Contributions by other people

Frances Butler, France

Age and Hair

After the age of 10, I cut my own hair for 45 years, devising styles that I could manage myself. I felt that I was free from most of the demands made upon women to meet fashion's standards. When my hair-cut no longer flattered my wattles and jowls, I was reluctant to cut my hair short, having noted that all women over 50 seemed to do so. My compromise, a style requiring both short and long hair, required a barber's skill every three months. As a widow, without children, retired from a life spent in Institutional culture, living in the mountains of central France, this hair-cutting schedule is my sole social constraint. I am finally a prisoner of the myths of hair.