Long hair, don’t care! Long hair devotees such as myself are often so attached to our locks that we will endure lots of daily annoyances and hassles because they simply go with the tress territory. If you have long hair that falls past your shoulders, chances are, you deal with your strands getting in the way of your normal activities, from eating to applying makeup, multiple times throughout the course of a single day. Regardless, it doesn’t matter how tedious or troublesome the foibles of having long follicles are. You can’t and won’t part with it or hack it all off. And that’s totally okay.
These are the legit struggles of having long hair — texture and style don’t matter, only length. Everyday women truly relate to these issues, as I polled a variety of sources — friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Even a male friend weighed in, since dudes have long hair, too! The one conclusion? The struggles of long hair are real but they are not insurmountable.
There are days when we long-haired girls who wash, brush, blow dry, and style our hair end up with enough strands on the bathroom floor that we could make a wig out of them. Yes, I add a few minutes to my morning routine by sweeping up all those strands I have shed with a Swiffer or a piece of toilet paper. But no matter how thorough I think the cleanup job is, there will always, always be a few strands I didn’t catch. Where do these hairs hide when I am sweeping up their friends? Where?!
My colleague Jem Aswad stated that his teenager daughter is always flustered to find hair “absolutely everywhere” — the bathroom floor, in little hairballs on the carpet that look like cockroaches, and on sheets. My friend Gabriella Meghan groused, “I probably have to clean more that somebody with short hair.” #Truth.
Washing and conditioning is never just washing and conditioning. Over time, long hairs clog drains in the shower or the sink. It’s not only gross to yank a clump of matted, soggy hair from the drain cover — I often wretch and get dry heaves when I have to do this cleaning ritual — but it will also cause the drain to back up, since the tangles of hair create blockage and don’t allow water to drain completely.
Next thing you know, you are standing in an inch or two of dirty water when showering. Yuck. It gets so bad that Liquid Plumr doesn’t do the trick. You have to call an actual plumber to snake the tub and pull out the thick, disgusting clog. I have dealt with this several times at my condo over the years.
Being forced to wear it up on hot days
Personally, my hair is my protective curtain and my shield. I prefer to wear it down and framing my face, since that’s what my long, Jennifer Aniston-inspired, angled layers are there for. I don’t mind the additional time and energy it takes to style it before heading out. However, on super hot and humid summer days, I hate being forced to pull my hair back into a ponytail, due to a sweaty neck.
Stringy, sweat-soaked hair never looks good and thus I have no choice but to throw it in a messy pony. It’s the lesser of two evils. My friend Seneid Kennedy concurred, grumbling about her struggle to “resist the urge to always put it up in a ponytail or a bun even after you spent forever styling it.”
You never can really just wash and go
Having long hair isn’t exactly a wash ‘n’ go lifestyle. It’s always a process and can take an eternity to style. Even on days when you skip a wash, you have to brush out the tangles and use dry shampoo to freshen up or risk looking a bit too bedhead-y.
If you are like me and wash your strands daily, or even every other day, it can take a good half-hour or longer to condition, style, and blow dry. Let’s not even talk about using heat styling tools on a hot day, because that adds to the aforementioned sweaty neck.
My pals Jill Perrin and Cassie Whitt both complained about how having long hair makes you feel hot all of the time. Jill stated that “blowdrying in summer makes you feel like you need another shower immediately after,” while Cassie pointed out that “my hair is pretty straight and low-maintenance, but my head is SO HOT ALL THE TIME! It gets very sweaty.”
Beware of ice cream (and food in general, actually)
If you happen to be eating a sticky food, like ice cream, and your hair somehow lands in your cookies ‘n’ cream, due to a gust of wind or a quick turn of your head, you are screwed. You can grab a napkin and dab at the melty, sugary mess, but it almost always dries hard and crunchy and your ‘do is pretty much done for the day. It looks bunk and gross and I can never successfully brush out the sticky knot, either. The only fix is a fresh wash.
As my associate Debbie Sellnow noted, “I’m like a little kid getting my hair in my food.” There is no shame here; all long-haired girls have been there, done that, and will do it again.