Hair And There - une femme d'un certain âge

Hair And There

Le monsieur was looking over my shoulder as I was pinning this image and asked (for probably the 43,834th time since we’ve been together), “are you going to let your hair grow long like that?”

My answer was the same as it’s always been, “my hair doesn’t grow long.” Which is the truth, actually. I have really baby-fine, thin hair that disappears under its own weight once the length gets below my chin. I did grow it past my shoulders–once–when I was fifteen. It hit its maximum length, then started to fray. I cut it back to chin length when I was sixteen.

But I have to confess: for the first time that I can remember in my adult life, I’m happy with my hair right now. With both the color and cut. I’m not obsessing over what my next hairstyle will be. My hair is thinner than in my youth, but much less oily too. Still, it can look lank if I go more than a couple of days without washing, so in between shampoos I still use this “banana milk” from Leonor Greyl every other day or so to lift the hair a bit. It’s very gentle, and doesn’t dry out my hair or mess with the color. You only need a tiny bit, just massage on the scalp (not the ends). The bottle lasts for several months.

Has your hair volume or texture changed over the years? Have you had to adjust your hairstyle or products?

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  1. PamelaG
    April 1, 2014 / 5:32 am

    My hair texture has changed quite a bit over the years. I recently discovered Davines hair products through a new salon. They have improved my 62-year-old color treated hair so much. I thought I’d mention that they also make a wonderful “dry shampoo” product which doesn’t leave any residue, but helps volumize hair. These are Italian products but are sold at some salons in the US.

  2. Kris
    April 1, 2014 / 5:41 am

    My hair is thick and coarse now from the grey. And instead of casual waves, I have wild, unruly tresses when I leave it unstraightened. I wanted to find a style that I could wash and leave, but that won’t be happening. I have told my stylist that when I turn 70 (several years in the future yet) I will be going grey. She is horrified, but I told her that there is no such thing as a naturally blonde septuagenarian. I did promise to look for a style with a little edge and sass to make both of us happy.

  3. sybes1
    April 1, 2014 / 5:51 am

    Your hair is beautiful–you have done well with baby fine hair which I understand is very difficult. I have the opposite problem. And I turned silver at about 50. *sigh* Fortunately I have a wonderful hair stylist who manages to make my hair look wonderfully edgy by taking advantage of all the cowlicks and the coarse texture.
    Anyway, men seem to love long hair but very few women past 50 years old look fabulous with long hair. I wore my hair long from the 60’s to the 80’s and it was a mess!!


  4. April 1, 2014 / 6:02 am

    You describe my hair perfectly!! We have the same issues. I love your color and it’s inspired me to play with mine a bit. I haven’t heard of that banana product but will go have a look. I find dry shampoo also thickens my hair up a bit…even if it’s already clean. Enjoy your day.

  5. bettina
    April 1, 2014 / 6:16 am

    My hair thinned out quite a bit in my early 30s. Luckily, it was very thick to start with, and curly, so I still have some volume left even after losing about half of it.

    I used to have waist-length hair, but when it started to thin, it got stringy, so I gradually cut it shorter until it reached chin-length. Over the past several years, I’ve gone back & forth, letting it get to just below shoulder length before cutting it back again to a short bob.

    Well, about a year ago, I was looking at recent photos and I noticed that I seemed to look much better in the pictures of me with longer hair. So I decided to grow it out and keep it long. My hair is now longer than it has been in years, and still looking healthy, not stringy. And I feel more like “me” with this hair.

    So I guess I’m one of those 50+ women who actually looks better with long hair!

  6. plutrell
    April 1, 2014 / 6:52 am

    Your hair looks great…you should be happy with it…it really fits and flatters your style. I am pleased to say that my hair really hasn’t changed much…it is still thick and natural curly…so I still color it and straighten it…but right now that’s a blessing.

