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Long Hair at 50

Who says you have to cut your hair short after a certain age? One woman revels in defying the rules

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  • "This is a unique time in human evolutionary history. Our lifespan is expanding at exponential rates, as is our knowledge about our biological nature, health science and nutrition," says Peggy LaCerra, Ph.D., author of Origin of Minds. Women are reaching their physical peak long after their childbearing years because they're still youthful and finally have the time and resources to go after what they want."

    So, we're living longer and staying healthier. And there's no doubt that luxurious, long strands are an indicator of good health in an older woman, just as they are an indicator of fertility in a younger woman. The urge to cut your hair at a certain age seems counter to what's happening now. Women today are coming into their best years in their 40s and 50s. So, if you have it, then why not flaunt it?

    I certainly do.

    As a young girl who was often mistaken for a boy, I yearned for Rapunzel-esque locks so desperately that I smuggled three pairs of pantyhose out of my mother's dresser, planted them panty-side down on my head and fashioned the "legs" into a long braid. As soon as I was allowed to—not until high school—I grew out my hair. By the time I entered college, my hair was so long that I had to take care that it didn't fall into the toilet. I kept it long and wavy at a time when punk music reigned and colorful buzz cuts were cool. I figured I had waited ages to grow it, so why not go with it? Besides, I wrote poetry, wore vintage clothing, and studied with deep intent those long-haired Pre-Raphaelite beauties. The guy I dated back then had a ponytail that made him look somewhat colonial. I must admit, I enjoyed lopping it off one day at his behest.

    But I left mine alone.

Long Hair at 50
Who says you have to cut your hair short after a certain age? One woman revels in defying the rules
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