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View Full Version : Prefer the appearance of hair extensions to natural hair? Now I have heard it all.



BombaySapphire
July 12th, 2010, 03:24 AM
Well. It is a long story, and can probably go off into several tangents but I will shorten it for the sake of clarity.

I recently mentioned on another forum that I did not like the look of hair extensions for special occasions, and also have not seen any done well where I live. I brought this up in a conversation where I was wondering WHY in Bridal magazines etc you rarely see brides with short cute hairstyles. Personally, I have nothing against short hair and I don't care what people do to theirs but extensions for a special occasion do frustrate me.

Where I grew up, cutting off a woman's hair was a sacrifice. Her hair gift then would be sold to the highest American bidder and this was seen as the ultimate form of greed. Many of my neighbors actually thought white women could not grow hair, because they were so confused as to why they would need to buy it. One aunt of mine put it well: "just because you want it, doesn't mean you should reach out and grab it. Patience is the best reward." This article nicely illustrates my thoughts: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1036155/Why-Ill-wear-hair-extensions-pop-star-Jamelia.html

Anyway on this bridal website I was attacked by the brides, who claimed that they "prefer the look of extensions over real hair any day", "why do you want to have waist length hair anyway", "long hair is disgusting", and that I was offensive for even saying that I did not like extensions. They said I was rubbing it in their faces that I had long hair that I enjoy. I still am surprised at the ferociousness of the attack but what surprised me the most is that so many people said that they actually PREFERRED fake extensions over naturally grown hair. Somehow to these brides, natural length is disgusting, but hair extensions GLUED into their hair (and they have no idea where it came from) is not at all gross. Wow.

I have a feeling that the brides are frustrated because they want to accept and love their short hair on their wedding day. However like I mentioned above, there are almost no examples of short styles in any media outlet. They are probably the victims of subliminal marketing and don't even know it. I asked them why they felt the need to get extensions on their wedding day and while some took offense to my question, the only other responses I got was along the line of "just because I just want to." Every woman I have met with long hair has given a good reason for it, either she does it for cultural reasons, or because her mother had long hair, because the goal of growing hair out is fun, or because she thought long hair was beautiful. There has ALWAYS been a reason either than 'just because'.

Has anyone else ever heard anything like this before? Is this all a new cultural phenomenon, or perhaps a new marketing device to get even more money from brides-to-be?

emmabovary
July 12th, 2010, 03:44 AM
What the hell? It sounds to me like they were infuriatingly envious and convinced themselves that long hair was disgusting and so on just to repair their confidence or something. Who thinks extensions look better than real hair? LOL.

Dreams_in_Pink
July 12th, 2010, 03:44 AM
Welcome to LHC! :)

I've used both permanent extensions and clip-ins in the past. I'm still using clip-ins; if you ask me why i'm wearing them i'd say i regret having my waist-length hair cut and want to feel like a long hair again. I think this is a good reason for wearing extensions because hair doesn't grow overnight.

I think the reason those brides said "just because" is that they cannot put their finger on what makes extensions look better than long hair. Extensions usually do look better because you have long hair without weighed-down roots and they have the extensions put in a salon, where they do everything they possibly can to make it all look awesome. When you live with long hair, you have to go through all the down sides of having long hair like bad hair days, split ends etc.

But to be honest, although they saved my confidence in earlier stages of growth, i'd love not to have to put them on to have long hair. That's why my goal length is tailbone length. Wearing extensions isn't half as comfy as wearing your natural hair. ;)

I think everyone has the right to decide what's best for their hair. If they want to be fooled into salons let them be; because they chose to go there instead of joining LHC and caring for their hair. People should open their eyes themselves to see what's going on around them, forcing them into the good way will not change the way they see themselves. (i know from myself, i did mistakes and learned my lesson)

naereid
July 12th, 2010, 04:12 AM
The Fox and the Grapes, anyone? :p
Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although she leaped with all her strength. As she went away, the fox remarked, 'Oh, you aren't even ripe yet! I don't need any sour grapes.' People who speak disparagingly of things that they cannot attain would do well to apply this story to themselves.
Now, I understand the "ick" factor most people have when seeing extremely long hair. But then shouldn't hair extensions be even more icky? It's hair cut from someone else's head just to be glued onto yours. Gross. :confused:

Dressing up for your wedding is fine, but completely changing who you are just to fit into some magazine's preconceived notion of what a perfect bride should look like... :( I mean, if they personally thought long hair looked perfect, they'd grow it out or wear extensions all the time, right? Not just for one day.

But I guess they could also believe that despite looking nice, long hair is hard to deal with. IMO, putting makeup on every morning is much more annoying. :laugh:

Judging from what you said though, it's not the case of long hair simply being a nuisance.

glossyshine
July 12th, 2010, 04:35 AM
Welcome to the forum! Yours is one of the most interesting posts I've ever read.

I'm American, and I've spent 3 months of the last year in India. There's more beautiful hair, per capita, in India than in anyplace I've ever seen, and hair care is a much bigger part of Indian culture than it is in the US.

All of my Indian girlfriends and I talked constantly about hair care, much than I do with my friends here. The women I spent time with generally make their own conditioners and hair products, and people of both sexes henna their hair whenever they feel like it. At the salons, 2 people blow dry your hair, because otherwise they'd never get it done.

I observed that it's rare for Indian women to cut their hair. (I didn't visit any of the temples where it's done for sacrifice.) In the US until very recently, there was an expectation that when you reached a certain age, especially if you had a high-powered job, you would cut your hair to look "professional".

I never intended to cut my hair, and I seem to be among a wave of women who decided the same thing. But women older than us do almost always have short hair.

The first person I told I had joined this website, a woman who I did not know particularly well, said, in all seriousness, "Long hair? For adult women? That's a fetish thing, right?" I was TRULY shocked by this. I just want to take good care of my hair. I couldn't help but notice than she had short, thin, blah hair.

So, in short, I think you got the reactions you got at that bridal site because of petty jealousy. I also think there's an American notion of "wash and go" and doing everything fast and for convenience. If you want healthy long hair, you can't be like that. You have to slow down, pay attention, and be gentle --3 very non-American (and probably non British as well) notions at this time.

Sadly, the tragic origins of many hair extensions probably don't matter to most Westerners, who are used to just grabbing what they want when they want it. (I say that as a Westerner who's just as guilty of that as anyone else.)

alwayssmiling
July 12th, 2010, 04:52 AM
I have now thrown my hair extentions away. I found it difficult to make them look good. I found myself spotting others with extentions and knew that mine were that obvious too. I much prefer my own hair now, even though it is shorter than what I would like. Patience is a virtue indeed, and I am actually enjoying the journey. Each month I'm able to do more things with my hair as it grows, and I love seeing pictures taken and seeing it getting gradually longer. I also enjoy learning about personal haircare to help it on its way - its a fascinating journey imo.

ravenreed
July 12th, 2010, 04:57 AM
I am always torn when I hear tales of exploitation in other countries. While it is horrible that those women get so desperate that they feel they have to sell their hair, if we stop the practice, what is there left for them to sell? How else will they make money? I know that if it was a choice between feeding my sons and shaving my head, I would have gone bald in a heartbeat. I don't think we can take away one way for them to survive without offering something in return. Or perhaps placing pressure on those who buy the hair to pay more for what they are getting.

Anyway, it is a moot point for me because the only clip-ins I have are fake hair. I would feel a little weirded out by putting a stranger's hair in mine.

twilight
July 12th, 2010, 05:20 AM
Welcome to the forum! Yours is one of the most interesting posts I've ever read.

I'm American, and I've spent 3 months of the last year in India. There's more beautiful hair, per capita, in India than in anyplace I've ever seen, and hair care is a much bigger part of Indian culture than it is in the US.

All of my Indian girlfriends and I talked constantly about hair care, much than I do with my friends here. The women I spent time with generally make their own conditioners and hair products, and people of both sexes henna their hair whenever they feel like it. At the salons, 2 people blow dry your hair, because otherwise they'd never get it done.

I observed that it's rare for Indian women to cut their hair. (I didn't visit any of the temples where it's done for sacrifice.) In the US until very recently, there was an expectation that when you reached a certain age, especially if you had a high-powered job, you would cut your hair to look "professional".

I never intended to cut my hair, and I seem to be among a wave of women who decided the same thing. But women older than us do almost always have short hair.

The first person I told I had joined this website, a woman who I did not know particularly well, said, in all seriousness, "Long hair? For adult women? That's a fetish thing, right?" I was TRULY shocked by this. I just want to take good care of my hair. I couldn't help but notice than she had short, thin, blah hair.

So, in short, I think you got the reactions you got at that bridal site because of petty jealousy. I also think there's an American notion of "wash and go" and doing everything fast and for convenience. If you want healthy long hair, you can't be like that. You have to slow down, pay attention, and be gentle --3 very non-American (and probably non British as well) notions at this time.

