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July 22, 2011

Long and Silky

 by Barbara O'Neal

4422832082_89fbd7959b_z The other day, I saw a woman at the grocery store pulling her long hair over her shoulder.  The day
was breezy, and she was capturing the mass of it to keep it from blowing wildly.   It was very long, past her waist, and she smoothed it with a palm, lovingly, as one might stroke the back of a cat or a child. 

As will happen periodically, the sight of such long hair made me wonder if it is time to grow mine out again. It wasn’t so much the look of it, but the way her hands moved over it in that sensual, comfortable, pleased way.   There is nothing like the feel of all that hair, moving over shoulders, arms, back, breasts.   

My mother and I warred over my hair from youngest childhood. I always wanted it long, long, longest.  She, who had to take care of it (and has never had hair much past her ears), wanted it short.  She tortured my locks into tight braids and 5615821627_76c2c86d00_z twisted it into rag curls for Sunday school—releasing into golden tumbles that drew the commentary of friends and relatives alike.  I’m sure that’s where my attachment came from—all that attention pouring down on my four-year-old self. 

When I hit third grade, my mother talked me into a cut.  I thought it was going to be a little trim, but she cut it OFF, to my ears.  I felt like a boy. I felt ugly and strange and gnomelike.  I started growing it out that second.  She didn’t come near it for nearly four years. 

Then at the end of seventh grade, when I was suffering from a bad case of the invisibles from being twelve, and my best friend was one of the most stunning girls in our class (who long black wavy hair) my mother suggested I might enjoy feeling more modern.  I fell for it.  The beautician showed me a drawing of a long necked woman with tendrils curling around her neck and I was seduced.  Again. 

It was the most awful haircut of all time.  It showed off the color, the most boring shade of dishwater blond that can grow on a head, and cowlicks spouted every which way, and I vowed, with God as my witness, that I would never cut my hair again.

This was also, I might add, the era of The Brady Bunch and Long and Silky shampoo. We watched the Tumblrldof5jsusc1qb8p5x_large
Bradys religiously and my sisters and I all swooned for Jan and Marcia’s hair.  We wanted to have the longest hair of all, the swingiest, silkiest, swishiest hair known to womankind.  The clincher was a short story, published in Redbook, called Rowena’s Hair.  The woman in the story had living hair. It talked to her. Protected her.  Counseled her. 

I knew just how that felt.  When my hair was long, it was almost like an ally.  An extra blanket, a shield to hide behind.  I loved brushing it out, and feeling it swing around my body, across my back. I let it grow and grow and grow.  Nothing made me cut it again for more than a decade.

But time makes you consider other things.  Babies, for example, got tangled in it, so I cut it off when they were small. Grew it out again when I felt the invisibles of young motherhood coming on.  Kept it that way until my career meant I had to go out and speak and travel and look like a grownup.  I do not hate my shorter hair right now.  The cut suits me.  It’s easy enough. 

111203558_e21cdbd1c0_z Watching that woman in the parking lot on a breezy day, however, I heard the siren call of my hair again.  Perhaps it is the invisibles of middle age making me wish for that long, shiny flag of hair again.  Perhaps it’s only that I so rarely see hair so long anymore.   Whatever the source, I suspect I will be growing it out again in the near future, suffering through the bad six months of getting it all to one length. 

Or perhaps I will not.  Perhaps I don’t have the vision or the patience or the ear for listening to that rustling voice of promise in my tresses anymore.  


How do you feel about long hair? Did you have it? Do you now?  



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In the first photo, the girl on the right, that could have been me in high school!

I had mom haircuts until I was 11 or so, pixie cuts. I started growing it out and it was past my waist by Grade 12. I loved it. Until it got boring and in the 33 years since high school I have had everything from long straight hair, medium length permed (almost) big hair, every colour of red imaginable and even shaved my head for charity in 2005. Now it is just past my shoulders and since it has a tendency to fall out, I just get a trim every 6 months and hope it stays in my head!

