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jackiesjottings
April 14th, 2010, 07:19 AM
Apart from Rapunzel, are there any other characters in literature, where there long hair is either a major feature of their character, or features in the plot? I can't think of any offhand.

Thanks :)

sweet*things
April 14th, 2010, 07:37 AM
I think hair is featured in The Goose Girl, she has to spend a lot of time combing out tangles, lol.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Goose_Girl

MakeLoveNotWar
April 14th, 2010, 07:39 AM
In the original Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson, her sisters cut their long, beautiful, flowing hair in exchange for a knife from the sea witch. Also, when the Little Mermaid first meets the prince, she is naked and covers herself with her hair.

Lamb
April 14th, 2010, 07:48 AM
Long hair (and cutting long hair after a bad dye job) is pretty important in Anne of Green Gables. :) In one of the sequels (Anne's House of Dreams I think), one of the characters has thick blonde hair down to her ankles.

Marjolein
April 14th, 2010, 07:53 AM
Samson in the bible.

Loreley
April 14th, 2010, 08:13 AM
I've heard about two (although I don't know them):
- If I had long, long hair
- The princess with the longest hair. :D

Starfilly
April 14th, 2010, 08:55 AM
Oo, an excellent thread!

Several come to mind:


"The Gift of the Magi" by O.Henry--she sells her hair to buy him a pocketwatch chain, he sells the pocketwatch to buy her hair combs, both present the gifts to the other as a surprise and...oops.
Lady Godiva--I believe there was a poem by Tennyson on this?
Jo in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott sells her hair so that her mother has the money to visit her wounded father.
Nearly all of the female characters in Tolkien's writings have beautiful long hair. Galadriel gives Gimili a few hairs, Arwen is famous for her locks, and Luthien wove her own hair into a rope to escape and later into a dark cloak.


There's a fair bit in more recent lit as well:


Aerin in The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley has very long hair that seems to come up in the story quite often.
Mary Russell in The Beekeeper's Apprentice series has very long blond hair.
In The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind (which I despised, incidentally), long hair is a status symbol; only certain members of the upper classes are permitted to wear it long.


I'm sure I'm forgetting some favorites. Can't wait to see what others come up with!

sophistiCat *
April 14th, 2010, 09:00 AM
Eve in Adam and Eve lol

sweet*things
April 14th, 2010, 10:30 AM
Mary Magdalene, if we're going biblical. :)

halo_tightens
April 14th, 2010, 10:32 AM
Long hair (and cutting long hair after a bad dye job) is pretty important in Anne of Green Gables. :) In one of the sequels (Anne's House of Dreams I think), one of the characters has thick blonde hair down to her ankles.

This was the first thing that came to my mind! :)

theskeletonkey
April 14th, 2010, 10:52 AM
Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter!
Also, Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments.

Atlantic
April 14th, 2010, 10:53 AM
Long hair (and cutting long hair after a bad dye job) is pretty important in Anne of Green Gables. :) In one of the sequels (Anne's House of Dreams I think), one of the characters has thick blonde hair down to her ankles.


Yes, and there's the "My hair is not going to be cut off" incident in L.M. Montgomery's Emily of New Moon as well.

Gumball
April 14th, 2010, 10:59 AM
Starfilly beat me to the Sword of Truth mention, but that's the first thing that sprang to my mind also. It's definitely a status symbol in those books and is brought up numerous times. It's one of the ways Terry Goodkind seems to describe the women in the book: By their hair length and color.

Pallas
April 14th, 2010, 12:34 PM
Howl's Moving Castle. Sophie's hair is used to keep a fire going (long story).

At least, that's what happens in the movie version of the book. I'm not sure if it happens in the book too, sorry.

PhillyGirl26
April 14th, 2010, 01:28 PM
Gift of the Magi

aragorn
March 30th, 2011, 10:17 AM
Yes, and there's the "My hair is not going to be cut off" incident in L.M. Montgomery's Emily of New Moon as well.

Did they do that part in the TV series?

kouran
March 30th, 2011, 10:29 AM
There is a story by Edgar Alan Poe about a woman called Ligeia, who had long black hair.

muppetcrayz
March 30th, 2011, 11:10 AM
I want to say the girl in Song of the Sparrow talks a lot about her hair.

