Saturday, 19 January 2008

Bad Hair Day

My Dad calls me Witch. Not because I'm crabby or less than average-looking. Witch has been my nickname since I was about seven years old, when my hair grew to unmanageable lengths.

I hid behind my hair. No matter how much my mother brushed, braided or sprayed, within minutes it would look like it had been through a combine. Once in a fit of impatience she took the scissors to my bangs, right up to my hairline. I was mortified that everyone could see my unibrow, but that's another story.

Even today my hair takes on a mind of its own. I plead, beg, cajole and sometimes wrestle it into submission. When it finally behaves, it makes my whole day better.

Hair determines our mood, our outlook on life, our self-esteem. Hairstyles and lengths pinpoint a particular decade like the long hair of the seventies and the mullets of the eighties. People judge other people by their hair. Your hair may determine whether you get that big promotion or are doomed to linger in the copy room.

In novels, there seems to be a lot of emphasis on hair. Heroines have long, flowing tresses and the ultimate hero has close-cropped, curly black locks.

How much do you notice hair or write about hair in the novels you read or write? Do the main characters have long hair or short? Red, brunette or steely grey? Is there too much hair?

In the world of Happily Ever After, does everyone have a good hair day?


moonrat said...

rather an excellent little photo there

Polenth said...

Have you ever noticed how those heroines never have trouble with their hair when they're sleeping rough? After two months on the road, they still have soft tresses that bounce around them like a shampoo advert. They never get tangles, bits of twig stuck in it or itchy scalps because they've not washed it. Going into the desert doesn't make their hair dry and prone to gathering static electricity. It doesn't matter if the wind blows their hair as it just makes them look pretty. None of this eating their own hair as the wind whips it into their faces.

I don't tend to write about maidens with perfect curls, but if I did, they'd be a whole lot less perfect after going out and about.

Chumplet said...

That's why it's up to us to portray a realistic heroine, hair-eating and all.

Remember Joan Wilder in Romancing the Stone? She was a mess!

Church Lady said...

OMG!! I thought that photo was your rendition of EE! hahahaha!

I love hair. Long black hair on a man with a rugby body.

Yes, I do describe hair.

Amber Green said...

Where DID you get that pic?

Chumplet said...

I poked around Google Images and found it on a European blog. It had no source information so I figured it was okay to use. Freaky, huh?

Zee said...

Hair plays a big part in the "magical meet" in my book Magic in the Mix. Most of the time I try to vary the hair -- different colors and lengths for the characters. I'm not big on ordinary. I tend to gravitate to redheads. Dunno why. Love 'em. Always had a secret desire for red hair and freckles. Mmmm... Anne of Green Gables? Pippi Longstocking? Could be. Alas, I am stuck with mine and learning to live with it. Finally.

Church Lady said...

I am *still* not able to see past this date on your blog. I haven't seen your evil picture yet.
I will keep trying. But for now, the lady with the hair is in my brain...

Bernita said...

There are several solid reasons for the hair fetish.
For one, hair is a secondary sex characteristic. For another ( or maybe why), it's one of the things we notice about people; it's a descriptor.
My heroine is platinum blonde. It's a Talent marker. My hero's is short and dark. He's a cop. So there are textual reasons why my characters have the hair they do.
Yes, sometimes her hair straggles, but she doesn't go on about it. More important things happen than bad hair days.
Since I have long hair myself, I'm familiar with long hair problems though.

Kanani said...

Have you seen The Satorialist?

It's a great place to become inspired about clothing, hair --those details we often shortchange when we write.

Chumplet said...

I checked it out. That is so neat! He sees some very interesting people on the streets, and they're very cooperative.