I miss the healthiness of my young long beautiful hair! Aging and thyroid disease have taken a lot of its lustre. C'est la vie, as one of my friends says, as long as we are on the right side of the grass, hair is not a big deal. (He just lost all his hair to chemo)

I have long hair that my wife forbids me to get cut. not that I would, mind you. It is self limiting as to length, sine if it gets longer than about 4 inches past my shoulders, it heads for Split Ends City. when I was very young (up to age 5) it was red. Then it turned dishwater blond for many years, then got some red back, then began getting grey hairs at an alarming rate. I think the grey has passed the halfway mark by now.

My wife had very short hair when we met, but has let it grow with only minor trims for the last 15 years. I love long hair on women.

Oh, long hair, that is the hairstyle for me. I always liked long hair, and now since I can decide what kind of hairstyle I want, long hair it is. In junior high, the girls MUST have short hair, meaning one centimeter above the collar, straight hair with no perms (if you have naturally curly hair, prepared to be constantly harassed and questioned). And of course, no dyed hair. I think this is one of the many reasons why I choose to have long hair now, DO NOT tell me what to do with my hair.
I really like having long hair, long silky wavy/straight hair. The only thing is that hair can be heavy, and I am always pleasantly surprised how light my head feels when I cut my hair. For an hour, then I start missing my long hair again.
Barbara, it must be a common practice for mothers to trick their daughters into cutting hairstyles that they do not like. Yep, my mother did that too. I had long hair that I could almost sit on it, she said go for a trim, and... It was cut to shoulder length. Then she got mad at me when I was upset that I no longer had long hair. Mothers. You would think I would be smart enough to avoid falling for the same ploy again. Nope. This time it was cutting AND perming my hair. Not my favorite look at all. Long and silky hair. Nice.

Sigh. I have always envied girls with long straight hair. Mine never grew much longer than past my shoulders, because of the curl explosions.

Think of the curly-headed girls desperate for Marcia Brady's smooth hair. In the old days, it was leaning over ironing boards (a la Barbra Streisand in The Way We Were) or sleeping with giant orange juice cans as rollers. Now, there are chemical straightening treatments that work (a Brazilian is one, not to be confused with the other kind of Brazilian treatment) but they are temporary, expensive, and involve dumping truckloads of steaming toxins in the vicinity of your brain.

Be kind to the curly girls. It's no fun.

There is ONE photograph in existence of me with Prince Valiant hair: styled, dark brown, complete with yellow-tinted sunglasses (don't judge, it was 1975).

That was a lifetime ago. These days, I get discounts at the barber's because, as he once said, "Not a lot to work with, huh?"

I have short hair for the first time in a long time. It feels like giving up.

But hell., I am 43. Maybe it is TIME to give up on SOME fronts. Or at least GROW up.

I had hair to my elbows when I was in my Joan Baez phase. (Yes, I was a folkie! Played my guitar in a group. The boys in the group called it a "band," but we girls called it a "group." Big distinction.) I remember ironing my hair to keep it straight. But today, in all this heat, I wouldn't have long hair for anything! Waaaaaay too hot!

But all the advice about how not to look old says we should wear our hair to our shoulders. Not that I pay any attention to those books, articles, news segments and---oh, nevermind.

My mother and I still have the generational hair dispute, if you can believe it, and I know you can. All of her friends have the "beauty shop" do and believe that's the proper cut for an older woman. I'm pretty sure "older" starts at about the age of, oh, six for them, lol.

But I'm part of the "Hair" generation and I love to be able to tie it back and forget about it, even if it makes me look bald in photos. I just don't care. What I really want is to let it keep growing, tie it back, slip on a t-shirt and long cotton skirt, and go barefoot. Hippie rules.

I've fought the hair wars with myself and the world for years. I've got wavy, curly hair and of course, the satin-straight hair has always been what I passionately wanted. (And while you're at it, make it blond, please.) I've had long hair, and I've had short hair. I permed it once, WHAT a disaster. Now my hair is graying to silver, it's wavy/curly, and there's a lot of it. I like it, and I'm growing it out. It's at my shoulders and I don't know where I'm going to stop.
Naturally, I'm still fighting with myself - I've always thought long gray hair looked like hell and every morning when I run a brush through it I ask myself, does it look like I've entirely given up? Should I cut it/color it so I look more like the other ladies my age?
Do we EVER let up on ourselves? Should we?

