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Childhood hair traumas

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Jena View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 11 2000 at 9:08pm
I think we may have hit upon something here.Question to all: If, as a child, you were forced to wear your hair in a style you didn't like (my guess is that short hair rather than long hair was enforced for most people), how has it impacted the way you wear your hair today?And how do you feel about hair in general? Is combing and cutting your hair kind of like brushing your teeth -- just part of a normal grooming procedure with no strong feelings attached one way or the other? Or do you feel strongly attached to your hair? Or, if you were forced to wear it short, do you feel guilty for wanting it long now? Or does it make you never want to cut your hair again? Or did you ever feel that you were being punished by not being able to wear your hair the way you wanted?Or....well, let's just break the dam and discuss this, ladies! (and gentlemen, if they're so inclined)
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Jena View Drop Down
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A couple of months ago, I took scissors to my long hair for what was supposed to be a trim on the ends. But an avalanche occurred, and during the course of an evening managed to cut off about 12 inches of hair. I posted it here and much of it sounded so odd that I think most people dismissed it as a hoax. I understood it least of all, and yet I am the one who did it!Well, I think I just may have figured it out. Like Ally and Dawn, I sported that dreaded pixiecut as a child, even though I vehemented protested. I remember once, I was allowed to walk to the salon after school by myself. I told the beautician that my mom said I just needed a tiny trim, which was not true at all. When I got home, I told my mom that the beautician said my hair was so lovely that she couldn't bear to cut off very much and told me I should grow it long! After a call to the beauty shop, I was in big trouble. Yes, you guessed it -- it got cut super short and to add to the humiliation, clippers were used as well.So then, one of my biggest fears in life was to get my hair cut off. I think it was when I was in sixth grade that I was allowed to wear my hair as I wished. For that first year, I never even trimmed it. The ends started looking thin and wispy, and my mom told me if I didn't at least get it trimmed, then it would have to be cut short again. Well, it was a 2-3 month span between trims after that! {grin}Since that time, I've always had it long. I couldn't even listen to teasing about cutting it off. To me, short hair was the "anti-woman" statement. And like Ally, I've had more than my fair share of nightmares about forced haircuts.So....this may not make any sense to anyone else, but it does to me, and I am finally at peace with myself about my hair! Here goes: I am a bit of a daredevil and like to face my fears. The one holdout was my hair. A 3" trim was a massacre for me. I couldn't even begin to fathom a literal short cut on me.When I cut those first few inches off, even though I really loved my long hair, it was like a relief to me. I could cut my hair and the world didn't end. But it wasn't really a major cut at all, so I felt subconsciously that I had started to address my fears, but barely opened the door. When I described it in my original post, I think I said something like my hair now so thick on the ends and felt so luscious that I just felt compelled to cut more. And at first glance, that makes no sense -- why on earth cut something so beautiful?But I wasn't cutting beauty -- I was cutting my fear. The more hair I cut, the more fear I cut away. And I even lifted the hair in back and cut very close to the scalp so that clippers would be required to even it out the next day at my appointment with my regular stylist. The only problem was that I have no training in haircutting, and um, it showed!Fortunately, my stylist did a fantastic job the next day. However, I was still so upset with myself -- partially because of the way I looked and partially with the way I acted. However, once I got to the very short mode, my fear and fixation on hair seemed to be resolved. I could cut my hair short and still be feminine and sexy, even though it took me a few weeks to truly realize this.I love long (healthy) hair. I am growing my hair. But I have no fear about my hair anymore. Sure, I want it to grow longer (and it is!), but I'm not obsessed with it at all. In fact, in many ways, I'm actually enjoying short hair, which I *never* thought I'd do! My hair "feelings" are much more in balance now. I can appreciate both long and short hair. As I grow it out, it isn't for length; it's for the look.I will try to say this without stepping on toes: Growing hair as long as possible for the goal of sheer length seems to be an obsession. I know, because I had it! Wanting some length to hair is different than going for the longest possible length. It *is* a security blanket, and I (thought I was) devastated when I lost it. I became emotionally healthier and garnered more self-confidence when I learned that I could still be me without a ton of hair.Please allow me to clarify -- I think that growing super long hair is not an obsession *unless* that is the only goal -- length. The hair becomes a blinder to any other style that may look good on us. Wanting long hair because we honestly think it looks best on us is very different from wanting long hair as a rebellion against our mothers who forced us to have pixies as children or because we're afraid to cut it short.Whew! What a load off of my shoulders, um, both literally and figuratively. {grin}
