Thursday, February 09, 2006


Either you're going to laugh at me or you'll be thinking I'm mental, but I've been spending a lot of time thinking about haircuts. I've even been reading blogs written by other lesbians, about haircuts.

See, I wear my hair long and have done for most of my life. One of my earliest memories is from kindergarten, a knot of us little girls sitting in a circle, brushing our fingers through eachother's hair as the teacher read during story hour. mmmm, loved it then, love it now. Ask Lou how loud I purr when she strokes my hair...

I enjoy the feel of it touching my back, draping over my shoulders. I like it fluffy and full of body, a structured riot of curls, no straighteners for this head! The hair has other uses too. If I'm feeling withdrawn, I wear it nearly in my face. Dark glasses and big waves for concealment... yep, even the dark lipstick, it all pushes others away, makes me unapproachable.

On other occasions, when the clothes aren't right or I just can't put a look together.. the hair 'saves' me. LOL. Like, others might think, what a scruffbag, except for the shining hair. Its a redemption of sorts. Being honest, I sometimes wonder if its the nicest looking thing about me.

But long hair is such a chore. The amounts of energy I use fussing with it makes me ashamed. You could probably power an electric car for a nice long drive on what I use with the hairdryer alone! I know it can't be healthy to worry so much about what others think of my appearance. And, OMG, its all so freaking girlie!!!

Every ten years or so I do a major whack on it. I have photos that for ages I thought showed some strange boy who'd wandered into the frame... me. After a while I get to missing the versatility of longer hair, can't keep up the regular maintenance short cuts require and decide to grow it out.

I'm thinking haircuts again, only I'm now wondering about my motivation for the chop.

A few years ago, a friend of ours cut her very long, very ginger hair. She sports a boys buzzcut now and has taken to dying it varying shades of dark brown to black. She is easily identifiable as 'family', as is her partner who has an equally short do.

My darling Lynne has THE shortest hair, a #2 buzz up the back and a #3 on top. Done for ease of maintenance, it looks absolutely ADORABLE on her. I've seen a few contraband photos of her with long hair... (and in a dress, which she'll beat me for even saying... lol) but she looks SO different. Pretty, but very nearly a different person altogether. She's also easily identified as lesbian with the cut. She gets 'the nod' when we're out. They probably wonder why she's hanging out with a 'straight' girl...

I mentioned this topic to Olga when she was here last. She thought it ridiculous that women cut their hair specifically to be recognized as a lesbian. I think that might be a bit harsh. Garnering the support of peers can be very important, especially with the general deficit of approval towards homosexuality.

Why would I want that support? Where is my need? I don't know the answer to that one. All I know is that there are times when I'd like to be obvious, when I see others and want to say, hey, I'm like you!

But I'm holding off on the cut for a couple of reasons. The first has to do with rainbow jewelry. I have a few pair of small earrings in rainbow colors. They're worn pretty regularly because I like the colors, but some days they feel too obvious. Making some statement through my earrings just seems silly on those days.

Another thing... while I'd like easier hair, shorter fix time.. I have no clue what kind of cut I'd like. There's no style grabbing me, saying (deep whispery voice..) 'you want meeeee'. I haven't been tempted to buy magazines or visit salons just to look at the haircut pictures.

Friends, I'm concluding here that my motivation is askew. I may wish to be identified as lesbian on sight, but not everyday. I may wish to be released from the tedium of drying, curling and fluffing the locks.. but not enough to wear it straight, just air-dried from the wash. I'd miss my long hair within weeks if I cut it.

I'm too vain. I'm SUCH a queer femme. Recognize that.
*hugs* ~~


NursePam said...

Ah Nony! You are a writer. Only a writer could describe the angst of hair and its multiple layers of meaning with such detailed and descriptive words.

Yes, there are days that it is nice to be recognized for that part of who we are. And there are days when some of us do not wish to be stuck in any particular box or category.

I went through the same sort of journey with my hair for many years. Some days I still miss my long locks although I never miss the upkeep.

~ nellenelle said...

Now that was an entertaining post, setting here laughing to myself and all...

Naturally, a response comes with my take on things, just tell me to shuddup!

You have to follow your heart. If your heart says long, then long it is. You *are* a dyke, cutting your hair doesn't change your status. As far as I know, we come in colours... Max has hair halfway down her back, naturally curley, semi-blonde, she does highlight it...

If I think on every member of the dyke community I know, all have some femme traits, all have some butch traits, some more, some less of each. I'm no different... and that creates a nice and refreshing uniqueness to the community and to each individual.

My hair is shoulder length; it works for me. That I can tear apart a home and rebuild it is of no consequence, and in fact... the contradiction of stereotypes is fun to play with, to leave someone at Home Depot scratching their head. They automatically think "woman" and "knows nothing about this" in the same thought!

Do what works for you, Kim.. if you wish to mess with a few minds along the way, that's fine... but you know who you are, and no matter how you appear, you are totally immersed in this community, as well as representative of it.

If you do choose to cut it all off, will the hair be saved and donated to a worthy cause? Perhaps doing so might make it feel a bit better - and easier?

Trop said...

That's the best blog post I've encountered in all my blog reading in a very long time. Well done!

I'm dealing with hair angst, coincidentally, but in the other direction. I've allowed my hair to grow for the past 18 months. It's longer than I've had it in more than a decade. And I don't know what to do with it! I am especially fretting about it with the wedding coming up.

I can't wait to see pictures should you decide to take the plunge.