My hair is very thick and very curly, so I've always kept it relatively short out of necessity. When I was a kid, I desperately envied girls with straight hair (I still remember a girl named Noriko in my kindergarten class who had the loveliest long, heavy, glass-smooth mane. I would have sold my soul to the devil to look like her.)

Some years ago, I discovered my all-time favorite invention, the hair iron. I finally have the straight hair I always longed for, but I still keep it shoulder-length. I discovered that when it gets any longer, I find it a burden. It's like having my head and neck weighed down. I frankly don't know how those really long-haired girls can bear it. (Particularly during a heat wave!)

Since I grew up in the era of one-inch bangs (what were our parents thinking?), I coveted long hair for years. Luckily, the let-it-all-hang-out era coincided with my college days, and I kept my hair long for quite a while--until I had to start job-hunting. One of the plusses was that I could pull it up and get it out of the way when I wanted, which isn't possible with mid-length hair.

Why is it that the first comment out of a visiting mother's mouth is something like, "why don't you do something with your hair"?

I miss my hair. It grows quickly, and after a series of pixie cuts when I was small (including a buzz cut one summer so my dad could show my brother that it didn't hurt - thanks, Dad), I grew it out to mid-back. The summer before high school I got contacts and cut my hair off, above my ears. It looked good and was easy to style (and I was able to avoid 80's mall hair because it was so short). In college I had no money and let it go for almost a year. A boy I had a crush on complimented my hair and that was it - I didn't cut it substantially for almost 20 years. Everywhere I went, strangers commented on my hair. I had waist length strawberry blond hair when I visited southern California for a few months, and boy, did I get a lot of attention! People touched it (often without asking, which was kind of creepy), asked to braid it, told me not to cut it. Eventually it was to my knees and still in pretty good shape since I kept it trimmed. I received a heart-stopping compliment when I was on vacation. Yes, I liked the attention, but it wasn't a flattering look so eventually I cut it to mid-back, then to my shoulders, and then just below my ears. I'm letting it grow a bit and it's back to my shoulders. I miss the feeling of it on my bare back. I miss, in this hot weather, the ability to just twist it up and stick a pencil through it. I miss braiding it and running my fingers through it. I'll never let it get that long again, though, because I do NOT miss finding long strands of hair woven through every article of clothing that comes out of the dryer, especially socks. I do not miss fishing hair out of the back of my pants. I do not miss cleaning the equivalent of small animals out of the bathtub drains. And most of all I do not miss the seven-year-shed, when it takes 30 minutes to wash my hair because it's so tangled from all of the shedding hair.

I recently cut my long hair. It was somewhere around the middle of my back. It's not curly or straight, really wavy, I would call it. I was using a flat iron everyday. I thought I was spending too much time every morning to wash, dry and then iron it. So, I had it cut. A lot! Just passed my ears. I LOVE it. It doesn't take any less time to do though.

When I was a kid growing up, I always had long hair. My dad never let us cut it. When I was just starting my senior year in high school, I went with a friend to get her hair cut. She talked me into getting mine cut too. Ok, it was the mid 80's, so I got a cut that looked a man with a long tail. I liked it, but missed my long hair immediatly. My dad was soooo mad. Called me Charlie for the whole year. Wouldn't pay for my senior pictures either.

I think most men say they like long hair on women. My husband was one of them. He says he loves the new cut too.

I hate hair. I hate people who are obsessed with their hair. They're always playing with it. They look in every mirror they pass. They talk about it constantly. They need a hair cut. They got a bad cut. Their stylist moved away. On and on and on.
And I was just thinking last night how most of the celeb's long real or fake hair ruins their outfit. We're not showing the gazzion dollar dress on the red carpet to have it covered with hair now are we? Especially if it's that scraggily wispy cover half your face hair.
Long hair is a pain.
Love it because it is rebellious. Love it because it says I can spend the time preening it. Love it because you are in the 1% of women who have it.
Ever notice those women also have nails? Real nails they keep polished.
Don't get me wrong. I love the Hawaiian comb sliding down a woman's back on a sleek carpet of hair.
But really and truly it should be your own decision.
It's your hair, right?

