Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hiking with long hair

I have long, straight, fine hair. It can get incredibly tangled. It's also brittle and prone to static electricity, especially around the types of synthetic fabrics used in backpacking gear.

I used to have short hair. But with hair like mine, if I put on a hat, it would put dents in my hair. Hat hair. That sounds so vain, but I get killer hat hair. It can be so bad that even wetting my hair won't take out the dents that form. Worst of all, if my hair is short and I wear a hat, I look bald. I decided at one point that short hair and backpacking just don't work for me so I decided to grow my hair long.

Now it is very long, down to my waist. It clogs the tub and breaks the vacuum cleaner every time I vacuum. But it's perfect hair for backpacking. All I have to do is put it in a pony tail, then braid the pony tail. I don't have to comb it for several days. The braid keeps it tangle-free and clean. Sometimes, even after several days, I can take the braid out and still smell the shampoo. Sometimes I can take the braid out after one day and my hair is still wet from the shower. A braid really keeps my hair safe.

The only trouble with my hair being so long and with it also being brittle, is the weight of the braid can not only cause a headache pulling on the top of my head, but hairs break from the weight. I always have short hairs around my face that can't be pulled back in the pony tail and that blow around in the wind and tickle my nose or get stuck in my teeth or eyes. The only solution I have found for that is to wear a headband to keep those hairs pulled back.

A braid, a headband pulling the stray hairs away from my face and a hat is my hiking hair management system.

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