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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

Page: 5 of 5
  • I recently turned 50 and have not stopped wearing my hair long. Mine is definitely not hippie hair, and caring for it is a practice in mindfulness. Washing and brushing takes time, and I am a firm believer in regular trims; I'm not a fan of the Crystal Gayle look. Yet I find that, defying conventional wisdom, having long hair actually requires less time: I just wash it once a week and I'm set, and styling time is minimal; gravity does most of the work for me.

    Also, maybe it's genetics or just luck, but I've never had to color my hair, and I believe that reflects years of "green" living. Recently, I've noticed a few silvers but have decided to let them be. To my surprise, my super-fashionable—and super-critical—stylist gave his blessing. Pliego, the guy who's long kept my cut current and who always wanted me to color it, just advised me not to dye it because, as he put it, "It looks fab!"

    Ultimately, as a woman in America, it's rare to hear the upside of aging. Yet I found that the loosening of my hair aligned with a revelation: The older I got, the more I lightened up and felt confident in my abilities. I'd spent the bulk of my career working among suit-clad men, often feeling like a second-class citizen. When I finally had the conviction to follow my heart—both professionally and personally—it was supremely liberating. I am now confident enough in my power to own it and to truly let my hair down.

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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