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Homestead-friendly hairstyles for long hair

 
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Do any other permies have very long hair? What hairstyles do you use to stop it getting into things?

I used to wear it around the homestead in a single plait down my back, but bending down and collecting eggs or picking up goat buckets and having the plait fall into manure was not nice. Lately I have been putting the plait into a makeshift bun using an elastic pony tail tie. It works well and doesn't take much time, but maybe there are historical hair styles I could use that are not too much trouble to do? Do you have any ideas or links/videos to share?
 
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Mine is down to my waist, again (at least, when it's wet, lol), so it's usually in a ponytail or braid; sloppy bun with a claw type clip at the top, or a stick(or pen or pencil) through it; puppy-dog ears; 2 braids... Sometimes (especially if I'm going to be doing something particularly dirty/ stinky), I'll wrap the ponytail, puppy-dog ears, or braid(s) with a bandana, for a bit of extra protection. Or, sometimes, I'll do a bandana kerchief-style, to protect it from the uv, if I'll be in the hot sun. I'm not terribly creative.
 
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Right now my ponytail is only 12 inches long. It sure is nice not to be constantly pulling my hair out from under me. During summer when my hair was down to my waist, I often wore a snood. Simple and it stayed in place.Here is one example. Which reminds me, the barret part broke and needs replacing.

I would also make a ponytail, then braid it, put an elastic on the end. Then take the  end of the braid and feed it through the ponytail elastic. It makes the dangling portion half length.
 
Carla Burke
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Those are really cute, Joylynn! I have a snood, but usually forget it's there. Mine doesn't have a barrette, though. I used to use those barrettes, because they hold, beautifully, but... well. I'm not the most graceful critter on our farm, and was constantly gouging the metal edges into my scalp, banging my head on car doors, counter tops, cabinet doors, barn doors... you get the idea. Most other barrettes don't hold, or they break my hair, badly. I tried my claw clips with the snood, and couldn't figure out a way to do it without looking like a beauty school dropout. No biggie, on the farm - but I've a tendency to forget to check myself in the mirror before heading to town, when I have to drop everything for something to finish a project. Is it weird that it bothers me more that my hair looks a disaster, than it does, when the rest of me looks... and smells... like I've been cleaning the goat barn, all day, when I head to town for fence repair hardware? And, any other ideas for keeping the snood where it will do some good?
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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...constantly gouging the metal edges into my scalp...



When I locate the barret at the nape of my neck, I don't get gouged. If you manage to get gouged there, your acrobatic talents are far better than mine.
 
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This:



Usually, I am too lazy to go to that much trouble.  Though I hate my hair blowing across my face or getting caught when I lean back while wearing a ponytail.
 
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my hair is usually really long, cut it off in January but it will inevitably be down my back again before I know it....
I am a big fan of what we call the manbun. Nothing pretty, all function.
When I want to be a bit more pulled together, I make a single braid down my back and put that into a bun with spin pins (usually 2 are enough). I can literally run a 5k in that and it won't come undone.
My hair is super straight and so fine that generally I have to use silicone elastics or else they slide right out, but the spin pins are magical, wondrous tools. Learned about them from a police officer colleague (i always wondered how her hair stayed put).
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Tereza wrote:My hair is super straight and so fine that generally I have to use silicone elastics or else they slide right out, but the spin pins are magical, wondrous tools. Learned about them from a police officer colleague (i always wondered how her hair stayed put).


Ooooh! The spin pins!

I also have very fine and slippery hair. I actually have to do a ponytail with an elastic for my above snood to be placed above,  or those barrets will just slide off.
 
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My hair is straight and reaches between mid thigh and the back of my knees. I normally elastic it high at the back, put it in a single braid with an elastic at the tip, remove the elastic at the base, and then wind it up and stab a hair stick or two through it until it holds.

Those spin pins look interesting, I will have to get one or two to try!
 
Carla Burke
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:

...constantly gouging the metal edges into my scalp...



When I locate the barret at the nape of my neck, I don't get gouged. If you manage to get gouged there, your acrobatic talents are far better than mine.



Lol, you don't have goats, do you? 🤣😂 In all seriousness though, I usually use a higher position, because it's just too hot, collected at my neck. But, when the goats are tangled in the (ginormous-needs-a-major-pruning) wild rose bush, or the blackberry brambles, all bets are off... At that point, it really doesn't matter what I was trying for - it ain't gonna happen.
 
