How To Style Long Hair Into Waves, Curls, or Braids

This hub is devoted to long hair and how fun it can be to style. I have always had an affinity for long hair, and I have grown it out once again. When I first cut my hair it was because I was pressured by friends to "update" my look. They thought my straight, braided, and curly looks were just not "in fashion". Short hair is beautiful and I did enjoy that look for awhile, but by the time I reached the age of twenty-six I realized I was only cutting my hair short to please other people and not myself. Some females can be very critical of how others style their hair. One time when I had a very pretty longish layered hair cut I received compliments from a few men, but the older ladies at a meeting just stared at me. A few months later I cut my hair above my shoulders, but this was only because I felt like short hair at the time. However, one of the older woman who had been at that earlier meeting made a point of telling me how much better I looked with shorter hair, so I tactfully commented that I liked my hair at all lengths.

Wearing my long hair in a braid.
Wearing my long hair in a braid. | Source

Honestly, I think women look beautiful with hair of all lengths, but one of the few curiosities I have encountered since I was a young girl was people telling me they think I should have short hair and not wear skirts as much. Skirts are another story, but having longer hair is my prerogative and at the age of twenty-nine going on thirty I have learned to rock it! There are many women who often tell me that long hair is cumbersome and hard to take care of, but that depends on which type of hairstyle you prefer. For instance, if you want to curl your hair or blow dry it straight that will take a great deal of time, but if you simply wash you hair and put it in a neat braid this will not take much longer than it would to style a shorter haircut. Long hair is a preference and this hub will explore some of the reasons why women love long hair.

Long hair can be worn in a braid, which will create waves.
Long hair can be worn in a braid, which will create waves. | Source

Long Hair In History

Up until the twentieth century women in most parts of the world had longer hair. However, there were many cultures where women have always had shorter hair, such as the Maasai women in Africa who shave their heads whilst male warriors allow theirs to grow long. In the 1920s the trend went towards women cutting their hair short and the bob became a fashion craze. During the next two decades Hollywood movies featured women with short hair, which translated to the popularity of this look being exported throughout the world. By the end of the 1930s we begin to see women such as Veronica Lake popularizing longer hairdos once again with her peek-aboo bang, which was very hot during her time, and has can even be seen as a source of inspiration for the long side swept bangs of today. Unfortunately, Lake was encouraged to pull back her side swept bang back at the beginning of the Second World War because of complaints that women were getting their hair caught in machinery. However, personally I feel people and organizations should not tell women how to fashion their hair, and women who got their hair caught in the machines should have pulled it back in the first place. We cannot blame a movie star for not making them do otherwise, or even governments of today should not dictate whether long hair keeps a women from focusing on her studies. Hair is a personal fashion choice, but through out history Hollywood actresses have had a pivotal impact upon fashion sense.

Since the 1950s and beyond it is refreshing to see a wide variety of actresses that have both short and long hair, and many of these actresses such as Michelle Phieffer, Goldie Hawn, Catherine Zeta-Jones look very glamorous with long hair. Famous Bollywood actresses have some of the most beautiful long locks I have ever seen. In every day life I see many older Indian women that braid their hair, which looks very beautiful paired with the colorful saris they wear about town. I have met people in the fifties that have long hair, and today there is no standard that dictates a women must cut her hair by a certain age because long hair looks beautiful at any age. I have seen celebrities and every day women from every culture with beautiful long hair, and I must say I have had many girl crushes when I see a woman with beautiful locks.

Back before I highlighted my long hair.
Back before I highlighted my long hair.
The highlights in my long hair have noticeably lightened in the summer sun.
The highlights in my long hair have noticeably lightened in the summer sun.