No offence Rocco!

I had long straight hair from kindergarten to the middle of high school. I loved it--parted down the middle, tucked behind my ears. Then in 1976, Dorothy Hamill won a gold medal and everyone wanted the wedge cut (or whatever it was called). Yeah, not so great when you have stick-straight hair. To make it worse, a month after I got the hair cut we had to move to Atlanta, the home of big hair and wings. I started growing it out immediately, but for a variety of reasons (none good), I never got back to that length . . . and I spent a few years in the land of perms. Good god.

Now, it's not quite shoulder length . . . but I can pull it back with a clip when it's too damn hot (or I'm just lazy). Most of the time I like it, but I still dream of long hair at times.

Oh, my hair changed a few years ago. Just--Boom. Overnight. I looked in the mirror one morning and thought--huh? Whose hair is this?

It was suddenly straighter, and smoother. The texture was completely changed. I mean, I liked it, but I was so freaked out, I went to the doctor.

SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH MY HAIR, I wailed. It changed overnight.

That's impossible, the doctor said.

That's helpful, I thought. Though I didn't say it out loud. Anyway, it happened.

Let's just not talk about the day 30 years ago some well-meaning hairdresser decided to give then curly-haired me a Farrah Fawcett. It took YEARS to grow out. I still wince at the memory.

What a lovely nostalgic post, Barbara. It brought me back. The horrible fights over hair, only it was with my dad, who hated long hair and viciously chopped mine off. But I had it almost waist length (it stopped at one inch above my waist) in high school and for years after. Long hair is a type of armor, a poem, a flirtation all its own. Now I have it just beneath my shoulders, but I do love long hair.

What a lovely nostalgic post, Barbara. It brought me back. The horrible fights over hair, only it was with my dad, who hated long hair and viciously chopped mine off. But I had it almost waist length (it stopped at one inch above my waist) in high school and for years after. Long hair is a type of armor, a poem, a flirtation all its own. Now I have it just beneath my shoulders, but I do love long hair.

Hair wars. I had them with my mother, and then tried not to have them with my three daughters, I was so scarred. The worst was my youngest, who refused to let a comb or brush touch her scalp until she was almost five. But she learned to do it herself.

My hair, I've finally recognized, is the good kind. After having it tortured to change somehow by first my mother, and then by me, I've finally found what works. And even better, I have a wonderful stylist who understands it (she should, after 18 years), and who understands my need for unfussy.

When I was a kid, Mother would force my naturally wavy hair into spoolies every night (anyone else remember those? Rubber spools in the shape of a "Y". The top part pulled down over the hair wrapped around the center core, holding it down. They were actually pretty comfortable to sleep on.) I think she wanted me to look like Shirley Temple, but that never happened. Little Shirley never wore those ridiculous butterfly wing pearly blue glasses, and she somehow got through childhood without having any gaps where the baby teeth were missing. Those silly curls messed up every school photo.

When I was in high school I grew it out, and it was pretty enough, I guess, although never as spectacularly shiny and healthy as one girl's in our class. I finally asked her how she did it: Beef fat, rubbed into her hair. Which I tried (and I now know the stuff was rancid), then went to school with what I THOUGHT was wet hair. Nope, unwashed rancid beef fat. Ugh.

Like Barbara, I cut my nearly waist-length hair one afternoon when my oldest daughter was an infant, after untangling her one time too many. My husband, who loved my long hair (he said), came home and I called down for him not to come upstairs yet. He said "You cut your hair, didn't you?" I still don't know how he knew.

Over the years I've tried to wear it long, but the last time it was below my shoulders someone took a picture that horrified me. Egads, I looked old. That was that. Chin-length or a little longer for me from now on. I've also decided never to color it, since I'm too lazy to keep up with that issue. As it is I only get my hair cut about four times a year.