Carla Burke
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Spin pins are AHHHMAZING!!! I used to use them, to wear my hair in a bun, when I worked in the warehouse/ distribution center, and they were the BEST!! I have some buried in the back of my hair-stuff drawer, that I ought to dig out! Thanks for the reminder! A few years back, I took a total of about 26" off my hair, to bring it to the top of my shoulders (buh-bye, henna!), and stuffed all my long hair stuff in a box, for our move, then just dumped it into the drawer... I'll bet they'd do great to hold a snood in place, over a bun, too.
 
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My hair was hip length for many years. For over twenty years the only cutting my hair got was trimming the ends and doing an undercut in the summer. When it was a bit shorter, doubled over ponytails and buns were okay. I refused to have much in the way of hair accessories, and I hated pins of any kind - too easy to get lost, tangled, etc. Once my hair got long enough that a bun was a bit too big to control with a couple chopsticks, I went to french twists. I found it easier to contain larger amounts of hair in a twist rather than a bun and it was more secure. I wore my hair in a french twist, often with a scarf tied kerchief style over my head, for probably three years.

Oh - I held the twist with a long alligator clip.
 
Tereza Okava
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ah, how i miss the chopsticks, pens, paintbrushes, spoons, sticks and whatever other stuff I used to use when my hair was longer. Soon enough I'll be back there!
 
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I dislike having long hair!  But I also hate going to the hairdresser, so I often have long hair...

I have had long hair most of my life, bar about two years in my early 20s when I rocked a pixie cut.  I would totally go back to that style, except for the hairdresser thing.  When I was 16 or so, my hair was down to my waist and I never wore it up;  I always had it curled and loose, to show it off

Nowadays I wear a hat a lot, especially in winter;  I've got a woolly hat on right now.  It keeps my hair out of my face--and I don't even have to comb my hair.  A bandana works in summer, though I generally combine this with a ponytail or French braid.  I also wear a straw hat in summer.
 
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Well you can use the top Knots, or claw clip to pull them back.
 
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Kate, you asked about how long hair was managed historically. Well, for most of Western history, women did two things: braids of some variety and covering it. Morgan Donner did a fabulous video on elastic-less styles and hair taping:


The other part, of course, is covering. Caps and veils were used for hundreds of years to keep dirt off the hair and to provide shade in the summer and warmth in the winter, as well as preventing random livestock from having a chew on your locks.

My hair is a bit past shoulder length, but I’m so done with going and getting it cut. It just takes too much of my valuable time and money to keep it short. So I’m embracing these styles to varying degrees. Most days, my hair is braided or in a messy bun. If I’ll be working outside, I’ll also top it with a covering of some kind. Usually, that’s a no-slip headband, topped with a bandana (I’ve got a bunch of them in lots of different colors). The nonslip headband is crucial in making this work; bandanas and scarves now stay in place on my head and don’t slide off. I also treat these rather like an apron—it’s there to keep the mess off of me—so bandanas are generally used only once or twice and then washed. My hair stays cleaner, so I don’t have to wash it as often, and it’s all tidily out of my way.
 
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You guys have a definition of "long" of which I could only dream. My hair is very fine and has a natural length of about the bottom of my shoulder blades, but by the time it's that long, it's so thin, that it looks wispy and is totally fly away.

So I keep it just long enough that I can put it in a simple elastic just below my occiput and then I do as Shawn and G Freden do - I have a wide-brimmed, extremely ratty, already patched once, but getting desperate again, hat which not only keeps my hair protected, it protects my eyes as well.

But then, I don't have goats...  if I had decent fencing, I might consider goats so long as they promised to eat the Himalayan blackberry and the English Ivy, but I suspect I'll be pushing up daisies before I ever get the sort of fencing goats would require!

I do have a nicer looking, but same style hat for wearing to town.

I don't think I've been to a hairdresser in over 30 years - straight cut across the back and even Hubby can manage that without too much of a slant to it! If I've got something fancy happening, I figure if my friend can prune her poodle, she can prune me!
 
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Generally I don't worry about it. A scrunchy pony tail tie, or a hat, is enough to keep it under control.

But not always.

I was working outside in summer when I used too much force to pull something out of the ground, which came loose suddenly, causing me to fall flat on my back.

Into a patch of burdock.

