Dixie Peach: Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

After a year and some months of growing my hair out I believe I have passed the point where I can offically claim that I have long hair.

Back in May, 2005 when I had all the layers cut out of my hair and I began the growing out process my hair was just below my ears. I'd be hoping it would be jaw length but to get rid of that final layer I had to lose another half inch. On that same day I had my photo taken to use on my German residency permit and it serves to remind me of the starting point of my transition from short to long hair.

By early autumn my hair had reached below my jawline. Still considered a short hairdo and I could make a teeny tiny ponytail.

Mid-winter had my hair reaching the tops of my shoulders and I could make a better ponytail. I'd gone from short haired into the murky reaches of "medium length".

Now my hair reaches the middle of my shoulder blades. All of stays behind my shoulders without creeping forward and when I make a high ponytail the bottom still touches my shoulders. I'll get a trim in a couple months (the ends have been trimmed twice since I started the process) and I'll let it grow a bit longer but that's it.

Years ago if asked whether I'd have long hair again I'd have answered with a resounding no. I'd convinced myself that long hair wasn't for me.

When I was in grade school I had long hair. Really long hair. Waist length long hair. Then one day when I was twelve or thirteen I cut my hair up to my shoulders and the following years saw it get shorter and shorter. Never pixie short but short enough. Once in a while I'd have a bit longer style - at one point it was a bit below my shoulders - but in the end my mother would convince me that I needed to cut it short again.

I've come to the realization that all these years have seen me style my hair in the way I thought my mother would like. I was convinced that long hair was silly for anyone over the age of fifteen and was too fussy and impractical for the likes of me. It turns out that it really wasn't for the likes of me but for the likes of my mom. Long hair isn't for her and I assumed it meant that it wasn't for me either.

So last May when I made the decision to stop cutting my hair I was really making a decision to break with what my mother wants or at least what I perceive she wants. I have spent so many years and have been in so many situations where I decided to do or not do things based on what my mother would do or would want. It had nothing to do with what I thought would be best for me - instead it was me taking the path of least resistance...the least resistance to my mother's disapproval. And when I say "my mother's disapproval", I don't mean the feeling of letting her down...I mean having to hear her harp on it. I can endure a lot of things but my mother's harping isn't one of them.

I've not told my mother that I have grown out my hair. I assume she'll see the photos from my sister's vacation and see for herself how long my hair is and my sister will likely fill her in on how long my hair actually is. And if I ever said "Mama, the reason I never grew my hair long again was because of you.", she'd deny it. Maybe it's true. Maybe she would have not cared one way or another but the perception that she would have disapproved was reason enough for me.

I like my hair being long. It gets a little wavy/curly/fuzzy-ish in the humidity, but I still like it. I like being able to put it up when it gets hot. I like curling it and using pretty clips in it. I like the feeling of it brushing along my skin. I like that it feels more girly to me.

And I like that it reminds me that I need to do things because they're best for me and they're what I want and not do them just to please someone else. All of my hair could fall out one day and I would have missed the chance to have long hair one more time if I'd kept to what I perceived was expected of me.

My MIL doesn't seem to like my long hair. I still go to the hairdresser every six weeks to have my roots touched up and to have my bangs cut and every time I do she says to me "Are you going to get your hair cut?". When I tell her "Not just yet." she purses her lips a bit and then gives a little nervous laugh to cover up that she's disapproving.

I'm not backing down though. I'm going to keep it long until it stops being good for me. And since my hairdresser doesn't want to cut my hair yet, it could take a while.


Blogger JT said...

Oh goodness. Sweetie, I never realized that apron strings were made of hair.

Good for you to make the decision to grow your hair out. Long hair is great... on women, at least. Guys dig that.

On a sad note, the title of your hair entry made me remember that, in the past 10 months, we have lost both Barry and Billy Cowsill. I was devestated when Hurricane Katrina took Barry, and more so when Billy succombed to his many illnesses a few months ago.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Me too, Jake. The Cowsills were all wrapped up in my growing up years.

12:28 AM  
Blogger JT said...

See? I was so sad that I didn't catch my 2 typos.

I just love The Cowsills. People think they're hokey, but I laugh when they turn around and sing the harmony on "The Rain, the Park, and Other Things" when I play it.

