Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Hairy Side of Running

It is official. My hair is longer now than it has been since my son was born nearly 5 years ago (I cut it short just a few months later). It is so long that people comment on a regular basis on how long it has gotten. The photographer who did my awesome head shots noticed when we were beside each other at a light the other day - she had me roll down my window to tell me so (my kids were flabbergasted that we were holding a conversation between cars - and afterward my son asked, "Mom, do you KNOW that person? How does she know your hair is long?").

(This is the head shot I used in my book - a great spur-of-the-moment shot in June 2006 by photographer Jim Hallas, a talented man who is no longer with us, but now gets to see the beauty of the world from above)

(This is my "new" head shot from last summer - taken by the ever-amazing Jennifer Tai, the above-mentioned traffic light conversationalist)

(The most recent photo I could find - my hubby and me on Whidbey Island about a month ago)

I like having longer hair again for regular day-to-day mom/author stuff, but now that my red tresses hang past my shoulders, I'm at a loss for what to do with it when I run.

Pony tail? Nope. I don't like how it *thwaks* me on the back mid-stride.

Leave it down? Not a chance. I sweat like a man when I run.

French braid? Plausible. Unfortunately I haven't figured out how to do that myself and I don't know that my husband has the skills to pull it off, either. Oh, and he's not usually home when I run.

Cut it? Ack! I've worked hard to be patient with it to have it get this long. A trim to even it up a bit would be great, but beyond that I'm not ready for the scissors.

That leaves me with the option of having two braids. But here's my question for you, Dear Readers:

How do I pull off braids without looking like Wendy from Wendy's or Pipi Longstocking?

Do I go for two braids down the back, or should they go down the front? Should I skip the braids entirely and just do low pig tails in front?

Help this runner! If you have long hair, what works for YOU? If you don't have long hair, what have you seen that seems like it works for those who do? Seriously, hit me up with some ideas!


Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Wow. I'm thinking braides more in the back would be cool. But I don't have long hair and never really thought about it. I just wear a hat - wouldn't that work for long hair too?

teacherwoman said...

Ever since I have really gotten into running, cycling and swimming, I have kept my hair at a length where it's not too short to pull it back in a pony tail, but not too long that it gives me a headache when back in a pony tail. I have really thick/heavy hair. In fact, it is getting pretty long again, and I am going to go for a big chop the end of April. It's just easier that way...

Jess said...

Wow your hair has gotten long. Braids might work, but I can't say I've ever tried them because my hairs never beent hat long.

What about a bun? That way you won't get the twack from the ponytail

Tina said...

Sometimes it's nice to have a break from my swinging pony-tail so I throw a visor or hat on over my pony-tail. I think two braids down the back would look good.

Pavement Runner said...

Sorry, I have a shaved head (I just wrote this on another blog that was talking about hair... funny.) Clippers, not razor.

How about a tight bun? I think I've seen women run around with that sticking out the back of their hats.

FYI - I think the pippi and wendys look would be awesome.

Mel (TMOTR) said...

For my long and thick tresses I have a variety of action plans.

1. French braid, it is well worth learning how to do.

2. A tight bun using several hair elastics. I put my hair up as if in a pony tail, then cirle it around into a bun and hold in with 2 more elastics.

3. Pony tail braided then tucked into a hat.

4. My least favorite but it works, the flip pony tail.

Don't cut it, you will make it work :)


Running mommy said...

I like long hair! Many women cut their hair after giving birth, which is quite an interesting phenomena I think!

My hair is reasonably long and usually I pull it back in a kind of messy bun.

I think pigtails could look quite nice.

On a less hairy note: would you like to swap links with me? I blog about the psychology and philosophy of running and it's connection with motherhood. And also about the fun of running!

SOHO Wife said...

"I sweat like a man when I run."
That is too funny! I totally get where you are coming from, but from a point of when my hair was too short to be put up, but too long to be comfortable during workouts. Now that it is getting longer I am getting much better. It's sad how much our hair plays into our focus.

Matt said...

How about a faux french braid made with rubber bands?

linda fleming

Page said...

I'll have to agree with the other comments above. As one who sports long, auburn hair as well, my running hair of choice is a secure bun with a headband (to maintain the fly-aways). Not the most flattering, but def. the most effective!