  7. April 1, 2014 / 6:52 am

    Oh! My hair used to be shiny and dark and curly. I just decided that this week I will not have a blowout in Paris. I have dry white/blonde crinkly hair. By the way, I made my Paris version of your wrap and it was délicieux,

  8. April 1, 2014 / 6:53 am

    I have always had really thick, wavy-to-curly hair. I’ve colored it for *years.* In the last few years, I decided to quick fighting my curls and went with the “Curly Girl” haircare techniques. However, the cut I got in February doesn’t encourage my curls. Now I’m blowing it dry and the putting in some smooth bounciness with a hot air curling brush. Still, I only wash my scalp with natural shea butter shampoo and use quite a bit of conditioner. And I only do that about twice a week. Curly hair is a pain. It you try to wash and go, you’re in for a headful of messy frizz!

  9. adriennerichlife
    April 1, 2014 / 7:12 am

    I have very thick hair but the individual strands are not coarse. Over the years, my hair has gotten slightly thinner but that’s okay because it lightens things up a bit. I have always had long hair expect for once in high school I did the chin bob thing but quickly grew it out – not a good look on me.
    I do ombre to my hair now and find that that really dries out my ends. I am scheduled to have a deep conditioning at my hair dressers in a week or so. Hoping that helps!
    I love short hair on you..I have a very hard time even imagining you with long tresses!

  10. April 1, 2014 / 7:12 am

    I’ve always had very fine hair, I can’t wear it up or back as I look bald at the temples, so hopefully it won’t get any thinner.

  11. April 1, 2014 / 7:51 am

    I think your hair suits you well and looks fabulous! My hair is very curly. It changed character when I had my daughter and again with menopause, but it is still very curly. When I was young, my mother kept it very short (to avoid breaking combs, I suspect). She still asks when I am going to cut my hair short again, but for the past many years I have let the curls grow and alternate between shoulder and chin length. I never learned to straighten it and haven’t owned a hair dryer in 30 years. The products that work best are smoothing shampoo and conditioner, along with Paul Mitchell’s The Cream. I hope they never discontinue it, because I try new ones frequently and nothing else keeps the curl without the frizz. My hair is very fine, though there is plenty of it, and any serums (think Frizz-Ease or the like with the silicones) make it lie flat, limp, and then frizz. (Oh, the irony!) The other trick to fine curly hair is never to brush or comb it once it is dry. Even touching it too much can cause frizz. Some day I am going to stop coloring it. The gray is strikingly shiny and silvery, but my own Monsieur prefers it to remain dark and for now I continue to keep it a medium to dark brown. I have recently discovered John Freeda’s brunette gloss, and I have started using just that each shampoo. It colors just enough and is more natural looking than the permanent color, smells wonderful, and doesn’t damage my hair. Sorry for such a long post, but hair is a big topic in my family! My daughter has even curlier hair than I and plays with it constantly with different colors, straighteners, you name it.

  12. April 1, 2014 / 7:53 am

    Your hair looks wonderful – I love the cut and color. Hair usually does thin out as we age (mine definitely has!) so it’s great to love our hair as it is. And add a little blonde if we feel like it. xo

  13. April 1, 2014 / 8:25 am

    I have lots of hair, so it is thick in quantity, but otherwise very fine. I had it long for a while, but it was a lot of work because it would become so fine and flat, that it was always pulled back. Now it seems even more fine, and If I can’t style it properly and add something between washes (I use the same Lenore Greyl product) it becomes limp. Short is good.

  14. April 1, 2014 / 8:42 am

    I am lucky to be blessed with fairly thick hair although I have noticed it is getting a tad thiner. I am definitely sticking with my cut. I find layers make all the difference.
    I definitely like your hair as it is both colour and cut.

  15. April 1, 2014 / 9:33 am

    Your hair looks great short. I think short is much more chic than long….but I’m biased..since I have short hair too. I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about my obsession and life long battle with my curly hair. I was inspired by a post by Materfamilias who also has curls.
    Thank goodness for all the new products out there…and for straightening irons!

  16. April 1, 2014 / 10:58 am

    What is it about men and long hair? Fortunately, my husband doesn’t seem to care what I do with mine.

    I agree that your color and cut suit you beautifully – you look good as a blonde. I’m happy with my gray hair, but it has thinned in the last few years. I wouldn’t mind having some of the body back. And my scalp looks so pink now!

