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View Full Version : The Shy & Long-Haired Support Thread



meteor
June 19th, 2014, 03:59 PM
I am experiencing the same problem over and over again when I wear hair down or even in braids, and the problem is my inability to ward off some strange comments or squeezing, pulling hair. I can't find quick, witty comebacks that I'm comfortable saying, because I'm soft and always want to keep it friendly. But at the same time, I don't want to feel any pressure to wear hair up 100% of the time just because of that (it's already bunned 99% of the time!).

I know this problem isn't new to most long-haired folks, so I'm curious about how exactly you guys handle it, if you are shy and want to save the other person's face. I know I'll need to find a solution because I want to grow to terminal, if it's manageable. I want to wear long hair with pride. :)


Just a couple recent examples that made me want to never wear my hair down:
1) A lady was pulling my hair saying she wants just half on my hair to cut off and attach to hers... and that would make her so happy. And it was not even the first time. She was smiling and all, and she wasn't mean, but I still felt uneasy. I felt if I said something like "please stop pulling my hair" that it might appear like I'm overreacting or acting like some super-sensitive "princess on the pea".

2) Some lady told me in public "Your hair is beautiful" and within a split second: "Are you gonna donate it?" with a stern expression.
I said "Maybe, someday, but that's not in my immediate plans" which I thought should be enough, but she said: "Well, you SHOULD! A friend of mine donated it. She's a great person!"
The woman in question has a pixie and probably could grow her own hair for donation instead of focusing on other people's hair, but I just couldn't dare say something that smart-a** and felt like she just publicly shamed me for my "hair selfishness".


Any advice on how to keep stuff like that at bay nicely and politely?
And how do you fight major social pressure to cut, alter or hide your hair? Do you argue with people or do you just ignore them? What works for you?
I'm sure there are many other shy long-haired folks who can use some help with this, as well. :)

Thank you very much for your help! :flower:

jeanniet
June 19th, 2014, 04:52 PM
I'd just say "No' if someone asks if you're going to donate, nothing else, and if they press you, just say "I don't want to." You don't have to get into a debate with a stranger, and if you're blunt and don't elaborate they're less likely to keep bothering you. If you give a leading answer, then they may feel like they can keep commenting.

If someone touches your hair, I'd just say "Ow!" kind of loudly and then say you have a very sensitive scalp or something. Anyone who makes those kind of dumb comments probably isn't going to respond much to anything else, but if they think they're actually hurting you maybe they'll keep their hands to themselves.

lapushka
June 19th, 2014, 05:03 PM
I'd say practice in front of a mirror, with harsher sounding NOs and phrases you repeat all over again until they become second nature. "Please don't touch my hair?" "Please don't touch my hair!" "Get away from me!" "No!" Believe me, these people would not want to run in to me, because I can be a tough cookie when I need to be. :lol:

And BTW I know you would love to wear it out, but there's nothing wrong with bunning it almost 24/7 (I do it too). It won't harm the hair any, if that's any of your concern.

YamaMaya
June 19th, 2014, 05:12 PM
If people were ever that rude to me I think I'd be extremely shocked. I'd hit the roof if a STRANGER came up and touched my hair, then said she wanted to cut my hair to use on herself. Don't even get me started on the whole long hair = selfish thing. It amazes me the audacity of some people. Just remember that these people are strangers, you don't owe them any kind of courtesy if they're not going to show you basic courtesy. Your body is none of their business and you should tell them so. If you really can't speak up, just walk away, you don't have to endure other people's stupidity if you don't want to.

skeletonous
June 19th, 2014, 05:13 PM
If people pester you to donate just tell them to grow their own hair for as long as you have and donate it :p

cathair
June 19th, 2014, 05:21 PM
This never happens to me. But if it did and I didn't want to be confrontational, I would probably say my hair was grey or dyed so they won't accept it as a donation. Even if it wasn't grey or dyed, how are they to know? You could maybe do something similar about the extensions comment. Tell the plastic hair is harder wearing and easier to look after and therefore much better because they can do what they want with it?

ErinLeigh
June 19th, 2014, 05:26 PM
I am a strong person emotionally but I am extremely sensitive to others. Even those who don't deserve it. I get your issue.
I think the best thing you can do is make an excuse to walk away "oh I would love to stay and chat but I have to do X' If that is all you can muster then that is that.

