The subject for this article was suggested to me my one of very best friends, Peg, an energetic and interesting woman of 76. One of her biggest complaints is that at her age, there seems to be a choice of only three "acceptable" hairdos. We've seen them all--the tired-out and done-to-death "poodle cut," the ubiquitous bouffant, and the short-in-the-back-and-sides-and-high-on-top 'do. She feels that even when she tells her hairdresser she wants to try something different, she still ends up with the same-old, same-old.
As she says, "Women my age are going to spend money on their hair, no matter what. We can spend it in a drugstore, trying to get the color we want and do it ourselves, or we can pay someone to do it." So why don't the stylists realize that women in their 70s, 80s, and 90s are a viable market?
As commonly happens in our country, assumptions are made regarding women of a certain age. It's as if someone said, "Ok, after age 65, no more romance, adventure, sense of fun, daring new clothes and hairstyles, or makeup changes." What--is life over at that point? Hardly! For many women, that's when life gets really interesting.
(By the way, there's always hope for romance. A woman I know has a 96 year old mom whose latest marriage took place 4 years ago!)
So What's Appropriate?
A dear friend of mine once told me that by age 60 you get the face you deserve. If that's a scary thought, imagine how you'd feel after paying good money in a salon, and walking out with one of the three "old lady" hairdos I mentioned earlier! Are we to assume that our sense of adventure dies off at a certain age?
I've aimed this article at hair stylists, but it can just as easily apply to any of us. We miss out on a great deal by assuming things about other people based on their appearance or age. Stylists, when an older woman comes into your salon the first time, do you think to ask them if they'd like to try a new style or color? Ladies, when you walk into a salon for the first time, do you have an idea in mind about what kind of hairdo you'd like? Reaching out goes both ways. Point is, you won't know unless you ask.
Are there "age-appropriate" hairstyles? Yes and no. I've seen little girls sporting big old Texas-style updos, and women in their 50s with dreadlocks and tattoos. All the "Before and After" makeovers we see have a similar thread--try something new! You might just love it!
Let's face it, we are nearly into the year 2000. Unlike times past, women are opting for their own styles versus blindly following fashion. This goes for hairstyles, makeup, clothing, accessories, and so on. Sure, there is a "look du jour," but these days women tend to choose what they know looks good on them regardless of what the fashion nazis say. Most of us, no matter what our age, like knowing that we've made the most of our looks, and like to feel good about ourselves. This doesn't change with age!
Conclusion - Attitude Is Everything!
Your own attitude largely determines how you dress, style your hair, apply makeup, and so on. It's exciting to make changes, and even more exciting to see the effect those changes have on those around you.
Stylists and ladies: start talking.