  17. Susan
    April 1, 2014 / 11:45 am

    I have very fine hair, but lots of it. And I alternate between a long bob and hair which touches my shoulders. My hair is turning white and the white hair is not coarse like you expect gray hair to be.

  18. pink azalea
    April 1, 2014 / 12:29 pm

    My hair has been silver/white since I was in my early 40’s. It has gotten slightly thinner but the texture hasn’t changed. About a year ago I decided to grow out my chin length bob and now it is collar bone length, as long as I would like to go. About six months ago, I had a keratin treatment so it is now perfectly straight and requires little upkeep, except a re-do on the keratin about every 3 months. So funny – I didn’t like my hair much when I was young, but now I do. BTW, love your hair. If I looked as good in short hair I would do it.

  19. Tiffany
    April 1, 2014 / 1:23 pm

    I have horrible horrible hair – coarse but thin (as in not masses of it), kinky rather than curly, and I’ve been going grey since I was 19. I have grown it to shoulder length a couple of times (most recently last year) and coloured it everything from blonde to red to dark brown but have chopped it all off again and am growing out my grey now, a la Jamie Lee Curtis. Fortunately Spouse likes me best with short hair. Funnily enough, I have had literally dozens of compliments about my grey pixie cut. And the other great thing is I can now wear white shirts! I will always envy women with beautiful thick hair, but at least I now like how mine sits with the rest of me 🙂

  20. Pain au Chocolat
    April 1, 2014 / 2:25 pm

    Put me in the thin and fine column, as well. My solution is a super short pixie, bleached to platinum. The bleach roughs it up a bit and makes it appear thicker – don’t even need to use any product. Love you as a blonde, Pseu.

  21. Jill Ann
    April 1, 2014 / 4:30 pm

    This is a very fraught topic for me. I’ve never had “great” hair; most of my life it was very thick but curly/frizzy, although I could make it look good if the weather cooperated. I used to highlight my mousy brown (blond as a child) until there got to be quite a bit of grey, & then I went to allover color. Now, in my mid-fifties, my hair has thinned significantly. So far, only my hairdresser & I seem to notice. But it is really thinner, plus still frizzy. Delightful. Probably quite a lot of grey in there by now, but I’m still coloring. Struggling with a style, since I have sparse spots at my temples; currently doing a mid-length layered bob. Old age sucks. Can’t wait to see what my seventies are like, hair-wise. Sorry, feeling negative about the whole thing. Good I started out with lots of hair, I guess.

  22. Ellen
    April 1, 2014 / 4:43 pm

    For a long time, I had really good hair, and I took it for granted, Fime, straight, but quite a lot of it, and easy to style with a good haircut. At the age of 60, folowing the first of several surgeries, it got thinner, and never recovered. Now my hair is fine and thin and silver gray. Its now short and getting shorter because when I see photos, I know th ta I fool no one. Fortunately, short hair became stylish just when it was a necessitiy. I live in dread of short sensible hair, and yet I understand now why people turn to it.

    At the same time that my hair became thinner, I developed skin sensitivities to many hair products, especially hair spray and spray gels. I have tried a number of “aging hair” products and many of them make me feel as though my head is on fire. I stick now to the products that work well enough and don’t cause an allergic response to my scalp or face (facial eczema). My hair is pretty easy now, and I usually feel okay about it, but the days when strangers complimented my hair are part of my distant past. (And yes, I have visited a dermatologist)

  23. tickie van lan
    April 1, 2014 / 6:06 pm

    I have the same hair–very fine–collapses and frays if not keep short. Of course my hair idols were Jean Shrimpton, Bardot, Barbarella Fonda, etc. I now wear it in style similar to yours, and never past a mid-neck bob. After using multiple high end (Kerastase) and drugstore (Frieda) brands that worked quite well, I was very surprised to find that the WEN brand is very effective on my hair. It is a combination shampoo and conditioner and if used according to instructions, gives lift and body and does not weigh fine hair down.

  24. Noreen
    April 1, 2014 / 7:01 pm

    My hair is fab – silver, smooth and shiny. Thick and sleek, too. Aging gracefully is working for me!