My sister-in-law always used to say "The key to staying young is to pick a hair color early and stick with it".

Nancy and Nancy, you both have such pretty hair.

I so relate to this. Today I am in San Francisco and my hair looks much better than it does in L.A. in fact, today my (short) hair looks perfect. Tomorrow it will probably return to looking matronly and dowdy and I will conclude that the answers to life include growing out my hair.

Gosh, it's only 9 am my time and I'm going to have to catch up! Ha, Nancy P, I'm with you! Hippie hair 4ever! And Nancy 2, I can easily see you as a folkie, hair shining down your back.

A lot of us had the same mother, sounds like. I adore my mother, don't get me wrong, but we never have seen eye to eye on style.

Ellen, what a lovely way to put it: "Long hair is a type of armor, a poem, a flirtation all its own." Sorry about the vicious cutting. That's brutal.

Doc, I love that your hair is long, and so is your wife's. Sweet of you both. I like long hair on men, too, if it's well-kept. That's the big thing for me, well-kept.

I think growing up might be a tetch overrated, Joss. And there is a woman in my Nia class who is well into her sixties, tall and slim and beautiful, whose wavy white hair brushes her behind. She's *stunning*.

SANDI! To your knees!!! It must have been incredible. You reminded me of something that's great when it's hot: to tie the hair in a knot. Done.

I'm another one who has thick curly hair which means one hair style and nothing more. God forbid, my hairdresser ever retires. It's so hard to find someone to cut curly hair right. If I grow it long, it looks like I put my finger in a light socket. Oh, how I used to wish for long straight hair. Now nah, I'm happy with what I have.

My hair at its longest was just past my shoulders, and so baby-fine that when I cut it, I could hold it all closed in one hand. Sigh! Long, lush locks are not for me, and now it is to fragile that it won't tolerate perms or heat, so I leave it alone (and thereby save time for other pursuits, like reading!)
I'd love to see photos of Doc and William with long locks. When male students would "rebel" with long hair, I'd just smile and tell them they reminded me of my college friends . . .

Oh, hair (wince).

I was also of the "Hair" generation and had hair down to the middle of my back until about age 30 (part of it was being suckered by the "men like long hair" pressure), when I finally got sick of it and had it professionally cut to about chin length (and eventually to the current undistinguished pixie-ish wedge-ish thing that I can air-dry)

My hair, in its natural state (long abandoned), is neither straight nor curly, nor exactly wavy -- it tends to have unfortunate ANGLES (no silken tresses for me, alas), and there's a LOT of it. I always wanted hair like Peggy Lipton's.

I started out life as a baldy, then was a platinum blonde toddler, then a hair-colored hair child/adolescent. In college I started dying it red, being bored by hair-colored hair, and when I stopped for a while, because it was a tedious process (and I still had long hair), when it grew out in its own natural state I was accused of getting a bad dye job.

I tried a permanent only once in adulthood, and I was using it as a character-definer for the role of Amanda in THE GLASS MENAGERIE for a community theater production. I wound up looking like one of Dr. Frankenstein's less photogenic experiments (but it did suit the character wonderfully), and it lasted so long that my hairdresser called it the "permanent permanent" and begged me never to do it again.

While I may miss the idea of long hair, I certainly don't miss having that kind of pelt on a day like today, when the weather reporter is cheerfully discussing a heat index over 100.

And for the curious, "Cyranetta" was the first computer nickname I came up with as an homage to Cyrano de Bergerac for whom I developed a passion in adolescence.

I have often the wisdom of the Toni Home Permanent.
Perfectly shiny, brown hair is suddenly sectioned, rolled and assaulted with formaldehyde smelling goop only to eventually reveal springy ringlets.
As a child I could live with the wet ringlets but when it dried into a halo of fuzz I had my doubts.
After an episode of my mother and aunt experimenting on me I emerged from the kitchen with my hair parted down the center with barrettes on either side of my head.
My father winced but only laughed later when I contracted the mumps and looked like a chipmunk with fuzzy earmuffs on my head.

