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The Big Question: How Long is Too Long? | Manolo for the Big Girl

The Big Question: How Long is Too Long?

It may surprise you –say, if you’ve been living in a cave in Borneo for the past year– that I tend to have what might be gently called strong feelings. When I do not care for something, I don’t merely dislike it; rather I have murderous urges towards it, its designer, wearer and anyone who was remotely involved in the conception, production and purveyance of the offending article. I won’t go so far as to say that I want to sing comic songs on their graves like Harris from Three Men in a Boat, but I’m not far off.

I have strong feelings about extra-long hair. To my delicate eyes, anything longer than bra-band length on women whose prom days are behind them looks off to me. Get to waist length and I’m secretly wondering what happened in her childhood, and did her father not hug her enough. I am of the opinion that hair that long isn’t a style (and is rarely stylish) it’s a security blanket.

Maybe I’m over-reacting because many of the women I know who keep what my friend R. calls “polygamy cult hair” because their husbands just luh-huv it and of course there is nothing more repulsive to me than doing things that makes other people happy.
So what do you think? Is ultra-long hair unprofessional looking? What message does it send? For those of you who love your long-long locks why do you keep it? Would you ever cut it?

67 Responses to “The Big Question: How Long is Too Long?”

  1. Genevieve May 23, 2008 at 7:50 pm #

    “It sounds slightly silly, but since chopping my hair, I feel more fierce, more adult, and more capable of tackling whatever life throws at me.”

    So do I! It’s funny, a lot of women in my section cut their hair this year, either saying they always wanted to but never did, or doing it “for a change,” and then saying the made them feel more like fierce lady lawyers. :D

  2. Peaches May 23, 2008 at 8:11 pm #

    After chopping my shoulder length wavy hair into a fun and flirty short bobish style, Id never go back. Got a trim today and feel like a million bucks!

    Im not a fan of long hair but the question of it being professional or not seems odd. Its hair- not sandals on Wall Street.

  3. QuiteLight May 23, 2008 at 11:12 pm #

    I had short hair for a few years in high school, but immediately grew in quite long for university, because I had heinous self-esteem & thought it was the only pretty or feminine thing about me.

    Trying to mix it up a few years ago, I got a cool long layered cut from my beloved hair stylist, who then passed away suddenly. (Miss you, Paul.) I bounced from hair-dresser to hair-dresser, desperately trying to find someone who understood “trim”. Trim apparently meant “short punk-y Ashlee Simpson shag”. I am not a fan. I cried a lot. Finally I found someone I trusted enough to cut the whole mess off into a short chin length bob.

    Which I love, & feel sexier than ever before, literally. Even my long-hair wearing & loving man loves it; it exposes a lot of neck! I really do feel bold.

  4. Laura May 24, 2008 at 12:55 pm #

    I don’t really see why super-long hair is any different than super-short hair. I like my hair cut up above my jaw; I know plenty of people with very long hair. I think as long as long hair is kept well-groomed, it’s plenty professional — but when it’s not, it can be problematic.

    I am thinking of two of my coworkers, now: one with butt-length hair that she keeps neatly in a bun or braid — always clean and tidy, cared-for, trimmed. The other has equally long hair that is rarely clean and rarely brushed — she chops her bangs off in the front, almost to mullet-levels, and her hair is in a scrunchied braid that looks as if it hasn’t been brushed out and re-braided in a week or so, ends sticking out everywhere, snarls — a giant mess!

    Coworker 1 will probably always have professional hair, no matter how long it is.
    Coworker 2 would have unprofessional hair even if she cut it as short as mine, because she probably STILL wouldn’t wash or brush it.

    It’s not the length, it’s the person.

  5. Theda Bara May 24, 2008 at 3:40 pm #

    Put me down with the rest of the crowd that opines that whatever length is is, it has a style.

    I am off to mix myself a stiff cocktail after reading that “a certain age” for a woman is now 30.

  6. dowdydiva May 24, 2008 at 10:42 pm #

    ITA with Laura

    My friend has hair to her hips. It’s in great shape, and she wears it cause she loves it long, and she loved that her grandmother wore it long, too. She usually has it in a braid or bun but it’s also stunning down. But if she wasn’t as good with it as she is, then it wouldn’t work.

  7. Dee May 25, 2008 at 11:29 am #

    When I was a little girl (5 or 6), I had long, thick, beautiful hair. As soon as I got glasses and started to look fat (at 7), my mom began cutting it into a Dorothy Hamill (an androgenous short cut). It wasn’t a flattering cut for me, and my hair stayed short most of the time until my senior year in high school, when I got contact lenses and started dating. Looking back, I’m tempted to think that my parents went with the low maintenance cut as soon as I stopped being pretty. Why bother with long hair on a chubby, geeky-looking girl? And, I’m sure that was my attitude as well.

    When I got into size acceptance in my early twenties, one thing I did was grow my hair out and experiment with looking feminine and/or sexy sometimes. It was quite liberating.

    I’m in my late thirties now, and I usually wear my hair in a shoulder length bob, but occasionally I let it grow out for a while. It’s less professional-looking (I usually wear it back in a clip or up in a french twist for work when it’s long), but I think long hair is pretty and romantic-looking. I don’t see it as being inappropriate for older women.

  8. KES May 25, 2008 at 10:16 pm #

    I have about bra-strap length hair, which I’m a little uncomfortable with at this point. It’s really awesome hair, which is the problem. It’s almost like being pregnant. People just come up to me and touch my hair, because it’s long and blond and quite curly. So yeah, to be professional, I wear it up, because I feel like it sometimes just has a personality of its own.