Long Hair And Me

My great-grandma was mostly Kansa and had long hair all of her life. She always looked beautiful in pictures where she had long dark hair done up in a sophisticated chignon. Also, the fact that she was part Native American made me drawn to hearing stories about her long braided locks. I have always loved the beauty of Native American women and how many wear their hair in long braids, which are functional and versatile. When I visited my mom's side of the family back in 1995 I felt like an outsider because everyone had lighter hair, and my cousins were constantly asking me if I was Jewish. However, I kindly had to remind them I am part Syrian on my dad's family, and Native American just like they were.  Even though several distant cousins and one of my aunts had darker hair and features, everyone kept asking about me.  Thankfully my uncle commented that with my long dark hair I looked just like my great-grandma, who also happens to be my namesake. I never met my great-grandma, but I feel a strong connection with her and I love that my looks remind people of her.

In school some kids used to tell me I was adopted when they saw my family in town shopping because my mom and sisters have strawberry blonde hair, and I have dark hair. However, I have the same facial features as my mom and my hair coloring is the same as my dad's, which just go to show people often jump to conclusions.

A couple of years ago I went to give my sister's doctor some paper work, but the receptionist did not even think I was her sister. However, this same sister's hair has darkened into a deep brown, so I at least I do not feel alone with my hair color-wise. Since I always had dark hair I have an affinity towards staying with darker colors and I have never wanted to dye my hair blond. Recently I did try highlighting my hair, and I really loved the results. I may just let it grow back out to its original color, or I may opt for different colored highlights next time around. My darker hair has always meant a lot to me because it helped me to accept I was a unique and special person. I love having dark long hair and this is just me!

Creating Wavy Hair

Many women have long curly hair and decide to straighten it or leave it as is. However, the straightening process can be damaging and time consuming. I actually think women with long curly hair look very attractive and do not need to straighten their hair, but of course this is a personal preference. I have long wavy hair, but I have never bothered making it stick straight as that is not my cup of tea. Very few people have stick-straight hair, and I just do not think it is a necessary requirement for beauty. However, I used to spend a great deal of time blow drying and curling my hair with a hot air brush, but I stopped doing that after I highlighted my hair to minimize damage. This summer I have been opting for allowing my hair to dry in a ponytail or braid after I shower. Once my hair is done drying I take it out of the braid, which gives it a wonderful waves. Also, my hair is much shinier when I do not use hot air, so I prefer to braid it or leave it in a pony tail to dry. However, I also enjoy curling my hair after I have washed it. Sometimes I use a large curling iron to create waves, or a smaller curling iron to create spiral curls. Also, I like to use rag curls because this is much less damaging than using a hot air brush or curling iron. However, I still enjoy using the hot air brush during a time crunch, and will probably reserve this for the cold winter months. Since it is summer time at 100+ temps per day it is refreshing to simply wash my hair and throw it into a simple pony tail or braid. Every other week I curl my hair when I have extra time or a day off.

Long curly hairdos are easy to create.  I achieved this look with rag curls.
Long curly hairdos are easy to create. I achieved this look with rag curls.

How To Make Rag Curls

Rags curls are simple, affordable, and easy to create. First wash your hair and comb it out to ensure it is tangle free. Ahead of time cut up an old sheet into long strips. Start at the top of the head by gathering a half-inch of hair at a time. Wind the hair around the cloth strip and tie off at the end. Work from top to bottom until all of your hair is in the cloth rag curls. This hairdo is comfortable to sleep on, but allow some time for taking it out in the moring. My hair holds a curl very well, but you can apply hairspray to ensure the curls hold. I love this hairdo and it gives me bounce and shine for two days straight. I have a type of hair that becomes dry easily, so washing it every single day is simply not useful. Thus, taking the time to use rag curls in my hair is well worth the effort because I have two days of a beautiful and manageable hairdo!

Braiding a ribbon into your hair can be a festive or an everyday look.
Braiding a ribbon into your hair can be a festive or an everyday look.

Braiding a ribbon into an accent braid is a great festive or everyday look. An accent braid can be added to long or short hair, and all you need is enough hair to braid a small strand of hair. To begin, section off a small part of your hair and divide it into three sections. Next, tie a ribbon into one of the three sections and braid it into the accent plait. When you are finished you will have a fun hairdo that will add a little bit or flair to any style. Accent braids are the easiest for beginners because you can see what you are doing without the assistance of a mirror. Enjoy and have fun experimenting with your own hair!

