Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Time To Come Out From Behind The Hair?

I watched a fascinating documentary about hair this evening. It's Chris Rock's "Good Hair." The documentary was about black women's hair.

I don't profess to know much about the care and upkeep of black hair, other than what I learned from girls in high school. The girls I went to high school with kept jars of hair grease in their purses. I often found weave tracks in the sink in the ladies' room. I had one girl tell me that if she washed her hair too often, it would fall out (I don't know how true that is).

The documentary was a fascinating look into the world and culture of black hair, but it raised another point for me: women's beauty is often wrapped up in their hair.

"Jo! Your one true beauty!"Amy, upon discovering her sister Jo has sold her hair.  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

"...if a woman has long hair, it is glory to her." 1 Corinthians 11:15

 I personally spend more time and money on my hair than I do on make-up or clothing. Thinking on it now, I'm not really sure why. I have good make-up and I enjoy putting it on, but I seldom do. The time it takes to apply just doesn't seem worth it. I have good, nice clothing, but I spend most of my time in t-shirts and jeans.

In contrast, I comb my hair carefully (at least) twice a day and apply myriad of oils and creams to it every night. I spend a good amount of time on the internet looking at interesting styles to try. I watch infomercials on the "latest European technology" for hair styling tools (but never buy them.)

Although I've found shampoo, conditioner and treatments that work for me, I still try new things out, constantly looking for something better.

I'm wondering if all this time and energy spent on my hair is a good thing.

The idea of being vain about anything is unappealing to me. I value knowledge and personality over looks any day. I don't want people to see me as a vain individual and I'm starting to wonder if that's the way I appear.

Beauty is important, don't get me wrong. Without beauty, life would be pretty boring. Beauty can come from places within, as well, though. I guess I'm wondering if I should really be focusing on working on my inner beauty.

I'm wondering, too, if a decent cut wouldn't do me some good. I love my hair, don't get me wrong, but maybe it's time to come out from behind the hair.


  1. I'm with you on focusing on our inner selves being far more important than our appearances (I'm actively not saying outer selves, since that can extend to physical health and I think it's important that we care for our whole selves).

    I think there's a balance, and that looking after your appearance (or hair, specifically) in moderation doesn't equal vanity. I think it comes down to how large a slice of your energy, effort and focus goes into your appearance versus the rest of your life.

    The concept that long hair is a woman's glory has always kind of bugged me. I wear my hair long and love it because that's what feels natural to me, but I don't think of it as a glory. I don't think of people who wear their hair short (or just not long) as lacking anything, or think that they would be improved in some way if their hair was longer. It just doesn't sit right with me. I hope that doesn't offend anyone and I'm sorry if it does, that's just my feeling.

    About you cutting your hair, I remember reading about your spiritual reasons for growing your hair out- do you feel that now is the time/you are where you wanted to be for a haircut?

  2. I also agree that inner charachter and beauty are far more important than outer beauty, but also that we must care for our entire selves, outside and in. If you feel you are unbalanced in your caring for your hair then you must make the balance right. having shorter hair won't change your love of styling your hair and may cost more to upkeep, as has been my experience. also loving long hair doesn't make you vain. Its something you love and have a beautiful amount of! Your blog posts are often bout other aspects of beauty, skin care, herbal scent therapy, home helps...i don't see you as having an unhealthy hair problem at all. Some women like long acrylic nails and spend hundreds of dollars a month on the upkeep of that,or coloring thier hair,....we do need to appear as best we can, for our selves, our husbands and the world. like it or not, people first see how you look, and thats where a big part of how they view you comes into play, right or wrong. I am not a big proponenet of first impresssions, anyone can suck it up and look good for a few minutes, its the inner part that comes to shine after you get to know have fantastic inner strength and charachter and i adore you...even if you were bald i would, but your hair is so lovely....

  3. Excellent comments above ^^^

    I would comment that NO WAY are you "hiding behind the hair". In your blogging you have awesome insights into who you are and what you do.

    The hair is something that makes you uniquely special though, it is world class spectacular.
    But it's your toy to play with, and if you take a different path with it, that's fine too.

    Either way, it will be a good outcome!

  4. The body is a temple, right? To be taken care of and loved and cherished. The beauty of your hair is not just for you, it is for everyone around you who gets to look at something so lovely!

  5. Everyone has something they cherish and spend an amazing amount of time and/or money on. You (and I) choose long hair. Other people choose nails, cars, gadgets, knick-knacks, wine, or sports.

    Vanity, to me, is more about putting that time/effort into something because of how others will see you, not because it's fun or you enjoy it. I don't think you're vain with your hair.