  9. Kimks May 25, 2008 at 10:17 pm #

    I am growing my hair out for the second time for Locks of Love- I have long, board straight hair that hasn’t been bleached so it is perfect for donating. Even with growing it out I still make it to my stylist every 8 weeks for a trim- keep the scraggly’s down. I keep it in a decent bun, braid or twist for work and a pony tail for play. I grow it to about waist length, cut it to shoulder length and donate the 18 inches to help kids wthout hair have a wig for self confidence. My Neice, daughter, step daughter and I all do it to do a small part with minnimal effort to improve the lives of kids. We have great hair- we might as well share it.

  10. dcsurfergirl May 26, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    My layered wavy/curly/whatever hair is perilously close to bra band length. I find it’s actually easier to care for than short hair.

    I am more concerned about encountering Plumcake and her murderous rages, especially if I am wearing my hair loose and accessorizing with my “Return to Tiffany” collection jewelry.

  11. Nariya May 27, 2008 at 10:00 am #

    Haha, what an unexpectedly controversial topic! Being from India, I laugh when you say that long hair can’t be stylish; there are so many beautiful examples of it to be seen over there. To me, long hair is gorgeous and timeless. And perhaps long hair being inappropriate for older women is a western thing?

    Anyway, you are entitled to your opinion, and you are definitely right that uncared-for hair looks bad, no matter what the length. This post has inspired me to double-check how it looks every morning, and make sure I’m not giving long hair a bad name. Thanks! :)

  12. Dent May 28, 2008 at 10:59 am #

    I agree with most sentiments expressed; long hair only looks good if you take care of it. Nothing looks worse than straggly thin wisps of hair going past your waist. And as others have stated, if you need to put up long hair, you can do it just as well with bra-strap length hair than waist length.

    What I find revolting is the desperate *attachment* some women (or their family/friends…) have for their hair. I was appalled when I watched an episode of What Not to Wear in which the woman absolutely refused to allow Nick to cut her hair. We’re talking about a guy who charges hundreds of dollars to normal clients. He knows what he is doing, and without a good hair style your new wardrobe is nothing!

    Because my hair grows so fast (I shaved my head over three years ago and now it’s down to my bra) I have never worried about opting for a radical cut or change in hair style. So it’s hard for me to relate to women who fear hair cuts. I suppose if my hair barely grew I might be a bit more hesitant…But even then, it’s just hair. A good stylist can work wonders, no matter the length.

  13. La BellaDonna May 29, 2008 at 6:51 pm #

    I have worn my hair short, mid-length, and in various permutations and colours. I tried, over the course of probably 10 years, to get a perm (I had drawings! Photographs! Clear verbal instructions!) that would give me both the curly hair, and the hairstyle, that I wanted.

    My hair is now lap-length, and I’m 50. I will wack off the last five inches or so when the cat has been chewing it (!). I wear it in a French braid to work, where I do in fact look professional; it anchors my hats; it anchors hair-pieces for historical work; I can wind it around the strap of a wrestling helmet to keep it out of the way, when necessary; and I can let it down when I choose, for personal occasions. I have no reason to cut it, and, since Plumcake is so adamant against people doing things to please others, I don’t have to worry about pleasing her, either.

    That should make her happy.

  14. Ron June 24, 2008 at 1:46 am #

    My wife is over 50 and has hair past her waist, one length. She is not so crazy to chop an asset that makes her appear 10-15 years younger. No matter what jealous women say! Humph!

  15. Kelly October 9, 2008 at 8:52 am #

    I found your topic of dicussion interesting. I’ve have a few good friends for 30 years who where their hair long and now their own girls have long hair. They refer to their own hair as their “security blanket” and” trade mark”. When we were kids I can understand wanting to wear pig tails, braids, barrets, etc but I personally think past the bra strap looks excessive on a women or even a young lady. People may say it’s rude to judge but that’s how our brains operate. We use our judgement to function in society. May of us percieve women with long hair as looking a bit unkept and unclean and certainly outdated. Let’s be frank. people see playboy bunnies on tv with th long blonde bleached hair and they think I want to look sexy but somehow it just doesn’t translate in reality and nearly look half as appealing. Many people do associate the hair style with pologamy and holy rollers. I’ve heard people throughout my lifetime insinuate very long haired women to be white trash, hilly billies, country bumpkins. I admit it is cruel and mean ,but frankly, it’s happening. 99% of the time I would bet the women wearing these styles have no idea whatsoever about how people percieve them strictly based on thier hairstyles. They are so fixated about looking sexy but I often wonder if they are hiding and think their hair defines who they are as women. If you saw a man wearing a beard down to his waist you can not tell me many people wouldn’t judge and call him dirty or homeless or think he was hiding. I know sevearl men who tell their women they must wear their hair long bc that is sexy. I think those men have a whole set of issues too long to even address. Dead end hair dragging in the toilet is anything but sexy. and finding one of those long hairs in the kitchen or near a baby is pretty disgusting. I may get crucified for this post but everyone is entitled to an opinion.

  16. Ellen February 1, 2009 at 11:53 pm #

    To sum everything up would be,God’s Word says, if a woman has long hair it is her Glory,and if a woman cuts her hair ,she would be as if she were bald.I would love to tell all of you that does not want your blessing of long hair.I am praying now that God lets me have what you don’t want.To have long hair gives you power over unclean spirits,to have angels about you in protection.Sooo if you dont want that,just say Please give that blessing to Ellen,in Jesus Name ,I’LL TAKE IT.I don’t have long hair like that,I would love to have it,yes,theres a thorn with it I know ,but doesn’t roses have thorns too.They are beautiful,and bless others around them.Dont get me wrong,I am thankful for what God has given me,but just in case you want to throw that away,please ask God to send it to me ok??…..THANKS

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