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Comments 45 comments

Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France

Great hub. I love long hair, I have always regreted it when I cut it short or put colour in it. It is true that it can be cumbersome but it is also very versatile.

BTW it looks like you have lovely hair ;-)

ASHWINSPGA profile image

ASHWINSPGA 8 years ago from Lion City ( Singapore)

You look best in the long curly hairdo. it emphasize your pretty features fully Sweetie Pie. I have seen women in my office go for this thing called re-bonding which was suppose to make your hair permenantly straight. But I notice after sometime it makes their hair look dry and brittle to the touch. I going to email them your hub's link to my friends and hope they learn something from it. Great work as usual Sweetie Pie.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks Princessa, but I must say your hair looks very pretty also!


Thanks for commenting. Personally I am just worried about doing too many damaging things to my hair, but I understand some people like to straighten theirs out. I guess it is all about personal preferences.

Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

I agree that hair is a personal fashion choice and best to wear it the way you feel most confident. I love your long dark hair. It is beautiful! I lost count on the number of times I braided my daughters hair before bed to get that desired wave in the morning. I miss those days, she's in college now. I wonder who's doing her hair now! I find braiding hair to be very relaxing. SweetiePie, very nice hub. Thumbs up.

cvaughn570 8 years ago

Well done! I prefer to leave my long hair down. I really despise it when I have to put it up, but that is just me ;-) Nice pictures too!

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author


Thanks for commenting Dotie. Your hair is very pretty also, and I am sure you daughter also has pretty hair. Maybe she can write a hub too about hairstyles she likes to do these days.


I tend to wear my long hair down also, it is just easier. Also, I think long hair down is pretty. Thanks for commenting.

Ryan Hupfer profile image

Ryan Hupfer 8 years ago from San Francisco, CA

Love the Hub and thanks for adding the HubMob RSS capsule! :)

Ryan Hupfer profile image

Ryan Hupfer 8 years ago from San Francisco, CA

Great videos, too!

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 8 years ago

Wonderful Hub Sweetie Pie!! Thank you for sharing!! Plus, your own hair is lovely!!

Hair is especially sacred to me!! Mine, blonde with a bit of help from a lightener, is very straight and hangs down to my thighs!! I wear it up most of the time for several reasons!! (Which was not one of the choices in your poll above!!??)

I have found that wearing my hair up protects much of it from the sun, too much combing, and getting split ends from sitting on it too often!! Also, wearing it up allows air to circulate which aids in hair growth and health!!

As long as hair is healthy and shiney and kept well, I think any age can wear long hair!!

Thanks again for the GREAT Hub!!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for commenting on my hub Ryan, I especially appreciate you took the time to do this.

Earth Angel, sorry about the oversight in my poll, which will be fixed right now. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. You hair sounds very beautiful and thank you for commenting.

Eddie Perkins 8 years ago

Very good hub. One thing I won't tell you (or any other woman) is how they have to wear their hair - I'm a coward down deep.

My preference is long hair on the ladies and I just hate to see them always coloring their hair. I feel like saying "Don't you know that God made you beautiful just the way you are and for just the right person?" But I don't say that either.

Whatever you ladies think is just fine with me. I'm a man, I think you are all beautiful. ~ eddie

Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I've had a long-time curiousity about the rag curls. This is great, SweetiePie, now I know how to do that, and the affects. Thx for that!

Great hub!!

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Hey, very nice job, SweetiePie. I think you have great hair, btw. But you need an option on your second poll for "I don't have any hair" for us aged, follicularly challenge males.

