12 Things I Really Didn’t Expect to Learn Having Long Hair

Sometimes I wake up at night because my hair is attempting to smother me.

The most annoying part when this happens is groggily attempting to pull it out of my eyes and tucking it away in such a way that it won’t fall back down around my face again. It’s a very strange feeling to wake up and feel hair in your nose, and in your eyes, and in your ears, and even in your mouth. I’m always racing the clock when this happens, trying desperately not to wake up so much that I won’t be able to fall back asleep.

Stray strands of my hair somehow tie themselves around my toes. And other things.

Have you ever had a single long hair somehow tie itself around your toe and cut the circulation off? I now have. A few times. I’ve had it cut off circulation to my ears. I’ve also (more than once) had stray hairs somehow do the same thing to my, ummm, you know what. It ain’t fun, guys; no matter what body part is getting cold and turning purple.

I actually do NEED salon quality shampoo and conditioner.

Guys. Just stop arguing with your ladies when they tell you this. I know it’s like forty bucks for a bottle of the stuff, but guess what. It makes all the difference in the world, and my then-wife was right. You use way less of it than you do the cheap stuff anyway. The difference between my hair using cheap stuff and my hair using good stuff is night and day, and I would happily pay three times what I do for how much easier the right hair products make my life.

Wind… It really blows.

Have you ever been whipped in the face by your own hair, guys? I didn’t think so. Have you ever spent forever styling your hair, setting it just right, blow drying it, hair spraying it, and finally being happy with it, only to have one wayward gust destroy it all in the blink of an eye leaving you looking like a ragdoll? No? Well, anyone with long hair certainly has.

Gravity… It also really sucks.

Hair is heavy. The longer hair gets, the heavier it gets, and guess what. Long hair that has lost its volume (turns out that word is not just a word for shampoo commercial suckers) due to gravity leaves one feeling flat-headed, unkempt, and undone.  So next time she tells you she needs to go run a brush through her hair, don’t gripe and grunt about the three minutes you’ll be stuck twiddling your thumbs.

Long hair gets stuck in zippers.

I have zipped up strands of my hair into my jackets on a few occasions now. If I’m being really enthusiastic with the zip (or unzip), it really yanks it and it can hurt. Sometimes it takes quite some time to carefully untangle my hair from the zipper while keeping it intact and as undamaged as possible.

It takes forever to dry.

The longer my hair gets, the longer it takes to freaking dry. Every single day I have to use two towels on my head. The first towel gets the sopping water out. The second towel gets even more, but not even close to all of it. And this is after I ring my hair out like a dishcloth. At this point, it is still soaked through in ways I never before understood. If I want it dry quickly, I have to sit there and point a blow dryer at my head for like ten friggin’ minutes. But guess what. I need volume once it’s dry, so I have to add mousse which makes it wet again, and out comes the blow dryer again. No wonder we were always late. She had five times the hair I do. At least.

People… Touch it.

My child, he loves long hair and he will sit there for hours while we have our late night movie nights, just rubbing it between his fingers. That is awesome. What’s not awesome is other people reaching up out of nowhere and grabbing it or stroking it or feeling it in any weird way. “Oooh, your hair looks so nice and soft.” Ummm, excuse me. Get your grubby hands off my head. I have no doubt you just tinkled in the bathroom without ever touching a sink.  Even strangers will just reach out and touch my hair. {shudder}

It falls in your face at very inopportune moments.

Sometimes I’ll have both hands full and cannot do anything to alleviate the unpleasantness of having my hair suddenly flop into my face, obscuring my vision and making my nose or eyes itch. Sometimes I’ll be in the middle of such glorious sex with someone (hey, I’m not a monk) and my hair is suddenly everywhere, distracting me from the task in hand. Ahem. Sometimes I’ll bend over to grab something out of a kitchen drawer, and my hair flops into whatever food I’m preparing. Last week I didn’t realize this had happened, I stood up, and hair soaked with scrambled egg goo smacked me straight in the eyeball. It’s never a fun thing when hair flop happens. At best it’s a minor nuisance. Sometimes it’s downright aggravating.

It takes forfriggin’ever to grow.

I thought I would be able to just quickly grow my hair out to see what it was like to have long hair. Nope. The longer it gets, the slower it seems to grow out. I am almost two years into growing my hair out, and it’s just past my shoulders. And just when I think I’m seeing some nice growth, my stylist tells me it needs a trim to be healthy. Goodbye last 5 weeks of hard hair-growing work.

Speaking of growing it out, things can get very awkward while you do.

I have learned that one does not simply grow his or her hair out without going through all sorts of awkward stages along the way. There are all these weird in-between stages of hair growth where there is nothing you can do to make your hair look right. Some parts are too long. Some aren’t long enough. Some parts won’t stay put. And it becomes a circus act to look presentable at all.

Last, and not least, other people think they have a say in whether you keep your long hair or not.

That was me, at the end of the last decade and my entire life before that. For some reason, as her husband, I thought it was my choice more than it was hers. I find so many people are the same. From close friends, to girlfriends, to acquaintances, to blog followers, to strangers at the grocery store. I am constantly being told to never cut it short or that I should go back to wearing it short. I’m told that I’m more attractive with it, or more attractive without it. And it gets old. Whose hair is it, anyway? I’m pretty sure it’s not yours.

And that’s my list.

I’m certain I am forgetting several things that suck about having long hair. Oh, well. You get the point.

Men, just shut your yappers when the women you love say they’re thinking of cutting it off. Tell her you’ll love her and be attracted to her however she wants to wear it. And more than anything, realize that it isn’t your life or your head full of hair to control. Wearing your hair how you want to wear it should be something every human on this planet gets to do without any care or worry about it. I was such a tool for so much of my life about it. No more. Frankly, her hair is really none of my or your business.

Ladies, you be you. You do whatever the heck you want. It’s your hair. You don’t need permission from anyone. Just go chop it off and get all short-haired and cute if that’s what you wanna do. If you have a man in your life who throws tantrums like I once did, guess what. He’ll still love it short, and he’ll still love you. He may throw a little fit, but he would have thrown it anyway. What’s he gonna do if you just show up with short hair? Glue it back on? No. He’ll forget how much he cared, and within minutes he’ll find himself looking at your boobs like he always does. The rest will take care of itself.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!