Long Hair, Older Women, and Work – Yishun.my.id

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woman walks in a field; she has very very very long hair (to her bum)

Readers had an interesting threadjack the other day about what constitutes “long” hair, which made me think about this old discussion about whether older women can have long hair “and still be professional.” (Yeah, I know, even the question is cringe.)

But I started wondering — are any of these old arguments relevant in 2023? Is there a certain magical age at which you have to get your hair cut to shoulder length or shorter?

(Full disclosure: I have always had my hair between shoulder length and bra-strap length, save for a cute asymmetrical haircut that was adorable aside from the fact that I’d forgotten my hair has never been consistently straight — and then the “post-wedding chop” where I donated 9 or 10 inches or whatever. At this point (in my mid-40s) I cannot see myself willingly having hair that is too short to put into a bun.)

Why Did People Used to Think That Only Young Women Could Have Long Hair?

So let’s go way back to 2009 — some of the reader comments at the time on this issue (from a threadjack, of course), involved things like these comments:

Women over 40 in law firms or corporate practice almost uniformly have hair above the shoulders. Anything longer just doesn’t look polished and modern. There’s plenty of flexibility to wear your hair in a sleek bob, or with loose or tighter curls. But hair that drags on the shoulders seems inconsistent with the classic look you see on most women of that age in senior positions

Another commenter noted that “[u]nless it’s a stunning cut, short hair makes you fade into the background, i.e. forgettable!” (Which is soooo interesting taken with the idea that women often talk about becoming invisible in general once they’re past a certain age… like the short hair trend is encouraging that “we value your contributions but it would be better if you just blended into the background” vibe.)

Other posters noted that the rule of thumb (short hair for older women) was grounded in the physical realities of aging — frizzy hair, jowls, crepe-y neck, etc.

Only Younger Women Could Have Long Hair, Then?

The fun part of this discussion is that no, young women often wrote in to Corporette worrying that their long hair made them look too young — and wondering whether they should cut it when they got their first “Big Girl Job,” as we phrased it back then.

Long Hair and “Professional” Looks in 2023

I’m curious to hear what people say here. I would say that there are no rules anymore (huzzah!)… but I would still argue that waist-length hair is probably still not something I would advise, although I’m struggling to put my finger on why exactly.

I do think it’s important that whatever your hairstyle is, it looks intentional (but, ideally, not in a way that screams “I spent three hours on my hair this morning”).

Readers, what are your thoughts? Are there any limits on long hair these days for women, young or old?