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 8 years ago

Thank you for the comments on my avatar Sweetie Pie!! It was my first project in PhotoShop and is the cover of the poetry book I just published, Sirens of Circumstance!! The hair is actually mine (sans the rainbow colors) and the photo of it actually wraps around the spine of the book!! You're a jewel!! Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Very good hub. As I mentioned in someone else's hub, I haven't had long hair since the late 70s.

funride profile image

funride 8 years ago from Portugal

I loved the way you used your own pictures in this hub. Very nice hair by the way!

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Eddie Perkins,

Thanks for commenting and I see what you mean. I do not feel I have to dye my hair either.


I will check out your screensaver, thanks for sharing.


Rag curls are fun and I hope you can try it sometime. Thanks for commenting.

Uninvited Writer,

Thanks for commenting. Your short hair looks very nice by the way. I just never liked short hair on myself, but on you it looks great.


I try to use my own pictures because I know at least I have permission to use them. Call me paranoid, but more and more I want to use my own pictures because that way I can say the work is all mine. Thanks for comment.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author


I created a new poll slot per your suggestions :).

Earth Angel,

Thanks for commenting again :).

dineane profile image

dineane 8 years ago from North Carolina

I wanted long hair growing up sooooo badly, mostly because I thought it was sexy and glamorous. I could not get past the pain of letting it grow until I started perming it in my 20s. Now I wear it mostly long, and I used to think it would be so versatile - all the ways you can style it. Truth is I seldom do more than twist it out of my way! But I'm with you, I still like long hair!

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

When I have the motivation I wear my hair is many hairstyles, but most of the time in a braid or down is just easier for me. I agree :).

roddma 8 years ago

I always felt like a plain jane with my brown hair and am always highlighting. I am fai rcomplected and blue eyes so I feel the highlight compliment me. Everyone pressured me to cut hair too so dont feel bad. Sometimes parents cut hair much to the girls dismay. How about asking first lol The girls should have a say so in the matter. My parents were sitll stuck n the 50's and didn't understand my need to experiment. I am a product of the8 0's and experimenting was natural. Teasing and crimpng were popular By the way I still have my crimping iron lol

roddma 8 years ago

oops duplicate

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author


Parents should give children more space when it comes to exploring their looks. My mom never dictated how I should style my hair, but she grew up in the sixties and I think people of that generation tended to be more open because of their life experiences. My sister really pushed the envelope sometimes, such as the time she secretly dyed her hair purple. However, I think she decided on her own that was not for her when at the age of fourteen she had a lot of older men hitting on her when we went to Disneyland. My mom was not happy about her choice and told my sister, but she also wanted her to learn from her mistake. Not that there is anything wrong with someone dying their hair purple if that is their choice, but she decided on her own the unwanted attention she was receiving from it was not for her. Eighties fashions are back in again, so a crimping iron sounds like the thing to have. I am surprised they have not started mass marketing these to teens yet, but maybe they will in a year or so. Thanks for commenting.

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I too love long hair. But since it is so fine, it goes limp if it is far too long. So I just end up having it below the shoulders but not allowing it to reach the waist. This is a nice hub Sweetie Pie. Yes, long hair can have many options...curl, waves or braids. I even love a pony tail every so often. LOL Right on track! :)

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

Fun poll! You have very attractive hair, btw.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for commenting Ripplemaker. You have very lovely hair and your new avatar is so great!

Thanks for the comment Patty, I appreciate it :).

Hub Love profile image

Hub Love 7 years ago from United States

Great job with the pictures AND the video! Looks great!

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for stopping by and commenting Hub Love. I really like your avatar by the way!

blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

wow totally kool tips I am going to try a few out.My hair is dead straight so I really want to do the curl thing lol

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Wearing rag curls is a safe way to experiment. I love the body it gives to my hair, but most of the time I am too lazy to do it. Sometimes washing my hair and putting it in a braid or braids will give just as good results, plus this is much quicker.

Melody Lagrimas profile image

Melody Lagrimas 7 years ago from Philippines

Wow, what an interesting hub! I have ong wavy/curly hair that I always tie into a ponytail. Love to braid it too once in a while. But am planning to have it straightened once again.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Melody,

My friend used to get her hair straightened also. Hope you have fun styling your new hairdo.