SwordWomanRiona
March 30th, 2011, 11:22 AM
The Sword-women (Celtic female warriors) in The Eagle and the Raven, by Pauline Hedge (it's about the Romans invading Celtic Britain, in Boudicca's time) have long thick hair. Ranging from waist to knee. :crush:

Atlantic
March 30th, 2011, 12:01 PM
Did they do that part in the TV series?

No idea, I've only read the book.

Fingolphin
March 30th, 2011, 12:04 PM
There is the part in The Silmarillion where Luthien causes her hair to grow long and make her guards fall under a sleep.

Kleis
March 30th, 2011, 12:33 PM
Alice in Wonderland:

"Your hair wants cutting," said the Hatter. He had been looking at Alice for some time with great curiosity, and this was his first speech.

"You should learn not to make personal remarks," Alice said with some severity; "it's very rude."

BrightEyes7
March 30th, 2011, 01:11 PM
Ok... This "Anne of Green Gables". I've never heard of it in my life. And now it has been in two threads today. This one and the red-head predjudice thread. Maybe I should look into this....

This one may get tomatoes thrown at me for mentioning.... but in the Twilight books, Bella has hair long thick dark hair. I always imagined it WAY longer than what they show in the movies.

Also there is this book, a really good book, called "A Yellow Raft In Blue Water" by Michael Dorris. It's a random title (really doesn't have much to do with the book, although my crazy English teacher thought differently) but it's about a Native American family. It's told in three parts, from the perspective of three different generations. First the daughter, then the mother, then the grandmother. They mention hair a lot in the book. They talk about the long sleek Native American hair, and they mention it being braided.

Fingolphin
March 30th, 2011, 01:13 PM
Ok... This "Anne of Green Gables". I've never heard of it in my life. And now it has been in two threads today. This one and the red-head predjudice thread. Maybe I should look into this....



D'oh! You must watch them. I love the movies Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea! They are wonderful. But I have not read the books, which are beloved by many.

Knotted
March 31st, 2011, 05:25 PM
Historical fiction author Margaret George describes hair beautifully in her books. In "The Autobiography of King Henry VIII" he notices his wives beautiful heads of hair. He loves the thick golden red hair of some of his wives (Katherine of Aragon's turned "muddy" with time, but still retained the colour of her youth at the ends), and Anne Boleyn's hair is shiny and black as a raven's wing. In "Mary, Queen of Scots" she talks about her long gorgeous auburn hair.

Along with everyone else, I also recommend Anne of Green Gables. :) Fantastic series!

Sharysa
January 11th, 2015, 06:26 PM
Also there is this book, a really good book, called "A Yellow Raft In Blue Water" by Michael Dorris. It's a random title (really doesn't have much to do with the book, although my crazy English teacher thought differently) but it's about a Native American family. It's told in three parts, from the perspective of three different generations. First the daughter, then the mother, then the grandmother. They mention hair a lot in the book. They talk about the long sleek Native American hair, and they mention it being braided.

Yellow Raft in Blue Water is so heartbreaking but so well written. The protagonist grows her hair long to hide her face scars from her mother's emotional/mental breakdown. *shudder*

sunflowersmiles
January 11th, 2015, 08:30 PM
Oh this thread makes me happy. Remember that poem from English class about the man who strangles his lover with her own hair? Hair is such a striking part of a person. For some reason it brings to mind that scene in Catching Fire when President Snow's granddaughter is wearing her hair in a braid and she tells her grandfather she is trying to look like Katnis. Who knew hair could make a man boil inside!

Mearwynna
January 12th, 2015, 02:59 PM
Martha Wells Il-Rien series has men with long hair, with braids and wild manes. It's very nice. She's an awesome author.

thefreakingmoon
January 12th, 2015, 03:18 PM
I notice that long hair seems quite common in fantasy books in general, but all the direct examples I can think of have been mentioned here already! D'oh.

AmberJewel
January 12th, 2015, 04:31 PM
There is the part in The Silmarillion where Luthien causes her hair to grow long and make her guards fall under a sleep.

This! She also makes it grow long enough to make a rope and escape her prison, makes herself a cloak/disguise with it, and apparently it was amazingly beautiful, long and black.

chen bao jun
January 12th, 2015, 05:36 PM
Tolkien based her on his wife.
I can't find a photo of Mrs. Edith Tolkien when young with her hair down but he talked about her black hair and how she danced for him outside when young and that he based this character on her. He was forbidden to marry her by his guardian because she wasn't Catholic. When he was 21 he went and found her and proposed and she converted. They were married until she died in her 80 s and he put Luthien on her tombstone and Beren on his.

The-Young-Maid
October 9th, 2015, 08:16 PM
Hey ladies! I thought I'd revive this thread and treat you all to a couple quotes from books I've recently read. The first is The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim.(South Korea 1930s) "Jaeyun had bobbed her hair, and in another attempt to convince me to cut mine, said how refreshing the air felt on her bare neck. I discounted her argument by twisting my braid into a bun secured instantly with a twig." :cool:

This next one really has more to do with soapnuts but... (Malaysia? 1920-40s) "Before the occupation I had always washed the children's hair with a special seedpod from India. It came tied in bunches. You soaked the bone-hard dark brown pods before boiling and mashing them. The resulting dark brown mush was the perfect shampoo. It cleaned the hair until it squeaked. I improvised and washed all my children's hair with ground green beans." The Rice Mother by Rani Manicka. Has anyone ever tried green beans?!

AZDesertRose
October 10th, 2015, 12:49 AM
One that came to my mind that hasn't been mentioned yet is the books by Jane Yolen about the women of Alta. I can't remember if it's in Sister Light, Sister Dark or White Jenna, but in one of those two, a man (the character's name is escaping me) reminds Jenna that as long as she has her long braids, she's not without a weapon, and she ends up strangling someone who needs killing with her hair.

(Seriously, that character was incredibly evil. He needed killing.)

I need to get myself a copy of The One-Armed Queen, which is about Jenna's adopted daughter, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

As others have noted, fantasy characters seem to have the coolest hair. This series is YA fantasy, and well worth the read even if you're technically past the age for YA. :D

LauraAlaina
October 10th, 2015, 07:14 AM
Oh i love this thread! I constantly read historical romance/drama novels- currently i'm reading the heretic's wife by brenda rickman vantrease. they almost always talk about their hair and haircare which i find so interesting! and I love the covers..

Thoughtcriminal
October 10th, 2015, 08:52 AM
Gunnerkrigg Court (http://gunnerkrigg.com) is webcomic whose main character (Antimony)'s hair is a big plot point, especially in the more recent chapters.

dancingrain91
October 10th, 2015, 09:06 AM
Crown Duel/Court Duel and other books by the same author have very long hair. The author has some questionable ideas about how it can be secured, but I suppose everyone is usually noble so maybe it would have worked. Though her work can be interesting it isn't terribly well written.
In the Hunger Games book series, Katniss has uncut hair before she goes into the games. It might make people cringe though, because by the end of the series it is gone do to the serious abuse she survives, though they imply it grows back... They completely leave a lot of this out in the movies but the movies would have been rated R if they hadn't.
Game of Thrones, though the constant talk of hair, food and baths gets so annoying I had to completely give up the series.
The Night World Series has several characters with really long hair. These are by LJ Smith from the nineties and no matter what is said she is probably never going to finish this series. It's a teen fantasy series and full of the tropes of that genre.
Although they're quick reads and don't include super long hair, everything by Christine Pope has a long haired heroine and since she isn't specific you can imagine them as long as you like. Otherwise they're just little romance series that are cheap or free but don't seem to have all of the terrible typos. So I find them readable enough.
Since nobody mentioned them yet, Laura Ingalls Wilder has knee length hair at least though it is almost never mentioned. On that vein, Little Women, anything by Jane Austen and anything by LM Montgomery have long haired characters since they are from time periods where long hair on a woman was the norm.
In the Sing the Light series, all of the characters except the itenerants have long hair. The itenerants are guides and outdoorsy types and keep their hair cropped. The only exception is the main character who keeps her hair cropped all the time even when she is living in a House.
I know I've read more, but most books I read describe long hair as waist length or shorter and I can't remember any others at the moment. Great thread idea!

Entangled
October 10th, 2015, 10:06 AM
I found the best bun description I've yet seen in Phantom of the Opera.

Mme. Giry has a "tempestuous chignon."

Bill D.
October 10th, 2015, 04:40 PM
There's the Japanese folk tale of Kaguyahime, the moon princess, which has been made into various films, books, etc. I especially like the depiction of her by Kagaya (http://imaginatorium.org/shop/pics/y101156.jpg).

Bill D.

Nuala
October 11th, 2015, 04:34 AM
Most books by Thomas Hardy have heroines with long dark hair, for instance Tess of the d'Urbervilles is described as having beautiful, long, thick dark hair.
"Her figure looked singularly tall and imposing as she stood in her long white nightgown, a thick cable of twisted dark hair hanging straight down her back to her waist."

cat11
October 17th, 2015, 07:32 AM
In the Tale of Genji almost all the women have very long hair, mostly from knee range to past the floor. It's always decribed really well wether it looks good or not, and attention is paid as to whether the person has nice ends or not, if it's nicely trimmed, the color. There's a couple people with short hair which was rare in that time and they are described well too. Great book.

Teazel
September 11th, 2016, 02:56 AM
I've been itching to cut my hair lately, but then I read (in The Riddle-Master of Hed, by Patricia A. McKillip) of an old lady with ivory-coloured hair in a braid that reached her knees, and I wanna be her!

hayheadsbird
September 11th, 2016, 03:13 AM
There's a reference to granny weatherwax's hair in one of the discworld books, the vampire one but the name escapes me right now. It's when she lets down her bun to use a single strand to make a halter for a unicorn.

Tosca
September 11th, 2016, 06:21 AM
A book called Zoe's Zodiac by Mary Jo Stephens is actually the entire reason I started growing my hair out. The main character (Zoe) is described as having a braid long enough to sit on.

UncommonTart
September 12th, 2016, 03:24 PM
There's a reference to granny weatherwax's hair in one of the discworld books, the vampire one but the name escapes me right now. It's when she lets down her bun to use a single strand to make a halter for a unicorn.

I think it was the fairy one- Lords and Ladies?


"Granny Weatherwax removed her hat, skimming it into the bushes. Then, her eyes never leaving the animal, she reached up to the iron-grey bun of her hair and removed a few crucial pins.

The bun uncoiled a waking snake of fine hair, which unwound down to her waist when she shook her head a couple of times."

I've always loved that. But then, I've been known to say that I want to be Granny Weatherwax when I grow up, so...

hayheadsbird
September 12th, 2016, 03:39 PM
You're right! It was lords and ladies.
I wanted to call my eldest Esmerelda because of granny Weatherwax. I was vetoed though 😓

UncommonTart
September 12th, 2016, 03:58 PM
Long hair is an element in so many fairy tales: Petrosinella, and The Fair Angiola come to mind. It's AT Classification Type 310 (http://research.omicsgroup.org/index.php/Aarne%E2%80%93Thompson_classification_system#Super natural_opponents_300.E2.80.93399), if you want to look up more. Sur La Lune (http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/rapunzel/other.html) is one of my favorite sites to read fairy tales. (Sorry for geeking out a bit, but oh my goodness, y'all, I am just so into fairy tales and folklore.)

There's a Doctor Who novel where a character swears not to cut her hair until she's free. At the time of the novel this means that she hasn't cut her hair for 673 years and she wears it in an enormous braid. (She's a TimeLady. The lifespan is part of the gig, lol.)

Della in The Gift of the Magi has beautiful brown hair that falls past her knees and there's a mention in the story something like: if the Queen of Sheba herself had lived in the same building, Della would have one day let her hang out the window into the air shaft to dry and put all the Queen's jewels to shame. So that's always stuck with me. :D

UncommonTart
September 12th, 2016, 03:59 PM
Aw, but Esmerelda's a great name!

humble_knight
September 12th, 2016, 05:50 PM
The Little Town Where Time Stood Still by Bohumil Hrabal is a story in which the long hair of the main female character is of note. I watched the film version, made in the 1980s [i think] then read the book. Most Czechs and Slovaks are familiar with it.

Cg
September 12th, 2016, 06:30 PM
Alfred Noyes' "The Highwayman," features

...Bess, the landlordís daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Nymphe
September 12th, 2016, 11:00 PM
The Little House on the Prairie series: Laura hated her straight, brown braids and wanted Mary's blonde curls.

Arctic
September 13th, 2016, 03:22 AM
Finnish Author, Sofi Oksanen has her entire newest book Norma entagled with super-long hair. :) Not saying more, otherwise it might spoil the novel!

Miata
September 13th, 2016, 07:20 AM
There's a reference to granny weatherwax's hair in one of the discworld books, the vampire one but the name escapes me right now. It's when she lets down her bun to use a single strand to make a halter for a unicorn.

There's also Agnes Nitt:

"It wasnít simply big hair, it was enormous hair, as if she was trying to counterbalance her body. It was glossy, it never split, and was extremely well-behaved except for a tendency to eat combs."