Another thing..as nice as we are even we have a tolerance. I suspect after a few more times, if this is really getting to you enough, you will feel ok removing you hair from their hands silently, or change the subject abruptly when one brings up hair. Patience does wear thin even for the softest person eventually.

lauren_alia
June 19th, 2014, 05:26 PM
I'm interested to see everyone's responses to this as well so hopefully I'll have some good ideas on how to handle it in the future. My hair is only bsl now, so it's not exceptionally long and I don't get strangers pulling on it or anything like that. I noticed a similar.... phenomenon if you will, a few years ago when I was pregnant though. I worked in retail at the time, and random customers would come up to me all the freaking time and rub or touch my preggo belly. I hated it. It's a total invasion of my personal space, but I never could figure out a good way to handle it. If I just tried to be polite and brush it off or ignore the fact that some random person is putting their hands on me, I felt really uncomfortable. If I would physically back away from them or make a comment like, "please don't touch me," people would act offended by it, like I'm a total b***h or something. I don't want to intentionally make people feel bad, but sometimes I think people need to be told to keep their hands to themselves.

lapushka
June 19th, 2014, 05:27 PM
My response to a donation question (that seems particularly common in the US, BTW, don't have that as much in the EU) would simply be. "No!" And if they'd keep pestering me, I'd go with, "I'm sorry but that's really none of your business."

meteor
June 19th, 2014, 05:43 PM
Guys, you are so right! Thank you so much for your tips! A lot of similar answers run through my head, but when this happens in public, I'm really afraid of embarrassing the other person by telling them to get away or to donate their own hair. I'm too afraid of confrontation and of making the person look awkward in public. They aren't actually being mean. The only times this happens to me was when those ladies (gentlemen never do this, thank god!) are smiling and curious, so I want to avoid being rude with them.

Lapushka, you are right: this never happens when my hair is up (it's up 99% of the time), but I want to be able to sometimes wear it down, just to enjoy it.

In the future, I'll try walking away or changing the subject abruptly. Or I'll change my body language to tense and defensive to send the right message, hopefully.
And yes, I never heard the donation question in Europe. While here, it's shockingly standard and frequent, like chit-chat about the weather.

meteor
June 19th, 2014, 05:45 PM
I'm interested to see everyone's responses to this as well so hopefully I'll have some good ideas on how to handle it in the future. My hair is only bsl now, so it's not exceptionally long and I don't get strangers pulling on it or anything like that. I noticed a similar.... phenomenon if you will, a few years ago when I was pregnant though. I worked in retail at the time, and random customers would come up to me all the freaking time and rub or touch my preggo belly. I hated it. It's a total invasion of my personal space, but I never could figure out a good way to handle it. If I just tried to be polite and brush it off or ignore the fact that some random person is putting their hands on me, I felt really uncomfortable. If I would physically back away from them or make a comment like, "please don't touch me," people would act offended by it, like I'm a total b***h or something. I don't want to intentionally make people feel bad, but sometimes I think people need to be told to keep their hands to themselves.

Exactly! I see this so much and I always feel bad for those pregnant ladies, because I can usually see exasperation in their eyes, like: "oh no, not again!"
I bet the only reason they don't stop those belly-huggers is because they are too polite.
Of course, it would be cool to see a ballsy woman some day telling them to get their own pregnant belly to hug. :lol:

lapushka
June 19th, 2014, 05:49 PM
And yes, I never heard the donation question in Europe. While here, it's shockingly standard and frequent, like chit-chat about the weather.

I think those shows around LOL (Locks of Love) have a lot to do with it. Everyone has it in their head that it's for children with cancer, an all around good cause while in effect it couldn't be further from the truth. Sad. Even sadder that that's the reason why you can't wear your hair loose in public without being harassed to donate it. :(

trolleypup
June 19th, 2014, 07:19 PM
Practicing responses so you don't have to think about it when it happens is good. You don't owe these idiots your time or graciousness. In general, when someone calls a woman a b****, it is because it is because she is demanding to be treated as a human, not a doormat or servant. Take it as a compliment.

Vivalagina
June 19th, 2014, 07:44 PM
I haven't had this concerning hair but definitely with baby belly. My solution was to gently but firmly grab the hand touching me and move it away. No explanation. People generally apologized and the conversation moved on or ended.

