Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Amish are psyching me out.

I find short hair to be absolutely adorable. On people other than me. There's something about my facial structure or body type that does not lend itself well to a cute, cropped style. So my current plan is to wear it long until I'm too old for long hair. (I think I have some time, but perhaps I should consult with the local lifeguard.)

My major battle as someone of the long-hair variety is the daily question of what in the world do I do with it? If I have the time and occasion, I'll blow it dry, apply the appropriate product, and add some fun, loose curls. With less time, I'll smooth it out straight and work some anti-frizz cream through the ends. Most days, though, I'm throwing it back into the same tired ponytail. BORING.

A few months back, knowing that I was in the need of major style inspiration, I signed up for e-mail updates from the hair and makeup people at (Those of you who know me personally and understand how decidedly non-Glamour-material I am can take a moment and step away from your screens to better accommodate the hysterical laughter.) I've picked up a few helpful tricks along the way in the area of eyeliner application and such, but the hair advice has been disappointing. Mostly due to what is apparently the new, hot trend in long-hair styling. Observe:

Braids! So cute, right? Interesting, innovative, and versatile. But here's the problem...

I live in the Midwest.

Let me be more specific. I live in Amish/Mennonite Country, USA. Where buggies sit outside the local Wal-Mart, and I was once handed my grande vanilla latte by a Starbucks employee wearing a covering. In my neck of the woods, this... how it's done. And not by the fashion-forward. The braided women I'm rubbing shoulders with at the grocery store are not so much channeling Jessica Alba as they are quilting by lamplight. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Because this is my frame of reference, and because I have some Amish/Mennonite heritage myself, I can't seem to wear braids of any kind without feeling (and appearing) as though I'm headed for a barn-raising. It's the same reason I can't go out in below-the-knee denim skirts, as nearby shoppers would undoubtedly remark to each other, "Hmmm...I didn't realize Target had put in a hitching post..." Some of it might just be a psychological hurdle, but I've had a couple of conversations with local friends recently in which my braiding conundrum has been confirmed.

The Amish are a peaceful people, and I don't mean to complain. (The internet is probably a pretty safe tool for avoiding offense in their circles.) I'm just wondering how legitimately my hair's potential is being compromised by the monopoly held on what is apparently a really trendy long-hair option in other places. The Glamour staffers call themselves "mad about braids", and squeal over how they look on Drew Barrymore. I just don't know that I can pull it off.

Thoughts? Should I get over myself and give the braiding trend a chance? Should I concede the style to those who first claimed it? And does anyone have any ideas for long-hair styles that a non-glamorous person such as myself could easily achieve?


  1. I think you can pull it off without looking Amish. I like to braid my hair sometimes and I especially think if you would do it to the side or braid the front (like the pic of Jen Aniston) that would look flattering on you :)

  2. Can I just say I am dying laughing right now!!! You are cracking me up and I can totally see where you are coming from on this one! The other day I french braided my hair to mow the yard....yup, I felt slightly amish. Out doing my yard work with a good ole french braid! All I was missing was bare feet! So here is what I have decided; As your hairdresser and one who wants to be able to pull these hairstyles off, I am officially inviting you over to have a hair braiding party. We will find some cute ways to braid your hair in an non-amish fashion. We will conquer this together! baha! still laughing!

  3. Well all I'd have to say where your hair the way it makes you more comfortable. Long hair can be beautiful and sometimes hinderable. Good Luck.

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