I had long hair for many years. Now I have short hair.

Long hair was not Zen. It was problematic and time-consuming to maintain, all because I was pursuing some kind of ideal that was clearly ludicrous. Long hair looks wonderful on some guys. I am not one of them.

Short hair, on the other hand, is easy to maintain, much more flattering to my face, and generally a better deal. In my case, short hair is the path of least resistance, clearly. Spending the same amount of time on my hair now as I did when I had long hair, I can get it to look great, whereas previously it would look only sanitary.

But quite frankly, putting philosophical meaning into hairstyles is really silly. Just go with what you like.

I do, in fact, have a philosophy regarding hair. My hair is very long, and any time I muse about cutting it, I usually get reactions of shock and horror from any guys around. And I've heard of guys who became very angry when their girlfriends suddenly showed up with short hair. (No doubt the reverse has also occurred.) Not to mention SOs--and parents!--who are extremely firm about "I don't like your hair up" or "Don't dye your hair." My philosophy (and reply) is this: If you want to dictate how I wear my hair, then it's your responsibility to wash, cut, and style it. In the meantime, back off.

If you have truly long hair, which in my book is at least down past your shoulder blades, it is arguably the easiest of all hairstyles to maintain. All you have to do is wash it and brush it... maybe throw it back into a pony tail or a pair of chop sticks... and you're done. You can go months without cutting it and it's healthier... I can't understand how short-haired girls swear they're no muss no fuss when they easily spend a quarter of their life and their money in the salon getting a cut every six weeks... Brushing your hair is a lot cheaper and less hassle, no contest!

Long hair is a communication mechanism which enhances gesticulation and facial expressions. If you don't want to be seen, or don't want to be seen looking, you have your hair as a curtain. Dancing with really long hair is sexy and dramatic like a feather boa... it punctuates. Naturally there are the standard tossing and curling around the finger, but adept long haired people tend to carry their hair like an extension of self...

It sticks around. Long hair is enduring, both in the mind and in the physical world. An ex-boyfriend once found one of my curly long red hairs in his possession years after the fact, and wistfully called to tell me about it, and how much he missed it. A coworker of mine was accused of having an affair with me because his wife pulled one of my distinctive hairs from his underwear while doing the laundry. (No, really...we were completely innocent. I do not know how it got there... in fact I found it rather distasteful.) It is a distinctive, flashy calling card of sorts.

Long hair is also intensely pleasurable. Go ahead... play with anyone's long hair - they'll freeze. If you've ever wondered why girls love to 'do' each other's hair it is because it feels divine. You play with the tresses of a longhaired one and your attempt at seduction is sure-fire.

Either you're a longhaired person or not. There's no right or wrong. There's no in between. I've often coveted my girlfriends' hair that's all floppy and bounces in the wind (not heaving and whipping like a Gorgon) or is all short sexy sophistication right out of the shower (without wrapping into a French twist.) It's just not me. I've cut my hair twice in my life above my shoulders... Once in sixth grade when I was suffering from those adolescent girl blues and once when I was twenty five and decided I was going to be 'professional'... my self-sacrifice to the man. Both times I was trying to change my image in moments of weakness to what I thought would be better received. Both times I was wrong. From each I have ten inch long braids to remember the me I was trying to get rid of... and I smile cause that me that's feisty and challenges with a level eye and cock of an eyebrow grew it all back... she never left.

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