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About to take the plunge and chop all my hair off, but need advice.

(59 Posts)
moosemama Mon 02-Apr-18 16:12:19

I am 47 years old and a dark brunette with thick hair that has a bit of a wave to it and a rapidly increasing amount of grey. The overall look is one of an ageing witch! blush

It’s currently below bra strap length and does absolutely nothing for me, in fact I think it’s making me look older, especially as I end up wearing it all scraped back off my face into a ponytail pretty much every single day, to avoid the wild witchy look.

I had it cut to chin length a few years back and that was ok, but a bit mumsy and annoyed me by constantly falling around my face, whilst being too short to tie back.

For context, I have two dcs with different disabilities, a younger dc who has recently started show similar signs to one of the older dcs and is under investigation and a hidden disability myself. I and up at 5.45 every morning and spend all my time running from one school meeting or hospital appointment to another, in between fielding emails from three schools and phone calls from schools and drs and fighting for school or medical support. I have literally no time for myself to faff about drying/styling long thick hair. In addition, my disability prevents me from having my arms up in the air styling my hair for ages, even if I had the time available to do it!

So, I really want it gone. I had short/pixie cuts for years when I was younger and firmer of jaw and it was just so much easier to manage than having to spend hours drying it and plaiting it to get it out of the way so I can sleep without it getting in the way.

I want to chop off my hair to kick-start me into a health overhaul, as I haven’t been taking care of myself and really need to up my game, as if my health crashes I can’t take care of anyone. I’m planning to re-start interval training, which will only take 20 minutes a day, that I will have to try and squeeze in wherever I can and short hair will make the post-workout shower so much quicker, saving me a lot of time.

I love the look of pixie cuts, but am aware that, no longer being anywhere close to the first flush of youth and rather closer to a size 16 than 14 these days, it is unlikely to suit me like it used to. I am also wary of ending up looking too mumsy if I keep too much length. When I had it cut to chin length, we went to our annual weekend off music festival and I felt really out of place and uncomfortable. Equally I don’t want to end up with trying to look edgy and ending up with one of those really unforgiving super short spiky styles.

I’m not brave enough to put up a photo, but if it helps, my face is fairly long, with high cheekbones that aren’t as prominent and they used to be, but still there-ish.

I have looked at hundreds of styles, but am still unsure which way to go. Tempted just to go really short to let the grey come through, then grow it into a better style, but don’t want to feel out of place on our festival trip again this year, as it’s the only break I get from all the stress in my life.

Any thoughts?

moosemama Mon 02-Apr-18 16:13:32

Blimey, that was a mammoth post! Sorry. blush

ShowOfHands Mon 02-Apr-18 16:22:05

I just shaved mine off last August and then experimented as it grew. It did wonders for the condition.

ilovecherries Mon 02-Apr-18 16:29:21

My situation is different from yours, but after a 40 year run in with alopecia, I recently buzzed my head. I'm a wig wearer a lot of the time, but I can't begin to tell you the freedom that the buzz cut gives me - I wish I'd done it a long time ago rather than struggle with the hair I had. I now run/swim/ run to the shops etc bald (well, a number 4 on top, number 2 at the back). I'm not suggesting you need to go to that extent but I've learned very short hair isn't to be feared, even on older women (I'm older than you). Several people have said it makes me look younger, because it looks deliberate now, rather than a hair disaster. And it got rid of all the dye in one fell swoop. So basically I'd say think about what YOU want from your hair, an then embrace it. Whatever you do, own it, confidence will take you a long way. smile

LizzieDarcy1907 Mon 02-Apr-18 16:30:11

I went radically shorter about 4 years ago, and initially I loved it. Everyone said it took years off me, and it was great..... but I had to have it cut every 4 weeks to keep it under control and tbh it was far harder work to get "right" in the mornings. I've now grown it back to shoulder length, and it's up most days in a quick messy bun with a bit of back combing for root volume. Takes a lot less time and is more forgiving.
If you've got a wave, make sure your hairdresser suggests a style that will work with it - otherwise you'll spend hours with straighteners and spend a fortune on product. Something like a choppy bob would work well with lots of highlights through. I'm growing my grey out, i've got lots of fine highlights through the crown to hide it and its given my hair a lot more texture. It's made the process a lot more bearable though randomly the back of my hair is still really dark brown hmm. The greys are all at the front and on top!

thenewaveragebear1983 Mon 02-Apr-18 16:32:20

Mine’s similar to yours. Thick, wavy unruly, greying, a bit frizzy. I had it cut shorter (upturned bob with fringe?) and it was far more work to keep it looking nice, with no option at all to leave it unstyled. It’s taken me a year to grow the fringe out. It’s now as you describe as bra-strap length. I’ve never gone the full pixie cut though.

