everything I've learned about growing, maintaining, styling, and loving long hair

hair manners

Here is an article I found several years ago and had it tucked away as a link way back at the beginning of the blog.  Since many of the links eventually go away, I’m going to start copying articles rather than linking them.  Hope you enjoy this one (and maybe learn something).

 Hair Manners: A Light-Hearted Look
Jane L. Bullock

In the spirit of Miss Manners, there are definitely some hair-related manners.  This goes for long and short hair, and every hair in between.  I realize we all have busy lives, and who needs another set of rules to live by, but consider the higher purpose of manners.  Manners are set modes of behavior by which we keep at least the veneer of civilization lemon-waxed and shining.  Manners are the art of not doing something that would offend others.  So how does this apply to hair?

* Do not comb your hair at the table.  People are eating, and do not want stray hair in their food.

* Do not play with your hair in public unless you are a child. (And if you are, someone will tell you to quit it soon enough.)

* Do not pluck your eyebrows in public (see #1).

* Do not leave stray hairs in the sink when you comb your hair in the bathroom.  People do not want to clean up your hairs.

* Ditto–the tub.

* While we’re on the subject, do not leave hairs wrapped around the soap in the shower.  Of course if you live alone, then it’s your choice:  leave them or shave the soap.

* Do not flip your long hair behind you in a crowded restaurant. Chances are it will land in someone’s plate.

* If you are balding, do not do the comb-over thing.  It never looks good, and you’re not fooling anyone.

* Be aware of where your hair is at all times, especially in a restaurant.  In other words, be careful not to drag your hair through the guacamole.

* If you work in close quarters with others, be aware of others’ sensitivities or allergies to hairspray, perfumed mousse, etc.

* Do not play with or touch other people’s hair unless you ask permission first.

* Do not offer comments to strangers about their hair unless they ask for your opinion.

* Do not create a new hairdo in a public place.  Once in church I sat behind a teenage girl who, in the course of the service, made these hairdos one after the other:  1. ponytail 2. two French braids 3. one long braid 4. topknot 5. two-level ponytail.

* Do not chew the ends of your hair in public.  Get your protein another way.

* Do not go for long periods of time without washing your hair.  No matter how much else you may have going for you, dirty hair is still dirty hair.

* If you wear a wig or hair extensions, be sure and check from time to time for passing debris that may have landed on your false hair.  One summer I worked at a pancake house in Maine, and we had a tall, elegant older woman as hostess for the restaurant.  She wore a beautiful blond wig, and consequently never knew that at any time of the day she might have a paper coffee filter on her head that one of the waitresses put there.  Sad, but true!

* Do not appear in public wearing a headful of hair rollers.  Whenever I see a woman do this, I have to wonder where she is going later that evening that she can afford to look that bad during the day.

* No matter what the temptation, do not put underwear on your head.  It’s a look that seldom works for anyone.

* Generally speaking, do not subject others to that which would bother you.

A word of my own on comments to strangers:  I disagree with her advice to never offer comments to a stranger.  I think it’s socially acceptable to make comments as long as they are positive.  Just be sure to keep it short and sweet.  Don’t give a “compliment” in the form of a statement such as “Your hair is really long!”  You will likely get a sarcastic response or leave the person unsure of how to respond.  Instead, you might say “I like your long hair” or “You have beautiful long hair.”  Do not attempt to start a conversation.  Leave it up to the person you are complimenting to continue the conversation if they are comfortable or walk away if they are not. 


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