks best with your face. Not everyone can pull off short hair, but people like me shouldn't have long hair, either. It makes me look shorter and too young and it is thick to the point of out of control.
    Get a good stylist. That's most important, IMHO. I even talked DH into going to my stylist and now he's hooked - this is a man who used to look for the cheapest cut possible. If you can splurge it, it's worth it, because you usually get what you pay for when it comes to hair. Set your price limit and start calling salons, or talk to people you know that have great hair.
    And if you do go short, never underestimate the power of a really cute hat or a headscarf, which is even easier than a ponytail!
    posted by Blogger VirtualM at 2/14/2007 11:47:00 AM  

  • Here's another way of thinking about things:

    When I was in high school we were looking through some of my dad's high school year books. He's class of '61. We were looking at the pictures of all the girls, who would have been 16, 17, 18, etc, when my dad pointed out something I have never forgotten.

    He said, "Look at all these girls, do you notice how they look old?" We all nodded. "It's because they never changed their hairstyles and now those hairstyles are old lady styles."

    That's what it comes down to for me: are you holding onto a style that was fashionable when you were a teenager? That will inevitably age you. Think of the Farrah hair you used to see in the 90s and how terribly dated it looked. Some of the women I see with long hair in their 40s and 50s are still trying to hold onto the long locks of their youth. It's like seeing the bangs and curly hair of the 80s--it puts you into a specific age bracket.

    I'd rather have my age be unknowable so I change my hairstyle accordingly (taking into consideration what suits me as well.)
    posted by Blogger Azúcar at 2/15/2007 12:24:00 PM  

  • What!!!!

    Only cut your hair if YOU want to cut your hair.

    The mentality that women have to cut their hair when they have children, turn 30 etc.. makes me furious!

    I dont know if this is a mentality in the church, society or what...but I think it is ridiculous!

    I am sure you look great. Dont let that oldfashion mentality sway you. :)
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 2/18/2007 08:43:00 PM  

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