I LOVE getting reader questions. Here’s one all the way from Australia!
“Quick fashion reality check! What are the rules about wearing long hair over 40? Love my hair and have totally not felt comfortable when I’ve gone short, but when do I have to give up and go corporate bob to avoid the mutton-dressed-as-lamb type comments?” – Kristen, Canberra, Australia
Believe it or not, I get this question quite often from girlfriends. There’s always that fear that we’ve somehow reached our expiration date when it comes to long hair, that per a professional role or some other societal theory that we’ll look ridiculous if we keep our hair long after a certain point.
You know, I have to say that I don’t necessarily believe that shearing all your hair off is a prerequisite to looking “appropriate” at some age. That being said, I think it’s about HOW you wear your long hair, not necessarily the length.
That being said, I’m going to go ahead and tell you to stand in front of a mirror with a bra on. See that place where the strap meets the top of the cup? In my opinion, that’s the most flattering maximum length for women who want to wear their hair long over the age of 40. Any longer than that and you run into SJP/Demi Moore/L’Wrenn Scott levels, all of whom are gorgeous but none of them have to appear “office appropriate.”
Another thing that’s incredibly important (and my beloved Ted Gibson will appreciate me for saying this) is to get a haircut that flatters your face. Those of us who are sashaying down life’s sassy highway should explore layers that frame our faces and cuts that are versatile enough to take on many styles. If you need examples of great styles, check out Vanessa Williams, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore.
Also, be sure to maintain the health and shine of your hair. Both are signals of youth and can instantly give your whole look a new lift. Add to that some color that gives light and depth to your skin and there’s no such thing as looking too young or too old – you just look HOT.
Discuss a multi-dimensional hue with your colorist and ask for a shine treatment periodically to give locks a youthful luster. If you’re looking to add gorgeous color at home, I’m OBSESSED with the gorgeous hues from the L’Oreal Paris Feria Haircolor Collection . Those with dark hair should consider their new Midnight Collection – deep hues with multi-faceted shine and TONS of highlights embedded
You know what the best key is to wearing long hair over 40? CONFIDENCE, baby. If you think your hair is fabulous (and you’ve followed those tips above to make sure it looks good) then there’s no stopping you no matter what your length of hair. Work it and be fabulous at EVERY age.