CurlTalk

hair length dilemma

VerityVerity Posts: 616Registered Users
I have noticed that lots of women over 40 aren't afraid to wear their hair long. I think it looks wonderful on many women. I wonder, though, it it just isn't flattering on me. I have a sort of long face and my instinct is that it is dragging my face down.

I think some women just don't look as good with long hair as they do with shorter hair. I saw a recent photo of Gillian (sp.?) Anderson of The X-Files, and she now has shoulder-length hair. Nothing could change the fact that she's beautiful, but I really think shorter hair is much more flattering on her.

Am I going to make myself look older by going with shorter hair (the "over 40 so I must have short hair" syndrome), or should I go with my instinct? And how do I find someone who can cut it shorter without making me look like a granny who just went in for a perm?

Comments

  • xcptnlxcptnl Posts: 15,678Registered Users
    I am with you on this! I have no idea how to get my hair in a nice flattering short cut but like you, I think even shoulder length hair on me drags me down.

    So - no answer for you but at least you are not alone - this 47 year old needs help too!
    Central Massachusetts

    One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim. ~George Carlin~

    In regards to Vagazzling: They just want to get into the goods without worrying about getting scratched up by fake crystals. ~spring1onu~
  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Posts: 19,251Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I know that chin length hair looks best on me but I prefer to wear it longer so I can put it up easily when riding motorcycles or going to the beach. I don't really care if it makes me look older, younger, whatever. That's just how I prefer to wear it. And I'm a stubborn old lady so I do whatever I want. : )

    Good luck to anyone trying to find someone to do a short haircut that doesn't look like a granny cut. The thought of having someone cut my hair short is petrifying to me. eek!
    --I'm located in Western PA.
    --I found NC in late 2004, CG since February 2005, started going grey in late 2005.
    --My hair is 3B with some 3A, texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
    --My long time favorite products are Suave & VO5 conditioners, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
    --My CG and grey hair progress -- http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/going-gray/179328-jeepys-grey-hair-progress.html
  • lapushkalapushka Posts: 601Registered Users
    I think maybe you should look at your texture as well. With my 2a waves, if I were to go that short then I'd have to blowdry it straight because there would hardly be any texture to it and it would look like bedhead. But if you have real curls, maybe shorter is better, I don't know. I do know that curls cut short increase, and waves cut short decrease. Depends on what you want...
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    I can't wear short hair, it just makes my uber-thick-coarse 3A hair BUSHY. I've tried it many times over the years...it's just a bush when it's short. Long is better, although I do now like to keep some short layers around my face (not bangs, just layers), which I think keeps it from dragging down my older face.
  • starinastarina Posts: 665Registered Users
    I know that chin length hair looks best on me but I prefer to wear it longer so I can put it up easily when riding motorcycles or going to the beach. I don't really care if it makes me look older, younger, whatever. That's just how I prefer to wear it. And I'm a stubborn old lady so I do whatever I want. : )

    Good luck to anyone trying to find someone to do a short haircut that doesn't look like a granny cut. The thought of having someone cut my hair short is petrifying to me. eek!

    I'm with you Jeep! And you're right, it's almost impossible to find a decent short haircut when your hair is curly. That's my main reason for sticking with longer hair, although I did recently get it cut to above-shoulder length.
    I have 3A hair. I've discovered Jessicurl shampoo and Too Shea conditioner and I'm thrilled! Long-time LA Looks sport gel user.
  • VerityVerity Posts: 616Registered Users
    Mine tends to get curlier as it gets shorter, to a point. When it's extremely short, it curls very little. I think that sort of cut would be flattering on me if I had the money to have plastic surgery on my ears. As it is, they stick out, and I need hair to at least cover the tops of my ears.

    I guess what I need is a cut that frames my face a bit. Right now, my bangs are very long, and really do seem do be dragging my face down. I also think I do not need hair below my chin.

