Why is hair so controversial? Like many a beauty question, this heads straight off into the land of sexuality and health.*
A woman’s hair is soft to the touch, holds her scent, and is considered sensual in nearly every culture. Traditionally in the West, a married woman wouldn’t wear her hair unbound in public. Covering women’s hair is a religious act in the three monotheistic religions. Putting things plainly, loose hair on an adult woman is considered sexual. (Girls have generally been allowed to wear their hair unbound).
Hair is made of keratin, and like your fingernails, it shows your health. Lustrous long hair means you’re not just healthy now, you’ve been healthy (and well-fed) for years. Age results in gradually thinning and dulling hair in most women, and we are all familiar with the terrifying effects of chemotherapy.
Long hair, unless carefully dressed, can drag down a face already affected by gravity. This, as well as an unconscious nod to tradition, is why one generally finds middle-aged and older women with short hair. Short hair, is, of course, easier to up keep. (In theory – a sharp haircut takes quite a bit of upkeep in my opinion).
Those are the facts on the ground. What you do with those facts is up to you. With modern beauty technology, you can keep the shine in your hair just as you can keep its color. Is your face a bit looser than you wore it a decade ago? You don’t need to cut your hair off (which is going to horrify your husband – see above), you can just put it up.
If you wish to de-emphasize your femininity, you can cut your hair short. If you want to have a punk edge to your look, you can shave it off. The statement you make with your hair is incredibly important to your overall personal statement, and it should be chosen with care.
Yes. It’s all about sex. But really – how often isn’t it?
*Physical Beauty = mating potential (aka health) + social class, first principles