Friday, October 15, 2010

Love is in the Hair

Goal #40: Grow hair out 

What is it about getting engaged and married that makes women want to grow their hair out long?

And what is it about actually becoming married that compels women to chop all their hair off? 

And how is it that men seem to be nearly unanimous in their preference for long haired mates? (My sister-in-law came up with a great answer to that one. "Why do guys like long hair so much? Because they don't have to take care of it!")

I've always maintained that, once a woman is married, she has less time to dedicate to fixing her hair, as her time is now spent serving her husband (yeah, that's it). So, it is for the husband's benefit that she chop off the luxuriously locks which she labored to maintain during the wooing and wedding time of her relationship with him. At least, that was the excuse I gave Devin when, a couple of months after our wedding, I went from this:

To this:


Yeah. He was a bit shocked to say the least. I asked him what he thought of my new do and he said something to the effect of, "Um... well... It's not my preference." Ouch. (In all fairness to him though, I might as well have asked the dreaded, "Does this make me look fat?" question.)

So now that you have some context, there was a very specific reason why I put the goal "grow hair out" on my list of 101 Goals. That reason was my husband. I decided that it was more important to me that I present myself in a way that my husband fines attractive rather than being stubborn about having my way in the area of clothes, make-up or hairstyle. I'm not trying to sound all anti-feminist (well, maybe a little), but I am starting to realize the great value that exists when a wife dresses in a way that pleases her husband. There are certainly exceptions (one of them being a husband who asks his wife to dress (in public) in a immodest fashion ... or in neon orange legging from the 80s and a purple fur coat... I would eliminate that one as well), but in general, dressing in a way that pleases our husbands should bring us joy and be something that we want to do as wives. For me, wearing my hair how Devin likes it was a fairly simple way for me to show him love by submitting to him and letting him know that I wanted to be attractive to him.

When I came to this epiphany (brought about mostly by Martha Peace's book The Excellent Wife), I decided to ask Devin which hairstyle and hair length he found most attractive on me. He told me, and I started growing out my hair to reach his "preferred" length again. Here is the result:

Turns out, the length and style he finds me most attractive in is actually the look that I feel the most attractive in. Go figure.
But now I have a question for you:  
1) What are your thoughts on a woman dressing to please her husband? 
2) At what point does a girl or woman begin "dressing for her man"? Is that an appropriate behavior to encourage in dating relationships (specifically young, high-school age) or should this attitude be reversed for marriage?

Can't wait to hear your thoughts. 


  1. So interesting that you wrote this today. We JUST talked about this topic at my women's Bible study this morning, though with a slightly different twist.

    I agree with you. It is good for a woman to dress and fix herself in a way that pleases her husband. For one, as you said, it is putting aside our own selfishness and putting his desires first, which is good practice for any situation in marriage. For another, it helps to keep your man's eyes on you and away from other women he might find attractice if he knows that you are doing everything you can to be attractive to him.

    I think this should be an attitude reserved for marriage, or maybe for a mature relationship that is definitely leading to marriage. I don't think it should be a part of the "wooing" process, especially for high-school age girls. It's very easy at that age to get unhealthily emotionally attached to a boy, and adding this aspect of a relationship could, I think, increase what could be unhealthy feelings more rapidly. Plus, until marriage, a woman is still her own person and should be free to enjoy that (within God's boundaries of course).

  2. I agree with Jenna about the whole keeping your man's eyes on you. Not that we should spend tons of money and time on our appearance so we can look as pretty as possible every second of every day--I'm sure every husband is realistic. But he did commit to keeping his eyes (and hands, etc.) on one woman for the rest of his life so shouldn't we honor that commitment by making his end of the deal more enjoyable?

    And he should love you no matter what, but wives should be willing to do things that make their husbands happy. Just like we want our husbands to do things that make us happy.

    As far as dating relationships, girls shouldn't submit to their boyfriends (but to her parents instead). Until you know for sure you're going to get married to him (like you have a ring on your left hand), I suggest doing whatever you want with your hair--he should fall in love with you for YOU, not your looks. I wouldn't even ask him what he likes until you are at that point.

  3. Great thoughts Ladies, and I couldn't agree more!

    I read somewhere that the vast majority of husbands don’t care if their wife has a perfect pre-baby body, or dresses in the best fashions or looks perfectly put-together or like a movie star. But when she puts forth an effort to look good for HIM – wow! That means the world to most husbands.

  4. John asked me to grow my hair out, so I am. BUT my hair looks HORRIBLE if it gets too long because it starts to look stringy. So, I secretly trim it more than he knows. He's fine with the length right now, but he has this ridiculous notion that if I grow my hair will get thicker..sweet boy. He has no idea.

  5. Funny you should write about this (with hair specifically). I had the same feeling about growing out my hair until our wedding. Except, I wanted to keep it long! Selfishly, I really loved my long hair and wanted to keep it that way.

    My husband, however, had expressed a desire to see me with a shorter hair style (something I dreaded) because he had ONLY ever known me with long hair. Our 2nd anniversary is in January and it took me until this October (yes, 1 year and 10 months into our marriage) to even consider this request.

    We listened to one of Mark Driscoll's sermons from The Peasant Princess series on Song of Solomon (I can't pin point which one) and spent lots of time going over the questions from the series (one of them being "What is something in regards to my appearance can I do for you as a wife?). That was a VERY hard question for me to ask since I love my hair and I knew he'd mention a shorter style.

    Well, I did it! I cut my hair -without telling him first. I was terrified and I still think its a bit too short and that it looks silly in a pony tail, but my husband was so excited that I did it. Turns out, he likes more of a medium (not short) style. So praise God, HAIR GROWS! haha


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