Long hair over 50? Yes You Can.
Grey eminence ... Emmylou Harris, 65, keeps her hair long and natural. Photo: Getty Images
The fashion for grandmothers to wear their hair in a bun, covered with a headscarf and with small, grey curls is a thing of the past. Today's silver surfers have moved on and want to look as good as the younger generation.
"Grannies with perms really are old-fashioned. Hairstyles like that are hardly ever seen on active senior citizens," says Barbara Psoch from the Hair Association and Hairdressing Museum in Magdeburg, Germany. "Straight, somewhat longer hair makes you look younger."
"The perm was the style of choice for many elderly women for 30 years," says Franz-Josef Kueveler, an art director at Germany's Central Association of Hairdressing and Master Hairdressers. But today only about three or four per cent ask for perms.
If there's one thing Oprah, 58 years old, knows for sure it's that a longer hairstyle works for her.
The permanent curl hairstyle has blown some life back into the fashion. "But with a permanent curl, hair looks a lot lighter, softer and more natural than a normal perm." Permanent curls have little in common with the small, static curls of a conventional perm.
Erika Wahlbrink, a master hairdresser at the Friseur-Innung Steinfurt training school in Germany says modern styles are perfectly suitable for seniors. "A good hairstyle is one that makes the wearer feel happy. Everyone can pick a really trendy or classic hairstyle. Age doesn't play a role."
However, she does think that the older the person, the less avant-garde the hairstyle should be. Soft hair lines that compliment the shape of your face have a positive affect. The hair should be long and not short as many elderly women tend to have. "Only when you are physically not able to care for your hair should you choose short and easy to blow-dry hair," says Wahlbrink.
There are a few tricks that seniors can use. "White roots at the hairline can sometimes look unaesthetic with dark hair. Using highlights in your hair can reduce that effect," says Barbara Psoch.
Grey hairs do not have to blemish your beauty and don't necessarily have to be dyed, says Wahlbrink. "Dying your hair at an old age is not bad for your health. But if you are proud of your grey hairs you should wear them with dignity."