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Long or Short Hair Over 60?

Are you a woman over 60 who has taken to the scissors and had the long hair of your past removed? Or are you still wearing your glorious mane at the same length and in the same cut as you did back in the ‘60s or ‘70s or ‘80s?

Why Do We Think of Cutting Our Hair as We Age?

One of the major reasons we think of cutting our hair as we age is the change in hair texture. It may be as thick as it ever was, but it starts to look like a toilet brush with frizz and wiriness everywhere. Combine this with a less than perfect jawline and neck and the odd wrinkle or two, and dissatisfaction may check in.

Some women also experience thinning of their hair, which can cause real distress.

The colour is probably the least of your worries. Whether to dye the grey or leave it alone is another subject.

The Pros and Cons of Keeping Hair Long


  • There may be less maintenance with long hair. On bad hair days, and especially when you don’t have time to wash it, you can put it up in a bun or ponytail. This is just get and go! We all like that.
  • You need less cutting, and the cutting we do is mostly trimming the ends to create a healthy-looking head of hair.
  • You have more styling options; from bun/ponytail to braids etc.


  • As you age, your hair sheds more, and if you have blonde hair, or foils or are encouraging the grey, wearing dark clothes becomes a problem.
  • If you don’t take care of your hair and just let it grow, it looks unhealthy, frizzy and straggly.
  • It takes longer to dry and style. Yes, you have to do this, or it starts to look unhealthy.
  • You may try, but you cannot hide behind your long hair.
  • It’s more expensive because you will use more shampoo and conditioner. Especially conditioner. Also, if you don’t spend time and money on really good conditioners, it’s easy to look old beyond your years! I was listening to a podcast recently, where hair care experts agreed that the cost of shampoo is irrelevant but buying a really good conditioner (the expensive type) is key… especially if you want to flaunt long, lustrous locks.
  • Long hair can make you look older because when people look at you they see your hair or chin (depending on the length). It draws the eyes down, and you need all looks to be drawn up to minimise the focus of jowls.

What About Short Hair?


  • Short hair usually looks and feels healthier because the ‘old’ hair is no more.
  • The cut removes the weight of your hair which means you have more natural volume. A little natural bounce!
  • Those half-up half-down buns are one of your best friends because they always look fabulous and more youthful on short haircuts!
  • Shedding is minimal.
  • A great cut can look much more trendy or edgy. It is more of an accessory whereas long hair pretty much looks the same on everybody.
  • Short hair works well in framing the face and bringing the eye of the beholder up to your features.
  • The Big Chop feels very liberating. You’re free from the work involved in maintaining long hair.
  • Because your hair looks as if it has more volume, you can play around with parts and flip your hair back and forth.


  • Contrary to popular belief and the promises of your hairdresser, you do actually have to style short hair. Don’t take a picture of a short haircut to your hair stylist if you don’t want to put effort into its maintenance.
  • You need more frequent haircuts, which needs to be considered if you don’t want to spend too much time with your hairdresser. You’ll probably want a trim and tidy-up every six weeks so it can be more expensive.
  • There are limited styling options. No long braids, long pony, big top knot, etc.
  • BUT, if you have found a magic cutter (they’re rare!), styling options aren’t a worry because your hair will look fabulous nearly all the time.
  • AND… you will look younger. Your posture will improve (it does, really!) because you feel brighter and lighter in every way, and now the world can feast on your beautiful eyes.

There are so many different lengths you can try if you decide to go short and it’s up to you to decide which suits you best.

I know the bob is incredibly popular, but it doesn’t suit everybody, so please don’t let anyone tell you it works if, deep in your gut, you know it doesn’t.

Choose something that makes you smile when you look in the mirror!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Is your hair long or short? When was the last time you changed your hairstyle? If your hair is short, why did you choose to have it cut? Are you happy with how it looks?

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Katie Rogers

I have always liked long hair. I am in my early 70’s and wear my long hair in a stylish French Roll – it always looks neat and elegant. I get my hair regularly dyed every 3 months and use a spray grey concealer inbetween getting my hair professionally dyed. The fact is that short hair is high maintenance – you need to get it cut and styled regularly which is very expensive (costing around $200 at some hairdressers)! The huge advantage of long hair is that you can wear it in a range of different styles and if older women ensure that it is regularly dyed, long hair can make you look years younger!


I have had long hair most of my life. I went short a few times, but always went back to my long style. I always felt more feminine. I’m enamored with braid & twist styles too. I completely lost my hair from cancer treatments 20+ years ago. When it gre back, it was thin & didn’t look the way it used to. My hair now is shoulder-length & I’ll probably keep it that way. Of course my hubby likes it on the longer side. I’m also going gray…time to embrace cronehood!


I have had short hair the majority of my life. I am 68, very petite both in height and weight. Short hair is the most flattering for me. In addition, I have my hair colored a neutral shade of blond. It’s flattering and fun.

Robin Cearnal

I am 76 & my hair didn’t gray it went to white. When I was younger I had it frosted. In my 40’s I let it go white & have loved it. I get many compliments & I keep it short due to face shape,


You are beautiful. I hope I get to that Pure white stage. Salt & pepper can be flattering, but I don’t think it works for everyone. Your hair is gorgeous.

Amie Faillace

I’m 74 and I am blessed with still thick hair. Although I’ve been grey since I was in my 20s I still color it. A few of my friends tell me I’m too old to have long hair but my hair stylist tells me they’re just jealous because my hair is beautiful. I have at times cut it short and hated it.

Penelope Whiteley

It really has nothing to do with your friends Amie … or your hairdresser! It is all about how you feel … when you want a change, you’ll know!

The Author

Penelope Jane Whiteley is the self-appointed Queen of Aging Disgracefully. A writer, international speaker, clothes designer, stylist and traveller, she helps other women to live their lives on their own terms. Her courses include “Lose 10 pounds in 10 minutes,” “The Reboot,” “Just Write the Damn Book.” Find her on, Twitter, and Facebook.

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