Off With Her Hair?

June 7, 2015 at 8:15 am (Memoir) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I have had long hair for about 90% of my life. It defines who I am.

I have long hair, therefore I am!

It’s been the one thing most everyone has commented complimentary on since I was a teen.

The only other compliment I remember from then was made by a friend’s boyfriend who said I had amazing eyes.

I can remember the where and when of this compliment (a September day on the beach) because it was so unusual for anyone to compliment anything other than my long, thick, luxurious hair.

1961 Baby Me

Like most of us, I started out with hardly any hair at all. I was blonde as a child and my hair had a slight curl to it. The picture above was probably from my second Christmas when I was 20 months old. I still have that dog. I don’t have many childhood pictures (you really didn’t back then). My father was the family photographer and he left shortly after this picture was taken. I only have four pictures of me as a baby and my younger brother has none.

Pictures, back then, were reserved for special occasions (1st day of school, confirmation, Easter, Christmas Etc). We always found the money, even though we were very poor, to buy the yearly school pictures.


Here I am around 1967 when I was seven. I have never looked good in pink. It’s one of the few pictures of me without glasses. I have had glasses since Grade One.


Here I am around 1970 at about age ten (they must have made me take off my glasses for the picture). I look very tomboyish with my short hair. My hair was short, as a child, because that was how my mom wanted it. She said as long as she was dealing with it every day I was not allowed to let it grow.

I longed for long hair. I wanted long hair that would blow in the wind and to hide behind. I wanted braids like Pippi Longstocking, braids like Anne and tons of ringlets like Shirley Temple.

My hair darkened as I got older. It went from dusty blonde to chestnut brown.

My mom finally let me start growing my hair out. I was tired of pixie cuts and haircuts that seemed to take forever.

1973 Long Hair

My hair grew quickly. By the time I was thirteen, my hair was long, long, long and frequently very tangled but I loved it anyway. The kids I babysat loved to brush it and if I wheedled long enough either my mom or eldest sister would braid it for me. I loved having someone braid it in one long braid down my back after I got out of the bath. It would be days before I would unbraid it to reveal luxurious waves.

The picture above was taken after my eldest sister put in a mini ponytail. She was being artsy with her new camera and I was willing to sit and pose.

I loved braiding my long hair. I loved french braids (though to this day I can not french braid my own hair). I loved high ponytails.


By the time my second sister wed, when I was sixteen, my hair was down to my waist. (I still don’t look good in pink). A classmate, one year above me, had hair long enough to sit on. I didn’t want hair that long. This was long enough and it stayed that long for decades.

Since then, my hair has gone from just below my shoulders to just above them and back again. I like keeping my hair long enough to put into two side braids. When I am tired of my hair, I put it in braids and leave it that way for days and days.

Lately, my long has started to greatly aggravate me. I fantasize about shaving it off (I won’t as my skull has bumps and thus I don’t think it would look good shaved).

I am contemplating short hair. For me, all changes start with contemplation. Perhaps even as short as a buzz cut. Now is the time to do it as Summer is the season for short hair. An university friend recently buzzed hers after a disastrous dye job and she looks marvelous.

But I am wary. I have had long hair for a very long time. What will I look like with short hair? How will I feel? For me, long hair has always been a defining aspect of my personality.

I have long hair thus I am feminine.

I have long hair, therefore I am!

So I appeal to you oh mighty internet. Send me clips of short hair styles that I can contemplate. Send me your stories and your pictures.

Should I cut it off? Should I cut it all off?

1 Comment

  1. I Did It! | Solitary Spinster said,

    […] did I do? I finally cut off most of my hair. You may remember that about a month ago I asked for hairstyle […]

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