Rapunzel

I always wanted to have long hair, as a kid. My mother was a firm believer in short, sensible hairstyles – I had the Dorothy Hamill for all of my youth. She said it was because she couldn’t stand it when kids whined and complained about knots while having their hair brushed, and now that I have several long-haired kids of my own, I can see where she’s coming from.

But oh, how I dreamed of having long, flowing locks, just like Rapunzel. I loved hair washing day, because I’d get to wear a towel on my head for upwards of two hours at a time, pretending it was hair. Even as a teen, I’d dramatically flop myself on my bed, my towel-hair splayed all around, dreaming of being a princess/model/muse/moll, my flailing tresses evidence of my deep passion and spirited nature.

Man oh man, was I a teenaged joy to have around, I’m so sure.

Once I got a bit older and earned some greater hair freedom, I let it grow out a bit, but it was always about shoulder length. A few times in university I let it get a bit longer, but I had no idea what to do with it. The world of braids, curls, even ponytails was completely foreign to me. I’d wash it, brush it out, and it’d just hang there all day, until I finally couldn’t stand it and went back to my steadfast shoulder-length layered look.

Over the past few years I’ve gotten lazier and lazier with the hair upkeep, until I was in a cycle where it would grow out for about a year, then I’d go for a big chop, repeat. This past year was no different…except suddenly, my hair itself changed. It’s the growing amounts of grey in it, I think, that are suddenly making my hair…wavy. Curly, even, in places. Out of nowhere, I have body and movement (if I can control the frizziness, that is).

It’s like…supermodel hair. Well, as close as I’m going to get, anyway.

So last time I went in for my big chop, I just got a trim instead. My hairdresser actually squealed with delight that I was going to leave it long. And now, it’s long. Long enough to require TWO boxes of hair colour on hair colour day. Long enough to make a ponytail look like a real style, and not just a desperate attempt to keep layered locks from falling in my face. Long enough for a bun, for spontaneous ringlets, for gentle brushing against the middle of my back when I’m wearing a bathing suit.

Conclusion: long hair is AWESOME.

I consider this my last hurrah at youth, really. The two-boxes-of-dye can only go on for so long before I throw in the towel and go grey. That’ll probably mean a big cut, and from there it’s a slippery slope down to the aging-gracefully-super-short-water-aerobics styles of the getting-on-in-years. I find myself looking at ladies sporting the standard above-the-ears look and wondering why they don’t go for a longer style – the few I see with long grey hair really look outstanding. There must be something I don’t know, some new horror of aging that waits for me…thinning hair? Coarse hair that curls all over? Hair that needs to stay out of the water during water aerobics or it turns green?

Whatever the reason, I’m happy to let it run wild for the time being. Years from now we can refer to these as my supermodel years. It’s funny, don’t you think, how when you were 20 and gorgeous, every little imperfection seemed like such a HUGE and OBVIOUS flaw, and now that I’m 40 and fabulous, yet much more wrinkly and scarred and with several root canals, I find one thing I like about myself and that’s what I choose to focus on?

I think we call that maturity.

Or maybe that’s how all the supermodels feel. BRING IT.

9 thoughts on “Rapunzel

  1. So funny Lynn! I’m finally letting my hair do what it wants, which is be mostly-kind-of-sort-of-curlyish and I actually like it much more than I ever have before. Or, I’m just more content / accepting of it.
    I actually find that of many things about me now – if it still works, I’m pretty happy with it! Quite a relief from seeking unattainable perfection … enjoy the hair!

  2. When I was young I was never allowed to cut my hair. Not even trimming. They called me weed wacker at school behind my back. I wanted short hair so bad… Now I am older I rock the short crop. Dye my hair rainbow colours. Grow it out and cut it when I feel like it and pull out the electric razor when i am bored. I guess grass is always greener. After I had the kids my hair got thicker and even wavy.
    Sounds like you are happy and confident in who you are and that is what is beautiful and so important. That confidence is what we lack as we are younger. I think you know what’s up 🙂

  3. Oh, I love this. I also have long hair and have had (mostly) shoulder length or longer hair since I was about 13 or so because my mother was also into practical haircuts. I love having long hair. I love being able to put it up when I’m doing yoga, so it’s not in my face, and I love being able to put it into a bun on rainy days, and I love having it all crazy and wild sometimes.

    It’s funny, I felt like I was absolutely my most physically beautiful at age 35, and even now, though I’m wrinkled, etc., I still feel more confident and beautiful than I did when I was 18 or 19. I don’t know, maybe age makes us sex-ay. In any case, I’ve decided that when I do cut my hair as an older woman, it will be one of those chin length bobs. I think that looks kind of hot in a grey way.

  4. I love your long hair! Mine too is longer than it has been since I was a kid and I find it so much more fun and easier too. It just falls nicely without having to fight with it so much. Aging isn’t so bad after all!

  5. I’m with you on the long hair! I was forced to cut my waist-length hair when I was four into a short, practical Dorothy Hamill cut like you…and was mistaken for a boy for years. Never recovered. I’ve had medium to long hair since my mid-20s and will NEVER go short again. Long hair rocks!

  6. I have short hair. I had it long as a kid (past my shoulder blades) & chopped it off at age 12. It suits my lifestyle and my personality to have short hair. My 11yo son has long hair now and I marvel that it doesn’t drive him batty. Especially when it’s staticky — even seeing staticky long hair on someone else gives me the shivers. Flashbacks to winters in Alberta, no doubt.

    But while my hair has been short for almost 3 decades, I’ve experimented other ways. With perms in the 80s. With hair dye in the 90s and 00s. But in my early 30s my skin started reacting to soaps and lotions. Now I’ve come to accept the grey (PLATINUM! THOSE ARE PLATINUM HIGHLIGHTS IN MY HAIR!!) for the most part. I just don’t want to risk a severe reaction to the chemicals in the dye.

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