Sadly, the tragic origins of many hair extensions probably don't matter to most Westerners, who are used to just grabbing what they want when they want it. (I say that as a Westerner who's just as guilty of that as anyone else.)

this whole thread is disturbingly interesting, but i just wanted to add that i think glossyshine's post is 100% right-on. i definitely felt that 'cut it or bust' pressure when i was in the 'professional' workforce at a university not so long ago. there is a lingering prejudice in american culture that only hippies and weirdos--'a FETISH thing'?!--have very long hair...read any girlie magazine and the big hair no-no is growing past your nipples. ha! and WHY??

i disagree about the convenience and wash-and-go bit, sort of, only because in my experience shorter hair is often more tedious to style (blowdryers, products, etc), but the part about having to slow down and be gentle with long hair is SO true and so un-american at this time. i'm jealous you got to visit india, whatever your reasons :p

for 'most women' *grain of salt here* i guess it's just easier to have somebody cut and bleach it for you every few weeks, and when you want to look "beautiful" and "special" just slap in the extensions and you don't have to maintain anything or put forth effort caring for it. maybe that's it--the dedication and care longhairs put into their growth is what repels these women, they just don't know it.

i like the fox and the grapes thing too, naereid, that was good!

Quahatundightu
July 12th, 2010, 05:30 AM
Thank you for posting that article. Crazy to read they even take the hair from corpses and rubbish dumps... I have never had extensions (they don't seem to exist in my colour anyway hehe!) but after reading this, I am even more sure it's not the right idea for me.

vanity_acefake
July 12th, 2010, 06:12 AM
I saw the tv program and was horrified by what it showed. I have worn hair extensions before but always synthetic ones which were crazy colours. I have always had a big problem with real hair extensions and the fact that they must have come from woman and men who were so poor that they sold their hair for a small amount of money just to survive. The idea of putting someone elses hair in my hair has also always made me feel sick. It upsets me that salons and the people who get hair extensions put in do not think about the people who are exploited to provide the hair and realise that they are part of the exploitation. I can understand that a bride wants to look her best on her wedding day but i think that for 1 day that they could use synthetic extensions (which now a days look just like real hair. Ok so they may not feel real but who is going to feel the hair?). Although as we all know there is nothing like having the patience and love of growing and caring for your own real hair.

FrannyG
July 12th, 2010, 06:15 AM
There are so many cultural phenomena that many culture will never understand about another.

I've never worn extensions, but the women I know in real life who have are the type of people who could never grow long healthy hair, for a variety of reasons.

As far these brides thinking that natural long waist length hair is somehow gross, well, I think some of them actually do feel that way. However, I think the majority are people who can't do it themselves.

How they can reconcile the idea of wearing long extensions made from real hair though, is beyond me.

I doubt that 99% of people who wear extensions ever really even wonder where the hair comes from.

This is a very interesting topic, BombaySapphire. Thank you for starting this thread and welcome to LHC. :blossom:

TiltedHal0
July 12th, 2010, 06:24 AM
Why were you on that site? Are you getting married? I guess I would be offended if I were thnking of getting extentions for my wedding and someone came along and said they didn't like them, etc. It just sounds like the person/persons were offended and didn't know what else to say...I would just let it go...women are emotional and sensitive planning for a wedding anyway ;)

MsBubbles
July 12th, 2010, 06:37 AM
Extensions for wedding bug me too, just about as much as 'tendrils', which seem to be mandatory for weddings too. Why do women all of a sudden have to have wavy hair and tendrils for their wedding?!?! What's wrong with their normal hair?!

I would say those women on that other board have this extreme reaction because it's too short notice for them to actually grow their hair out again in time for their wedding, so they're vehemently defending the use of extensions.

From what I understand here in the US now girls are shelling out thousands for fake hair for prom, even! (a high-school related shindig type ritual). As if dumping a fortune on a prom dress wasn't enough...

spidermom
July 12th, 2010, 07:04 AM
Considering the number of people who use high heat to style their hair, extensions probably do look better than their own hair would if they grew it out.

twolunarspring
July 12th, 2010, 07:26 AM
I wonder if many people even realise or think about the fact that it's real hair? Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that women were having someone else's real hair glued into their tresses :eek: until I saw them for sale in a shop once, and the packets said "100% high quality human hair from the Philippines". What a world.

contradiction
July 12th, 2010, 07:37 AM
If I was a bride and you attacked my choices I'd be pretty upset too. I actually do think in many cases, extensions look better (especially on very fine or thin hair types).

jackiesjottings
July 12th, 2010, 07:49 AM
Hmm- why would someone want to look so radically different from how they really are on their wedding day? Very odd but to me, symbolic of the "want it now, don't want to wait" culture we seem to live in. Maybe they think having a lovely long hair do for their wedding is faery tail ish but don't want to go to the effort of growing their own hair. Oh well, each to their own, and I did buy a clip in hair piece when I had just started growing and regretted my cut, but I prefer real.

Nae
July 12th, 2010, 08:10 AM
I am not suprised at the crazy replies to your comment after I realized you were talking to a bunch of brides. They can get so emotionally invested in things that it is difficult for even their families to give well-meaning advice much less strangers. They have the term "bridezilla" for a reason. :) It is an important day for them and they want it just "perfect."

I personally don't like the idea of extentions and would want look like myself on my wedding day. (Which I think I did.) But yikes, sorry you had to deal with that!

curlylocks85
July 12th, 2010, 08:14 AM
If I was a bride and you attacked my choices I'd be pretty upset too.

Why? It is just one person's opinion and you will never meet that person anyway. Why does it matter if that is what said person wants and feels comfortable with wearing? It's not like she said she would look bad she was just stating her preference, just like the brides did?

HikerTrash
July 12th, 2010, 08:15 AM
Wow. I never knew that extensions were real hair and that women wore them on their wedding day. I always thought they were fake hair with wild colors and women with a punk rock kind of style wore them. I guess I'm just old, but none of my friends or people in my family ever wore hair extensions on their wedding day. I don't even think they were invented yet.

triumphator!
July 12th, 2010, 08:23 AM
It has always struck me that brides are so invested in shallow, fashionable things like hair extensions, when a wedding is supposed to be a celebration of deep, lifelong feelings...

A wedding shouldn't be a "perfect day" based on whether all the guests behaved and all the shades of peach coordinated and the DJ played the songs in the right order... when in a marraige are there days like that?

:confused:

TrudieCat
July 12th, 2010, 08:26 AM
Considering the number of people who use high heat to style their hair, extensions probably do look better than their own hair would if they grew it out.

I agree with this.

There is a uniformity to hair extensions that suits the western taste. I understand that this is a result of how the hair in the extensions is processed and sealed. Hair extensions don't frizz and always looks shiny. Extensions hold a uniform wave or curl better than a lot of natural hair does. People use a lot of heat styling to try to achieve the same thing - they want to know exactly how their hair will look and control for the variables that are a part of natural hair (uneven curls/waves, frizz, and heavy or poofy ends, to name a few). I think that uniformity and predictability is what a lot of the hairstyles featured in mainstream magazines are about.

I used to feel that I wasn't "dressed up" if my hair had the slightest bit of frizz or non-uniformity to its look, the same way I would feel not dressed up if my dress was wrinkled. I never used extensions, but I used a LOT of heat styling in pursuit of a more standardized look for my hair. I think there is a cultural pressure in the west to have your hair completely uniform and under control (not sure about in other cultures, as I have never lived anywhere else). It's really all you see in the magazines and make-over segments on TV. I feel very lucky that I was able to break away from this mindset, with the help of the members at LHC.

The article was very interesting, thanks for posting!

MonaMayfair
July 12th, 2010, 08:37 AM
Well I can understand the "ick" factor if they're using real hair, but not if it's synthetic. Also, I think that extensions can certainly look better than real hair (lots of women wear them for added volume for example)

As for wearing them on your wedding day, that makes perfect sense to me. If you happen to have a short modern haircut, it would probably not look appropriate with a girly princessy dress. Weddings are all about the dressing up to a lot for people. I'm religious, so that would be a big part of my wedding, but an awful lot of people aren't bothered about that aspect of it, even if they marry in church.

If extensions didn't cause damage and if I didn't have such an incredibly sensitve scalp I'd be wearing them myself until my (shoulder longth) hair has grown longer. I've got a hairpiece (synthetic hair) I sometimes wear to make it look like my hair's longer in an updo.

Lastly, I think lots of people genuinely find very long hair gross. I've had hip length hair before, but I don't really like hair any longer than that. Everyone's different.

Angeletti
July 12th, 2010, 09:00 AM
so according to these psycho brides on the site having long natural hair is gross but imitating long natural hair isn't? I find this funny : )

Medievalmaniac
July 12th, 2010, 09:13 AM
I don't get it. The argument is "I think long hair is disgusting."

So, you get extensions so it looks like you have long hair on your wedding day?

Why would you want to look "disgusting" (your words) on your wedding day?

Why don't they teach logic in schools anymore? It takes about twenty seconds to realize the utter incompatibility with what these women are saying and what they are doing.

These women really need to consider what they are saying before they open their mouths. It's not a problem if they do not like long hair. But if they do not like long hair, but then get extensions, that makes them either liars, hypocrites, or completely confused about what they actually think.

SIGH.

contradiction
July 12th, 2010, 09:26 AM
This is a website dedicated to growing out long hair naturally, not everyone else will share this view and I find it really immature that so many members here find the need to push "long hair" into everyone else's face. There is nothing wrong with extensions.

Medievalmaniac
July 12th, 2010, 09:48 AM
There isn't anything wrong with extensions. You're absolutely right on that. The problem I see is that the women getting extensions are arguing that "long hair is disgusting", and then getting extensions to lengthen their hair. I don't object to the practice (and even if I did, it wouldn't matter a whit). I object to the utter illogic of the action in juxtaposition with the word. It's inauthentic.

