Since I started working at Wal-Mart, I've had an amazing amount of comments on my hair. Every day I work I get at least one person saying something about it. And ever since 11th grade I've been "the girl with the long hair" -- now I'm more like "the girl with the really really long hair." And why? I never actually decided to grow out my hair, I just didn't cut it and it grew on it's own. I don't like that. I don't want part of my identity to be wrapped up in something that I didn't even decide on. I never decided that long hair was me. Right now, I don't know if it is or not!
Another part of it is watching/ listening to my Alarya (alariya) explain how her hair has always been a large part of her identity, in length and color. When she felt desolation, she cut it short and dyed it black; when she felt revived, she cut it shorter and stripped it red. Her natural color is blonde, but she doesn't feel like that suits her. Also, my lj-friend Eve shaved her head, and she explained to me that it was cleansing, that it helped her to leave behind the dead parts of her life. Those things made me consider more -- why is my hair long? Why really?
Partly because I like to be different, partly because I like attention, partly because I like to look like a dryad when naked. And only that last reason is a decent one for making long hair a part of my identity. Yet when I wear my hair in a high ponytail, braided, I do feel very me. I like the weaponish look of my hair then (and the Lara Croft look, heh heh). But that's bad for my hair, so I don't do it that often. I also love how rich it feels -- it's like heavy silk, and I literally feel like I'm holding something priceless when I hold my hair. But maybe that's my 'collecting' urge kicking in. (Where the hell did I get that anyway? I always want to get things and lock them up and keep them, and get more and more. I'm amazed that I actually use my beads -- a few years ago I would have only used the ugly ones and saved all the best ones 'for later.')
If my hair was straight, I'd cut it about three inches long and dye it an unnatural color (probably purple) and gel it punkish. But my hair is very curly, and if I did that I'd look way too cutesy. I think purple streaks would go a long way towards making my hair feel 'right.' And then if they messed up my hair I'd have an excuse to chop it. I don't know though.