    I look back at photos from my 40th birthday, when my hair was short, and think I looked great. I was all set to get my hair cut short again, and my husband and 14-year-old son said they like it longer. Yet I look in the mirror and don't like what I see.

    ::::::::sigh::::::::
  • xcptnlxcptnl Posts: 15,678Registered Users
    Verity wrote: »
    Mine tends to get curlier as it gets shorter, to a point. When it's extremely short, it curls very little. I think that sort of cut would be flattering on me if I had the money to have plastic surgery on my ears. As it is, they stick out, and I need hair to at least cover the tops of my ears.

    I guess what I need is a cut that frames my face a bit. Right now, my bangs are very long, and really do seem do be dragging my face down. I also think I do not need hair below my chin.

    I look back at photos from my 40th birthday, when my hair was short, and think I looked great. I was all set to get my hair cut short again, and my husband and 14-year-old son said they like it longer. Yet I look in the mirror and don't like what I see.

    ::::::::sigh::::::::


    I could have typed that!! But I also have 7 more years on me so I think I am looking at a younger me and thinking I will look that way again if I cut my hair. My SO said I should try short again but I think he is in the same delusional place I am (I cut my hair - I will look 7 years younger).
    Central Massachusetts

    One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim. ~George Carlin~

    In regards to Vagazzling: They just want to get into the goods without worrying about getting scratched up by fake crystals. ~spring1onu~
  • VerityVerity Posts: 616Registered Users
    I hear you about wanting to recapture a younger version of yourself, but I wonder if there isn't something more going on. I really do think some of us look better without a lot of hair. Maybe my mom was right after all--she always told me I looked better with short hair. (She passed away when I was 23, so it wasn't that she thought I needed short hair to look young.)

    Honestly, I like my hair best when it's wet and doesn't overpower my face. I have small features and my eyes tend to disappear when my hair dries and gets bigger. Even my husband, who likes my hair long, says it looks better when it's "tied back," i.e., off my face. I can't find a look with pulled-back hair that's good on me--it either looks too mom-ish/frumpy, or my ears stick out.

    My sister, who also has small features, has always looked best with short hair, even when she was younger. Fortunately for her, her hair is straight and her ears are flat, so it's easier for her to get a good short haircut.

    For me, maybe shorter (not super-short, just shorter than the length I have now, which is just below my chin) really is better, no matter what my husband and son say. The challenge now is to find a stylist who can get me something that isn't grannyish.
  • Blood_RedBlood_Red Posts: 49Registered Users
    I think you should go with whatever you feel like doing. It will always grow back. I think short curly hair looks fantastic, no matter the age stereotype that goes with it sometimes.

    I bet it would look great on you! :)
    UK CG since May 2008! :sunny:
    * Original Source conditioner
    Evidently trying not to be a junkie. :cyclops::angel11:

    :blob7: <- I am ALWAYS like this!
  • VerityVerity Posts: 616Registered Users
    Thank you! :smile:
  • wavy in neenahwavy in neenah Posts: 113Registered Users
    I don't think I'll ever be ready to go the short, helmet-hair, teased and sprayed to *hit route.

    I tried a Princess Di cut in the early 90s. I came across a picture of me from then and I looked OLDER then than I do now. :shudder:

    I intend to be a long-haired wavy for the rest of my days.
    Hair type: Currently 2c/3amii. Modified CG since 05/25/2008. Length is roughly 2" past my collar bone.
    'Poo: Dr. Bronner's lemon 'poo bar once a week.
    Co-Wash: Suave Naturals coconut condish. Freeman SeaKelp Moisturizing Condish.
    Styling: Flax seed gel, Tresemme Bouncy Curls, Hask Spray-It Curly, Tresemme Curl Locking Spray.
    Towel: Fake chamois from the auto dept. Gets out so much water that my hair is starting to spiral instead of water weight pulling them all out into waves.
  • g-stringrannyg-stringranny Posts: 2,701Registered Users
    You could always go with a cut that is shorter in the front & longer in the back. You would still have long hair, but with the front shorter it wouldn't drag down your face. I'm not talking about a mullet. :laughing7: I'm talking about graduated layers.
    AKA lotsawaves
    AKA new2curls
  • wavy in neenahwavy in neenah Posts: 113Registered Users
    hahahaha Before I got to the end, I was thinking to myself "Does she know she's suggesting a mullet?"
    Hair type: Currently 2c/3amii. Modified CG since 05/25/2008. Length is roughly 2" past my collar bone.
    'Poo: Dr. Bronner's lemon 'poo bar once a week.
    Co-Wash: Suave Naturals coconut condish. Freeman SeaKelp Moisturizing Condish.
    Styling: Flax seed gel, Tresemme Bouncy Curls, Hask Spray-It Curly, Tresemme Curl Locking Spray.
    Towel: Fake chamois from the auto dept. Gets out so much water that my hair is starting to spiral instead of water weight pulling them all out into waves.
  • xcptnlxcptnl Posts: 15,678Registered Users
    It's a struggle huh? I know what you mean about pulling your hair up or back. When I pull up my sides and front I think it looks better for my face. I find it's very hard for my type of hair to have good sides. Those are the part that don't curl the best so I am struggling with them and they often end up looking straggy or limp or something. I hope you end up finding a cut that works for you!
    Central Massachusetts

    One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim. ~George Carlin~

    In regards to Vagazzling: They just want to get into the goods without worrying about getting scratched up by fake crystals. ~spring1onu~
  • wavy in neenahwavy in neenah Posts: 113Registered Users
    If you don't mind spending $14.95, you can get a 3-month subscription to www.thehairstyler.com You upload a head shot and then can try on all sorts of hairstyles. It even gives you the styling tips with pictures. Tells you what face shape and hair type work best for that hairstyle, etc.

    They don't automatically renew the subscription either. It's a one time deal unless you decide to renew.
    Hair type: Currently 2c/3amii. Modified CG since 05/25/2008. Length is roughly 2" past my collar bone.
    'Poo: Dr. Bronner's lemon 'poo bar once a week.
    Co-Wash: Suave Naturals coconut condish. Freeman SeaKelp Moisturizing Condish.
    Styling: Flax seed gel, Tresemme Bouncy Curls, Hask Spray-It Curly, Tresemme Curl Locking Spray.
    Towel: Fake chamois from the auto dept. Gets out so much water that my hair is starting to spiral instead of water weight pulling them all out into waves.
  • NottyNotty Posts: 1,456Registered Users
    I've seen some absolutely awesome short curly hairstyles. Some are the bob look and they are absolutely awesome. A friend of mine who has one quite often will pin her bangs down if they go off on a tangent.

    I've toyed with going the bob route as well because I like them so much! I too have very, thick, coarse hair.
    :toothy7:between Botticelli & Corkscrew curly-very thick, coarse hair
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2Fnotty6" class="Popup



    When I get to be 'Queen of the World', I will absolish WIND!!!:queen:
  • FrizzBgoneFrizzBgone Posts: 2,678Registered Users
    My hair is a longer bob ... to my shoulders when wet, but a couple of inches above it when dry. Although I think the length is more flattering on me than when it was BSL, I do miss my longer hair.
    With the summer humidity here, I missing being able to clip it up and have it look decent. When I pull it off my face now, I don't like the look of it.
    I do this dance all the time ... let it grow ... I usually cut it after I get it to BSL. I bob it off and then think .... well maybe I should grow it again.
    I do know that I need some length. If my hair is too short, I lose a lot of curl.
    Type: 3a fine & dense,with normal porosity, terrible product junkie
    ROUTINE: LI, enhancer, gel, plop with Curlease towel, serum product (either CIAB or Gel-les'c), clip & diffuse.
    Too many favourite products to list ... I finally have my routine that works and alot of products to choose from. My product stash is huge, but well loved !!!
  • VerityVerity Posts: 616Registered Users
    I go through the same sort of dilemma. Now, my hair is just below my chin when dry, and I think it's probably THE most unflattering length on me. It makes my face look even longer than it is. It either needs to be longer (shoulder length, at least), or shorter. I can't ever seem to get through this very unflattering phase; I get frustrated and go shorter.