Toddlers and Tiaras had not come onto the scene yet so I can only think that my mom was waiting for her chance to parade me around the neighborhood with the evidence of her hairstyling prowess. God bless my mom.

I had my long hair shaved off a few years ago after surgery. I missed it and grew it back. Long hair can be a pain in the neck to take care of, but I still like it for me -- and understand why other women cut theirs off.
Also like men with long hair.

Great post, Barbara!

Sheila, my sisters and I had those one-inch bangs too. Awful!

My hair is red, shoulder length and very fine. Though I'm in my mid-50s, I only have a few strands of white hair. I've permed and cut my hair but never dyed it.

It's been in a pixie cut, an ugly stylist-suggested mess, Farrah-Fawcetted and curled in rollers. But whenever it caught in a rolled up window or prevented my head moving when I leaned back on it, I knew it was time for a cut.

I like my hair the length it is now - shoulder-length with bangs. Hair-dryers and curlers damage my hair, so I just wash and air dry, then use my hands to scrunch up the ends and fluff it out.

My bangs are another story all together. They are petulant and do not obey, even when I try to tame them with a little curling iron. They're slackers and don't care. Sigh!

I had a similar experience. My mother always kept it short and as soon as I was in charge of how long it was going to be, long it was! I still have long hair and I am thinking that maybe I'm getting a little too old to have it this long! I decided, however, if Meryl Streep can have her hair long (a la Mama Mia), that I can too. At least for a few more years....

As far as I know,the first time I had my hair cut, other than a little trim, was the summer before third grade. I always had long hair, which my mother braided. I hated those braids! People were constantly pulling them at school, at church, in the neighborhood... I didn't mind wearing it loose, but my mother apparently didn't like it that way. As I got older, I grew it longer and longer, and wore it quite long in high school, until having it cut to about my shoulders in senior year. I eventually grew it to about the middle of my back. It was always very thick, and poker, poker, poker straight. I had perms on and off over the years, but never really liked that "look". When I turned 30, I was intimidated into having it cut short and permed into the short, curly look by people who said that "women over 30 should NOT have long hair!" Well, I'm 62, my hair has been back to the straight and longer look for about thirteen years now(to a little below the chin) and I like it - it's staying this way!

Confession time. I love long hair. As a perpetually horny high schooler, my days were filled with dreams of the field hockey team. about half of witch had hair to their belts. It was the 80's, and everyone had hair.

Today I still see one of those long haired beauties. Her husband must be one of us, since her hair is still most of the way down her back.


Deb, show this to the person who told you "women over 30 should NOT have long hair!" I would never tell a ladies age, but we did go to high school together and I am fast approaching 50.

The girls want long hair and it is fine with me. I tell them if they want hair like Suzi's, they need to eat their vegetables.

My Fb friends can find the folder called hair pictures. That would be me in the 80's.

Elaine, your hair looks great long. It's nice and thick, and a good color, you lucky girl!

When my daughter was in high school in the 80's, she and her girlfriends would spend hours on what I called "hair fantasies". We still have the hairspray that cannot be removed to prove it!

Glad to know I wasn't the only one with one inch bangs!
Once I was allowed to grow my hair out my mom would occasionally french braid it, we called it face lift braiding because she did it so tight it lifted our eyebrows!

Karen if you need to remove hairspray build up in your lovely locks, have a bath with 2 cups of baking soda and soak your head . . . it cleans out all hair product gunk. Be careful getting in & out of the tub, baking soda + water = slippery.

I've worn my hair long all my life--EXCEPT when I lived in France during my junior year abroad. I wanted to feel chic, I wanted to feel totally unlike myself. I had it cut very shot, and it was the most horrendous experience! I looked and felt like a boy. Looking back, I can see that I didn't style it--perhaps with a blow dryer I could've made it look nicer. But the bottom line is I love how long hair feels on my skin. I'm 50 and occasionally have that spiky thought that skitters across me that maybe it looks silly to have long hair at this age. But it passes quickly because ultimately I care less about how I look than how it feels when my hair moves over my shoulders and back. I imagine I'll have this same hair when I'm 90--and I won't be rolling it up in a tidy bun!