In other words - who cares if they get extensions? Not me. But in return, I'd prefer they didn't tell me my naturally long hair is disgusting.

Fair's fair.... :)

kristymarie87
July 12th, 2010, 09:51 AM
maybe they just do prefer fake hair! And thats ok, thats thier opinion, just like i hate fake hair.

People are allowed to disagree right? An what i like, you may not, and thats ok!

I agree maybe they didnt need to be so over the top saying real hair is discusting. But freedom of speech right?

Medievalmaniac
July 12th, 2010, 10:01 AM
"I agree maybe they didnt need to be so over the top saying real hair is discusting. But freedom of speech right?"

Right - within reason. But sometimes, watching how you say something makes all the difference.

For example - as I have said - I believe we are all entitled to do whatever we like with our hair.

Apparently, there are many who feel that growing hair long is "disgusting", and have openly said so. Yet, they then take the hair someone else grew long and paste it to their heads. If they are using synthetic hair, they are still attempting to have long hair when they have said they think long hair is gross. :hmm:

In what world are such people not behaving very hypocritically? :confused:

If the statement had been, "I don't want to grow my hair long, I just want it long for my wedding" or something along those lines, I seriously doubt anyone would lift an eyebrow.

It's all in the wording of what is said, in this case.

Freedom of speech is important, and I support it. But I also support the freedom to criticize when said speech is either illogical, hypocritical, or just plain doesn't make any sense. Which, in the end, is also freedom of speech. Or, maybe, we should call that freedom of rebuttal? :p

Nightshade
July 12th, 2010, 10:02 AM
This is a website dedicated to growing out long hair naturally, not everyone else will share this view and I find it really immature that so many members here find the need to push "long hair" into everyone else's face. There is nothing wrong with extensions.

No, everyone won't. Do I personally give a rat's little bum if someone gets extensions? Nope.

Can I spot them half a mile away? Yep.

I think what has people up in arms is that somehow real long hair is "gross" but wearing fake hair or even someone else's hair is not. Glue is not gross. Traction alopecia is not gross. But REAL long hair! :scared:

It's the hypocrisy that these are the type of women who like to look down their nose at friends/relatives with long natural hair and nag them to cut it into something "fashionable" and then on their wedding day go and try to emulate long hair.

There's nothing inherently wrong with that at all, it's just noting the contradicting opinions. :shrug:

ETA: Medievalmaniac said it better above me. I can see why someone would feel their short and sassy spiky 'do isn't formal enough for a wedding updo. I get that. I wouldn't do it, but I can understand. It's the hypocrisy here that's the flashpoint.

embee
July 12th, 2010, 10:05 AM
Heh. When I was highschool/college age my mother bought for me a "fall" - a fake ponytail. It was real human hair, and when I wore it, my ponytail was a bit below BSL. I felt *gorgeous*. :) I loved the feeling of that hair against my skin, I was like a girl child with long-hair-of-fabric.

Always envious of the person who had grown it, because it was wavy, thick, coarse golden hair. ... and mine was thin stick-straight fine golden hair.

It never occurred to me to think anything bad of the women who grew hair, it was a way for them to make money, and I knew even then that if my hair were that quality selling would be something I myself could do, but my hair wasn't the right kind. And I wanted *my own* long hair, growing from my own head, but it would never be like that ponytail was.

Remember the story of the comb and the watch chain, where he sold his watch to buy her the lovely comb, and she sold her hair to buy him a watch chain? There was nothing "bad" about selling the hair. it was an act of sacrifice.

I guess the long hair goes with the princess wedding dress look, and it's all only for a day - though it seems odd to me to be so "not yourself" on such a day. Sorry the OP got flamed for an opinion, but it must have really touched some nerves! Maybe the attacking brides *do* feel funny about the fakeness of their hair? ;)

slythwolf
July 12th, 2010, 10:06 AM
I agree maybe they didnt need to be so over the top saying real hair is discusting. But freedom of speech right?

When the government tells them they're not allowed to say real hair is disgusting, "freedom of speech" will become relevant.

VanillaTresses
July 12th, 2010, 10:25 AM
Wow. I agree that to each his own, short hair and long hair both alike can be beautiful.

I do think that the denigration of the natural longhairs is way out of line; saying that naturally very long hair is "dirty" or "disgusting" is rather ironic considering that people who wear extensions are wearing the very hair that longhairs once had on their head. That is what chafes me the most.

HintOfMint
July 12th, 2010, 11:05 AM
In a word, Bridezillas.

I am reminded of Diane Savino (NY state senator) and her speech supporting marriage equality, and in particular, the absurdity of the "sanctity of marriage" argument. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/02/diane-savino-on-ny-gay-ma_n_377536.html

"Turn on the television. We have a wedding channel on cable TV devoted to the behavior of people on their way to the altar. They spend billions of dollars, behave in the most appalling way, all in an effort to be princess for a day. You don’t have cable television? Put on network TV. We’re giving away husbands on a game show... That’s what we’ve done to marriage in America, where young women are socialized from the time they’re five years old to think of being nothing but a bride. They plan every day what they’ll wear, how they’ll look, the invitations, the whole bit. They don’t spend five minutes thinking about what it means to be a wife."

Frankly, I think the statements mentioned in the OP about long hair being disgusting has to do with how they think their hair would look long with all the blowdrying, flat-ironing and dying they do to it. It is rare for me to see in real life healthy long hair beyond BSL.

But their hostile and defensive behavior is appalling and sad. The sour grapes syndrome has never been so apparent, and I'm not one to jump to the "envy" excuse so quickly. But these are also very sad women. These are women who have it drilled into their heads that the way they look is not good enough for a bride. They have all this pressure (some self-inflicted) to have this perfect day that involves the perfect look (what princess had an edgy bob?) and when someone questions that, they go bonkers.

Medievalmaniac
July 12th, 2010, 11:21 AM
In a word, Bridezillas.

(what princess had an edgy bob?) and when someone questions that, they go bonkers.

Diana (http://www.smvblog.com/nonita/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/43g.jpg)...Sophie. (http://www.etoile.co.uk/Gifs/apphoto.jpg)...but I totally agree with you on every other count. :)

chelssix
July 12th, 2010, 11:55 AM
I find it a little odd that someone would want to add an extreme amount of hair to look "natural" and "romantic" just for one day. Why can't you just wear your shorter hair, but style it natural and romantic? If it suits you, stick with it, and make it special for your wedding!

kabelaced
July 12th, 2010, 11:56 AM
Diana (http://www.smvblog.com/nonita/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/43g.jpg)...Sophie. (http://www.etoile.co.uk/Gifs/apphoto.jpg)...but I totally agree with you on every other count. :)

Princess Diana was so beautiful! Even though she had short hair, she always looked so regal. Definitely inspiring to those who get married with short hair.

In my opinion, if you think long hair is so beautiful on the "best day of your life", then why don't you try to make every day a little like the best day of your life (i.e. grow out the long hair that made you feel so beautiful then)? I don't know - I think a lot of women who oppose having real long hair imagine the split ends, frizziness, or don't want to look like Janis Joplin or Yoko Ono or something - they think that long hair immediately gives them the attitude/personality of someone else, and that's totally not true. That, and laziness - people say long hair takes so much effort to style everyday when, in reality, it can be as simple as doing an elegant bun. (Plus, it doesn't get in your face all the time, like short "stylish" cuts!)

I've never worn extensions, but as a cosplayer, I've worn long hair wigs. They're fun to wear for a little bit, but they're always in blatantly fake colors, like navy blue and yellowy orange. I'd much prefer to be able to boast my real hair being that length! :P

MathnSkating
July 12th, 2010, 12:17 PM
I don't much like hair extensions, but to be honest I don't know much about them. As a teenager I never really got the point. I figured, "If you want long hair, why don't you just grow it?" Getting extensions wasn't economically feasible so it never entered my realm of understanding until I hit college. The idea of glueing things to my hair seems unappealing but I have the same response to fake eye lashes, so... I think it might just be me.

As for weddings, I remember my prom was only a few months I had chopped all my hair off. I went to the hairdresser and we ended up doing an updo anyways. Even with slightly below chin hair. They curled the heck out of it and it ended up looking a lot longer than it was. (also a bajillion bobby pins and half a can of hairspray later. Yay prom!) I don't think its so much that updos aren't, well (excuse this) doable, I think it is just the fantasy dream wedding. You want to be elegant, and we think of elegant as being with long hair. Actually when you think of elegant women, you usually will conjure up an image of someone with long hair. If you want a professional career woman, the often conjured image is a woman with a shorter hair cut. Its definitely all cultural.

(I'm going ot go generic here!) Okay, so take the business CEO. She's a successful woman, she takes charge, good role model, good with money. She's got short hair. Why? Because she's a modern woman. Okay, great. Now its her wedding day. Modern, strong, upbeat, take charge woman is no longer acceptable. She needs to be beautiful, elegant, and he needs to do it fast because she's got a business meeting on monday. So, extensions it is. Our generic mary-sue business woman now has it all. The perfect job, personality, and she even got her dream wedding. :cheese:

I'm done with generic business woman. But that's kind of how I see it. There is no other reason here, other than societal, for her to change her appearance. But peer pressure is an awesome power. :shake:

curlylocks85
July 12th, 2010, 12:28 PM
I don't get it. The argument is "I think long hair is disgusting."

So, you get extensions so it looks like you have long hair on your wedding day?

Why would you want to look "disgusting" (your words) on your wedding day?

