By Geniece of Beautifully Made
I don’t know about you but as a new natural I was inspired by the luscious, thick fros of women who rocked their fierce tresses with grace and ease. I knew that one day I wanted to be able to style my hair in a large round afro or wear twists and braids that swung effortlessly down my back. Growing long hair wasn’t just about imitating an ideal of femininity for me. I wanted to wear certain styles that in simple terms required that I grow my hair out. Now that I’ve essentially reached my goals I want to address some of the challenges associated with long, tightly coiled hair.
Okay, I know some of you are going to roll your eyes. I don’t blame you. I too could barely listened to the so called difficulties associated with having long hair a few years ago. I don’t want you to think of these as complaints. Rather, think of these issues as helpful pointers to keep in mind as your hair grows longer. You may think that the changes you encounter are specific to you as your hair grows longer. Hopefully, by sharing my experience, you will be that much more prepared to embrace you long curls, kinks and coils.
The increase in the time it takes to deal with my hair has increased in ways I simply did not imagine. Take blow drying for example. I don’t blow my hair out often but when I do, I practice caution and care. In May of 2010 I blew my hair out for the first time since beginning my healthy hair regimen. I was done in one hour. Now, two years later, it takes me two hours to blow out my hair. While it takes me twice as long my hair isn’t necessarily twice as long. An additional five or six inches can add anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to detangle, wash or style.
What you might find is that if you previously wore time consuming styles, you may no longer have the time or energy. At one point I wore mini twists exclusively. Because it now takes anywhere from 6-8 hours to twist my hair it’s a style I only where one to three times a year. I find that styles on loose hair work best because they generally take less time. With the added length, however, I find that updos take on a unique and elegant appearance that I enjoy wearing.
On the whole I have found that my styling options have increased. I especially like being able to spend 5-10 minutes and whip up a style that looks like it took much longer. With the increase in styling options, however, you will likely notice that styles you enjoyed at shorter or medium length hair no longer work after you’ve reached a certain length. The perfectly round fros and puffs that I loved early on as a natural simply don’t work now. The hair tends to flop on one side and stick up on another. Alas, my fro days seem to be over.
Long Hair Isn’t for Everyone
After reaching a certain length you may realize that you enjoy your hair at a shorter length for one reason or another. There is nothing and I repeat NOTHING wrong with getting your hair shears and cutting off a few inches. Now be prepared from the plea of family members and friends to “not cut off all that pretty hair”. Yes, some folk will guilt trip you into keeping your hair long. However, at the end of the day you are the one managing your hair and if you feel more comfortable at a shorter length then by all mean do what makes you happy. While your hair can be your “crown and glory” it’s nothing compared to feeling confident and comfortable with the style of your choice.
Ladies, what do you think? Do you want long hair? For women who have had both long and short hair, what are the pros and cons of each?