Best friends and braids; women’s hair & femininity

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When I was a little girl growing up in Houma, Louisiana, I had a best friend named Elizabeth. I loved her and our moms were close friends, so we spent a lot of time together. One thing I always loved and admired about Elizabeth was the two long braids she always wore in her hair. I coveted those long locks, as my own mother didn’t like to let my hair get too long (understandably, since she was mostly the one dealing with it and working out those tangles!). Oh how I yearned to have long, luscious hair, hair long enough for those kinds of braids.

Elizabeth and I lost touch after my family moved to New Orleans when I was eight years old. One would think in the age of Facebook I’d have found her by now, but either she’s not on Facebook or she’s not interested in being found, or both. I’ve found and reconnected with scads of people from my past and it’s really fun to see what everyone is up to 20-30 years later. Sadly Elizabeth is not one of those people.

Anyway, little Abby’s hair is finally long enough to braid a bit. I confess I like the girls’ hair shorter for the same reasons my mother did when I was growing up. But after this morning I am thinking about letting it grow out some. She didn’t leave them in for long (Abby abhors accessories), but I wish she would have. This is what we came up with:

The pictures were snapped in a hurry as we were eating breakfast and getting ready for school. Izzy’s hair isn’t yet long enough to braid, unfortunately. Clearly Izzy is the one in the background being goofy!

It’s interesting how much of our sense of self & our femininity is tied into our hair. If my hair looks bad in the morning or I can’t seem to get it right, it has the potential to ruin my day. I also like my hair longer, but I don’t have the patience for it (either to grow it or to deal with it once it’s long). Moreover, I’m lazy and tend to put it up in a ponytail…so then I figure if it’s in a ponytail every day, is there any point to having & keeping it long? Nor am I creative with it, can’t style it or do up-dos to save my life. My hair is also very thick and takes a while to blow dry. So my options are limited. I’m currently trying to force myself to grow it out some, as I tend to feel more feminine & girly when it’s longer.

If I was petite with delicate facial bone structure, I’d go for a pixie cut or bob like Halle Berry, Michelle Williams, Katie Holmes, Audrey Tatou:What about you? How has your hair changed over the years? And have your thoughts/feelings about it changed? If you could have any hairstyle, what would it be?

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  • Matty

    I never have a bad hair day.

  • DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom

    If I could have anything, my hair would never frizz in the humidity. Once the humidity gets up over 70% I end up looking like the sphinx.

  • Lee the Hot Flash Queen

    Well, you know how I feel about this! I have typical Jewish hair…yuck! Now it is fried off Jewish hair…yucker.

  • kyslp

    I yearned for long hair when I was little. My mother wouldn't let me though. She always told me that it wouldn't grow any longer than it was. (I was obviously a trusting idiot.)

  • Daffy

    Matty doesn't have hair so his comment doesn't count -LOL

    Once I made the leap to chop it – it stayed chopped. It would drive me batty to have it long again and amazingly enough hubs prefers is shorter. The style I have now is much less in the maintenance department than when hubs and I first met but I still like it.

  • Poconut

    Another thing we have in common. Thick hair that takes forever to dry and my mother kept my hair shorter too when I so wished it to be long. I've since accepted that my hair actually looks better shorter and in fact I look thinner with it short. Belle also doesn't like anything in her hair. It looks straggly when she tries to grow it long so I like to keep it short. (Although I do have a few cherished photos of her with pig tails, braids etc.) My favorite is an a-line wedge type cut. She started getting it years ago and I see it is extremely popular these days. Of course now she doesn't want to do that anymore. I've already cut Morgan's hair as I refuse to do baby mullets. I'll keep trimming the bottom and when the top catches up she'll have an adorable little bob. I fully agree that if you just put it in a pony tail, better to cut it short and have style! When I am able to put my hair into a pony tail… that is when I know I'm due for a haircut.