Why don't they teach logic in schools anymore? It takes about twenty seconds to realize the utter incompatibility with what these women are saying and what they are doing.

These women really need to consider what they are saying before they open their mouths. It's not a problem if they do not like long hair. But if they do not like long hair, but then get extensions, that makes them either liars, hypocrites, or completely confused about what they actually think.

SIGH.

I agree completely.

Roseate
July 12th, 2010, 12:29 PM
:p
...Now its her wedding day. Modern, strong, upbeat, take charge woman is no longer acceptable...

See, this is the saddest part about the whole thing to me (leaving out the extensions question)- women feel like they have to change themselves into perfect fairy princesses for their wedding day. I'm sure the man who's marrying the brisk woman with short hair likes her that way, or he wouldn't be marrying her!

I love my girlfriend's hair short, and if we ever are to get married, I'd laugh her out of the courthouse if she turned up with waist-length extensions!:p

atlantaz3
July 12th, 2010, 12:34 PM
I wanted my hair up for my wedding and spent a year growing it out. That four inches really made a difference ha ha! Never had extensions and won't say I won't ever have them (I'm too frugal) real hair - mnn never thought of the ick factor. I assumed it was somehow sanitized. As for brides - too many bridezilla shows (although I like Say Yes to the Dress) and marketing to have long hair instantly. The latest celeb hairstyle magazine I purchased had a long and short with dates. What I don't understand is are we supposed to think they grew that much hair in a week?
As for the long hair being gross - if not washed and properly cared for...?
PS I'm fighting off the corporate urge to cut layers and highlight even more!

littlenvy
July 12th, 2010, 12:39 PM
My stepdaughter cut her beautiful long brown hair because she wanted "a change". *sigh*
A week later she was crying that she shouldn't have done it and NOW she wanted long hair.
So she went out with her girlfriends and they all got extensions put it. GLUED to their own hair. Because it cost too much to do it all the time, they bought the glue themselves and did it when they were going out.
Few months after that her real hair started to fall out like crazy and she got bold spots in places.
She stopped with the glue but she still puts extensions in on clips. Her hair doesn't want to grow now. :(
I keep telling her to forget the extensions, let her hair heal and get back to normal, but alas! Its not what all her girlfriends do so she won't do it either.
She just buys more and more extensions.

Juneii
July 12th, 2010, 12:56 PM
I remember watching someone's video on youtube talking about extensions. She literally bleaches, dyes, and flat irons her hair within an inch of it's live and then complains that it cannot grow beyond her shoulders. So instead she got extensions that reaches her waist because she always wanted long hair. It makes little sense to me as all she had to do was not destroy her hair and let it grow out. Alas she was a makeup guru and always had to look nice. She said that the extensions are full at the bottom which is different than naturally long hair since our long hair has a natural taper.

Laylah
July 12th, 2010, 12:59 PM
Brides wear makeup for the same reason. It's not to look natural or like yourself, it's to look beautiful.

GlassEyes
July 12th, 2010, 01:09 PM
I remember watching someone's video on youtube talking about extensions. She literally bleaches, dyes, and flat irons her hair within an inch of it's live and then complains that it cannot grow beyond her shoulders. So instead she got extensions that reaches her waist because she always wanted long hair. It makes little sense to me as all she had to do was not destroy her hair and let it grow out. Alas she was a makeup guru and always had to look nice. She said that the extensions are full at the bottom which is different than naturally long hair since our long hair has a natural taper.
Well if she wants to keep doing that, then the extensions are probably the way to go.

I can understand it. Overlooking whatever meaning it has to taking advantage of people and how the hair is obtained, I can understand it. Anyone with a taper would, really--hair extensions can make hair just as thick down bottom as up top, which can often lead to nicer looking hair.

I can fully understand why someone would think hair extensions look better. You can do whatever you want to them without worrying about it.

beez1717
July 12th, 2010, 01:22 PM
if I ever get married I want to have some fun with my wedding and have my LONG hair on display. it would also be quite neat to have a theme for the wedding which complements all the longhairs.....

BombaySapphire
July 12th, 2010, 04:20 PM
Wow I don't know what to say, you guys are AWESOME. I didn't intentionally want to create an unusual post but it kind of happened anyway, seems unusual things follow me everywhere. :eyebrows:

I think I am still in a bit of culture shock, I have been in Canada for 7 years but there are certain things like this extensions business that blow my mind. I am a Caucasian looking girl so people expect me to fit perfectly into the mould here but I still do my hair and makeup like I did in India.

I think you guys nailed it, on so many points. I would love to acknowledge what each of you said but after five pages that is not too practical LOL. And to naereid, I love your fox and grapes analogy! I have never heard that one before it is so good!

Yes, the hypocrisy bothered me, the ignorance bothered me too on that site. I am also a bride to be, and I did mention I had natural hair I was planning on working with in my wedding. They claimed I was rubbing it in their faces etc and went on to attack me in various ways, one woman claimed I had extremely offended her because she has a medical condition in which she needs hair extensions on her wedding day, and also another person said I could take back my bad karma by donating some of my hair. None of these people know me, and it made me sad that they were so offended because I know how it feels, I have hypothyroidism (you guys know what that does to hair) and I already donate my locks whenever I can.

Anyway reading your responses made me feel a little more on the sane side of the fence, you are all very down to earth and are bringing up really interesting points on the wedding industry/business of having hair. It is actually really interesting, someone should write a book in this stuff!

Alvrodul
July 12th, 2010, 05:25 PM
Well. It is a long story, and can probably go off into several tangents but I will shorten it for the sake of clarity.

I recently mentioned on another forum that I did not like the look of hair extensions for special occasions, and also have not seen any done well where I live. I brought this up in a conversation where I was wondering WHY in Bridal magazines etc you rarely see brides with short cute hairstyles. Personally, I have nothing against short hair and I don't care what people do to theirs but extensions for a special occasion do frustrate me.

Where I grew up, cutting off a woman's hair was a sacrifice. Her hair gift then would be sold to the highest American bidder and this was seen as the ultimate form of greed. Many of my neighbors actually thought white women could not grow hair, because they were so confused as to why they would need to buy it. One aunt of mine put it well: "just because you want it, doesn't mean you should reach out and grab it. Patience is the best reward." This article nicely illustrates my thoughts: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1036155/Why-Ill-wear-hair-extensions-pop-star-Jamelia.html

Anyway on this bridal website I was attacked by the brides, who claimed that they "prefer the look of extensions over real hair any day", "why do you want to have waist length hair anyway", "long hair is disgusting", and that I was offensive for even saying that I did not like extensions. They said I was rubbing it in their faces that I had long hair that I enjoy. I still am surprised at the ferociousness of the attack but what surprised me the most is that so many people said that they actually PREFERRED fake extensions over naturally grown hair. Somehow to these brides, natural length is disgusting, but hair extensions GLUED into their hair (and they have no idea where it came from) is not at all gross. Wow.

I have a feeling that the brides are frustrated because they want to accept and love their short hair on their wedding day. However like I mentioned above, there are almost no examples of short styles in any media outlet. They are probably the victims of subliminal marketing and don't even know it. I asked them why they felt the need to get extensions on their wedding day and while some took offense to my question, the only other responses I got was along the line of "just because I just want to." Every woman I have met with long hair has given a good reason for it, either she does it for cultural reasons, or because her mother had long hair, because the goal of growing hair out is fun, or because she thought long hair was beautiful. There has ALWAYS been a reason either than 'just because'.

Has anyone else ever heard anything like this before? Is this all a new cultural phenomenon, or perhaps a new marketing device to get even more money from brides-to-be?
I tried hair extenxion once. Never again - I hated them! They were only contrasting stripes glued into my hair, but they felt utterly wrong, and when they had grown out enough that I could get rid of them :scissors:, I got those ugly little bits that stuck straight out like little antennae - very visible since I have very straight hair! Oh, well, the bits did grow out.

kwaniesiam
July 12th, 2010, 05:33 PM
I do hair extensions of several different methods. Most people get them because they like long hair, if anyone who prefers extensions to real hair ask them why they're wearing someone else's long hair, and if it's so disgusting why do they want it on their head?

xoxophelia
July 12th, 2010, 05:37 PM
I can see two sides to this whole thing in a way unrelated to weddings. I'm somewhat basing this off of my one feelings and inference but it certainly doesn't speak for the whole.

Part of the reason extensions bother me, and why they might bother other women with long hair or who are growing out there hair, is that there is a certain pride in your accomplishment. We have to take care of our hair, be patient, resist urges to conform and in the end after a long period of waiting we finally reach our goal. But then women go out to a salon who have not "earned" to be a long hair and have them applied. This is somewhat different than being born with a certain eye color or hair color and then somebody colors theirs to match. The difference is that you have to put some effort or care into your hair.

There are obviously exceptions as many of these women don't just want long hair now but have lost their hair for whatever reason. So I don't think it is the extensions themselves that bother some people but perhaps the intent.

Also I understand how turning around and saying that real hair--the hair that has been earned--is gross could be offensive for the OP.

I see the other side as well though. Growing long hair does take time and there are no quick pay offs. I feel that many women who speak out against long hair actually envy it. They might call it a fet**h to belittle what they actually would like to have themselves (because people do like to feel s*xy and beautiful). It is a way to build up their own self esteem if they do in fact connect long hair with femininity. For many when they imagine a bride, for right or wrong, they imagine a princess.. and long hair tends to go along with that.