After a childhood of wavy, style-it-any-way-you-want-it hair, puberty caused it to be in a perpetual frizz which embarrassed the hell out of me until wearing a 'natural' and then an Afro was cool.
Then menopause struck and it unkinked. Now I wear it VERY short and don't worry about it.

Storyteller Mary: You can see an ok pic of my long hair on my Facebook profile pic. Just look up Doc Cross. I really need to get a better picture taken.

BTW, my moustach is now a real Fu Mancu style, going about 3 inches below my jawline/chin.

Barbara, I had the same battles with my mom about my hair. She'd been a jock and a tomboy and I was so, so NOT. I finally boycotted the hair salon and won; I can't even imagine now what I must have threatened.

Have never had my hair short since.

I have thick, wavy, coarse, dark brown hair. When I was a kid, it grew and grew until it was to my waist. With the thickness, I couldn't get a brush all the way through it by myself. When I was 10 we lived in France and Mom convinced me to get it cut to shoulder length. I looked as chic as a chubby American kid could look with a beret on my head and everything.

I've never gone back to hair lengths past my shoulders. Honestly, I don't like fooling with it much. Over the decades, I've had a Dorothy Hamel-like cut, shags, wedges, true Jersey girl big hair perms, you name it.

Down here in the Florida Keys, between the humidity and the breeze, thick, wavy hair is chaotic. It's also hot on the head. About 18 months ago I tried the healthy keratin complex treatment. Not only did it bring health to dry, frizzy, color-treated tresses, but it gave me instantly sleek, swingy hair. I l-o-v-e it.

Suzanne, I love that image, being 90 with long long hair streaming down my back.

One thing I like about long hair, Mary Stella, is that I don't feel like it requires as much day to day fussing. I hate having to blow dry and style every time I go to the gym, every time I swim, every time I go for a hike. It's a ridiculous amount of time on ....hair!

Marie, shuddering over Toni Home Perms. What a nightmare!

Nice photo, Doc. It reminds me of some of our college professors.
I grew my hair as long as I could in college, but it wasn't very impressive. I think I have one photo from then in my FB album. We didn't take as many photos back then either . . . cost of film and all that.
BTW, in a storytellers' discussion I just learned that in England, bangs are called fringe . . .

Alan, also nice photos.
Karen, a reminder of how glad I am to be free of hairspray and permanent wave solution. I'm pretty sure that at his stage of breathing health, either one would kill me.

Once. Before my mother cut it off. Just before she took an SOS pad to my artificial tan.

The hairspray isn't in my hair still, thank goodness. It's on the inside of the bathroom door, which has been painted twice, and scrubbed countless times.

I don't like to put stuff in my hair, except shampoo. Low maintenance!

My hair is to my waist. I'm sometimes told that at 55, I should probably consider a more "suitable" hair style. I shrug. If I had any style, it vanished years ago.

Mostly I like my long hair, but I can't sleep with it just flowing free, so I braid it. But man oh man, do I get grief over it, because I do shed, and it clogs drains and vacuums and catches in things.

Still, the other day a homeless crazy crack lady stopped by me on the street and sighed, "Your hair looks like a Barbie doll's." Of course then she held out her cup. So there is that.

Fran, I like your style

Karen, yours too.

My hair is short now, by choice. Can no longer blow dry, but I discovered it's curly. What? When did that happen?

My sister and I both have had long hair alternately throughout our lives. Hers would always get past her waist while mine stops just shy of my waist. She passed away three years ago, and I'm back in my long-hair phase.

I love my long hair and also feel it's my shield and comfort-blanket.

I had long hair most of my adult life, and did Locks of Love twice.

Two weeks ago, in the midst of a heat wave/hot flash combination, I called my stylist, Niko and asked for an emergency appointment. Told him to get it off my head. Felt like I was carrying a dog around my neck.

It's now shorter than it has been in decades. It's too hot for me to even care what it looks like, although it is odd being able to shampoo so quickly!

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