Hair length, much like hair color, clothing styles and body art, are all very subjective. In the ever-changing social acceptability, pretty much anything goes now, from blue hair to full sleeve tattoos. Some older generations have some social mores that they cling to, like women over forty shouldn’t have long hair, however, women today are embracing all hair lengths, at every age. Just like clothing and other aesthetic choices, one size—or style—certainly does not fit all.
While several studies have suggested that men prefer women with longer hair, other studies have shown that women feel more powerful with shorter hair. Hairstyles and the way we care for our hair say much about how we carry ourselves and our self-esteem. While long hair is attractive and desirable, if not well cared for, it can project a lazy image. Long hair is also time-consuming. Instead of spending hours in a salon on coloring and conditioning a longer hairstyle, ladies are cutting their hair in droves. Many women are rejecting the notion that only long hair can be sexy and are styling their hair in a style that makes them feel sexy. And what about men? Do women prefer men that have hair?
Long hairstyles have their fans, too. A long mane of shiny, luxurious hair is enough to make anyone envious, and it does maintain a certain sex appeal. Long hair is eye-catching and can be styled in various different ways, from ponytails and braids to elaborate up-dos and in flowing waves. Men seem to believe that long hair equates to femininity, mainly because men generally have shorter hair. While some women love to have long hair to toss about, to experiment with, and flaunt, others have long hair for the opposite reason; to hide behind. It is much easier to hide your face behind a massive mane when feeling self-conscious than it is with a short haircut where there’s nowhere to hide! Long hair can be a security blanket, which is why many women will never part with their extended locks.
As much as longer hairstyles are loved, a number of women are shedding their tresses. There’s a powerful connection between hair and a women’s identity. Cutting off all your locks can be a liberating experience, especially after a break-up or when starting a new job. It’s a way of reinventing ourselves without having to truly change who we are.
It’s the out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new mentality that never gets old, no matter how old we get! And while long hair gets all the credit for sexiness, a bold short cut can be equally as sexy, framing a woman’s features and exposing the nape of her neck and shoulders.
For older women, a longer hairstyle can drag the face down, and a short, perkier cut can seem like an instant facelift. No longer do women have to kowtow to the look society believes she should be sporting; she gets to make that decision herself, based on her own personal preference. And if she wants it shocking pink, she can do that, too. Women love cutting their hair short because it takes them out of their comfort zone. Women also love that fact that short hair generally takes less time to style, freeing up some precious time during the day. While long hair provides more options, women love shorter hair because it lets them be creative and express their individuality.
The great thing about short hair—it grows back. Did you take a short cut a little too extreme? It’s okay; your hair will grow back. It may take some time, but you may find you like an “in-between” long and short look best, and you may never have found it had you not cut your hair. The other bonus to short hair is you can wear wigs or extensions to change your hair if you like. While wearing a wig with long hair is not impossible, it is more challenging. Short hair can be easier on many levels, but a short hair cut on a woman can also pose some misconceptions. When who cut off all their hair get their femininity called into question, and many people make the assumption that just because a woman has a short, cropped style that you can guess her sexual preference. Other women who once had long hair and cut it short were perceived to be “bitchier”—all because they lopped off their hair!
Then there are those lucky ladies who can rock long hair or a short cut and still be amazingly beautiful and style icons. Halle Berry, Scarlett Johansson, and Jennifer Lawrence have all experimented with various cuts, and all with great success. Audrey Hepburn was a timeless beauty who once had long hair, but her femininity, grace, and beauty are immortalized by her short cropped haircut. Now picture Gisele Bundchen, Kim Kardashian, and Jennifer Lopez, all beauties with long, flowing hair. Now imagine each of them with a pixie cut. Not the same effect? Some women know what works for them, and there is a profound beauty in that, as well. As long as a woman is confident in who she is and what she likes, she can wear any style she pleases.
However, it comes as no surprise that women are fickle creatures. You may know a woman with straight hair who yearns for fabulous curls while the lady with the curls uses a straight iron every day to give herself stick straight hair. The same is true for long and short hair. A woman with long hair always wonders what it would be like if she “cut it all off” while many females with short hair ponder life with long locks. Then there are those who are on one side or the other—they either love long hair or short hair, and each will have their valid arguments. Basically, a hairstyle should be one that fits into your lifestyle and makes you feel good about yourself, regardless of the length, color or consistency. Hair should make you feel confident and should be your natural accessory. Finding your unique style, whether it is long or short, should be a compliment to your individuality.
For older women who have experienced hair loss, they can always consider hair restoration for women as a solution to regain those flowing locks of their youth.