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Reflections on hair: Is there any such thing as age-appropriate hairstyles? Is change really a sign


I stumbled upon an article in my facebook feed the other day: "20 Amazing Haircuts for Women Over 40". My first reaction was "ah let me have a look - I'm over 40 so...". I continued reading: "As you enter these decades, you are usually more self-assured, self confident and aware of who you are". Made perfect sense to me so I was imagining that the suggested hairstyles would reflect that self-confidence. Here are a couple of photos of the suggested "over-40 hairstyles"

De gustibus non est disputandum - Taste is individual and while I don't want to be judging what's boring and what's not, I do wonder why there should be an appropriate age-segment for certain hairstyles? I've seen 70-year old women with gorgeous, long grey hair. My 60-year old neighbour (who loves pole dancing and has an amazing body) has platinum, short hair with blue highlights. And then there are the 25-year olds who would never dream of changing the hairstyle they've always had. Despite the findings of "The reconstruction of ageing thesis" (2014) that old age underwent a shift in the late-20th century and that the so-called “normative” age patterns no longer exist, I believe society is still struggling with certain norms that also extend to our hair.

Me and my hair

My own philosophy when it comes to hair has always been "it grows back again". I've never been afraid of trying something new because the beauty of hair is that you can always change it again if you don't like it. But why are some people like myself impatient to change and why do some tend to keep the same hairstyle for most of their lives? According to Blackhairinformation.com frequently changing your hairstyle can say a lot about your personality.

In March this year, I decided to get an undercut. I was aware that it would be a bit of a drastic step, so it took me some time to make the decision. I also watched youtube videos about the pros and cons of an undercut. My amazing hairdresser Kristoffer (see below) warned me and said it would take a very long time to grow back (which I confirm) but he knew exactly what I wanted and whereas most hairdressers use a buzzer for the job, he worked his magic with the scissors. I walked out of the salon with zero regrets, newfound confidence and a rock-star feeling. The obligatory "look, new look" picture went up on facebook and many friends were shocked about my decision. So much so that a former colleague of my husband's wrote an e-mail to him. It read something like "Oh my God, I just saw Lise's picture. How could she cut those beautiful locks"?

I wonder why she didn't just tell me directly?

The masters. Meet my two Christophs

I don't mind walking in to a new hairdressing salon (mostly because I'm impatient and need to cover those greys NOW) but when it comes to a bigger change and someone who really understands what I want, I know whom to contact. I was lucky enough to meet Christoph Lambenne in Brussels (now a hair- and make-up artist in New York City) and Kristoffer Liu in Beijing - also a make-up artist and drag queen known by the name of Krystal Le Canteur. I am awe of them both because of their talent and passion - and because we have some good chats and giggles too.

A piece of advise: If you've just booked an appointment at your hairdresser and your intention is to just trim the split ends or dye your roots, why not consider a change? I promise that you can change it back again if you don't like it. I am grateful that I have hair. Not everyone is that lucky.


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