Let me tell you, if you have never had your long hair full of burdock seeds, you have missed out on one of life's stranger moments.

I very carefully untangled my hair from the burdock as much as possible, but I had no choice about using scissors to cut off some hair. It was just too deeply entangled.

So the best approach is probably to put your hair up, then completely cover it with a hat that is firmly fastened in place, firmly enough to stay on your head during and after a fall.
 
Jan White
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G Freden wrote:I dislike having long hair!  But I also hate going to the hairdresser...



Get some clippers and take a few minutes to buzz it all off every few days.
 
Tereza Okava
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Cathy James wrote:
Let me tell you, if you have never had your long hair full of burdock seeds, you have missed out on one of life's stranger moments.


Oh man. I've had to do that with horses and human hair would be so much worse!!
I spent most of my childhood with a kinda-pixie buzzcut after my mother decided she was not going to waste another minute trying to get pine pitch out of my hair, and she couldn't keep me out of the trees.
 
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Yes! Pin sap, burdock, honey, and gum, seems like I have had a lot of things manage to get into my hair. I had hip length hair at age five and I adore having long hair. Mine is waist length right now and braids are my best friends. I love a half up braided style, but that doesn't work with farm chores. I usually do a single braid down my back during animal work and if it is getting in the way I will knot it on the back of my head and pin it up with a pencil or twisty pin (Life savers, those things). Sometimes I will make a rope braid at the middle of my head and turn that into a cinnamon bun, it sort of looks like a flower.
 
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I also had hip-length hair at age 5, but washing and brushing it was a nightmare for my mom so she lured me into a hairdresser with the promise that a trim would help it grow faster and I looked like a boy for the next 3 years.

Speaking of washing it, how do you handle washing and specifically drying long hair?  I have fine straight hair, currently in a chin-length bob, and it takes forever to air-dry. I would like to grow my hair out a bit, but:  I tell myself that I will work out more often, which would mean washing my hair more often, and if I just throw it up in a bun (or even a braid) it stays wet all day and is horrible.

Any suggestions beyond embracing the hair dryer?  (I have a teeny travel one in the guest bathroom I could drag out if needed )
 
G Freden
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how do you handle washing and specifically drying long hair?


I went no poo in 2008 and after a somewhat long adjustment period (maybe eight weeks) using baking soda/vinegar, I now wash with water only.  I wore a bandana every day!  Now I wash it about once a month or every three weeks, depending on how it feels.  I brush it daily (despite my tongue in cheek comment about not needing to);  I think this helps keep it cleaner for longer.  
 
Bethany Paschall
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I am trying to work up enough courage to experiment with shampoo alternatives. I am a little scared about trying the wrong thing and damaging my hair.
I use a shampoo that is better than most but still has some not so great stuff. I wash my hair once or twice a week. I also do herbal hair rinses after I wash my hair. If my hair gets dry on the ends, I will add some rosemary and sage infused olive oil.
As for getting my hair to dry, I never use heat on my hair. I prefer to take my showers in the evening and hang my hair over the back of my bed as I sleep. It is mostly dry by morning.
 
Carla Burke
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I've only used shampoo once, in the last 3 months, and that was after mucking the barn, because I forgot to cover it, lol. My hair is mostly 3b curls (a bit of 3a, and a bit of 3c just for a little extra insanity), with a high density, fine shaft, moderate porosity, dry ends (argan oil to the rescue!) and it's natural red, fading into gray. Hubby usually likes my 'wild child' look (think Merida, in 'Brave' - but about 45yrs older, lol), but that doesn't work for farm chores, cooking, or anything where my head needs to tip down to see what I'm doing. I do a very thorough rinse, raking my fingers through, then using a wet brush to help remove lint or other debris. I use a cotton flannel layette blanket, and scrunch as much moisture out of it as possible, then let it air dry - always. When I do use shampoo, it's my own, homemade shampoo bars, followed by an organic conditioner bar, from beautyandthebees.com. I use a few drops of argan oil on the ends about one a week, and never use heated appliances (curling, flattening, drying, etc), at all.

 
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I have been a long hair at various times in my life.
I tend to get woolier in the winter, growing longer hair and a beard.
My hair is really thick and kind of curlyish so it goes up and out like an afro before it's long enough to put into a ponytail.
I like it for the extra warmth, but then I'm wearing a beanie or something mostly so it doesn't get in the way.
Once the weather starts getting warm and the hair keeps flipping in my face and getting cockleburrs and brambles stuck in it,
I usually am ready to cut it all off again, and run even faster across the pasture!  (Less wind-resistance)

Some people with long hair seem to be able to keep it out of the way, and I think it looks cool, but it just doesn't seem practical for me.

