Friday, August 15, 2008

Why I Wear My Hair Long

(Yes, both photos are of my hair, it's just that the lighting in my bathroom is apparently vastly different from the lighting in my hallway! Also, it is extraordinarily difficult to take a photo of one's own hair!)

I wear my hair long.
It is not for religious reasons (although the New Testament does suggest that a woman's hair is her glory and her covering). It is not particularly because my husband wants me to--although he does like it. No, I wear my hair long for me.
There is something elegant about long hair. Obviously it should be healthy hair, not ragged and damaged and unkempt, neither does it have to be knee-length, thick, curly, or any other specific style. I like my own hair at least to my waist, but to each her own. I can see the beauty in most lengths of hair, with the exception of those short cropped cuts--especially the ones where I have to stop and ask "so is that a woman or a man..."Why do I feel so strongly about this? Well, I was raised in a household where "girls have long hair" and that was the end of that. I had long hair, we trimmed the split ends but otherwise did nothing special. I learned to make braids and buns but knew very little of how to best care for my tresses.
I have always felt that long-haired women seemed to age more gracefully. Do you remember the scene in "Anne of Green Gables" where Anne is crying in the night (I believe it's after Matthew's death), and Mirilla comes up the stairs in her nightgown to comfort her...Mirilla has a long grey braid down her back, and I always thought wow, she has such grace, even in her nightgown. There was a woman at our church when I was a teenager who wore her grey hair in a long braid looped around her head--it gave her an air of childlike wonder and perfectly matched the twinkle in her eye. There was another woman at church who had snow white hair and wore it in a tiny tidy bun on the back of her head. There was yet another lady whose hair was mostly grey with a wide streak of white on one side, and she wore it in a simple braid down her back. One week she appeared with very short curly hair, and with that haircut, her face seemed to age 15 years. If ever I were to consider cutting my hair short, I need only to remember her, and my desire to preserve my youth will surely keep me away from the scissors!


It is not just a matter of aging well. There is something in long hair that captures the epitome of femininity and womanhood. I have relatively thin hair, but my length allows me to create the illusion that it's not (as in the photo above). Long hair is also infinitely more versatile than short hair--I can do anything from a plain braid to a practical bun to an elaborate updo. The shortest I can ever remember having my hair was just below my shoulders, and I can tell you that waist-length is much easier to care for than shoulder-length. I wash it less often, need no styling aids, and can style it just as fast (if not faster). I wash my hair about once a week, so even with the length I'm guessing I use less shampoo than most short-haired ladies. I usually only spend 5-10 minutes styling in in the morning, so there again I think I have the upper hand. My hair was not always in good condition, but in recent years I have learned how to really care for it, and, as the top photo shows, my hair is as shiny as the shampoo commercials--and I'd venture to say it's a whole lot healthier.
Feeling as I do about long hair, I thought I'd share some of my favorite resources here--information about how to get (or keep) healthy hair, styling tutorials for those who think that long hair is just too complicated, and some tips for getting long hair if it's something you are interested in too.
With my hair long I feel pretty.
I feel graceful and delicate.
I feel elegant and sophisticated.
I feel strength and wisdom.
I feel like the goddess I know I can be.

2 comments:

alisaterry said...

I can't have very long hair or it just gets thin and limp. In fact, if I want it to have body and swing, I should cut another two inches off of it as it is...

Mrs. Thoughtskoto said...

Just like you I always want to wear my hair long. When I was in grade school my aunt and mom will always ask me to cut my hair short, because I'm soo thin. On my 1st grade they gave me a bob cut and I really don't like it. It takes me more than an hour in front of the mirror everyday, they complain about it and never asked me to cut my hair that short again.

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