This reminds me of something that happened to me recently. I was very happy to finally reach waist length and mentioned my accomplishment to a group of females who knew I was growing my hair. Instead of just saying that is nice, they made me stand up to "prove it", mocked me, and then said my hair was the same length as theirs (hair shorter than BSL). They just put you down to build themselves up.

There is no excuse for it but if you understand it, there is less of a chance for them to spoil your day.

May
July 12th, 2010, 05:44 PM
I was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec Canada and have never understood the whole wedding/bride culture...I know that in Quebec there is a lot more common law relationships than anywhere else in Canada so I'm probably biased against weddings and don't really see them as 'the brides one day in her life to be a princess' but more as a day for the COUPLE to celebrate their love in front of family and friends...I think 99% of weddings are more like the former than the latter.

I find bridezilla's (crazy, neurotic, obsessed brides) kind of sad and funny at the same time... :)

*There are many brides who actually lose weight and grow their hair out for their wedding just to chop it and get fat afterwards:confused:...what a shocker that must be for their new husbands lol...sorry, but I think that's sort of hilarious:eyebrows:.

Hockeymomof3
July 12th, 2010, 05:55 PM
hmm, so they don't like long hair except for on the most important day of their lives? hmm....
interesting read!

angelthadiva
July 12th, 2010, 05:59 PM
Wow. I never knew that extensions were real hair and that women wore them on their wedding day. I always thought they were fake hair with wild colors and women with a punk rock kind of style wore them. I guess I'm just old, but none of my friends or people in my family ever wore hair extensions on their wedding day. I don't even think they were invented yet.


Just for the sake of clarity, not all extensions are made from real hair. They also consist of synthetic hair. The cost is MUCH higher for real hair; obviously.

I suppose the added hair on the wedding day goes along with the pampering aspect of creating the most beautiful illusion :shrug: some people's natural hair just isn't that beautiful all on its own that's why the hair care industry with sprays, potions, lotions, falls, clip-ins etc is so successful, but to say that natural long hair is disgusting while putting someone else's hair into yours isn't...Is strange. I find that more strange than actually doing it.

I had my hair professionally braided years ago and had 2 packs of human hair added in. Someone told me I'd need it, but I really didn't. I didn't think it was strange, because it's a practice that's widely done and accepted.

I remember when my sister got married. There was about a 3 year lapse between the engagement and the actual wedding. During that time she grew it out so she'd have the perfect wedding hair. Shortly after the wedded bliss; she did a major chop :shrug: Some folks just don't have the patience to achieve their goal, or perhaps it's not worth the painstaking actions to achieve something they will only keep for the duration of the honeymoon ;) Perhaps it's a better pay off for them to just pay for the extensions, but to say natural is disgusting is :crazyq:

rachelily
July 12th, 2010, 06:02 PM
They're jealous of your patience to grow long beautiful hair so they tell themselves they like extensions so they can feel better about it :)

Very, very fascinating article - and very discomforting! I applaud the pop star for taking the time to do the research and uncover all that she has. Good for her!

I agree, though - I think short hair is very, very beautiful for weddings and is underrepresented. After all, updos are very popular for weddings - why not short hair? It shows off the neck and top of the dress the same way an updo does, and you can still put flowers or other accessories in your hair the same way. Plus it takes less time. And I do not think extensions are more beautiful than real hair - the extensions may be shiny, soft, and frizz-free, but there is always going to be that divide where your real hair ends and the fake hair starts and there's nothing pretty about that!

lora410
July 12th, 2010, 06:17 PM
Get used to it. There are TONS of women who think long hair is gross and extensions are better. If you had ask me before if I would prefer extensions I would have said yes because I didn't have to wait for it. Honestly I hate to say it but now that my hair is long I am like yeah whatever about it. Maybe that is because I don't get many compliments in person. However, I wouldn't cut it. I did have a lady at a salon the other day(my hubby was getting a hair cut) say I had nice hair. and the other one with a really short boy chop kept asking if he was the only one getting his hair cut..TWICE.

Crackaleen
July 12th, 2010, 06:35 PM
And to think I actually had to cut my hair to accommodate the style I wanted for my wedding. :laugh:

In all seriousness though, I agree with pretty much everything May said above.

girlcat36
July 12th, 2010, 07:15 PM
*There are many brides who actually lose weight and grow their hair out for their wedding just to chop it and get fat afterwards:confused:...what a shocker that must be for their new husbands lol...sorry, but I think that's sort of hilarious:eyebrows:.

:eyebrows: Guilty! I think about that too! I see it alot!
My sister was slim and had gorgeous, straight waist length hair worn in a beautiful updo on her wedding day. I had such hair envy! Six months into the marriage she had a bob :confused:. She did gain a lot of weight, too.



The article that the OP linked to was very disturbing to me; turned my stomach actually. Although I never liked extensions, I didn't think about them that much, or wonder where they came from. Very, very sad.:(

I am really afraid of the generation coming up that has been raised to think quick cosmetic fixes are the norm. Extensions, fake nails, boob job, etc.

And don't get me started on the wedding industry.
I got married 9 months ago, and I kept our wedding very personal to us. If it wasn't 'us', it was not at our wedding.
The idea that you do something a certain way at a wedding simply because 'that is how it is done' feels wrong to me.
I wanted to look like me for our wedding, it felt wrong to meet my fiancee under the arbor on our wedding day looking like someone he probably wouldn't ever get to see again.
And that's why DH wasn't forced into a tux or suit(that made him very happy!)
We kept it true to ourselves, and our guests noticed and thought it was great.

Ugh, the beauty and bridal industry. :mad:

Just my opinion.....

glossyshine
July 12th, 2010, 07:38 PM
[snip]
Yes, the hypocrisy bothered me, the ignorance bothered me too on that site. I am also a bride to be, and I did mention I had natural hair I was planning on working with in my wedding. They claimed I was rubbing it in their faces etc and went on to attack me in various ways, one woman claimed I had extremely offended her because she has a medical condition in which she needs hair extensions on her wedding day, and also another person said I could take back my bad karma by donating some of my hair. None of these people know me, and it made me sad that they were so offended because I know how it feels, I have hypothyroidism (you guys know what that does to hair) and I already donate my locks whenever I can.
[snip]


Wow, your second post seals the issue for me. It is jealousy for sure.

Also, just because someone is sick and can't grow long hair doesn't mean she has a right to buy someone else's real hair. That's a very manipulative thing to say. There are, in fact, differences between a need, a desire, and a right. Privileged people forget that.

The "take back your bad karma" comment is fascinating, given how little most of these women probably know about the religious and cultural beliefs behind the "karma" concept.

I don't know how many here would be interested, but Barbara Ehrenreich has written some very thought-provoking articles about 1st world women who are able to use (or exploit, depending on your point of view) the labor and bodies of 3rd world women.

Yozhik
July 12th, 2010, 08:29 PM
I liked the article which the OP linked to (which someone has linked to before on the site, I believe) -- the whole part about gathering hair from discarded hairbrushes as a family business was utterly fascinating!

Also, the video that littlecherry linked to discussing the actual cause of the loss of the sanctity of marriage in America was amazing!

As for extensions vs. natural hair on the wedding day -- 3 of my friends who have gotten married all had medium-length hair and grew it out to longish hair (APL-BSL) for their weddings. Since their engagements ranged from 6 months to a year, it was pretty easy for them to gain a substantial amount of length to get the "long-haired bride" look. Interestingly, a few of them did announce their intention to chop as soon as the wedding was over. It almost sounds like some rite of passage ritual.

This entire discussion is very interesting to think about from an anthropological perspective! :)

missfortune9335
July 12th, 2010, 08:34 PM
sometimes it's not so much *what* is said, but *how* it is said. If you said something (to a group of people you knew were getting extensions) to the effect that buying extensions is 'the height of American greed', it's very possible they felt you were insulting them, their country/home, and their choices for an event they are spending a lot of effort on planning.
I love the internet, it's a great place but it's very easy to be misunderstood or taken the wrong way when people are just reading text and not having a face to face conversation.

MsBubbles
July 12th, 2010, 08:39 PM
The "take back your bad karma" comment is fascinating, given how little most of these women probably know about the religious and cultural beliefs behind the "karma" concept.


Yeah! Don't they watch My Name is Earl? :p

Talking of extensions, by the way...

Juneii
July 12th, 2010, 09:24 PM
Well if she wants to keep doing that, then the extensions are probably the way to go.

I can understand it. Overlooking whatever meaning it has to taking advantage of people and how the hair is obtained, I can understand it. Anyone with a taper would, really--hair extensions can make hair just as thick down bottom as up top, which can often lead to nicer looking hair.

I can fully understand why someone would think hair extensions look better. You can do whatever you want to them without worrying about it.

I understand her reason for it too, thick ends do look better and healthier. Her extensions do look good, much better than natural hair.

GlennaGirl
July 12th, 2010, 09:50 PM
sometimes it's not so much *what* is said, but *how* it is said. If you said something (to a group of people you knew were getting extensions) to the effect that buying extensions is 'the height of American greed', it's very possible they felt you were insulting them, their country/home, and their choices for an event they are spending a lot of effort on planning.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking too.

GlennaGirl
July 12th, 2010, 10:00 PM
The "take back your bad karma" comment is fascinating, given how little most of these women probably know about the religious and cultural beliefs behind the "karma" concept.

