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How to Get Through a Security Check If Your Hair is Big Enough to Hide a Handgun

Updated on November 28, 2011

Woman Objects to Hair Search by TSA

OK, so I was motivated to write this Hub after watching the news. A woman is protesting her search at TSA and requesting a public apology because they checked her three foot afro for explosives. As a retired Police Officer from the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, I can tell you horror stories about objects concealed in big hair. In fact, I think I may have suffered a little Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome when I saw her picture. I have personally removed drugs, handguns, razor blades, straight razors, cellular telephones (yes, the old ones called bricks). And once, I even removed a stash of 25 stolen credit cards from under a partial hairpiece. Have I ever found explosives in big hair? No, but is seems logical that a quarter size piece of plastic explosive which is certainly enough to take down a commercial airliner could be concealed in three feet of hair.

Don’t get me wrong, this Hub is not just about huge afros. Women and some men of all races are guilty of big hair mistakes. Warning: Hair products are highly flammable; do not wear big hair near an open flame. If it requires an entire can of hairspray to get that platinum blonde three foot Marge Simpson beehive, you can expect the candle light church service will most likely include a scene of you imitating Richard Pryor.

I support individuality. So with this in mind, if you are so fashion impaired that you want to have hair that sticks out three feet in all directions, there are some inconveniences that you should expect. This mindset is much like the one that we as women have when we slip on stiletto heels. You cannot run in stiletto heels unless you want to look like a moose in heat. You cannot walk over sidewalk grates without falling in and possibly getting stuck while wearing stiletto heels. You certainly cannot go for a walk on the beach while wearing stiletto heels. It stands to reason then that if you choose to wear enormously oversized hair styles that you should expect TSA agents to ensure you are not smuggling undocumented immigrants in your hair. You should expect people behind you at the movies to toss popcorn into your hair. If you are a teacher, you should expect to return home at the end of the day with enough spit balls in your hair to build a paper machete volcano. These are the ways that society informally enforces personal choices that are ill advised.

I have no pity for this woman. If your hair style of choice is so big that you could conceal a small person, or a 10 pound poodle, you might want a new hairdresser. I pity the poor soul who paid for the seat next to her on the airplane. If an obese person who is three feet wide has to pay for an additional seat; a woman with three foot hair should have to pay for additional space. I can personally tell you that I would rather sit next to an obese person on an airplane than dodge a three foot hairball loaded with enough products to give my allergies a field day. No one wants to be touched by your hair in any public setting. I have heard that some people like it in private; even then, I personally don’t see the thrill in having a stranger’s hair rubbed on me. Where were this woman’s girlfriends when she left the house looking like she bought her hair at a party store costume area? Just so you know, I am not an advocate of limiting self-expression. I also do not believe that we as a nation of rational individuals are in need of laws that regulate things that should be common sense.

As a Libertarian, I would like to state that we do not need any “new” laws regulating how people behave in their personal lives. I don’t want the government to be required to give anyone special treatment because they want to wear big hair. I applaud your right to look stupid. I don’t care what you do in your own home. I do however, support airport safety. I don’t want to wind up admiring how lovely Earth looks from the Moon simply because a TSA agent was not allowed to do their job without embarrassing a woman with big hair. This is 2011 big hair is not in style. It went out of style in the 1980’s for a reason. This conversation should have ended with fishing joints and razor blades out of big hair in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Yet, here we are, revisiting this subject.

So, if you choose to grow or purchase hair that is huge, how do you manage to gracefully maneuver security check points?

  • · First, simply remove your wig and place it in the tray to be x-rayed as you enter the security checkpoint. This simple action will eliminate the problem and could provide you with a great deal of entertainment watching the reactions of the people around you.

  • · Second, if the hair is all natural and not a wig, weave, fall, partial hair piece, clip on hair, or fake bun, you may want to tame it into a pony tail for travel purposes. This eliminates the need to purchase additional seats. It also demonstrates that you understand that your rights of self-expression end where another person’s rights begin. Stay out of my bubble! (You and your oversized hair)

  • · If these suggestions do not work for you, you may want to consider asking your friends and co-workers how your choice of hair affects their impression of you. First impressions are important. If you look like Marge Simpson, or the guy on the commercial who smuggled his Puli dog into the bar on his head pretending to be Rastafarian, expect that you will not be taken seriously. Notice reactions of strangers and co-workers when you get on an elevator with them. Most people do not want to be in close contact with your hair before you are even in view. Ask your friends and acquaintances for the truth about your hairstyle choice. This type of self-requested intervention can be helpful for your recovery.

You may also consider that your desire to hide yourself under a ton of hair is just a pitiful attempt to distract everyone around you from just seeing you. Huge hair is no more attractive than 12 inch fingernails. It is a cry for help. Ask yourself, would you want to sit behind someone who blocks your view? Do you want a stranger to rub their hair on you? There is a time and a place for everything. When you are going to be in close quarters with strangers, it is just not polite to have your hair stick out farther than the width of your shoulders. It is also not polite to have your hair so high on top of your head that it rubs the headliner of your car. (I actually had a woman hit my car once because she said she could not turn her head while driving to see if the lane was clear without messing up her beehive.) Tall up swept hair is only appropriate for formal situations and formal attire.

My best friend and I went to the beach one year and found ourselves there with a bunch of teenagers on Spring break after their proms. It was loads of fun to watch them lie down on the sand and not be able to get back up. Their beehives had collected so much sand that they were like loaded sand bags on their heads. Two days later, there wasn’t a beehive to be seen on the beach. Perhaps the solution has been here all along. If you don’t want the embarrassment of TSA poking around in your huge hair, don’t go to the check point wearing smuggler hair. Problem solved.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Just because you can grow it three feet from your head, doesn’t mean that you should wear it three feet from your head.

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