“Gimme a head with hair, long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there, hair!
Shoulder length, longer (hair!)
Here baby, there mama, Everywhere daddy daddy
– Lyrics from “Hair,” the 1960s musical
So maybe this isn’t exactly the Age of Aquarius, but long hair is back with a bang in 2017. Walk down a street, and you’ll see lots of women rocking long hair, either natural or with the help of extensions.
I had very long hair until 2012 when I cut my flowing locks to shoulder length and kept it that way for a few years. I liked the androgynous look of my hair – until I watched a few concert videos from the 70’s and realised the horrible mistake I’d made.
What inspired me was seeing Thin Lizzy live videos from the mid to late 70s. Guitarist Scott Gorham had hair longer than any other classic rock star I can imagine. It was long, golden, glossy, thick; in a nutshell my dream hair.
At that moment, I said it; I’m growing out my hair.
Probably for the first six months to a year, I was like ‘What the hell is going on?'” But after two years, my hair is chest-length when straightened or even wavy, although I’ve still a way to go to get to my goal length.
And I’m not alone – the average woman puts an incredible amount of time and money into her hair.
From getting highlights and cuts at the salon to dying, straightening and styling at home, women spend a lot of money mintaining their locks. According to a new survey conducted by lookfantastic.com, those numbers equate to roughly €70 and 11 hours per month.
But whether bleached, curled, braided or crimped – nothing beats the allure of long hair.
History of Long Hair
Believe it or not, long hair didn’t start with hippies and metalheads.
Many cultures think of hair as sacred. In some Native American tribes, hair is only cut rarely, such as during a time of mourning. According to the Partnership with Native Americans blog, for many Native Americans, the meaning in wearing long hair “can be found in tradition, spirituality, identity, personality, and individuality.” Native American’s believe that when hair is cut, it means losing a part of yourself.
Sikhism also has a similar idea with growing out hair. The practice of it is called Kesh. Growing out hair symbolises respect for God and his creation. The hair is combed daily and then tied into a knot. A man will cover the knot with a turban. However, not all Sikhs grow out their hair, and some don’t because of fashion or pressure to fit in.
Living naturally is important to Rastafaris, and some Rastas grow out their hair and form it into dreadlocks. This is inspired by the Bible, various African cultures, and Hindu sadhus.
Coming back to Ireland, hair did have significant meaning in ancient Celtic culture. “It was considered disgraceful to cut short one’s hair or beard,” according to the Irish Fireside blog (http://irishfireside.com/2011/08/25/all-about-that-celtic-hair/).
Long Hair Icons of the 70’s
Classic rock is associated with long hair, but some rockers took it to the next level, best part, it’s all real. It’s common to see hair that is past shoulder length, but what about chest length or longer?
As I’ve said earlier, Rick Wakeman and Scott Gorham were my inspirations to grow out my hair, but here are other celebrities – both men and women – who rocked beautiful long, pin straight tresses. These include Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, June and Jean Millington of Fanny, Joni Mitchell, Lita Ford of The Runaways, singer and actress Cher, and actress Jane Seymour.
Long Hair Icons of Today
Extra long hair is still in style. Celebrities like Danielle, Alana, and Este Haim of the band Haim and YouTuber Lucy’s Corsetry rock naturally long hair (Check out Lucy’s video on why she grows out her hair here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI7GxU0LTTc), while many celebrities like the Kardashians, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Beyonce, and Kylie Jenner use extensions.
Can’t wait to grow out your hair? Try extensions. When well done they look very realistic. If you want to grow out your hair, take good care of it by eating well, minimising heat styling and using a good shampoo and conditioner. Simple!
Zachary O,Native Eyes, at Flickr
Richard Marchewka, Thin Lizz, at Flickr
Celebrityabc,Ariana Grande, at Flickr
Film Star Vintage, Jane Seymour, at Flickr.