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Diane from Canada View Drop Down
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>>> So then, one of my biggest fears in life was to get my> hair cut off.Surprising enough I find that lots of children have that fear. I am shock when I come across one that doesn't scream their head off at the stylist ( diane)>> now so thick on the ends and felt so luscious that I> just felt compelled to cut more. And at first glance,> that makes no sense -- why on earth cut something so> beautiful?Maybe just mabye you needed a change in life? ( diane)>> Fortunately, my stylist did a fantastic job the next> day. However, I was still so upset with myself --> partially because of the way I looked and partially> with the way I acted.Show one woman in life that hasn't done a thing that isn't proud of or that she would love to shoved in a closet and not allow people to know and I will show you one accountant that doesn't know how to use a calculator. You did something and you have to forgive yourself. It wasn't a crime ( diane)> I will try to say this without stepping on toes:> Growing hair as long as possible for the goal of sheer> length seems to be an obsession.Not to everyone Jena really! There are many reasons in life ( diane)I know, because I had> it!It is good that you now recognize that you had this weakness in life but not everyone has that weakness . (diane)Wanting some length to hair is different than> going for the longest possible length. It *is* a> security blanket, and I (thought I was) devastated> when I lost it. I became emotionally healthier and> garnered more self-confidence when I learned that I> could still be me without a ton of hair.Maybe for you it was a security blanket but not for everyone. For example if I wanted I could shave my head and still feel the same. ( diane)> Please allow me to clarify -- I think that growing> super long hair is not an obsession *unless* that is> the only goal -- length.Not really . For some people it is like a hobby in life. Something they enjoy doing . I cannot speak for those people as I am not one of them. I can only say that I want to know what it feels like to have knee lenght hair ( diane)
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JM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2000 at 9:08pm
> I think we may have hit upon something here.> Question to all: If, as a child, you were forced to> wear your hair in a style you didn't like (my guess is> that short hair rather than long hair was enforced for> most people), how has it impacted the way you wear> your hair today?> And how do you feel about hair in general? Is combing> and cutting your hair kind of like brushing your teeth> -- just part of a normal grooming procedure with no> strong feelings attached one way or the other? Or do> you feel strongly attached to your hair? Or, if you> were forced to wear it short, do you feel guilty for> wanting it long now? Or does it make you never want to> cut your hair again? Or did you ever feel that you> were being punished by not being able to wear your> hair the way you wanted?> Or....well, let's just break the dam and discuss this,> ladies! (and gentlemen, if they're so inclined)
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Lily de Wilde View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lily de Wilde Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2000 at 9:08pm
Hi!My mother has Always wanted me and my 2 sisters (they're a lot younger than me, 11 and 9) to have short hair, and thus we all did for simply ages. (Rather lop-sided short hair, may I add, Ma never was the greatest hairdresser and we couldn't afford the salon!)And then I decided I wanted long hair and You Should Have Heard The Fights!That lasted a while, until I was talked into the Annie Lennox type short-and-spiky look (mainly a misunderstanding on my part, I hadn't a clue what that "look" looked like at the time) which, as you can imagine, doesn't look too good on a little girl with a fondness for long frilly dresses!Since that time I have had 2 trims, one at the decent hairdressers across the raod which seems to be closing down, and recently another job from the mother who cannot tell the differance between 4 and 7 inches.That is how paranoid I am about haircutting, I can't walk through the Door of a salon now in fear of losing rather more than I bargained for!So there you have it, in my case enforced haircuts have resulted in long split-ended hair. Not the result you'd Expect, maybe that should be more widely known, 'twould save a few more kids from my fate...Anyhow, that's my traumatic tale! :)"Lily"P.S. My 11-year-old sister, who's been through more or less the same thing minus Annie Lennox disaster, has also decided to grow her hair, it's now waist length and in dire need of a trim, but there's no point in suggesting it, she won't...
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carmen View Drop Down
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I was lucky enough to have parents who didn't care how I wore my hair. My mother went along with whatever I wanted, even putting it up in rollers against her wishes when I begged for a roller set for my 4th grade school pictures. I've had a ton of different cuts... from pixie to pageboy to those 80's "feathered" layers (what WERE we thinking??) to the Princess Di short cut. Some of them looked good, some didn't, but I'm eternally grateful to my parents for putting up with it all.I'm equally fickle now that I'm grown up -- I have sort of an 'easy come, easy go' approach to haircuts and I buy hairstyling magazines every few months to get ideas about what to try next. If something doesn't turn out how I hoped, I usually think "what the heck, it'll grow out soon enough."I think the best part about being able to experiment as a teen or pre-teen is that you figure out early what kind of styles work with your hair. I don't have to wonder what I'd look like with short hair or layered hair or bangs... been there, done that. :)
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Kim,the not-so-Newbie View Drop Down
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Hi there! What a good topic.I must confess, I was given relative freedom of hairstyle as a child, which I've always thought was part of the reason I never went in for any extreme, rebellious hairstyles as a teenager (although this was probably more due to my quiet, nonrebellious nature). My mother and I did have some disputes over trimming; she didn't like to spend money on a haircut unless there was a noticeable difference, whereas I wanted my hair to look the same, and only got it trimmed to get rid of split ends. We eventually resolved the issue, sort of; when I was old enough to have my own money, I paid for the haircuts, then I could have as little or as much taken off as I wanted. But I still associated salon trips with cutting off too much hair and, when possible, prefer to leave the trimming up to friends.---Kim
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Ron View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2000 at 9:08pm
I grew up in the 70's when long hair was really the in thing for men. After what seemed like a war at the time, I was allowed to wear my hair below my ears even though my parets didn't like it. However, I was reminded when I was 14 that this was a privileges. A friend and I "borrowed" the car when my parents were supposed to be away. When my parents found out part of the punishment was a loss of privileges. My next haircut was "over the ears." Even though I was allowed to grow it out later, it was very tramatic and I still can't cut my hair short regardless of what's in fashion.Ron
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Kira View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kira Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2000 at 9:08pm
This is a very interesting topic Jena. Your conclusions that growing hair very long is a type of security blanket though is a bit of a generalization. I am growing my hair out now, but have had my hair down to my waist before and hopefully in about two years it will be there again. I had parent-picked or parent-approved hair cuts throughout my growing up years and although I hated it then I can't say that I was traumatized. Some people (you know who you are) just look better with long hair. I look better with long hair. When I look at pictures I can see that clearly (and trust me there are hundreds of pictures from waist length hair to a real pixie cut to choose from). The other reason for long hair is that for some of us having long hair is easier to take care of! The shorter my hair is the more time I need to spend on my hair. People have security blankets if they need them. One of my freinds saw her self esteem plummet when she grew her hair long and all of a sudden it reappeared when her stylist cut all of her hair off. Long hair or short hair doesn't really matter. What does matter (in my very humble opinion) is that people are happy with the way that they look and not constantly tortured by doubts.With all that said I am very happy for you that you have worked through some of your hair issues and have found some peace.
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Carol View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2000 at 9:09pm
I, too, had to keep my hair short as a child. I desperately wanted it long, mainly because my sister had long hair and I loved the way it looked.When I was 11, I was finally allowed to grow my hair out, and I swore that I would never wear it short again. Convinced that short hair=parental coersion, I kept it that way till my early 20's.That was I think 1991. I had hair past the middle of my back, but was growing out an bad perm in a very 80's style. I knew my hair was fried and it looked like hell, but there was no way I was cutting it short. Then I overheard a couple of (women) co-workers debating whether to call me mangled-head or medusa-head. Ouch. I cut it off that night.Well, as happy as I was to get rid of the fried mess on my head, I quickly came to the conclusion that I just don't look good in short hair. I grew it out again.Now, over the past few years, I have come to really love my hair. Styling products used to be "spray, mousse, or gel" at the time of my Big Haircut. Now, there are so many choices! A spray to enhance my curls. A balm to help straighten them (I haven't quite mastered this yet). A number of indefinable types of liquids that smooth, shape, and style.There are probably enough products available now to hold my rebellious waves into a shorter style more flattering than my I-just-cut-out-the-rest-of-my-perm look. But I'm having too much fun with it long.
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