Happy... happy... happy...

12:34 AM  
Blogger sari said...

"I never realized that aprong strings were made of hair."

I never realized it either but that's exactly true!

Maybe I've had my hair SO MANY different ways...BECAUSE I know exactly how my mom likes it (and it's usually not in the style she likes)! Hmmmm....I didn't realize it was going to be a therapy day!

Dix, you need to post some new hair pictures so we can all see how long and pretty your hair looks!

1:17 AM  
Blogger marshamlow said...

As always you are ten steps ahead of me. I sometimes have a bit of trouble distinguishing what I actually like and what I've been taught to like.

My hair is long and my mom's is short. I guess she spends so much time disapproving of my weight that she never makes it up to my hair.

1:33 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

I sometimes have a bit of trouble distinguishing what I actually like and what I've been taught to like.

Welcome to the story of my life.

1:57 AM  
Anonymous Belinda said...

I've been reading everyone's comments and it's so strange how something that should be so simple, like a hairstyle can mean so much more in terms of your relationship with your parents.

I spent most of my 20s trying to make my parents happy. Trying to figure out what exactly I had to do to make them proud and then do it.

It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I figured out that even though they may not be 100% pleased that I have tattoos, or married a bad man or shaved all my hair off once (lol don't ask) that they really do just want me to be happy.

I'm a mama's girl to the 10jillionthpower lol I think it's actually been harder for me to let go of things than for her.

In terms of your hair! Some silly hairdresser here convinced me my life would be better in layers :| I should have NEVER trusted a man who cut his hair INTO a mullet on purpose and then dyed it 4 different colours. It got really long and it was convenient to tie it up but I just have really thick hair and for the summer it got the chop! Now it's shorter and all one length again.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Jenica said...

I've gone through many different lengths of hair, usually based on what others tell me will look the best. I like it long. It looks best one me, I think. As i get older, people ask me if i will cut off my hair. What, do we hit the magic "women must wear short hair" age suddenly? Maybe I'll cut it, maybe I won't. But you can bet it will be my choice!

I'm glad you are able to see the tie your hair had with your mom, sometimes, many times, it is hard enough just to recognize that!

6:42 PM  
Blogger MPC said...

Wow, your post could have been about me too. Not just about my hair, but about making choices based on trying to avoid my mother's disapproval. I'm not saying I've been GOOD at avoiding it, since she disapproves of what I do right and left anyway. But it looms large in my mind.

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Elle said...

Here I was so moved by this entry I rushed to write in my own journal and forgot to comment on yours! Picture me pumping my fist in the air and screaming a hearty "You Grow That Hair Girl!" :D w00t!
(also picture me totally google-ing the Cowsills because I have no idea who they are but intend to find out posthaste)

6:20 AM  
Blogger sari said...

I have a friend, Tom, who always disapproves of Women Of A Certain Age with long hair. And you can just hear the capital letters when he says it, it cracks me up.

Of course, if I have long hair he always amends it with "except YOU". Smart boy!

1:57 AM  
Anonymous titankt said...

Man, that was a long post about your hair! Heh, but I can SO relate. My mom has really, really short hair. My dad does not like long hair on women. Naturally, my hair is very nearly to my butt.

But here's the thing... I keep my hair like this because I am lazy. It seems counterintuitive to have long hair if one is lazy, but what you must also know is that I wear my hair in a ponytail every day. I wash it, dry it, put it in a ponytail. Sometimes, I don't even dry it. There is no styling. No curling or perming or any of that nonsense. I don't have to worry about my style being affected by the weather and it rarely gets in my face. (I say rarely because if it's windy enough, it does get in my face. But if it's that windy, generally I just go inside.)

I like my hair like this even though, like Sari's friend Tom, my mother assures me that I am too old to have long hair. I like nothing else about the way I look just now, there is nothing on earth that would convince me I needed to cut off my hair.

Hair style really boils down to what YOU like on you. Makes no difference if anyone else like it or if the style you like is fashionable or whatever. If YOU don't like your hair, you won't feel good about yourself. It's such an easy thing to have control over, too. Why not?

So I'm glad you're happy with your hair. I like mine, too.

4:22 AM  

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