by Nicole Renee, I’m Hot Studio, Amesbury, MA
“We’re going to give you a sexsi, short ‘do, you’re going to look ah-mazing, you’ll looove it,” the “chic” TV hairstylist fibs to woman-over-40.
My thought bubble: “Here we go again.”
It’s a rarity when I watch one of these makeover shows and don’t see the hairstylist shear every strand of woman-over-40’s HEALTHY, waist length hair into a crop of some shape.
And this winter will be no different. Just like every new year, 2014 will have the talk show circuit abuzz and flooded with makeover segments. Scissor happy stylists will be in a cutting frenzy, chopping everyone’s hair into some type of gumdrop or q-tip style.
I’ve even seen hairstylists working on the transgendered suggest the same. Here the client is so excited to be venturing into a new chapter of the process and the stylist tells them because of their age, they should stay with short hair, as if anything shoulder length or longer is a mortal sin.
So is this fleecing of femininity necessary? Should you wear your hair (real or fake) long after the age of 40? This question is easily answered if we briefly examine, why are we attracted to hair?
Humans process subconscious visual cues when evaluating one another or choosing a potential mate. Evolutionary psychology suggests hair quality, density and length signifies youth, health status (2-3 years worth), fertility and in some cultures, social status.
No wonder why healthy looking, long hair never goes out of style.
What Short Hair Reveals
I’ll admit, I am a fan of flowing, manageable and versatile shoulder to waist length hair.
Regardless of what long hair naysayers consider “difficult to manage long hair,” let’s look at the benefits of long hair versus the cropped pixie cut.
Keeping a real hair pixie primped properly requires a cut every four to six weeks to maintain it’s A-game design. The pixie also needs to be groomed into a style or it looks like flat, lifeless short hair.
When hair is cut away, it bares all facial features and the face becomes THE focal point. This leaves no distraction and exposes lines, asymmetries and facial fullness or thinness.
What Long Hair Conceals
Simply put: Longer hair hides flaws. A side or partial bang covers forehead lines while chin and shoulder length layers camouflage a heavy neck, asymmetrical jaw or facial fullness.
Tweaking the hair texture is another trick to masking less than perfect facial features. Beachy waves widen a thin face, while straight, sleek tresses subtract from an ample face.
Finally, one of THE best and most overlooked benefits of having long hair has to be. . .the ponytail. This sassy, feminine form can be saddled up high or polished low to the nape. The classic pattern swings with movement, sways with convenience and couples as a great time saver in comparison to customizing a pixie.
I particularly LOVE seeing older celebrities bucking the current by wearing LONG hair, well over the age of 40. Christie Brinkley, Raquel Welch, Sandra Bullock, Mariah Carey, Nicole Kidman all wear LONG hair beautifully. Granted, some are wearing fake hair but they STILL look fantastic.
So, the next time Mr./Ms. Stylist Chop Shop tell you how, “You really should consider cutting your hair short,” remember, 1.) this is a myth and 2.) you have options (even if your hair is thin). I will talk further about those options in the next article.
To be continued … and here’s to a longer hair new year!