    It doesn't help that now that I'm not coating my hair with cones, I see how horribly my hair has been cut. The curl pattern looks simply awful.

    I really need to seek out a stylist who can work with my curl, but I've been burned SO many times.
  • MarMar Posts: 3,003Registered Users
    I have had very short hair and very long hair(2"-2')
    I recently cut my shoulder length hair and surprisingly,a lot of people have said I look younger!

    I say go for it-there should be no "rules" about age and hair length.
    "what's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?"



    "If you judge people,you have no time to love them"
    -Mother Theresa
  • kathymackkathymack Posts: 9,999Registered Users
    FrizzBgone wrote: »
    My hair is a longer bob ... to my shoulders when wet, but a couple of inches above it when dry. Although I think the length is more flattering on me than when it was BSL, I do miss my longer hair.
    With the summer humidity here, I missing being able to clip it up and have it look decent. When I pull it off my face now, I don't like the look of it.
    I do this dance all the time ... let it grow ... I usually cut it after I get it to BSL. I bob it off and then think .... well maybe I should grow it again.
    I do know that I need some length. If my hair is too short, I lose a lot of curl.

    My hair is similar in cut, but angled. Side swept bangs are growing out and around ear length. To get it off my face, I take one of those "clip" looking things (that don't have a name on the package) and put it on the corner. It maintains the "style," but gets it off my face. I also had the back cut shorter and angled down--keeps the hair off my neck for this hot, humid weather. My hairdresser was afraid I'd loose the curl, but the healthy hair is actually curling a little more.
    3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
    SE PA

    HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Aloe Fix
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • eweniqueewenique Posts: 1,502Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Hair length really depends on your face shape and your preference. My hair is longer now that I'm in my forties than it was when I was in my 30s. My hairdresser during that decade was of the mindset that shorter is better after 30. My current hairdresser doesn't subscribe to that idea. Anyways, I like it better at this longer length - long layers angled from my chin to shoulder blade length in the back. Plus I've learned that my hair type curls better at a longer length.
    2C wavy with some spirals. CG since April 07. Medium texture and porosity.
    COs: Yes to Cucumbers
    Stylers: Miss Jessies Coily Custard, KCCC

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Live Simply. Use Soap
    www.TheLatheredLamb.com
    www.EweniqueEssentials.artfire.com
  • FrizzBgoneFrizzBgone Posts: 2,678Registered Users
    I think a good cut is key to any length. I'm hoping to be able to keep some length again. It would be nice to have the versality that some length offers.

    Type: 3a fine & dense,with normal porosity, terrible product junkie
    ROUTINE: LI, enhancer, gel, plop with Curlease towel, serum product (either CIAB or Gel-les'c), clip & diffuse.
    Too many favourite products to list ... I finally have my routine that works and alot of products to choose from. My product stash is huge, but well loved !!!
  • banjocurlbanjocurl Posts: 1,020Registered Users
    yeah, it's whatever you want. your choice. i am growing my hair until i am ready to go gray, then i will get the short cut, quit coloring and grow it out again, seeing how it comes out. i had the longest hair at my 40th high school reunion. everyone else had shorter hair, some had the "older woman" look and some looked very youthful with the shorter hair. i like putting mine up too when i hike so it suits me well to have long hair.
    Susan suburban NY
    3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
    CG since 11/11/04
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2Fbanjolady%2F" class="Popup
    PW: banjo
    HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fuser%2Flazycurls" class="Popup
  • VerityVerity Posts: 616Registered Users
    I got my hair cut this weekend. The longest part is still at chin length, but it is cut in a way that is making the top part curl like mad. The overall shape is more flattering, but I can't get used to all this curl.