 
Kate Downham
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Morfydd St. Clair wrote:Speaking of washing it, how do you handle washing and specifically drying long hair?  I have fine straight hair, currently in a chin-length bob, and it takes forever to air-dry. I would like to grow my hair out a bit, but:  I tell myself that I will work out more often, which would mean washing my hair more often, and if I just throw it up in a bun (or even a braid) it stays wet all day and is horrible.

Any suggestions beyond embracing the hair dryer?  (I have a teeny travel one in the guest bathroom I could drag out if needed )



I have similar very fine straight hair, and have never owned a hair dryer. I do the old trick of lowering my hair towards the ground and then wrapping a towel around it, starting from the back of the neck, and then wrapping it up to look a bit like a turban. It almost fully dries after around half an hour, and then I can remove the towel and let it air dry.

I wash hair with soap once a week, doing a final rinse with a little cider vinegar added. Not sure if that makes a difference.

Does anyone know how to do that hairstyle with two plaits going around the head like a wreath and getting it to stay put? I feel weird when I wear anything made from metal in my hair so I don't like the idea of pinning it.
 
Carla Burke
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Kate Downham wrote:
Does anyone know how to do that hairstyle with two plaits going around the head like a wreath and getting it to stay put? I feel weird when I wear anything made from metal in my hair so I don't like the idea of pinning it.



Ribbons threaded through a bone or horn needle - or darning needle, essentially sewing the plaits to the hair at the scalp. It does seem like it would hold the hair pretty securely - likely for several days. There are many old portraits that show the style. I can't remember where I saw the video that recently reminded me of it...


(Edited to add: as Morfyd points out, below - the video I couldn't remember is in the posts above, lol.)
 
Morfydd St. Clair
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Kate Downham wrote:

Morfydd St. Clair wrote:Speaking of washing it, how do you handle washing and specifically drying long hair?  I have fine straight hair, currently in a chin-length bob, and it takes forever to air-dry. I would like to grow my hair out a bit, but:  I tell myself that I will work out more often, which would mean washing my hair more often, and if I just throw it up in a bun (or even a braid) it stays wet all day and is horrible.

Any suggestions beyond embracing the hair dryer?  (I have a teeny travel one in the guest bathroom I could drag out if needed )



I have similar very fine straight hair, and have never owned a hair dryer. I do the old trick of lowering my hair towards the ground and then wrapping a towel around it, starting from the back of the neck, and then wrapping it up to look a bit like a turban. It almost fully dries after around half an hour, and then I can remove the towel and let it air dry.

I wash hair with soap once a week, doing a final rinse with a little cider vinegar added. Not sure if that makes a difference.

Does anyone know how to do that hairstyle with two plaits going around the head like a wreath and getting it to stay put? I feel weird when I wear anything made from metal in my hair so I don't like the idea of pinning it.



Huh.  My hair stays damp even with a microfiber turban.

The post upthread by Shawn Foster includes a video with the plaits technique.  It's long as she describes her various attempts to get it to work, but you might also find the whole journey helpful.
 
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Cold weather Smurf style: aka strumpf

I have hair thick enough for 3 heads, so I make a head covering: when it is cold, I divide my long hair in half, start braiding each side once my hair is past the ears, down to the chin, then combine the two braids into one like a pharaoh beard ending with an elastic and stuffed into my thermal undershirt!
 
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Does anyone know how to do that hairstyle with two plaits going around the head like a wreath and getting it to stay put? I feel weird when I wear anything made from metal in my hair so I don't like the idea of pinning it.

I've begun to use this style a lot recently and have found an easy and pretty secure way to do it. Below is the link to a video that taught me how to do this updo, she had several different ways to do the same do, but I typically do the short ribbon style because that is the most convenient for me. I have worn it unpinned many times and have had it stay up very well.



Enjoy!
 
Anne Miller
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I watched an episode of 1883 where Faith Hill braids her TV daughter's hair.

I am unsure how she tied off the end of the braid to keep them from un-braiding.  I wish I knew.

Two braids could be wrapped around the head and tucked into each other.
 
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