A few weeks ago, I wrote about the things redheads are sick of hearing, but, of course, people with red hair aren’t the only ones who get the same old comments over and over again. If you have long hair, for instance, (By which I mean, “anything longer than shoulder-length”) you might just recognise some of these…
Wow, you have long hair!
Oh really? Is this MINE? I didn’t even notice!
Why don’t you cut it all off?
For some reason, when you have long hair, some people become fixated on trying to get you to cut it short. Why do they do this? Is it just for THE DRAMA? I mean, sure, everyone has their personal taste, and long hair isn’t for everyone, but why try to force everyone else to conform to your taste? I DO like long hair, but I wouldn’t try to convince someone with short hair that she should grow it just to suit me: isn’t it kind of weird to try to convince people they need to change their appearance, anyway?
But it’s just hair!
Yeah, it’s just hair: and that thing on the front of my face is just a nose, but I’m not going to cut that off either. You only need to experience one really bad haircut to know that it may be “just hair”, but hating something that’s actually attached to your body ain’t much fun…
(Also, if it’s “just hair”, why are you making such a fuss about persuading me to cut it?)
It’ll grow back, silly!
Sure it will: in, like, FIVE YEARS, depending on how short you cut it. Sure, I’ll spend half a decade waiting to look like myself again: where do I sign up?
You should be brave! Take a risk!
Look, jumping out of a plane is brave. Running into a burning building to save a trapped kitten is brave. Cutting your hair off when you don’t really want to, on the other hand, just to prove how “brave” you are? That’s just silly. And why do I need to “take a risk” anyway? When did that become a thing to be admired? What if I don’t really want to take risks? I’ll tell you what: if being seen to be “taking risks” is THAT important to you, why not start taking your safety belt off when you’re driving?* It would be OMGSUCHARISK! SO BRAVE! And when you do that, I’ll chop off all my hair: deal?*
(*DO NOT REMOVE YOUR SAFETY BELT WHILE DRIVING, PEOPLE. SERIOUSLY.)
It would be liberating!
Forcing myself to do something I don’t want to do, just because someone told me I should do it, isn’t my idea of “liberating”. Wearing my own damn hair however I want to wear it, on the other hand? Sounds like a plan.
But it must be so boring having it long all the time!
When people tell me my hair is boring, my first thought is that I didn’t realise my hair had a duty to entertain people. I thought it was something that only really affected me, you know? But some people seem to look to my hair for their entertainment, which is all kinds of weird to me. I can’t really imagine coming home from an evening out and saying to Terry, “GOD, Lucy’s hair was SO BORING tonight! Did you see the way it just kind of HUNG there? And that story it told about the monkey: SNOOZE!” It’s OK for hair to be boring: people will just have to get their excitement somewhere other than on my head.
(I don’t know anyone called Lucy. I hope.)
Doesn’t it take forever to dry?
It takes about 10 minutes. If 10 minutes = “forever” to you, my best advice to you is to never watch The Hobbit, because you won’t even have a word for how long that movie is, seriously.
(Ten minutes to blow dry, I mean. If I let it air dry – yeah, that pretty much WOULD take forever, actually: you win this round!)
It must take a really long time to style, though!
Most of the time, blow-drying IS “styling” for me: I blow dry it (ten minutes), run my Babyliss Big Hair through it (another five minutes, max), and that’s it. Even when I do style it by curling it in some way, it’s not like I have to clear my diary for it: sure, there ARE styles that I’m sure would take a lot of time to do, but not everyone with long hair is into creating elaborate, complicated styles with it: a lot of us just wash and go. (Or wash and blow, in my case.) Actually, my sister-in-law just cut her mid-length hair short, and tells me it takes much longer to style now than it did when it was longer: go figure.
How did you grow it?
It actually grew itself, if you want to know the truth – I just sat back and let it happen! I often think having long hair is a bit like being interested in fashion or makeup: it makes people assume you’re a bit vain or empty-headed, or that you’re excessively concerned with your appearance. Actually, it sometimes just means that you’re too lazy to get regular haircuts, or – SHOCK HORROR – don’t really care enough to keep changing it, and just let it do its own thing.
Doesn’t it get in the way? It must be such a hassle!
It does when it’s windy, or if you’re leaning over to work on something, yeah. But that’s what hair ties are for, and why most women with long hair are rarely seen without a collection of hair elastics on their wrists. (I’m still waiting for this to take off as a “trend”. It hasn’t happened yet…) I’m not Rapunzel, though, so again: not really THAT big a deal in the great scheme of things, otherwise everyone would have buzzcuts. And as with the “it must take FOREVER!” point, if quickly tying your hair back to get it out of the way is what you consider to be a “hassle”, then yeah, I guess it’s a big, massive hassle? Or something?
But don’t you ever want to change it? I’d get sick of having the same style all the time!
Honestly? No, I really don’t. I get the feeling (from all of the comments I get about it) that this is unusual or even “weird”, but I genuinely don’t relate to the need to constantly change or experiment with my appearance, be it hair, clothes or anything else. It just isn’t something that interests me, or that I think about much. I think this surprises people because I AM very interested in clothes and in style, but I’ve reached a stage in my life where I know what I like, and “changing it up” all the time, just for the sake of it, hasn’t ever held much appeal to me.
Some people, however, seem to be unable to separate the idea of what you do with your hair, and what you’re like as a person, so someone who doesn’t feel the need to change their hairstyle frequently is seen as boring, resistant to change, and unadventurous, while those who do like to experiment are almost viewed as being better people for it. Actually, though, I’m going to go back on what I said earlier, and point out that it doesn’t have to be quite so serious: sometimes it really IS “just hair”.
* * *
Of course, I’m sure women with short hair, or curly hair, or basically ANY kind of hair at all could write a similar list of all the comments they hear over and over (And seriously, what’s with that? Why is other people’s hair so important?), so have at it, people: what comments are YOU sick of hearing?
(Disclaimer: I’m not ACTUALLY annoyed by these comments, by the way: I just think it’s amusing that people always come up with the same misconceptions all the time, and, as always, this post was written with my tongue firmly inserted in my cheek!)