Hey! You! Get OFF of My Hair!

My husband is a long-hair aficionado. He loves my hip-length hair. When we started dating I had the shortest of hair-cuts, a boyish pixy cut. It took little convincing to get me to start growing it out, though there were several false starts because I would cut it when it go to that “in-between” stage. Today however, I am the proud possessor of a full head of thick, wavy dark locks that fall past my waist.

Having long hair makes me feel pretty and feminine. Long hair symbolizes for my husband all that is sexy and desirable. This is a good thing since I am partial to my hubby’s good regard. He likes it, I like it, everyone is happyâÂ?¦or are they?!

Granted, long hair affords one the privilege of many different and more ornate hairstyles. Wear it up, wear it down, braids, pigtails, anything and everything is possible if you have enough length. (On the plus side, even if you don’t have the length there are hair extensions to be had for a price.) Look around next time you go out, or even the next time you turn on the television. Long hair is at long last once again in vogue. This is good.

But what my husband, and other long hair aficionados may not know, is the negative side of having long hair. Is there a negative side? You may well ask! There certainly is.

This long glossy mane doesn’t maintain itself you know! That’s right folks, there are hours of maintenance involved in keeping this work of art fit for public viewing. Though it is rumored that brushing causes breakage and should be done as little as possible, the reverse is actually true. Yes, incorrect brushing can cause damage. However, when done correctly brushing is essential to keeping your hair tangle free and manageable. Everyone should learn how to properly brush their hair. But those blessed with long hair will find that they are required to spend more time with their brush.

Beyond brushing, there is washing, conditioning, deep conditioning, and protection. Protection? Protection from what? If long hair is something you’d like to invest in do you need to pay for and install an alarm system? Very funny, but no. What isn’t amusing is the damage that you can incur if you do not protect your hair from the sun and wind.

If you’re going to be out in the elements do yourself a favor and “put your hair away”. Protect it from sun and wind with a leave in conditioner and a scarf/wrap. Put it up in a twist or braid it to protect it from snags. As far as seasons go summer is the worst. Summer with its oppressive heat is when I personally bear the strongest temptation to shear myself like a sheep. Unfortunately even taking precautions doesn’t guarantee safety. I cannot count the number of times that my hair has been caught or snagged by my own children’s clothing and shoes, not to mention strangers’ belt-buckles and bracelets.

Perhaps I am my own greatest enemy when it comes to hair safety. After all these years I still catch my hair in the seat belt and roll it up in the car window. I still get my hair caught in closing doors and in one unfortunate case a revolving door. I still wake up in the morning pinned to the bed because my hair is caught under my pillows, one of my cats, or even my husband. (That darn long hair aficionado.)

I guess the long and the short of it is, long hair is beautiful, but no fairy tale. I love my Prince Charming enough to give him the long hair he desires, but it takes time, effort, and vigilance to maintain. With long hair there is no real “happily ever after” where your flowing locks perfectly frame your face as you ride a white horse off into the sunset. In reality the dastardly stuff is tickling unmercifully and whipping you raw. What isn’t caught in your mouth is caught between you and the horse. And who do you think is going to have to brush this mess out when you finally arrive at the castle? That’s right Cinderella, and while you’re at it pull that clump out of the bathtub drain, and comb the hair out of the vacuum cleaner.

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