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

Updated on August 24, 2019

This hub is devoted to long hair and how fun it is 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 haircut 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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