Boomerangst:Turning Dilemmas Into Discoveries – The Best Hairstyles Over 50

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Long or short? Grey or brown? A dilemma for a petite brunette in search of change.


Q. I’m stuck in a ‘should I or shouldn’t I’ mode. It’s not a huge issue, but I’m hoping you can help me make a decision since every time I look in the mirror I think about it. I’m a 60-year-old woman and I’ve had short hair most of my adult life. I still colour it brown. What I can’t decide is whether to give in to my temptation to grow it out and stop colouring it. I have a fairly small face, thick hair and I’m petite. Can I or should I do both at once? Should a woman my age even contemplate shoulder-length hair, which is what I’m thinking? My friends say it will definitely make me look older. Help!

Janine, Toronto

A. Hair is a huge deal. I so get your dilemma. I know a lot of women who obsess about theirs constantly. (I believe men obsess too, but with them it’s usually more about losing it than it is about style and colour.) But think about it. We change our clothes all the time yet we wear our hair each and every day. It’s our most important accessory. According to the American Small Business Development Centre, the U.S. hair services industry (which includes about 86,000 establishments) generates roughly $20 billion in revenue a year. What does that tell you? It tells you we care a lot about our hair.

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So what to do about yours? Apparently, it’s not so much about your age and the grey factor as it is about your size and hair type. Daniel Fiorio, a respected hair stylist and owner of Toronto’s Salon Daniel, has coiffed such stars as Sarah Polley, Cindy Lauper and TV host Marilyn Denis. In his professional opinion, it’s not a good idea to grow your hair longer – because you’re petite and because your hair is really thick – not because you’re a certain age. “It’s going to be much too heavy for the shape of the face. I think it would be a much better idea just to keep it short,” he says.

But there’s a caveat. If you’re going to go grey, do it right. Go super stylish. Wait until you have enough grey roots to accommodate a new style, then simply cut away the brown, suggests Daniel. (And forget about trying to speed up the whole process by bleaching out the colour, he warns, since it will likely just destroy your hair anyway.) “I have a lot of clients with grey hair who have very short, funky haircuts with lots of texture. I think that’s totally cool,” says Daniel. The trick is not to have a boring short haircut and grey hair. That’s the quickest route to dowdyville. “It needs to be suitable, but also done in a fun, fresh, new way – and a little bit more edgy so it’s not too old looking,” he says. “That works really, really well.”

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So there you have it. Go short, go grey and go edgy.


Send Diane a brief description of your dilemma, along with your first name and where you live, to [email protected]

A professional journalist for more than 25 years, Diane Sewell has written for some of the top newspapers and magazines in Canada and is a baby boomer herself. Her new blog “Boomerangst: Turning Dilemmas into Discoveries” is interactive with readers and focuses on life issues – like aging, dating, second marriages, sex, death, family and fashion. Diane will use her expertise to find the right expert to help solve your predicament, unearthing kernels of truth and quickly getting to the heart of the issue.