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Diary of The Girl With the Super-Long Hair, Part 2: A Rat's Nest

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In the spirit of Hair Week here at Racked, writer Cynthia Drescher talks about her relationship with her super-long mane—which she hasn't cut in years. Read Part 1, and here's part two of three.

For many Halloweens in my youth, I went as "Cousin It" from The Addams Family

I have another confession to make. I use hotel shampoos most of the time. Luckily I travel often, because one wash of my hair requires one half of those miniscule things. There are no fancy bottles of hair products of any sort in my bathroom, no curling irons or straighteners...heck, I don't even own a blow dryer.

I don't realize how long my hair has gotten until I see a picture someone has taken of me from the back, which is rare as I mostly wear my hair up in a chic top knot, which has the benefit of allowing me to go from coffeeshop to formal dinner date without so much as running a brush through it. But for all the compliments I get on my lengthy tresses when I'm too lazy to twist it up, I'm struck with the embarrassment of knowing that for the way I treat my hair, I probably don't deserve to have it.

Ahh?but then there's the downside to every up, and in my case it's the dreaded Rat's Nest.

In my senior year high school yearbook, you won't find my photo next to "Best Hair." Instead, flip to "Most Likely to Become President," and there I am, gamely holding the Stars & Stripes. I've never had political ambitions other than the end life goal of being US Ambassador to Switzerland, but I was about to begin a war that many other female college freshmen can identify with: the war on hooded sweatshirts.

Hoods, shawl collars, bulky scarves...they all quickly create the nightmare of the "Rat's Nest," which is a hurricane of a tangle that usually requires some quiet time and a big comb to fix. College is like the mecca of hoods, shawl collars and bulky scarves, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that by the end of freshman year I had lost the war and chopped my hair at Milios, a punk-influenced second-floor salon in the Boystown neighborhood of Chicago. Again, I instructed a hairstylist?whose own head had been shaved in a pattern to resemble ram's horns?to do whatever he wanted. I emerged with a bob and the strong desire to begin wearing high-collar shirts a la Karl Lagerfeld.

Then I moved to Rome, Italy. And there were hot boys there. Italian boys...

Stay tuned. The Diary of 'The Girl With the Long Hair' finishes up on Friday.
· Diary of The Girl With the Super-Long Hair, Part 1 [Racked National]
· All Hair Week posts [Racked]