According to a study, a woman will have 104 different hairstyles during her lifetime. This sounds a lot but in reality it isn’t much of a surprise – just like clothes, we might change our hair to follow trends, adapt to our lifestyle, reflect a new attitude, or to mark a new chapter of our life – post-breakup haircut anyone?
But another big reason for changing your hair can be age. In the same study, 12% said they changed styles because they were getting too old to carry off their look. And, indeed, a lot of women go for the chop as they age because of the so-called rule that older women shouldn’t have long hair.
Of course, as with all rules like this, they are drenched in ageist undertones. Why should a woman feel obliged to cut her hair just because of her age? Just the other week, Dame Helen Mirren discussed how 'radical' it is for her to have longer hair at her age. “You’re not supposed to have longer hair after a certain age,” she said. “But during Covid, I started growing my hair and I hadn’t actually had long hair since I was in my 20s. And it sort of grew and grew and grew, and I couldn’t be bothered to cut it, basically.”
Age should never be the deciding factor behind a haircut. You might want a new look, and hair texture does change with age, so you might find a previous style doesn't work for you anymore. You may decide it’s time for a new look, and a short style might just offer that. But equally it might not! The only factors to consider should be your face shape, lifestyle, hair texture and, most importantly, what will make you feel great.
As with any decision, what's key is it is the right decision FOR YOU - and you’re not just doing it because society says it’s the right thing to do. Because if your hair isn’t right for you, your confidence will drop.
So if you are considering going for a new hair style, here are some good questions to ask yourself first:
- What are the real reasons you want to change your hair?
- What image are you wanting to portray?
- Will the new hair style suit your lifestyle? For example, shorter hair generally requires more styling and investing in products, and a lot of women with shorter hair tend to wear more makeup to create a more feminine look.
- How will the cut fit in with your wardrobe? Be prepared to find that certain pieces just won’t work anymore as they clash with your hair.
- Will you want to change the colour, too? Highlights or low lights could really add dimension and depth to your new look.
After considering these points, if you’ve decided going in for a new cut is right for you, make sure to look around for inspiration before heading to the hairdresser. Look on Pinterest for ideas, or at celebrities with a similar facial shape and hair texture to yours.
Once you’ve narrowed down your favourite styles to two or three, take them with you to the hairdresser and have a chat about them with your stylist. It’s much better than taking along one picture and saying you want that exact cut because your stylist may be able to advise better.
And by offering a few options, they will get a better idea of what you like and can choose a style that really works. Even better, if you take along a couple of pictures of styles you really dislike, it can help them steer clear of them.