  25. April 1, 2014 / 10:10 pm

    I love the way your hair is now. My hair is grey, white, and brown, so I turn it as white as I can all over. It has always been thin but when I bleach the heck out of it, it feels much fuller. I use a conditioning oil after I wash it – which is weird because it kind of defeats the purpose of washing, right?

  26. April 1, 2014 / 10:37 pm

    As others have said I like your hair, both the color and cut. My husband always has the opposite reaction as most men. He always wants my hair shorter!

    blue hue wonderland

  27. Nancy Lee
    April 2, 2014 / 2:10 am

    My husband wished the same for me, and my hair was just like yours! When I started going to a hair dresser (which happened to be hubby’s hair dresser, LOL) she said that I could create volume both visually and physically by getting highlights. As my hair was “virgin” at the time, I said go ahead as long as it’s so subtle that you can’t really tell it’s been done. I never looked back! That was about 25 years ago.

    However, now that I am on a Rx which is an immuno suppressant, my hair has changed quite a bit for the better. Strange… on high doses, for cancer, people lose their hair. I am on a low dose, long term, for an autoimmune disease. My hair is now thicker and wavey, where it once was stick-straight. I love this side effect! So does he, as I now wear my hair longer than I have in years, and it looks pretty good, even though I’m nearly 60.

  28. Rita
    April 2, 2014 / 5:23 am

    Pseu, your hairstyle and color look beautiful. Like you, I have baby-fine hair, and it started to thin out about ten years ago. I started using minoxidil, that works very well. For the first year you have to apply it twice a day, now I only apply it in the morning. You must commit to using for four months before you can judge whether or not its working for you. I also use DermMatch to give my hairline better definition. It comes in pressed powder form along with a sponge applicator that you wet first. You can use several colors to get the best match. It’s a great product, and when I see a well-groomed woman with scalp showing, I feel like telling her about it (but I restrain myself). My hair, blond when I was young, has turned into a dark mouse color with VERY little gray, so I do color it to light reddish blond. The red is difficult to keep, I’ll try the banana milk you mentioned. BUT, the best thing that has happened to me is that my hair has developed a slight curl over the past couple years! I have no idea why, but it has changed my hair enough so that while I can’t wash & wear, I use a curling iron and my hair KEEPS the style! This has been a miracle for me. It is so nice to have this happen now, when it seems so many other things (face, figure) are showing their age!

  29. April 2, 2014 / 5:31 am

    Late 50s, my hair is still very thick, though obviously less than when I was younger. However, I do have a part that has widened – that must be hair loss from traction long ago, exacerbated by the nasty effects of the menopause. My hair now is at least as long as the young woman’s in your photo illustration, and I have more of it than she does. I haven’t have it cut for several months over our endless winter, and have to have it done soon.

    Although the hairdresser I’ve been going to makes my hair (with a definite kink, but not as curly since it has gone mostly grey) look good, he cut locks that got in my eyes and which were very annoying when I was working or cycling. So I guess I’ll have to have a talk with him as spring finally arrives.

    Pseu, your cut and colour suit you very well. More than the shorter pixie you had at one point. I find pixies very difficult to wear, except for women with very fine features, and “gamine” figures.

    I disagree that long or longish hair is necessarily unattractive on women middle-aged or older. It depends on face shape, skin condition, hair condition and overall style and lifestyle. It doesn’t work only for artist types: I think Hillary Clinton looks much more relaxed with somewhat longer hair, just for example. Ségolène Royal, back in cabinet in France, also keeps her hair longish.

    Artists have more latitude, of course, such as the Québécoise writer Marie Laberge:

  30. April 2, 2014 / 9:59 am

    I’ve always wanted longer hair, but it just looks better shorter. I have a natural wave that I straighten. I am looking forward to going white and wavy (my roots are white not gray) but my husband, kids, and hairdresser all like my blond hair. One of these days I will go for it anyways!

  31. April 3, 2014 / 5:11 pm

    You should be happy with your hair/haircut–it’s great! I’m envious. My hair turned to straw after 50. It’s bounced back a little, but only a little. I still have many, many more bad hair days than good ones. Sigh.