As for the donation comments (so annoying) I just say in a bored voice "nope". I've never had people press further after that.

meteor
June 20th, 2014, 12:42 PM
Thank you very much for your ideas, guys! :)

I just saw this on the topic of replies to weird hair remarks and I figured I should share it here. :) Torrin's theatre is absolutely hilarious! :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ADisa_jH_s

Kimberly
June 20th, 2014, 01:07 PM
Hilarious video!

My current snappy reply to the donation question is, "Sorry, I'm saving up for a watch chain."

SnowbirdRose
June 20th, 2014, 05:30 PM
meteor- Love the video:lol:

meteor
June 20th, 2014, 07:22 PM
Oh yeah, Torrin Paige's videos are always a lot of fun! She's so great and helpful!

So I was browsing more of her videos and she addresses the donation question very eloquently here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1k5G4MPK7Q
The YouTuber that Torrin referenced (Lucy's Corsetry with gorgeous knee-length hair) left a comment below saying this: "A couple weeks ago, someone told me I should donate my hair to black women who need weaves/hairfalls. Um." :ohmy: Is it just me, or are those people going way too far with their growing donation demands? Long-haired people are asked to donate hair for pure vanity extensions now? Seriously?


Thank god, because of this donation pestering, I found out about how Locks of Love throws away or sells 80%(!) of hair they receive, and that they don't actually give free wigs (they only discount them) to sick kids, and that the kids have a super-complex application process to go through to access a LoL wig, and that if you are lucky, your hair is used to make up only 10% of an actual wig and kids outgrow them within a year or two and have to throw them away, and kids don't like wearing itchy natural wigs anyway, synthetic ones are preferred. I was going to donate at some point after reaching maintenance level or terminal but, after finding out all this, I'll have to reconsider.

Beezle
June 21st, 2014, 04:28 AM
Kimberly, I 'whooped' your retort: "Sorry, I'm saving up for a watch chain" If that doesn't stop them in their tracks, nothing would. It's so good.

Marika
June 21st, 2014, 09:45 AM
I think it's ok to be rude/b****y if a complete stranger invades your personal space. I mean what's more rude and disrespectful than that!? And things like "don't touch me" and "NO" aren't even rude in my opinion. I think it's really important to teach kids for example to say those things. I've been taught that and have no problem defending myself now as an adult too. You're the one being rude and jerk if you touch my hair/pregnant belly/whatever without permission. My problem has been those "hit and run" type of situations (not hair related) when I don't get a chance to defend myself and that makes me angry :angry:

lazuliblue
June 21st, 2014, 10:48 AM
I remember reading once that a good reply to the donating question is to aks why the person isn't growing their hair to donate!

I don't think you have any obligation to be polite to someone who is intimidating you. Sure, if its just polite curiosity ignore them or say you're in a rush, but the whole pulling at your hair etc. really crosses the line! Use a firm voice...pretend that you are talking to a child! Firm, simple and direct.

Youngjae
June 21st, 2014, 04:32 PM
Hahaha... Rubbing their hair back is actually a great response. I might try that. I have a teacher (not even a teacher that I like or am friendly with) who yanks on my braid everytime he sees me. I find it totally inappropriate and creepy. I have also had this from extended family members but what I do is give them the death stare and they usually get the message but my teacher is probably too clueless. I also have gotten the donate question a few times to which I say "that's not really my plan but if I decide to chop all my hair off, I will probably sell it and then donate the money to a cause I support because my hair cannot save lives but money for clean water can. I have also had people tell me that I should just cut my hair, for no reason... When I try to explain that part of why I want my hair to be longer is that I dont want to conform to our stupid standard of beauty they just dont get it....

battles
June 21st, 2014, 04:46 PM
If someone pulls or touches my hair, I am pulling or touching right back. Regardless of length. I consider myself a very shy person, but maybe not.. :p

meteor
June 21st, 2014, 04:55 PM
Hahaha... Rubbing their hair back is actually a great response. I might try that. I have a teacher (not even a teacher that I like or am friendly with) who yanks on my braid everytime he sees me. I find it totally inappropriate and creepy. I have also had this from extended family members but what I do is give them the death stare and they usually get the message but my teacher is probably too clueless. I also have gotten the donate question a few times to which I say "that's not really my plan but if I decide to chop all my hair off, I will probably sell it and then donate the money to a cause I support because my hair cannot save lives but money for clean water can. I have also had people tell me that I should just cut my hair, for no reason... When I try to explain that part of why I want my hair to be longer is that I dont want to conform to our stupid standard of beauty they just dont get it....

