Conversation Starter: Is Long Hair a Security Blanket or Fashion Statement? by Terri Jones
Throughout my life, while other women had their hair in French braids and banana clips, blown out, layered and flat-ironed, I was always “the girl with the short hair.” To me, long hair wasn’t so much a style as a security blanket. In a sea of carbon-copy manes, I held my cropped head high.
Although I felt superior to this homogenous group, I also felt set apart. By not having hair that I could toss or twirl, I began to feel short an “X” chromosome. So, when I turned 40, I decided to see what I had been missing.
For about two years, I endured bangs that hung like a curtain over my eyes, broken ends, uneven layers and an uncontrollable urge to chop it all off! By 42, I was finally able to gather my hair into the stubbiest of Olive Oyl ponytails. I was proud.
My final trim, when I finally had “long” hair, felt like some weird rite of passage. But as I entered my 50s, my long hair began to feel like a desperate attempt to hang onto my youth. Slowly, I’ve cut my hair shorter and shorter again.
In a meeting yesterday, I was surrounded by a table full of long-haired women. I realized that I didn’t feel different, I felt distinctive. And suddenly like myself again!