View Full Version : perhaps it is my heritage?

March 19th, 2008, 02:40 PM
I was thinking about this last night...my mother's family is from rural Appalachia, and a good deal of them are members of churches like the Old Regular Baptist and Freewill Baptist types (charismatic, yet no crazy speaking in tongues or snakes or anything) - and all the women grow their hair long because the Bible says it's a woman's crowning glory. All the women, even the elderly ones, grow their hair as long as they can (this is bothering my poor Mom as she lost most of hers in chemo last year) and wear it up nearly every day. As a matter of fact, I remember both my grandmother and great aunt and a few other relatives going to the beauty shop once a week to get an elaborate up-do and sleeping with a scarf over it at night to keep it looking great.

Now, I'm not Baptist or even Christian, but I sure love my waist-length hair. My Dad even calls it Old Regular Hair, har har! So, perhaps it's in my heritage to love my long hair and to try and find as many neat ways to wear it up as possible...*looks at Pentacostal do* Yep, yep, I think it might be...

March 19th, 2008, 04:36 PM
archel, my grandma had long red hair that she wore up in a bun. She got it cut when I was a teen, I think because she had arthritis and could no longer take care of it herself. That may be why I grew my hair long. I know it wasn't because of any other relatives or people where I live, though! Around here, women my age (over 30) almost as a rule have "Mom Hair" (short, layered, wash'n'wear style). I don't want to think about how many times people have frowned at me and said "Locks of Love is a great charity, you know" or "I had long hair. When I was a little girl." Gah.

March 19th, 2008, 04:42 PM
I think that's why a lot of the older, traditional women in Mom's family still go to the salon. I think we all have arthritis at this point. Heck, my arms kill me if I try to do double french braids. It's a labor of love, though...

March 19th, 2008, 04:56 PM
I think you've hit on something! In your culture, growing up (when impressions left are very deep) you were taught to see long hair as desirable, and a pleasure. Something to be proud of, rather than something to chop off reguarly to prevent growth. And that has clearly stuck with you!!!

March 19th, 2008, 04:56 PM
Oh and I am almost 37 and I refuse to do "mom hair" or even worse, "newscaster hair"!

March 19th, 2008, 04:59 PM
I honestly think it is something ingrained in us during childhood. Just like women who have always had short hair because their mom always chopped it and had short hair herself. I grew up with my mom having long hair and always told me to let mine grow long.

March 19th, 2008, 05:06 PM
None of these apply to me. My maternal grandmother had long hair, but it wasn't because of religion. I don't remember anybody coaching me to love long hair, but I always have.

March 19th, 2008, 05:07 PM
I have a completely different experience. There was never and still isn't a female in my family with long hair. I'm the black sheep. :?

March 19th, 2008, 05:14 PM
News caster hair :shudder:

I saw lots of long hair as a child, so I'm sure that has something to do with my obsession. :D

March 19th, 2008, 06:23 PM
My mom had long hair and my picture books had heroines with long hair and princesses. Oh, how I wanted it too, but my mom cut my hair in "dutch boy" cut and there I was for *years*.

Now I'm an old lady, and nobody says anything to me about cutting my hair. ;) There *are* advantages to being old, you know. People call me "Miss Embee" and are generally very polite. It's just lovely!

IMHO Appalachia has a lot to recommend it. That's where I am now. :) It's very beautiful. It's home.

March 19th, 2008, 06:27 PM
It very well could be. I've seen psychological studies showing that people are more likely to be attracted to the ethnic/social background they came from themselves, that might reflect in the way you choose to wear your hair.

March 19th, 2008, 06:35 PM
Franny I'm the first too! We're boldly going where no woman has gone before!!!:D

March 19th, 2008, 08:35 PM
Most of the pictures of women I know from my family tree had shoulder length or shorter. Farther back, they probably had long hair, but I don't really have proof. I'm just the different one :silly: I never really even considered growing my hair out really long until right before I found LHC.

March 19th, 2008, 08:38 PM
My sister's the only longhair in the family, I've always admired her hair. :p

March 19th, 2008, 10:43 PM
:shrug:I'm a "black sheep" too. I have great aunt who was a long hair-but barely know her. A relative in Ohio, but again I barely know her.Some picture of my great grandmother, who had very long hair as a younger women apparently. I think I got my inspirtion from fairy-tales. Other then that- I really don't know. Certainly my mother, and two grandmothers, were never true long hairs. They were/are, quite opposite. Iam a puzzle to my mother and to myself. I don't see how I would be a longhair according to my enviroment. Certainly I was not tought these things, unless it was form childhood stories? Past life? Psychological reasons? Contrarian nature?

March 19th, 2008, 11:32 PM
All the women in my family had pixies- not even china length bobs! No joke.

My grandmother had knee length hair when my Mom was a little girl, until she was a teenager. Then she cut it to a pixie and kept it there the rest of her life.