My only tips to manage it are: cut out sls and silicones in your shampoo/conditioner. I’m currently using a Moroccan clay (£6 for a massive bag on amazon) which has really improved its condition. And regularly home dyeing to keep on top of the grey. Plus find a good product to run through it, damp, so it dries in ‘waves’ and doesn’t need too much heat styling.

I can’t work out from your post if you want it short, or if you just feel you need it short to manage it? I quite like mine long, and it’s unruliness sort of suits my personality too.

serialtester Mon 02-Apr-18 16:36:01

Hi, I've got really long thick hair and due to a recent health thing I nearly got it chopped really short. I'm so glad that I didn't though.

I hope that you make the best decision for you and that you end up (either long or short of hair) looking totally awesome!

EraArils Mon 02-Apr-18 16:41:26

I'm 47 too and I shaved my hair off 7 months ago. It's now a great steel colour with white streaks. I love it. It's in great condition and so easy to look after. I shaved it to get rid of the dye, I had developed a lovely allergy.
I'm not suggesting you shave your hair off but getting it cut short can be flattering at any size. You just need to find the right style for you.

I've had long hair and very short hair, I've found that no matter what size I've been short hair will always suit me the most. It's my belief that short hair is great at highlighting cheekbones. I say go for it.

moosemama Mon 02-Apr-18 17:01:38

Thanks all, I wasn’t expecting so many replies, especially this quickly.

Showofhands that’s kind of what I was thinking. I need to just be brave, do it and then work with the consequences, but I am being a wuss. I have an appointment booked on 19th April (my hairdresser is away till then). So, I have a bit of time to make a final decision, but I think that’s actually making it harder than if I’d just bitten the bullet.

As an older teen I walked into a salon with hair I could sit on and had it all chopped off into pixie cut there and then. I ended up with an audience, as all the other customers stayed behind after their cuts to see the end result - they gave me a round of applause when it was finished! I loved it from the second it was done - but - I was young, thin and the bone structure in my face was far more obvious back then. I doubt it will be such a 100% positive experience this time!

ilovecherries my dh keeps suggesting he’ll just do me a buzz cut, but I’m definitely not that brave. My niece has alopecia and wore wigs for years, then finally went for a buzz cut and she looked stunning, but then she has the most gorgeous eyes, which enhanced the look.

I think it’s the confidence thing that I am battling. I have very much lost myself over the past few years of dealing with my own and my dc’s health issues. Now I just feel old and frumpy, but I do realise that that won’t change with just a haircut, I need to make an effort to find and own myself again. Hence the plan to get back into exercising and lose some weight. The last time I felt good about myself was when I did that and I want to feel that confident about myself again.

LizzieDarcey1907 regular trims aren’t an issue, as my hairdresser comes to the house. My chin length style was a choppy bob and it didn’t do anything for me at all. It looked lovely at the back, with the waves in layers, but just didn’t suit my face. My hairdresser is great and won’t do anything that she doesn’t think will work with my hair. She’s was trained and worked for a high-end salon, but then left and has been cutting my hair for over 20 years now. The only reason my hair is so bad at the moment is because I’ve been putting off appointments for months, because I wasn’t sure what to do with it.

thenewaveragebear1983 I do want it short, but am worried that I will end up as either mutton dressed as lamb or mumsy and need something that won’t tip me either way.

Mine isn’t frizzy, just slightly wavy and the grey is coming through fast now. I don’t use sls or silicone and my hair is in pretty good nick, as i don’t mess with it and air dry rather than using a hairdryer as often as I can, but it’s just sort of there and doing nothing for me. I don’t mind the grey, my sister is two years older than me, went grey in her 20s, but coloured it for years. She let hers go completely grey a few years back and it looks great, so I am willing to let mine come in and see whether it looks as good as hers does. At the moment it’s mostly a couple of defined stripes around my face and under the back, but there are streaks coming through all over fairly evenly. My hairdresser said at my last cut that it was even enough not to need any highlights put through and best to leave it - that was last November though!

serialtester thank you. I think I know what to expect in terms of the shock of all my hair just being suddenly gone. If I could only tell what it would look like on old-me, as opposed to young-me, I think I would be braver.

moosemama Mon 02-Apr-18 17:10:35

EraArils I wish I was as brave as you. My Mum’s reaction was to go for it and her exact words were ‘make the most of those lovely cheekbones while you still have them’. Not quite sure what to make of that, but I suppose it means there’s at least one person who can still see and appreciate my cheekbones, even if she is a bit biased!

