We All Start Somewhere
From birth until 22, there had been one constant when it came to my short hair: it dried faster than you can heat up a cup of instant ramen.
Because quick drying hair was a fact of my universe, I had the ability to shower, clothe and go, any time of day with no hassle. It was easy. Until I started growing my hair out at 22, the slowest part of getting ready was performing the sniff test on my clothes pile.
Due to my speedy routine, I had little understanding for what it takes to transform long hair from a tangled furball to a wearable style. With this mindset, I was oblivious to the effort women put into their hair, and as such I had no respect for their struggle.
Simply put, I was unprepared for what hair can teach us.
"it dried faster than you can heat up a cup of instant ramen."
The Past That Shaped Me
When I was younger I assumed hair care was like Polaroid pictures, ready to go in 30 seconds. My immediate family had short hair that needed no styling, so I never saw someone put hours of dedication into their look.
Growing up in this environment, I was left completely blind to the hard work women put into their hair. The first 22 years of life left me unprepared for what was to come in relationships—and in my future as a longhair.
The Jokes We Make
After high school, I had my first brush with what women’s hair care actually consisted of.
While my girlfriends and I were getting ready for dates I finally saw the work that went into styling and preparing hair. These lovely ladies would wash, dry, and do final touch-ups to take their hair from a mess to perfect in 30 minutes.
Looking back, this was nothing short of incredible. However this process seemed to take forever at the time, and I would get bored after quickly finishing my messy, windswept style.
Being completely unsympathetic for their struggle, I would pass the time waiting for them to finish their hair by making terrible jokes. My go-to was, “we need to be ready in an hour, so you should have started washing your hair yesterday.” This was often met with an irritated sigh and a door closing in my face.
"“we need to be ready in an hour, so you should have started washing your hair yesterday.”"
Respect the Routine
Fast forward two years from those doors being slammed and I have long hair drying in a hairnet at work three hours after my morning shower.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when it came to my hair care journey. There are times I wish I had paid closer attention to my girlfriends or asked questions of the other women around me.
The ladies have hair care perfected, possessing the counter for every situation in the book. I am constantly asking my girlfriend, co-workers and friends for advice on how to get the best look for my mop.
Thankfully they’ve taken pity and given plenty of tips and instructions on proper hair care. Now I look less like a hairball with legs and more like someone presentable to society.
Where It All Comes Untangled
We can’t all have an amazing mane; however everyone can have an amazing amount of respect. The respect we gain from growing long hair causes us to change on the inside as much as the outside.
The shift from offhandedly making comments about how women affect our time, to being respectful about the hours they put into themselves is an experience I’m grateful for.
Next time you are waiting for your hair to dry, think of the jokes you made and throw the same zingers at yourself. And remember what hair can teach us.
What lessons have you learned about long hair from the more knowledgeable people in your life? Share in the comments, amigo.
You can follow him @longhairedlifter on Instagram.