Long ago, somewhere in the past, (I think it was the 90's) it was decided that women over 40 don't look that great with long ponytails running down their backs. So people like Sharon Stone were heading to the salon to have their dos shortened up. And, as with Sharon Stone, she came out looking gorgeous, and so followed younger actors like Winona Rider and Reese Witherspoon.
But how hard is it to chop off your locks when hair extensions are so readily available these days? One day it's short, next day longer, until you say, "Gee, has it been that long since she got her hair cut?"
As we all know, long hair takes a long time to grow out. Statistics say that our hair, if healthy, grows ½ inch per month, so about 6 inches a year. That can seem like a long time when you make the commitment to shorten your hair after 30. But more and more women are needing more time to get kids to school and themselves to work, so it is either cut the hair or wear it up everyday, and that just isn't an option as most with long hair will tell you, it's not that easy to wear a ponytail with everything!
Also, It is such a stereotype that older women with short hair are stuck up, intimidating/intelligent (that I agree with), and reserved. It is said that older women with short hair are very serious about life and able to take what comes their way. Maybe that is why older women are so confident when they make the commitment to cut their hair.
Cutting one's hair after a certain age can also be symbolic. The most recent voluntary sheering I am aware of is to help cancer patients who lose their hair after chemo. Most middle aged women can stand to part with their hair as they realize that it is only hair and that it will grow back, but younger women are more prone to depression if they even think about cutting their long hair, as their hair is still an important part of who they are, how they look, even down to how healthy they are, so it is much harder for a younger woman to part with her hair. It takes a very courageous young woman to donate her beautiful long locks to a person ravaged by cancer. But when you can see how those beautiful wigs transform these patients it is well worth the loss.
I would have to say that more and more women over 30 are cutting their hair to stay stylish. The more hectic our world becomes the less time we have to primp or style our hair. So hand over the pomade and heat up the blow dryer, I have ten minutes to get to work ...!