Thursday, March 5, 2009

Long hair and aging

I love long hair. I always have loved long hair. There is just something so romantic about it. I think of movies like The Lord of the Rings, where the women's hair is flowing in the wind. It is interesting how society views long hair on women. In some countries, women and long hair are common place. Here in the United States though, long hair on women who are over 30 is pretty rare. In the small community I used to live in, there were many people in that community that were of the Apostolic faith. The Apostolic women are not permitted to cut their hair, so I saw long hair all the time, and I fit in quite nicely in that community! When we moved back to our hometown a few years ago, that feeling of fitting in nicely really changed! Hair my length is super rare where I live now. At my church, I have the longest hair there. There is one other woman that is older than I am, and her hair is to her waist. She and I are the only women past 20 years old that have long hair. The rest all have hair shoulder length or shorter. Long hair is rare here, from what I have seen.

I have read many articles on long hair on older women, and seen lots of those makeover tv shows like "What Not To Wear". If a woman who is over 30 and has long hair is the topic of the makeover, they all tell her that long hair past 30 makes a woman look too old. And yet they will take a younger woman in her 20's and cut her hair and tell her they went shorter to make her look older! So which is it? Does long hair make you look younger or older?? I have found that I have a hard time figuring out a woman's age when her hair is long. I was going through some of my old Country Woman magazines, and I found a woman with really long hair on the cover. At first I thought she was in her 30's. Then I looked really close at her and noticed all her wrinkles! After looking at the picture for awhile, I guessed she was maybe in her 50's instead of her 30's, but it was really hard to tell. I would LOVE if someone guessed me as being in my 30's when I am in my 50's! I was looking at some before and after pictures of women who had makeovers. I was showing these pictures to Jeff, and I asked him to guess the women's ages. In all the short hair pictures, he guessed the women as being 10 years older than they really were. The ones with longer hair, he guessed them as either being their age or younger. I found that interesting! I know that it is super hip and stylish to have a shorter sassy hairstyle, and at times I am really tempted. But I don't want to cut my hair just because I have to conform to some image. If I love my hair long, then I don't see why I can't keep it long!


SchnauzerMom said...

There's no reason why you can't keep your hair long. It is so beautiful. I don't think we should allow ourselves to be dominated by the fashion world. It is so changeable anyway. Also, why do I have to look young? Why can't I just look my age? You'd think it's illegal to be over 30.

Jules said...

If you love your hair long, then I can't see why you can't keep it long! :)

I too have the longest hair on any woman over 30 - make that over 18 - in my church. One lady had BSL hair, but it seems to be getting subsequently shorter every time she goes to the salon. Considering my denomination used to have similar views on long hair to the Pentecostal ladies you know, it is a little suprising that more don't have long hair (I didn't grow up in this church so I wasn't influenced by their views to grow and keep my hair long).

Jen, your hair is gorgeous and I've seen your photo and you certainly don't look like someone in her thirties! BTW, your husband can guess my age any day! LOL

RosyRose said...

I agree! You keep your long hair if you want to! If it's about fitting in maybe you can just be a trend starter!:)
I think your hair is beautiful!
It has been fun for me to have lots of different styles and colors because I wasn't allowed when I was a kid:) I think I remember you saying that your mom always had your hair short when you were young.
Maybe we are both just reacting to our past:):)LOL!

Daisy said...

Oh Jen, if you like your hair long ... enjoy it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What one person thinks is beautiful, another begs to differ.

On the spiritual side of things ..being apostolic, I never worry about what others think of my hair. I'm not in an area with very many apostolics at all ... I'm by my lonesome self here, yet still, I have no desire to cut my hair. I do see the beauty in long hair but whats most important is that I desire to please my Lord and not man above all else. Any time someone desires to live for the Lord, they WILL be set apart, ... whether it's in their speech, what they wear, how they conduct themselves,where they go, how they treat the people around them ...etc. The Holy Spirit convicts and then we are given a choice. Are we going to follow and let our light shine or do we just go with the flow of society so we can fit in? Remember the childhood Sunday school song ... "this little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine?" Well it's not always easy letting that little light shine. It's much easier and more comfortable to go with the flow. I said that to explain this... I'm just not a societal 'rule' follower ..heehee!

Kelly said...

Jen I noticed the same thing you have. All those make over things, shows or articles, tell young women to grow their hair long, to look younger, but older women to cut it, to look younger. I agree which is it.
I worked at a fashion magazine for five years and I can add some input to that, it has to do, I think, more with how you wear the hair, up or down around your face. A short hair style down around your face can drag your features down as much as long hair around your face.
I'm about to turn 39, ugh, and I'm growing my hair out. Not planning to grow it as long as yours though. I had really long hair in my early 20's, it was two inches short of my back side. And while I loved it at the time, had it that way for years, I ultimately cut it short because I always, and I mean always kept it up in a a braid, which seemed a bit silly to me. To have this long hair when I never put it down.
Right now my hair is the longest it's been in years, just below my collar line. My plan is to aim for mid back line. For me that is a very versatile length, I can leave it down and it won't get in the way but it's long enough to put up in all sorts of creative ways.

Hey anyone have any good advice for long wavy hair? I'm trying different shampoos right now. Pantene didn't seem to work well, now I'm using Garnier Fructis for wavy hair, and it seems to be better.

Jen said...

Kathryn: Good points about the fashion, and about having to look young! We are so obsessed with looking young in this society. In some countries, age is looked upon as a good thing because with age comes wisdom! Thank you for the very nice compliment by the way :).

Jules: Thank you for your kind words. I guessed you as being a lot younger than you are too, so your beautiful hair makes you look younger too :)!

Rose: Yes, I did have short hair growing up and hated it. I'm amazed you remember that! So we must be rebelling from our youth huh? Lol! You look beautiful with your hair at any length, and the new do looks great on you!

Daisy: You made some excellent points! I think that I am learning that I need to be secure in who I am in Christ, not what others think of me. Thanks for that reminder :).

Kelly: Wow, your hair is getting really long! How fun! I found an awesome website several years ago called The Long Hair Loom ( That is where I have met many of these wonderful ladies who comment on here. It has such great info for hair. I have wavy hair, and Pantene and Garnier Fructic didn't work well for me because both have silicones in them. My hair doesn't like silicones at all. I use natural shampoos and conditioners, but I do use Suave Professionals conditioner from time to time. It works pretty well. My favorite natural stuff is Trader Joes stuff. Do you have a Trader Joes near you? The stuff is really cheap, is natural, and works amazing!

Kelly said...

Thanks Jen. I'll check out that website. I may have a Trader's Joe's around, I'll have to look. It sounds familiar.
I guess it is sort of a trial and error with hair care products. Suave just wreaks havoc on my hair. It's hard to tell who has natural shampoo they all claim natural ingredients, but I've heard that Pantene and Garnier have silicones but pantene did nothing for me and garnier seems to be working.
I remember when I had really long hair in the past I was using Finesse, but I'm not sure they even make that now. Of course I was 20 then. LOL

Bonnie said...

I think your hair is just gorgeous, I have the longest hair by fair at our Church and it is shorter than yours. I think that long hair is so feminine and beautiful the only real problem is taking care of it!