Dealing With Hair-Length Criticism

Apostolic women seem to have a sweet, God-given understanding of people’s curiosity with their hair, and tend to view any inquiry about it as an opportunity to witness. While I think this is definitely the best approach, it’s also true that people can just be plain mean.

Whether it takes the form of snide comments from a stranger or a cutting remarks from a loved one, our women occasionally receive criticism about their choice. The best way to respond to these unwanted comments depends on who is saying them, and why.

When the criticism takes the form of offhanded jibes from casual acquaintances, it is seldom meant to be constructive. Instead, it usually reflects the detractor’s own insecurities. It may help the situation to gently call attention to the critic’s motivation by politely answering their comments with questions like: “Why do you think you’re bothered by my hairstyle?” or, “Do you think it’s best to base so much of your opinion on looks?”

Another useful approach is to answer truthfully and directly.

”A coworker once told me I would look so pretty with shorter hair,” reports Jessica, who has waist-length locks. “I honestly said ‘I think you would look much better with longer hair.’ She hasn’t said anything else since.”

Criticism is usually pretty easy to accept from people you don’t know well, but what about when the criticism comes from someone close?

”Rationally and calmly confronting your friend is the only way to deal with the situation,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Catherine Gildiner. “Let her know that no matter what she meant to do, her actions have caused you pain.”

No one likes to receive criticism, especially about something as personal as appearance, but understanding the origins of the comments can help in diffusing them. Always remember, the occasional taunt just makes the inevitable long hair compliments sweeter.

What do you think? Have you found other ways to deal with this type of criticism?

Author: Jay Jones

Jay is an author, veteran church planter, speaker, and the pastor of the Pentecostals of Kentwood. He's a passionate worshipper of Jesus Christ, a husband, daddy, pastor, and a ‘pretty good guy’. Jay is also an ordained minister of the United Pentecostal Church, where he currently serves as a Presbyter in West Michigan.

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