Not for nothing, but aren't we going a little crazy on the gross overgeneralizations about these women about whom we actually know nothing? We don't even know what they literally said. For all we know it was a misinterpretation and they were saying their own natural long hair is gross. I mean how exactly do we know that aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall these women are mindless society drones who are incredibly shallow, know nothing about others' cultures, know nothing about others' religions (that's assuming none of those women are of those religions...maybe they are), think absolutely nothing of a starving mother of 10 in a gutter begging some cruel American to buy her hair so they can have two hours of greedy, awful American fake beauty and haven't given a single thought to what their actual marriages will be like, period, the end?

All these assumptions...based on the fact that they like the uniform, shiny look of extensions vs. the look of natural long hair on many people, a great deal of whom, unlike those on LHC, don't really get the whole gentle-care-while-growing-out thing and probably do have pretty bad-looking long hair?

In much the same way that these women were probably reacting to the whole "Wow, I can't believe you ugly, spoiled Americans like something that's basically the epitome of greed across my entire country" in a defensive way...just like, not coincidentally, people here are reacting to the whole second-hand "...and they ALL said natural long hair is DISGUSTING!" in a defensive way...sight unseen.

I mean really. Let's get ahold of ourselves here.

And by the way, can we be frank here? Who is willing to stand up and say that a traditional society Indian wedding isn't incredibly extravagant? How come spending a ridiculous sum on pomp that has absolutely nothing to do with day-to-day life and marriage is only ugly when it's an American doing it?

That double-standard SERIOUSLY burns my bonnet.

And no, I didn't have extensions for my wedding. My entire wedding cost $500 and that included the dress (ebay) and the dinner.

222toogoodforu
July 12th, 2010, 10:15 PM
Some people try way too hard on figuring out why people make certain choices.

Can't someone dress up on their wedding day without being thought of as crazy? Being thought of as "wanting to look like a completely different person."

To many brides, a wedding is one of the few chances to feel glamorous, a status many women strive to feel, which doesnt have to mean they were pressured into feeling this way.

We all make choices for different reasons. For example, many LHC members choose to be more or less natural, seeing things like hair extensions "silly" or "disgusting". Many people choose otherwise, seeing things like not washing their hair everyday "disgusting" or soaking their hair in different oils for hours/days on end "disgusting".

Why should she be thought of as being ridiculous for her hair extensions, when many of the things we do can be viewed as ridiculous as well. Doesn't make you LHC members feel too good when people make fun of your choices, does it?

akosei
July 12th, 2010, 11:21 PM
I agree that the responses you got were from people who honor the mainstream way of doing things. Why else would they think that naturally long hair is dirty/fetish/hippie?

I was like those women in some ways. Until I found LHC it felt like I was bucking the trend to even want to grow my hair longer, especially now that I've reached my 40's. All the fashion media features older women wearing chic, short hair cuts with the subliminal message that short hair = vibrant, hip, and YOUTHful. Long, healthy hair can be a thing of beauty. I guess it's in the eyes of the beholder though.

longblondetan
July 13th, 2010, 02:31 AM
http://i25.tinypic.com/et7ade.jpgextensions...for prom. it didnt cost me much, and they are real, because i needed to be able to curl them and synthetic hair melts. long hair is beautiful, and extensions, when done well are beautiful, but everyone will have a different opinion.

BombaySapphire
July 13th, 2010, 04:52 AM
Hmm I am not too sure I understand your post.



In much the same way that these women were probably reacting to the whole "Wow, I can't believe you ugly, spoiled Americans like something that's basically the epitome of greed across my entire country" in a defensive way...just like, not coincidentally, people here are reacting to the whole second-hand "...and they ALL said natural long hair is DISGUSTING!" in a defensive way...sight unseen.


About what you wrote above with the 'ugly, spoiled Americans thing" I am not sure if you are putting imaginary words in my mouth or if that is truly how you interpreted this thread? I don't think anyone was calling a country of individuals ugly or spoiled. I think you might have read something else from my first post, when I mentioned "Her hair gift then would be sold to the highest American bidder and this was seen as the ultimate form of greed." I am referring to how my neighbours did not comprehend why someone would want to pay so much money for something they literally already had. The only analogy I can think is, is say you have a lemon tree in your backyard that produces sweet, yet smallish lemons, and you go to the store to buy more lemons that are larger. Why was the lemon tree not good enough? Sorry if that is a terrible analogy but it is the closest thing I can think of to explain what people I knew in the Indian cultures think about when they approach the topic of hair extensions. I don't think I ever heard them speak negatively about Americans or anyone who bought them, they just genuinely were perplexed. I hope that clears that up for you, maybe I wasn't clear enough in the first post and it came across badly.

Oh I also wanted to add I never mentioned on the other website anything about Indian culture, I just expressed that I didn't understand the popularity of hair extensions for wedding, I personally don't like them and I was looking for short updos for someone close to me.



And by the way, can we be frank here? Who is willing to stand up and say that a traditional society Indian wedding isn't incredibly extravagant? How come spending a ridiculous sum on pomp that has absolutely nothing to do with day-to-day life and marriage is only ugly when it's an American doing it?

That double-standard SERIOUSLY burns my bonnet.

And no, I didn't have extensions for my wedding. My entire wedding cost $500 and that included the dress (ebay) and the dinner.

I wouldn't paint all Indian weddings with the same brush and neither would I with American weddings. Both countries have a variety of religions and customs that open the door to a wonderful versatility in weddings. In terms of extravagance, I am thinking you are familiar with the presentation of a traditional Hindu wedding but I think you are unfamiliar with the customs. It is really complicated to explain... But Hindu weddings are all very different because not all Hindu is the same. They are very ritualistic in nature, in fact the primary core of the whole ceremony is fire-sacrifice. The colourful clothing and jewellery may look fancy, and the party may seem large, but for example the clothing and jewelery is passed down and the jewelery has a certain degree of representation IE: bracelets worn often represent family members. A lot of this is often borrowed or rented. A Hindu bride doesn't necessarily regard those things as fashion only, but also as things that would offend her relatives and the guests if they were not included. In that culture the idea that you are marrying into the family is really important and everyone that is involved in your life would be a part of the wedding. Guest lists are pretty much non-existent. Also, it has become more customary to spend a lot of money on weddings because people get really embarrassed if they feel they are giving the impression that they are not financially stable. You may be interested to know this has become a hot topic in India as well- the necessity of spending the money. In some ways there are similarities between a traditional American wedding and traditional Hindu wedding but in other ways they couldn't be more different in nature.

Anyway sorry if this is off topic I just wanted to make sure GlennaGirl understands this isn't an argument of "this country's wedding customs are more evil/ugly than this country's" as much as it is that some customs are difficult to understand and empathize with sometimes. It is ok! My former neighbours knew I really disliked henna tattoos being done on me for special occasions and they weren't offended either, just thought I was a bit odd lol

Oh and congrats on your $500 wedding GlennaGirl, I wish I was strong enough to resist the urge to spend as well but the nature of my planned wedding has kindof taken on a life of its own... Sigh.

Jasperine
July 13th, 2010, 05:11 AM
Personally, I haven't met anyone with good looking extentions. I don't think many young women (where I live) are willing to pay the money it takes to get good-looking extentions. And the arguments of those brides are just lame..

Jasperine
July 13th, 2010, 05:13 AM
http://i25.tinypic.com/et7ade.jpgextensions...for prom. it didnt cost me much, and they are real, because i needed to be able to curl them and synthetic hair melts. long hair is beautiful, and extensions, when done well are beautiful, but everyone will have a different opinion.

Yours look good - I think the fact that they're so well blended into your own hair works wonders! :)

glossyshine
July 13th, 2010, 05:37 AM
Not for nothing, but aren't we going a little crazy on the gross overgeneralizations about these women about whom we actually know nothing? We don't even know what they literally said. For all we know it was a misinterpretation and they were saying their own natural long hair is gross. I mean how exactly do we know that aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall these women are mindless society drones who are incredibly shallow, know nothing about others' cultures, know nothing about others' religions (that's assuming none of those women are of those religions...maybe they are), think absolutely nothing of a starving mother of 10 in a gutter begging some cruel American to buy her hair so they can have two hours of greedy, awful American fake beauty and haven't given a single thought to what their actual marriages will be like, period, the end?


Because the OP wrote the following, I deduced that she is an Indian woman posting in a bridal forum composed mainly of white, Canadian women:



Where I grew up, cutting off a woman's hair was a sacrifice. Her hair gift then would be sold to the highest American bidder and this was seen as the ultimate form of greed. Many of my neighbors actually thought white women could not grow hair, because they were so confused as to why they would need to buy it...and



I think I am still in a bit of culture shock, I have been in Canada for 7 years but there are certain things like this extensions business that blow my mind. I am a Caucasian looking girl so people expect me to fit perfectly into the mould here but I still do my hair and makeup like I did in India. Because of my own experiences in India, where long hair is highly valued and very few women of any age cut their hair short, I deduced that the women who find long hair --anyone's long hair-- gross are not of Indian origin.

I don't feel these were unreasonable deductions. I'm sorry that you do. I also accept her quotes about what was said on that forum as largely accurate, although I guess there's a case to be made for rejecting them. I made no comment whatsoever about the social status of the brides to be, or about bridal traditions of any race, country, culture, or religion.

