"Having a lot of hair is a big responsibility" -- Diana Ross
People always ask, so here are the answers...
First of all: I am not interested in having my photos put on the Long
Hair web site, your web site, or anywhere other than right here.
Please don't pester me with email about this, and please don't use my
photos without my permission.
Second: I am not interested in posing for photos. Again, please don't
bother asking me about this. Even if I were interested, I don't have
the time. Here's a
that shows you just how much energy I have for posing. (Photo by
Now, with that unpleasantness out of the way...
How long is your hair?
At Christmas 1996, it was 41 inches long. Currently (May 2000) it's
44 inches, a bit below knee length. When it's
braided it's shorter but still well past my waist.
[Oct 1997](by Lauren Bricker)
[Aug 2000](by Jim "gravityjunkie" Bolton)
Have I ever cut it? or, How long have I been
letting my hair grow?
Yes, this is actually the second time I've had really long hair. When
I was in grade school I had long hair but was too young to take care
of it properly, so it was dry and brittle and not particularly nice.
In high school I cut it this short and
started over. I've been letting it grow
ever since. I graduated from high school in 1988, so you do the math...
I do trim it now and then, sometimes even as much as six inches.
Anyone who saw me during the "raccoon years" understands why I cut off
so much. The rest of you can just imagine the old trick of dipping
the ends of a girl's pigtails into an inkwell, and the drastic
amputation that might be necessary as a result.
How long am I going to let it get?
I intend to let it grow as long as it will grow. Most people's hair
has a maximum length, determined by the lifetime of their hair
follicles, the growth rate of the hair, the strength of the hair
and the way they treat it: it can only take so much brushing
etc. before it breaks off. My hair hasn't reached its break-off
length yet. I'm curious to find out what that length is. It's
probably close; the growth rate is definitely slowing down.
Another reason why I won't cut it is that I discovered recently
that with shoulder-length hair, I look exactly like my mother. :-)
How do I take care of it?
I don't do anything unusual to it, unless you consider not
blow-drying or hair-spraying to be unusual. I don't swim much, at
least not in pools, because chlorine makes hair dry and brittle. I
use ordinary shampoos and conditioners -- in extraordinary quantities,
of course. For a while I tried "Mane & Tail", a conditioner
originally developed for horses. I first heard of it a few years ago,
from a friend who used to buy it at horse-supply stores. (It's
approved for humans now.) I think it helped strengthen my hair, but
it increased the drying time and left my hair stiff and sticky. I've
switched back to standard stuff.
What interesting hairstyles can I do with it?
experimented in 1996 with four-strand flat braids. Since these are
they twist, as you can see in this
photo. Tamara Ollenberg sent me
non-twisting 4-strand braids (aka "lanyards", because they are round,
like cords, not flat).
My college roommate once managed a 5-strand braid (diagram),
and Barb did a
5-strand french braid in her own hair. Sorry, I don't have pictures of
the 5-strand braids. Unfortunately, I can't do french braids and
related styles without help -- it's physically impossible. Try this:
clasp your hands behind your head with your elbows out, the way you
would if you wanted to do situps or lie on the floor. Now, without
changing the way your arms are bent, how far can you reach down your
back? About shoulder-blade level, right? Unless I let go of the
already-braided part, I can't move my hands far enough away from my
head to separate the new strands of hair properly for a french braid.
Where can you find out more about long hair?
If you're interested in long hair, you might enjoy Frank
Plönißen's Long Hair Site.
He's got some wonderful pictures, and loads of useful information
about the care and management of very long hair.
Frank and I argued in the past about certain aspects of his site, which is
why I've never sent him any photos of me, but over the years Frank has
made changes which eliminated my complaints.
I highly recommend his web site now.
My former housemate
Greg Lindahl is another long-hair junkie.
Klutz Press, the people responsible
for all those books about juggling, yo-yos, kooshes, and so on, have
put out two books about braids: one for kids, one for adults. I
highly recommend the adult version. I haven't looked through the
kids' version much but I expect it's good too. If you can't find the
books locally, the Klutz web
site has ordering info, 800 number, etc.
The state of Delaware used to put only 6 characters on their license plates.
But then, they did other silly
things too. In the last few years my car has been registered in
Pennsylvania, then California. Both of those states allow 7 characters,
so now I'm "RAPNZEL". And I've only got 47 more states to collect the
Back to my home page
Last modified: Tue Mar 2 12:44:28 PST 1999