What's So Wrong With Older Women Having Long Hair?

Dominique Browning, age 55, tackles the question

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 23, 2010 6:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Dominique Browning's mother hates her hair. Another friend told her it chips away at her professional credibility. What's so wrong with it? It's long. And not "being a couple of weeks late to the hairdresser long." Long. And it's turning gray, to boot, because Browning is 55. "No one seems to have any problems when a woman of a certain age cuts her hair off. It is considered the appropriate thing to do, as if being shorn is a way of releasing oneself from the locks of the past. So why do people judge middle-aged long hair so harshly?" she writes for the New York Times.

Browning runs down the most common complaints people seem to have: That she's acting out (Hillary Clinton's hair is that of a grown-up; Browning's screams rebellion); that she's trapped in the '70s (there are still no better role models than Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell, she argues); that it's so high maintenance (which means ... she can't forget her hairbrush when she travels?); and men like long hair (how is this a complaint?). Such points addressed, the fact remains, "I feel great about my hair." Click here to read the humorous piece in its entirety.

"Emmylou Harris is still a goddess in my book, with that nimbus of silver hair floating past her shoulders," writes Browning.   (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)
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