  32. LGL
    April 6, 2014 / 10:55 am

    I’m 55 and have been blessed with thick, thick wavy to curly hair–although I didn’t think it was a blessing in the 1970’s when straight hair ruled the day. I began coloring gray in my 30’s. I cut it short in 1996 as my oldest son was turning 1 and I was turning 38. I finally grew it to shoulder, just below shoulder length 3 years ago, and I love it! It is so versatile–pony-tails, half up – half down. I’ve also had it straightened with Aveda’s process and was happy with the results. I didn’t expect to like my hair in my mid-50’s!

  33. Melissa
    October 15, 2015 / 8:16 am

    I always had thick straight hair. I hated the straight as a teenager did the whole perm thing blow it out and then put hot rollers to get that perfect curl. How many hours wasted to fit a certain style and fit in with all the girls in school (still never fit in to the cool crowd)
    As I left high school I started doing my style trying things I liked. I eventually found that a bob is best on me (think the vidal sasson commercial of the 80s, yep was that silky and gorgeous, I didn’t even have to blow it out, it was perfect)
    Anyway I always looked young and by the age of 38 I had long thick hair. When I started noticing a bit of grey right at the top front center I decided to use a bit of color that started a night mare process. With very thick long hair it was difficult to do on my own and to go to a salon was getting very expensive.
    Last year I was having to cover with permanent hair color,coloring it myself every two weeks at the top. My hair was past my shoulders and my Aunt came for a visit with this beautiful silver hair and I thought why the heck am I doing this? I wasn’t scared of the grey and what it would eventually look like, but I hated the thought of growing out permanent color, which looks horrible with dark hair. I went to a horrible hair dresser that suggested highlights, at this point I had blond highlights white and brown hair, what a mess. I tried keeping the top short and still keeping my length. She wacked my hair getting very impatient one day. (picture David Bowie on his album with the shag short on top, but my back length was past my shoulders)
    Found a new hair dresser the next day, she tried blending with layers but just couldn’t fix it. I showed a picture of Meg Ryan from the film French Kiss and said whack it off! It really is the only way to grow out permanent hair color with a medium of decorum on dark hair.
    I died, the length was finally long and beautiful, I hate short hair on myself, I just don’t feel feminine and my face is long, it just doesn’t suit.
    Anyway, a year of strange hair color regular trims eventually a bob style and now trying to get it past my shoulders again. I have an awesome silver strip right in the front that waves all the length. During this process most ladies where telling me I would look old, one at work completely insulted me to the point of aggression. My husband was even saying I would look old.

    I have had to change my wardrobe completely to go with the color, but it has been so much fun! I never could wear white, now it looks fantastic on me and all the colors I loved but could never wear before look great, red, fuchsia is wonderful.

    This summer I went way out of my comfort zone was trying on a high neck halter white silk dress (think Grecian). I was very undecided and insecure looking in the mirror. I suddenly heard this voice behind me say “you look ravishing.” I looked next to me both sides and realized I was alone I turned around no one else standing there but this man, I can only describe a better looking gorgeous Antonio Banderas. I thought to myself is this guy talking to me?? It must have showed on my face because he said, “no really is perfect.” (yes he had the accent to go with it). I walked up to the sales girl when she came back in the room and said, “I’ll take it.”
    This man wasn’t picking me up, he didn’t work there, no motive. He just said what he thought. I realized there and then to go with what I got and emphasize it. Since then I always push colors to show that silver stripe and am going with what looks best on me and makeup to emphasize my natural beauty.
    Go with what you got ladies, less is more, I guess what I am saying is show your natural beauty and do things that emphasize that. I try to take care of myself, use clothes that compliment me and not push myself into a certain mold.
    I feel much better about myself, I may look a little older with the silver now, but hey I would rather be a sexy silver than a woman looking older than her years because she is fighting her age. Besides I will take the advice that I look good from the gorgeous European man rather than the bitter female colleague.

    I went all around that town for the rest of the day with a huge smile and I went back to that store before it closed and bought the same dress in navy blue:)

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