I'm hoping that my hair will at least go to knee length.

March 19th, 2008, 11:36 PM
I think you've hit on something! In your culture, growing up (when impressions left are very deep) you were taught to see long hair as desirable, and a pleasure. Something to be proud of, rather than something to chop off reguarly to prevent growth. And that has clearly stuck with you!!!

I'm following you around the boards today. :silly:

I think you're totally right, though. My mom has never had short hair and my grandma still keeps hers long and wears it in a bun every day. She used to help me oil my hair when I was little so it would be "soft and black." :grin: My cousin had really long hair too. The hair is a Thing in their Indian culture, so it's a Thing for me too. (Although India is becoming dramatically more Westernized so I really have no idea how long people commonly have their hair.)

March 20th, 2008, 06:24 AM
Another pixie family member here! It is dreadful. The women over 75 all have the exact same short permed hair.
I get odd looks when I grow mine long, and I am just about the only person encouraging my sister-in-law to keep hers lovely and long! :(

March 20th, 2008, 06:44 AM
I don't know. I almost have never seen anybody with long hair when I was little. Maybe only in movies. However I always liked updos. I've been drawing picture after picture full of ancient Chinese beauties with buns and hair ornaments since toddlerhood. :) I would only draw other stuff if people asked me to, otherwise I drew long-haired beauties. :D Beauty is just irresistable to me. Fashion however is not.

Madam Librarian
March 20th, 2008, 08:26 AM
IMHO Appalachia has a lot to recommend it. That's where I am now. :) It's very beautiful. It's home.

Oh hooray! I've lived somewhere in Appalachia my entire life, moving from the very southern reaches up to now the very western reaches. I've lived squat in the middle for a large part of my childhood too. As much as I have complained about lack of opportunity and progress, there is still something very charming about the region that I never want to leave.

I don't know if you live in the mountains, but I grew up surrounded by them. I'm now in a river valley, but the mountains aren't far away. To this day, whenever I travel somewhere flat, I don't feel like I am arriving 'home' until I start to see mountains again. :)

As for hair, I don't know whether an Appalachian upbringing is the reason for my desire for long hair. I know of the religious reasons for keeping uncut hair, and I knew several girls that didn't cut their hair for these reasons. I was never seriously interested in having long hair until I was an adult, and never seriously learned to care for my hair until just a couple years ago when I joined LHC. Still, I can see how Appalachian culture could be an influence in this way. We don't hurt for churches that teach women to keep their hair long, and trends of most any kind are pretty slow to hit us.

March 20th, 2008, 08:43 AM
I feel the same way. I've been raised most my life in the Mtns of GA and now I live in the foothills of NC. Cheerokee / Ashville area feel like "home" to me. Unfortunately no jobs there I can do, so I have to stay over in the Chapel Hill area.

Now the hair thing. I've pretty much always had longish hair. There was a period in my teens when I enjoyed the "Scully" cut from x-files, but my family and friends always praised me when it was longer. Right now its waist length, (I did a trim last night sigh!) But now that I got rid of about 4 inches of dry, bleached, damaged ends, I can do more updo's more comfortably and grow out more healthy untouched virgin hair! =D

Oh and I am about as far from "religious" as you can get. I have faith mind you but I certain am not no Pentecostal.

March 20th, 2008, 09:14 AM
IMHO Appalachia has a lot to recommend it. That's where I am now. :) It's very beautiful. It's home.
Embee, I think I would fit right in where you (and several others who have commented here!) live. Although I do have a fast-paced job in a high-tech industry, I love "homey" things - crafting, canning, gardening. I find myself fascinated by old-fashioned things - photos, memoires, historical books.

I just wish that I had a daughter (we were blessed with two boys) or a good friend who I could trust to trim and style my hair for me, as I get little support or encouragement from my friends. And my relatives just regard me as an oddity, I think!

Lady Godiva
March 20th, 2008, 09:44 AM
Both sides of my family are of the conservative Christian bent that's not Pentecostal and holds a rather opposite perspective on external appearance. Almost all the women wear or wore short, rather nondescript, perfunctory hairstyles. The sub-cultural implication is that focusing on hair is being too fussy, too preoccupied with external appearances, and that's vanity. In no way do I endorse this attitude that judges a person as morally weak for enjoying the gifts that God gave her.

The upshot is that I'm part of the family minority. My mother used to have waist length hair. She wore her hair long probably because it was the modern, hippie thing to do then. My sister's hair is longer than ever now, about tail-bone length, and the long streaks of gray in it are awesome.

The three of us don't influence each other's hair styling choices, though, not really. I think we're more aware that long hair is far from the larger cultural norm, and that will encourage us to rebel, as none of us like being fitted into cultural boxes based on what other people think is good for us, in all their judgmental wisdom. :rolleyes: