Last week, I was getting my hair cut for the first time in forever and the college girl washing it was asking about my children. While I was telling her, she suddenly remarked, “You’re the only person I’ve seen who has kept their hair this long after having kids.” In her voice there was a slight note of disapproval, like maybe it was time for me to think about a more sensible haircut.
I have very long hair. I have always had long hair. It’s not super practical, but I like it. Now that I’m getting older and have small children, I still like it and have no intention of changing it.
I decided this a long time ago. When I was a little girl, I was very interested in the woman who lived across the street from us. She was a grandmother in her seventies, and she was beautiful. She had very long slightly reddish-white hair that she wore up in a loose bun with soft pieces flowing around her face. She had lived in many different countries and she was interesting, glamorous, and pretty – it was the first time that I had seen a grandmother let herself be pretty. I vowed to do the same thing. All of the grandmothers I had ever seen (including my own much beloved grandmothers) had long-since chopped off their hair into sensible cuts.
And by “sensible” I don’t mean short hair. I know countless moms with very not-sensible glamorous and sophisticated short hair. By “sensible” I mean a hairstyle that is only about being practical and nothing else. And there are definitely times that this might be a good idea. If a mom is overwhelmed and wants practical hair, I think that’s great if it makes her feel less stressed. But it should be a personal choice and not judged or dictated by society just because a woman has become a mother or a grandmother.
So here’s to not always being sensible. And expect to see me someday, gently rocking my grandchildren to sleep with my very-not-sensible long, white hair flowing all around.
Sarah Knight is the mother of two young girls and the owner of countless Goody ponytail holders. She is also the co-founder of www.mamasagainstdrama.com
Portrait of a senior woman via Shutterstock.
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