Iphigenia 7 years ago

I loved this hub. I'm 51 and over the years have had my hair long, short and inbetween. I've been as short as a "number 2" and as long as my waist. I always thought that as I got older I would have short hair - my mother spouted that old wives' tale about long hair making women of a certain age look older !

But now I have got long hair - my hair was always strawberry blond and is getting light. I'd like to think it's going white - I want to be a foxy old lady !

I prefer to have a light fringe these days (I think that's called a 'bang' in American English - a 'bang' is something quite different in British English and should only happen between consenting adults)

My hair has a gentle curl which is always better if I don't comb through after washing - I like to experiment with styles. I use beads and ribbons - all sorts of hair ornaments - I plait it, sometimes one plait sometimes many. I do French plaits - smooth and raised ....

... thanks for a good read

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author


Thanks for your great comment. Here in American the majority of the time people call a fringe bangs as opposed to bang, but sometimes I hear the word fringe used. The word fringe was more common in the 1800, but today mostly the word bangs prevail. I also hear people talking about cutting a bang, but mostly it is referred to as bangs.

qyaunaiza 7 years ago

wow different colors in hair i like it

typep profile image

typep 7 years ago

Your hair is beautiful! Wish I hadn’t cut mine ;-( But I had to cut it short after going to a salon, they left the peroxide in my hair for too long, afterwards my hair was a mess, dry...could hardly comb it out. But I'm growing it again! Cool hub!

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author


Up until I was twenty I had really long hair, almost long enough to sit on. I am not really interested in my hair being that long again, but I have since grown it back out. In my twenties I felt impressed to cut my hair shorter because my friends made me feel that having long hair was not cool or trendy. I have since decided to be more true to myself and style my hair the way I like. I used to like going to the salon, but my last experience lacked something to be desired. I was charged 125 dollars to get my hair cut and dyed, and my stylist did not even seem that excited to be working with me.

At first she was very sweet and gracious, but the last time I went to see her I could tell she had amassed more clients, so she was not really worried about losing my business. She used to send out post cards suggesting we come in, but she no longer does that. She did a good job styling my hair, but the price was just too expensive. I have learned to cut my own hair recently, and I will probably do that from now on. I will dye my own hair next time around too.

a teen 7 years ago

hi you are so pretty i dont know how to do my hair cuz my mom wont let use a curling iron

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

You can buy curlers at the store and wash your hair, and then curl it the old fashion way. I am sure your mom would have no problem with this as all girls used to do their hair like that back in the day :). Just say mom I do not see why you would mind me using regular curlers on my hair, especially since these are less damaging than a curling iron.

adrienne honeycutt 6 years ago

i started looking at hair photos tonight. i accidentally came across yours. although, people tell me that i look alot older........hell, i am older! my hair has grown to be long chestnutt brown. i love my hair. it shines through out

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I am sure you have beautiful hair adrienne.

dreamreachout 6 years ago

great hub on my favourite subject! cheers!!

Research Analyst profile image

Research Analyst 6 years ago

Styling hair is waves curls and braids is a good idea and has such a nice carefree look for long hairstyles.

JAnice Hiff 5 years ago

My hairdresser started selling Shielo's Antioxidant Leave in Protectant spray a year ago and i decided to try it, though i was hesitant. I couldn't imagine that 1 product would actually do all that this one claimed to. I tried it for a week with no other styling products, and since that week i have been a believer! This product is amazing.

I have SUPER THICK curly hair that i blow dry straight and flat iron. The Shielo Antioxidant Spray leaves it feeling amazing. My hair is shiny, silky, soft and not damaged at all. I will not ever stop using this product. I have tried various styling products for years and have never had such amazing results. It really does do everything it claims. It's also nice to only have to use 1 styling product as opposed to the 2,3, and sometimes even 4 that i was previously using.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Glad you found something that works for you Janice :).

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