Interestingly my hairdresser didn’t baulk at the idea when I text her, she just text back to say she’d book a longer slot, so that’s potentially a good sign. She is like family and absolutely won’t cut it into a style she doesn’t think will work and I do trust her judgement.

The two best styles I have ever had were the pixie when I was younger (graduated to a slightly longer, softer pixie in my 20s) and then a long sleek, shoulder length bob in my 30’s. My hair was poker straight right up until I had dd, aged 38. It went wavy during her pregnancy and that’s how it has stayed. Other styles have come and gone, some of which would be horribly dated now (thinking long choppy/shaggy styles etc) but I have been looking back at photos today and those two were definitely the ones that suited me best.

EraArils Mon 02-Apr-18 17:25:27

How about something like these? My hair is wavy too and I've been looking at long pixie/short bob styles.

My hair is similar to the middle one. Super easy to look after and no styling involved.

ihatethecold Mon 02-Apr-18 17:38:09

Love those styles.
I wish I suited short hair.
There is one of the ladies on the real housewives of Melbourne TV show that has fantastic short hair. I’ll see if I can find it.

ihatethecold Mon 02-Apr-18 17:40:40

moosemama Mon 02-Apr-18 17:54:54

EraArils I do like that middle one. Looks like I could get away with a quick scruch and air drying?

I have added it to my pinterest board. Thank you.

moosemama Mon 02-Apr-18 17:56:11

ihatethecold I think the style in your links is a bit severe for me. I need something a little less ‘done’, iyswim.

EraArils Mon 02-Apr-18 18:34:41

I just finger comb when wet and then leave it to do its thing. It's easy and very low maintenance. I don't even use product. Plus, it takes ages to look overgrown and unkempt.

drspouse Mon 02-Apr-18 18:38:11

I'm 51 and not going grey (or nothing that highlights can't hide) and have a pixie cut. I got it looks OK!
I wash at night, use some wax, then wet and use hairpins if any is sticking up in the morning.

Myrnafoy Mon 02-Apr-18 18:40:02

Similar situation moose and similar age too !
Loads of grey and virtually monthly home dyeing a variation on brown.
Always had it long as an adult I think because as a child my hair resolutely would not grow ! Mum used to tell me that the more frequently I had it cut the quicker it would grow hmm
I usually go to a fairly high end salon for colours but last year made the fatal mistake of trying to save money. I ended up at a local salon
for caramelly highlights which initially were great but ultimately destroyed my hair. The ends have literally been snapping off as they are so brittle despite using good quality masks and conditioners. One side is now shorter than the other so I am now seriously considering a pixie. Also the blonde bits are concealing the grey a bit more .Just very worried that i'll end up looking like Deidre Barlow !

moosemama Mon 02-Apr-18 18:58:37

drspouse, that sounds doable. I can handle a quick tweak in the morning, but no prolonged arms over the head or extended coiffing!

Myrnafoy, it’s such a leap of faith isn’t it? I think I am starting to come around to thinking ‘what the hell’ now though. After all, it’s only hair, it will grow back - even if slowly and it can’t look worse than it does now.

HolyShmoly Mon 02-Apr-18 19:35:56

How about something like this?

I went in to get a decent bit of length off mine on Saturday and my hairdresser made a point of telling me that that bobs are higher maintenance as he gets a lot of pregnant women and new mums asking for it!

At the end of the day, it's only hair, it'll grow back if you don't like it.

Dozer Mon 02-Apr-18 19:40:34

I don’t think a short cut will flatter you given your size. Chin length can be low / no maintenance and worn down or tied back.

Clarabumps Mon 02-Apr-18 20:14:11

Fuck sake Dozer!! Given her size?? How rude!!

I think you should bite the bullet and just do it op.

UpperWallop Mon 02-Apr-18 20:24:31

A short cut always looks great on the young and beautiful but then, everything does. None of those short haircuts will have the same impact on a woman of 47 who isn't breathtakingly beautiful. I'm not casting aspersions on you op, I'm sure you're lovely but I'm pretty sure you'd have mentioned it if you were Chrisy Turlingtons double. I'm a 46 yo woman, so I'm in the same boat. Have it cut short by all means, for convenience but it will age you 10 years in an instant.

UpperWallop Mon 02-Apr-18 20:25:52

How about a straightening treatment of some kind, to force it into submission, so that you get sleek manageable hair?

Dozer Mon 02-Apr-18 20:43:30

I am that size myself. IMO it’s usually only thin people who look good with v short hair. And it takes ages and looks a mess growing out.

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