Youngjae, that's crazy! So if it's OK for them to tell you you should cut your hair, how will they take it if you tell them that they must grow theirs out?
And how would that teacher feel if you pulled on his beard or his jacket?

I think I came up with a way of handling the aggressive donation question. I'll say: "Yeah, everybody's telling me I should donate, so which organization do you personally recommend, from your own experience donating your hair?" If that doesn't shut those hypocrites up, I don't know what can.
I can't stand it when they tell me to donate, proudly adding: "my friend/grandma/aunt... donated hair", as if the actions of other people are somehow their personal achievement. :lol:

GrowingOut
June 21st, 2014, 04:56 PM
If someone tries to yank my hair, I'm stomping their foot. Hard.

Ennapic
June 21st, 2014, 05:07 PM
Thank god, because of this donation pestering, I found out about how Locks of Love throws away or sells 80%(!) of hair they receive, and that they don't actually give free wigs (they only discount them) to sick kids, and that the kids have a super-complex application process to go through to access a LoL wig, and that if you are lucky, your hair is used to make up only 10% of an actual wig and kids outgrow them within a year or two and have to throw them away, and kids don't like wearing itchy natural wigs anyway, synthetic ones are preferred. I was going to donate at some point after reaching maintenance level or terminal but, after finding out all this, I'll have to reconsider.

Locks of Love is anathema to me!

Unfortunately for me, I didn't find out about their shady practices until after I had donated about 14" back in 2003. I thought I was doing a good thing supporting my sister who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

If anyone ever suggests donating to LoL to me they get an earful:p

meteor
June 21st, 2014, 05:34 PM
Sorry to hear about the LoL experience, Ennapic.
It seems like, if one really wants to donate hair, it's a lot more effective to sell it and donate the proceeds. This way, one can make sure the money goes to the right causes and the hair isn't just thrown away. Good to know!

JadedByEntropy
June 22nd, 2014, 12:18 AM
If someone pulls or touches my hair, I am pulling or touching right back. Regardless of length. I consider myself a very shy person, but maybe not.. :p

I'm saving this up for the next time. Its sooo creepy it just might work. add a "that was creepy wasn't it?" if they're really clueless. I don't know, some people are so polite and we might just be overthinking how judgemental they are when it might be just admiration. But this touch-you-back idea politely sends the do unto others message.

I haven't gotten the donation question from the public lately, only friends who are happy to be suddenly informed about reality. haha Haven't had this problem in years. Of course I did unfortunately donate a total 36" to LOL when I was middle and highschool. Everyones so shocked when half your hair disappears that they don't tell you to when its "long" again.

kitana97
June 22nd, 2014, 01:12 AM
If someone told me to donate my hair I'd probably just walk away. I wouldn't even engage with someone who said that as they probably have a very black and white view on that topic.

I've been lucky to not really have many strangers grab at my hair. However, one woman in class did grab my ends and tell me that they would look much better if I had a trim. I proceeded to stare intently at my ends for the rest of the evening :/ Some people are just really handsy and feel like it's okay to touch other people - they may not even know that it bothers some. The suggestion of saying that you have a sensitive scalp is a good idea. But if you feel uncomfortable you have every right to tell them to stop touching your hair.

LongHairLesbian
June 22nd, 2014, 04:28 PM
My hair has only recently gotten long enough to warrant comment, nowhere near as long as yours, meteor! What I find is that people usually make these comments to me when I'm at work or on the bus, so I can't walk away or say much unless I want things to get really awkward for an uncomfortable amount of time. And for some reason, I think people know this; they are more likely to say something in these situations because they are almost guaranteed to keep your attention, because you can't exit the situation even if you wanted to. For me, I just plan hair down days for when I'm feeling extroverted, because it's too much of a pain to potentially deal with people's comments, especially if you can tell they are being cheerful and complimentary.

Natalia
June 22nd, 2014, 04:34 PM
Depends on your comfort level with it but i tend to go kindergarten teacher on some people. Like "is that your hair? no its on my head so please keep your hands to yourself, you can touch your hair if you like" to adults i tend to play it comical so they get the point but without offending them so much.