Sunday, July 4, 2010

Seeing My Hair The Way It Really Is

If there's one thing I've learned during my long hair journey, it's that I often don't see my hair the way others see it. Sometimes my hair gets longer and I reach new goals, but for some reason it just doesn't feel long. 

I know I'm not alone. I read posts by people all the time at The Long Hair Community, who have achieved even extreme lengths, and they don't feel that their hair is actually very long. To the rest of us, it really does look lengthy, but to that person, it just doesn't. Those same people will look at photos of others with the same or even shorter length, and think that the other person's hair looks longer than their own.

When my hair was closing in on waist length a couple of years ago, I really didn't have the sense of having very long hair. It's only in retrospect that I look at old photos from that time and I think to myself, "wow, my hair was really long then!"

I don't really know why this phenomenon occurs, but it does. It takes the edge off of reaching certain goals. Perhaps it's that the length sneaks up so very slowly. Perhaps it's just that we never do see ourselves the way others do. I think many of us are more critical of themselves than others are.  I know I am.

Right now, I do have long hair, in real world standards.  In Long Hair Community standards, it's really not very long.

I think I really need to learn to observe my hair in photos as though I were looking at someone else's hair.  I think that might be the only way to see my hair the way it really is.

Feeling that my hair is "less than" is really quite destructive thinking, and could really lead to giving in to a chop out of frustration.

Don't worry, I have no plans to chop, it's just that I recognize now when I have a false sense of the length of my hair. I need to learn how to detach and be able to see it as it is.  I don't want to reach BSL in a few months and still feel that my hair is too short.  I don't want to reach waist length next year and yet still feel that my hair is too short.

So that's the latest thing that I realize I need to work on in this journey. I need to learn to be as kind to myself as I am to others. This is a hard lesson for me, but I really want to get there. It will certainly make reaching goals much more rewarding.

I want to wish all of my American friends a very Happy Independence Day. I know how good it feels to be able to collectively celebrate the love of one's country. I hope you're all enjoying the day, and all that it means.

'Til tomorrow.

Love to all.


  1. I know what you mean about looking back on photos and realising your hair was long after all. When I first started growing my hair out again I had a photo of myself that I'd often look at and long for my hair to get to that same point. When it did, I didn't even realise it because it still felt short to me. Now I'm slowly moving toward classic from tailbone and finally my hair is starting to feel long. It's taken long enough! lol Now I seem to get it caught on things or people all the time and when I move my head a certain way I can feel the weight of it. However, it's so long that I rarely wear it down nowadays which spoils the fun just a little.

  2. The one thing that truly amazes me is when someone says my hair looks "cute." (Ok, admittedly, that is the best I ever get!! LOL) It has truly taken on an unkempt look, that of steel wool as I've let it go gray. The cut hasn't helped any either and I should have left it alone. I never learn. Anyway, even when it was long, I saw a photo that had the back of my head in it and I was appalled at how wild and wooly my hair looked. I have never found a good look for my particular type of hair and odd looking face that just said "wow!" It has been 51 years; I suspect I never will. The odd thing is that I seem to handle my hair better than most stylists. Sigh...The best was when the Turkish stylists got their hands on it. Lots of heat and steady hard pulling (their stylists were men, at least when we lived there) and I had a nice looking head of hair then. Sigh...

    Am I sighing too much? Anyway, you can tell that your words struck a chord with me, yes? For me though, I think it is the flip side...I think people say things about my hair that just doesn't match up with what I can see in the mirror. And I don't feel I am being hard on myself; just brutally honest!

    Now you...You have one gorgeous head of hair!!

  3. You have a gorgeous head of hair! I only wish I had your patience.


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