    I want to like my real hair, but I think tight curls just make me me look old. I was out shopping on Sunday and some teenage girls were walking behind me and I think they were laughing at me. Well, maybe they weren't laughing at me, but I felt very self-conscious with really curly hair.

    I know that I am going against nc.com philosophy in not wanting tight curls! I so wish I could find a styling product that would reduce frizz but wouldn't make it curl up so much. I'd really like waves, not curls.
  • 2poodles2poodles Posts: 2,480Registered Users
    Sorry you're not happy w/your hair. Do you have any pics? Maybe someone could give you suggestions....
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]2Poodles :flower: Southeast PA
    fine, med porosity, normal elasticity
    Currently using the following 2 - 3 x/week:
    Living Proof Perfect Hair Day suphate-free Poo, cone-free CO and styling treatment, plus KCCC

  • VerityVerity Posts: 616Registered Users
    I appreciate the offer of help, but I'm a little weird about posting photos on the internet.

    I think I just need to let it grow out. It's not super short, but with the curl, it gives that impression. Until then, I guess I just have to start experimenting with styling products.
  • MrsMoMrsMo Posts: 2Registered Users
    The best thing I ever did was cut my hair 3 years ago, I was scared at first, but with all the new products out now (where were they in the '60's?) and my Chi I am a happy camper. I was tired of ponytails. I'm lucky as my hairdresser and I are best friends and have been since 1st grade. I looked at her one day and said cut it, she said you sure? Yep, then I closed my eyes and let her have at it. She then ordered my Chi for me. I love it now that 1 hour before I need to be somewhere I can wash, dry and style my hair and make it on time. I use Biolage Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner and Biolage smoothing serum. My hair is soft and holds for 2 days using these products, and I have tried them all. It even holds in this midwest humidity. (no Chi touch ups!) I also use a Satin pillow slip for sleeping on.I now feel like the grandmother I am instead of trying to look younger with long hair.

    My suggestion is find a stylist you can trust.
  • VerityVerity Posts: 616Registered Users
    I'm glad you like your hair!

    I think most women on this board would think my hair looks pretty good when I'm having a good day. I think the cut is one of the best I've had in years, and frames my face so much more nicely than my last previous, oh, 12 haircuts, but it definitely curls more than it did before it was cut. No amount of product seems to turn the curl into waves, which is what I would prefer.

    I think I would look cute with shortish curls if I were 20, but at my age (46), I think this length and amount of curl just makes me look older. Even though I'm old enough to be a grandmother, my youngest child is 7, and I'm just not thrilled about the prospect of being mistaken for her grandmother.

    Edited to add that today I used Biosilk Silk Therapy under Garnier Fructis Curl Construct mousse, with no scrunching at all. My hair does best when the top stays straight for as long as possible while it air dries. Voila: loose waves, and I actually like my hair today! Yay! It's not CG, but I've got to do what makes me like my hair. I really do think this is a good haircut, flattering on me with certain products and styling methods.

    I may try scrunching just the bottom (hair around my neck) tomorrow, because the wave pattern seemed a bit undefined in the back. I find I that like my hair either from the back or from the front, but never both on the same day. ;-) The top looks best when it is a bit less curly, but the back looks better with more defined curl.
  • MrsMoMrsMo Posts: 2Registered Users
    I agree, smoother on top and curly around the bottom of the cut. I loved having long hair, but I got tired of the pony tails. Although it was easy when we spent weekends at the lake, felt summery! I think what style you like the best is how you should wear your hair. Now that I am older my hair isn't a pretty curl like it was when I was younger, it is just frizzy now. That's why I told my friend to just cut it. She has curly hair too, and that helps alot.

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