This is a real question. One I would love the answer to, but fear that there may be many answers, some of which will be a bunch of sugar honey ice tea. But I’m serious, I would love an answer.
I’m sure that some will tell me its because long hair equates to healthy hair. That’s just like saying skinny equals healthy. We all know that is not the case, so lets try again. Some will say that they prefer the way long hair looks on them. A valid, and honest response, one that I respect but preferance does not explain obsession. Let me back up a bit.
I was visiting a few hair websites and both of them asked some basic questions to be included as apart of your member profile. One of those questions was “Goal Length” I put down “whatever happens happens,” I have never been one to be obsessed about hair nor hair length, but it seems that is more the exception than the rule in the Black community. I’ve seen many transitioners refuse to let go of that last inch or two of relaxed hair on the ends for fear of cutting their hair and losing length. I’ve seen people hold on to split, and breaking ends just to say they are bra strap length, even when their hair was dry brittle and breaking. I’ve seen thinning, whispy hair be refused layers because of the fear of losing length. I’ve even had my own sisters hold grudges because after trimming away horribly damaged ends I’ve “given them short hair”. To be honest it turns my stomach, but for the purpose of trying to get answers rather than hate-filled backlash I’ll keep my opinions to a minumum.
I am truthfully and honestly just baffled. Is it because we still, to some extent, hold sacred European American ideals of beauty, and that includes long flowing hair? Is it because biologically men pair long hair with health and health means the ability to procreate? Is it because social media shows us that long hair is whats acceptable, as there are more with Kim Kardashian weaves than Halle cuts?
To be fair, I’ll say that I have no problem at all with long hair, and have vowed to put down the scissors for awhile myself. That has more to do with my patience than an obsession with length. I don’t even think there’s anything wrong with wanting long hair, but it really seems to be deeper than that, and I just can’t figure it out…What do you think?