I also don't believe one must be mindless or shallow to be unaware of the circumstances of women in other cultures. Although, having seen people lying dead in the street in both India and Morocco (people who, from their frightening thinness, probably did starve) the consequences of starvation are not abstract enough for me to be able to read the phrase "think absolutely nothing of a starving mother of 10 in a gutter begging some cruel American to buy her hair" without flinching. Seemed a bit cavalier to me. The dead people I saw were all men; I presume they had no hair to sell.

Please don't put words in my mouth. It's full enough already.

glossyshine
July 13th, 2010, 05:47 AM
Yeah! Don't they watch My Name is Earl? :p

Talking of extensions, by the way...

I've never seen My Name is Earl... what did I miss?

MonaMayfair
July 13th, 2010, 06:53 AM
Yeah! Don't they watch My Name is Earl? :p

Talking of extensions, by the way...

I LOVE My Name is Earl! Joy's my favourite character and she always wears fake hair - and looks gorgeous!

I do think it's just as prejudiced to denigrate those women who like to be "fake" (hair, breasts, whatever...) as it is to dislike natural long hair.
I also wonder if the brides-to-be who say they dislike long hair were thinking of ultra long, past waist length. Lots of people don't like hair much longer than that.

As to wanting to look "different" on your wedding day, why wouldn't you want be transformed into a beautiful, romantic heroine for the day? Lots of girls wear casual clothes and jeans most of the time (not me!!), so it's nice for them to feel extra glamorous for such a special occasion.

Medievalmaniac
July 13th, 2010, 07:59 AM
Again, let's remain calm and focused. The issue is not that people do or don't prefer natural long hair, fake long hair, or baldness; nor is the issue one of social status, background, values, or any other element save the glaring double-standard posed by the women's in questions words versus their actions.

As many of us have said many times, everyone is absolutely entitled to his or her own thoughts, ideas, likes, dislikes, and life.

What is at issue here is that the original poster was attacked because she has hair that she has grown long and worked hard to care for. She was then blasted (and we have seen the comments, or some of them) by other women who told her her naturally long hair was disgusting, she shouldn't brag about it, and that she should chop it all off and donate it to get better karma (which, if she is actually Indian and practices Hinduism or Buddhism, is particularly offensive), then discussed how they were planning on getting hair extensions so they would have long hair for their wedding.

I find the hypocrisy inherent in this to be offensive and worthy of criticism. I am not critical in the slightest of any other aspect of this discussion, and I've never even heard of or seen these other women and more than likely never will, so I frankly don't give a rat's butt what they do with their wedding hair. For me, it is simply the principle that anyone would say "oh, I think long hair is disgusting, and you should chop yours off, but I am going to go buy extensions so mine will be long for my wedding." I find that to be illogical, hypocritical, mean-spirited, and -well, snarky. It's not the action of getting extensions. It's telling someone that she shouldn't have her own long hair, that it is disgusting, and then bragging about buying long hair...that came from somebody....that has me riled.

I have already explained that a few times now, and I am certain that I have done so in an articulate and comprehensible fashion, such as can only be willfully misinterpreted if it is misunderstood, so I'm going to refrain from further commentary on this thread, except to say that again, this is a great chance to reflect on the nature of interpersonal interactions on the Internet, and how the way we say things is as important as what we are saying...a fact that is always a good one to remember, and to keep in mind in real life as much as on the "Interweb". :)

curlylocks85
July 13th, 2010, 08:19 AM
What is at issue here is that the original poster was attacked because she has hair that she has grown long and worked hard to care for. She was then blasted (and we have seen the comments, or some of them) by other women who told her her naturally long hair was disgusting, she shouldn't brag about it, and that she should chop it all off and donate it to get better karma (which, if she is actually Indian and practices Hinduism or Buddhism, is particularly offensive), then discussed how they were planning on getting hair extensions so they would have long hair for their wedding.

I have been thinking about this and I wonder did these women mean long hair is "disgusting" or natural hair (long or short) is "disgusting"? Does it make a difference?

Personally, I do not care how people choose to look and how they achieve this look on their wedding day. I think if they want to wear extensions then they should. If short hair is their preference then, by all means, go for it (not that you need permission).

I just think that when people make arguments they should think about what they say and how they say it because what people say and what they mean can be interpreted in a way they were not planning.

GlennaGirl
July 13th, 2010, 08:59 AM
Sorry, folks, still not convinced. I suppose I could laboriously go through this entire thread and multi-quote the many, many, many snarky assumptions made about brides and what their extensions apparently signify, but I would be quoting so many posts that it's probably easier for anyone to just re-read the thread.

As for my "assumptions" that this is about American women, why would I think that...just because the very first post, the OP, that is to say, directly talked about hair being sold to the highest American bidder and how greedy that was/is? People, please.

I asked for a benefit of a doubt to be given as we don't know these women's actual words and the OP did not directly quote anyone AFAIK, but nobody seems to want to do that...Why? I didn't say the OP is lying, for goodness' sake, I'm saying there could have been a misinterpretation or misunderstanding, which would certainly not be a first on the internet. But the general consensus seems to be that it's much more appropriate to simply deduce, sight unseen, that the board the OP was talking about is full of illogical people who know nothing of cultures (and/or religions), sacrifice, etc.

In addition, the OP described the sacrifice of the hair which was being made (to the temple, presumably)...has nobody else noticed yet that this isn't to get the money that the "highest American bidder" will give, but rather, is a sacrifice the person was going to make in order to ask the gods to better her situation? That is why I made my "cavalier" statement. Deducing that people in India are forced to shave their hair by "American greed" is so bizarre as to almost be inapplicable here, and the "almost" in that sentence is being generous. However one may feel about buying an object that was freely given as part of a religious ritual (I'd think that would be a separate issue and perhaps worthy of its own thread), how did we make the jump that somehow, these people are shaving their hair in order to receive money? AFAIK...they don't receive any. Nor do they expect to. Nor did they ever expect to (hence: "sacrifice" and not "sale"). No, they are not selling their hair in order to keep from starving. They are performing their own religious ritual in order to directly ask their deities for some type of help. They aren't sitting at the mercy of greedy brides-to-be and depending upon them, via the sale of their hair, to eat; they do not expect to receive anything in return for the hair except via deity...am I correct about that? Hence, my "cavalier" statement. I was pointing out how ridiculous it is to make that assumption. It's sort of like the assumption that LOL gives hair to children with cancer. It's a leap that's made on assumptions but is not accurate.

Now whether the people who later collect the hair in order to sell it are doing so to keep from starving is another matter. It's likely they are. That's sad and horrifying...but it still doesn't show that these people are at the mercy of spoiled westerners in order to eat. Not unless they're behind all the sacrifices, convincing women to shave their and their daughters' hair and then later secreting it away, but THAT would certainly be a stretch. Whether or not the west was even on the map, these people would still be shaving their hair; yes, it is sad that later, others sell that hair in order to eat; but if westerners were to suddenly stop being "greedy," that ancient tradition would not stop...am I making sense here?

I'm sure I would be a little more horrified than I am if the people were in fact selling their hair as a last ditch effort to eat. Selling a body part in order to eat is horrifying. However, even the link the OP posted was clear from the beginning about the fact that the mother was forcing her daughter to have her hair cut off as a sacrifice in order to better their situation. Whether eventually someone was going to scoop up the hair to sell or not, it was the mother's decision to make the sacrifice, period; and it was based on her religious beliefs.

I'm pretty sure these beliefs, and this practice, did not start with Americans who wanted to buy hair. I'd wager the tradition is a bit older than that.

Now as to the people who do sell the hair, the picture shows an Indian individual sorting through sacrificed hair. If anyone should understand the sanctity of something donated to a god or the gods, should it not be someone of the same culture? Shame on her. I mean we're all so busy here yelling at the cold, cruel women who eventually receive hair extensions, but there's also the attitude that these extension-buying women are pretty much clueless about the religious significance here; what's the excuse of those who do actually sell the hair? Taking a religious tradition and profiting off it? Shame on them, if shame is to be applied anywhere here.

Yes, I deduced this is/was about American women...because the term "American" was brought into the whole idea first thing, and because if this isn't about greedy western women, who is it about? Please enlighten me as to the many other countries that buy extensions like crazy; I would be interested to know. The UK seems to be one of them. Are there others? Again, I didn't make this stuff up out of nothing, folks. My "deductions" are quite logical, I feel.

I would like to see the thread so that we do actually know what we're dealing with here. No one else seems interested in viewing the reality of what was said, in total; but I would be curious. That said, I could not see making these wild assumptions about the greed, ignorance and illogic of brides simply based on the wearing of hair extensions for a wedding, and I questioned it. The easy thing to do would have been to agree that brides are all nuts and that Bridezilla is an incredibly accurate show, as are most reality shows (rolling eyes). I did things the difficult way instead: I asked for people to show their own tolerance rather than condemning an entire group of people sight unseen. That was my stance, it was what motivated my post, and hopefully this clears up my motives as well as what I meant by my various statements.

GlennaGirl
July 13th, 2010, 09:03 AM
To the OP regarding her explanation of Hindu weddings: Thank you for your explanation. I agree that the weddings all differ. Same here in the west. I agree that the traditions are meaningful and beautiful. I would ask you to be understanding that that, too, is the same in the west. That was what sparked my indignation: What appears to be extravagance in the western women you're speaking to could, for all you know, be just as deeply significant to that bride, as a Hindu wedding element which is, ultimately, very expensive to perform/obtain. Saying one is beautiful and traditional, and the other is greedy and illogical, is, IMO, very narrowminded. I would merely ask you to be as tolerant of others' rituals and expectations of a significant day as you would ask another to be of yours. That is logical.

