Yes, It's Okay To Have Long Hair When You Let Your Tresses Go Gray

There is an outdated notion — that may very well be rooted in patriarchy — which asserts that once a woman reaches middle age or older, she should chop off her hair. Hair has long been considered a symbol of attractiveness and allure. In the past, when women aged and they weren't thought to be viewed as sexy anymore, though untrue, cutting their hair was seen as an easy way to shut down their magnetism. That's yet another faulty notion, since short hairstyles can also be utterly captivating.


Now, with women dyeing their hair at all ages and some even keeping their roots perfectly touched up all their life, combined with the use of botox, hyaluronic acid, retinol, and wonderful new products for both the face and the hair, people are looking younger than ever. Though, at the same time, many women are intentionally choosing to go gray. Some just naturally love the look while others are sick of the time and expense required for coloring their hair. Even those that haven't naturally gone gray and still have blond or brown hair are starting to purposely dye their hair silver. Consequently, many women with long, luxurious hair are now sporting gray tresses.

Keep your hair long, gray, and lustrous

Unfortunately, gray hair is still often seen as related only to aging, not surprisingly more in women than men. For men, it's often a status symbol or a debonair feature, as the double standard remains. Some people think that if you go gray, you simply can't have long hair anymore because you are letting your age show — and that couldn't be any further from the truth.


However, gray hair is a bit more difficult to manage, so having long gray hair requires a bit more upkeep. "The absence of pigment in gray hair can cause hair to turn yellow due to product build-up, metals and minerals in our water, heat styling, sun exposure, and other external factors," says hairstylist Nina Rubel (via Vogue). Consequently, gray hair can get brassy, but a regular haircare routine can keep it in top condition. Use a purple shampoo to curb the brass, and look for formulas geared toward silver and platinum hair.

Moisturize gray hair regularly

Gray hair does tend to be dry. It may become brittle and break off if not properly cared for, so it's vital to keep long gray hair moisturized. "Hair texture can, indeed, change once you have gone gray," dermatologist Dr. Francesca Fusco tells InStyle. "Of course, other things will influence it as well. For example, chemical treatments, overuse of heating tools like blow-dryers and flat irons, dyes, and bleaches — and a very oily scalp which can be seen in dandruff."


Gray presents certain challenges, which Fusco explains, "White or gray hair can sometimes, but not always, be coarse, wiry, dry hair, and be difficult to manage." The easiest way to keep gray hair well-nourished and healthy is to use shampoos and conditioners specially formulated with ingredients that keep moisture in, such as oils like macadamia and argan, as well as vitamins C and E. You can also apply a nourishing hair mask about once a week to keep long gray hair looking shiny and smooth.