If this question were not at all cultural, I would think the parts about Americans and Canadians and how people in your home town think about them (us) as greedy, etc. would not have entered into it. If your post had been merely about the strangeness of a group of people, any group of people, outright saying extensions are great but natural hair is gross, period, end of story, I too would have thought it was weird, and I would have been the first, trust me, to question what was behind it and to form a theory, probably one based on psychology. Unfortunately, this post was directly cultural from the get-go and you know what? As someone from one of those "greedy" cultures, I am offended. And that's that. Hope this makes things clearer.

GlennaGirl
July 13th, 2010, 09:19 AM
One other thing...sorry for the multiple posts, but I feel the various issues are, though connected, their own, separate issues.

If what people are feeling is horror at wearing someone else's body part, sure, that totally makes sense. I feel the same way, but that's not why it makes sense; it makes sense because many people would feel a bit squeamish about that idea. (I accept that not all my ideas, personally, are/should be everyone else's, IOW.)

And if what people are feeling is horror at wearing the hair of a person who is/was obviously in dire need, that too I can understand, and relate to. (On a personal note again here, I would never wear human-hair extensions, probably for this reason above all others.)

But to make the leap that you're wearing hair that someone unwillingly parted with in order to have some money to eat is not logical because that's not the way it happened. And to further make the leap that ergo, women who wear hair extensions to weddings and to the prom have no concept whatsoever of people starving in other countries, that they're greedy, that they blindly follow fashion trends, etc., etc. is just a bridge too far for me...Sorry. I mean that is a whooooooooole lot of assumption based on a bride wanting to feel princess-ey on her wedding day.

Now, there are some countries/cultures where women and girls sell their hair. In fact, the journalist in the original link makes a huge jump from India, where she saw the little girl sobbing because her mother was forcing her hair to give to the temple, to Russia, where a girl sold her hair but did get money for it. In her case it obviously did not have religious significance. She did sell it specifically in order to make money. And although that is in fact sad, when one is poor and hungry, one will sell whatever one possibly can in order to eat...this phenomenon is not something that's exclusively motivated by rich people and their casual wants and desires. Hunger is hunger and is real wherever it exists, and is awful wherever it exists, and throughout history, poverty has always forced people to do things that non-poor people are horrified to even think about; that's a huge matter that can't be solved neatly by implying they just wouldn't do X, Y or Z if there were no greedy westerners. They'd still be in dire need, westerners or no. I hope this is making sense...not sure whether I'm explaining it properly.

There are starving people everywhere, including the U.S. and the UK...and wherever it happens it is sad and terrible. But it's probably a separate matter from hair extensions...making these leaps simply seems completely illogical to me. If the matter is that a need is seen in a specific country or culture, then shouldn't something solid be being done for that particular group? I just feel these matters are separated by a huge bridge of a thousand details and facts specific to any one group's or individual's situation. That's my viewpoint and my belief on the matter.

littlenvy
July 13th, 2010, 09:24 AM
I don’t know if its age thing or if my taste are changing but the older I get the more I dislike the whole “fake” look. When I was younger I was very much impressed by that kind of a look. But not anymore.
I have nothing agains people that choose it, but I wouldn't do it myself. Natural and real appeals to me more. There is such thing as good maintenance and there is such thing as OVER doing it and making it look totally fake.
Always reminds me of the Prince of Bel-air episode where Will gets locked in the basement with his girlfriend and she starts to take off all her ‘enhancements’.
First go the high heels.
Then go the hair extension, then the nails, the eye lashes and the contacts. LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kNUDTyEgj4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kNUDTyEgj4)

(just as a disclaimer - the above is a comedy. Americans taking look at their own culture and making fun of themselves - no offense intended)

FrannyG
July 13th, 2010, 09:27 AM
We LHC members have come together on this forum precisely because we are so frequently criticized by society at large. We come here to support one another and our sometimes crazy long hair ideas.

I think it's a bit hypocritical for us to think it's okay to criticize a whole group of women just because their ideas are different from our own.

GlennaGirl
July 13th, 2010, 09:30 AM
We LHC members have come together on this forum precisely because we are so frequently criticized by society at large. We come here to support one another and our sometimes crazy long hair ideas.

I think it's a bit hypocritical for us to think it's okay to criticize a whole group of women just because their ideas are different from our own.

I agree with this, Franny.

Lamb
July 13th, 2010, 10:08 AM
I think it's a bit hypocritical for us to think it's okay to criticize a whole group of women just because their ideas are different from our own.

I agree completely with FrannyG. :flower: I've noticed this disturbing trend on TLHC lately: old ladies with short hair are called "dandelions" and "poodles" and "Q-tips" and whatnot, women who don't like natural long hair and choose to wear extensions on their wedding day are hypocrits or bridezillas etc. etc. etc. This is not at all in the spirit which drew me to this forum years ago. Not at all. :nono:


I also agree with GlennaGirl, I got the same vibe from the whole thread in general and from the op in particular.

BombaySapphire
July 13th, 2010, 06:38 PM
To the OP regarding her explanation of Hindu weddings: Thank you for your explanation. I agree that the weddings all differ. Same here in the west. I agree that the traditions are meaningful and beautiful. I would ask you to be understanding that that, too, is the same in the west. That was what sparked my indignation: What appears to be extravagance in the western women you're speaking to could, for all you know, be just as deeply significant to that bride, as a Hindu wedding element which is, ultimately, very expensive to perform/obtain. Saying one is beautiful and traditional, and the other is greedy and illogical, is, IMO, very narrowminded. I would merely ask you to be as tolerant of others' rituals and expectations of a significant day as you would ask another to be of yours. That is logical.


Yikes. I think you are reading something else entirely everytime I post. I don't think I need to be told to be more tolerant of western weddings at all, in fact if you go back to the post I wrote that you are referring to I clearly state that all American weddings vary just as Indian weddings do. And I never said that one is beautiful and traditional, and the other is greedy and illogical, just that they had many things that are the same and many things different.

If it is the comment from my first post : "Her hair gift then would be sold to the highest American bidder and this was seen as the ultimate form of greed." that is bothering you, I already tried to explain it so it made sense (post #68 ) and I'll add that literally the hair was sold to the highest American bidder, typically a salon representative. They happened to be the ones that do the purchasing for markets that also include the UK. If these explanations are not enough and you are still upset by the comment I am really sorry but I cannot take any responsibility for that, identity issues and patriotism run deep as we all know.

I think that Medievalmaniac (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/member.php?u=23772) posts were very on target. She made so many great points that were worth pondering over. I am going to quote what she said:
"I find the hypocrisy inherent in this to be offensive and worthy of criticism. I am not critical in the slightest of any other aspect of this discussion, and I've never even heard of or seen these other women and more than likely never will, so I frankly don't give a rat's butt what they do with their wedding hair. For me, it is simply the principle that anyone would say "oh, I think long hair is disgusting, and you should chop yours off, but I am going to go buy extensions so mine will be long for my wedding." I find that to be illogical, hypocritical, mean-spirited, and -well, snarky. It's not the action of getting extensions. It's telling someone that she shouldn't have her own long hair, that it is disgusting, and then bragging about buying long hair...that came from somebody....that has me riled." All cultural things aside this is kind of key to me. This might be the main difference as to why brides who are stressed out and set on extensions did not like hearing that a person doesn't find them nice, and the people here at LHC found that the brides comments were rude in regards to natural hair.

Merewen
July 13th, 2010, 09:48 PM
Now, there are some countries/cultures where women and girls sell their hair. In fact, the journalist in the original link makes a huge jump from India, where she saw the little girl sobbing because her mother was forcing her hair to give to the temple, to Russia, where a girl sold her hair but did get money for it. In her case it obviously did not have religious significance. She did sell it specifically in order to make money. And although that is in fact sad, when one is poor and hungry, one will sell whatever one possibly can in order to eat...this phenomenon is not something that's exclusively motivated by rich people and their casual wants and desires. Hunger is hunger and is real wherever it exists, and is awful wherever it exists, and throughout history, poverty has always forced people to do things that non-poor people are horrified to even think about; that's a huge matter that can't be solved neatly by implying they just wouldn't do X, Y or Z if there were no greedy westerners. They'd still be in dire need, westerners or no. I hope this is making sense...not sure whether I'm explaining it properly.

There are starving people everywhere, including the U.S. and the UK...and wherever it happens it is sad and terrible. But it's probably a separate matter from hair extensions...making these leaps simply seems completely illogical to me. If the matter is that a need is seen in a specific country or culture, then shouldn't something solid be being done for that particular group? I just feel these matters are separated by a huge bridge of a thousand details and facts specific to any one group's or individual's situation. That's my viewpoint and my belief on the matter.

The problem with the extensions is not that they somehow magically inflict poverty upon people, or even that people sell their hair to feed themselves. The real issue is that they are paid so little for their hair, which is so expensive by the time it gets to the salon.

From the article:

Usually, this full head of luxurious hair would have cost just £20. Today, perhaps because I am watching, Tatiana pays the girl £100.

It's exploitation. I don't give a crap if "greedy westerners" or whoever attach other people's hair or toenails or whatever to themselves, but as long as truly needy people are being ripped off like that, I want no part of it.