Wet Hair. Does it offend you?

August 8, 2008 at 11:07 am 16 comments

Since adopting the naturally curly hair care method I have avoided using a hairdryer.  It has been over a year since I have used a blow dryer to straighten or flat iron my hair.  I have discovered more curl in my hair than I ever knew I had, and the qualities of my hair have vastly improved.  These changes include having less hair breakage and overall heat damage, hair that feels much softer, shinier, and has hardly any frizz. 

Julyne Derrick, a beauty writer at About.com recently wrote a post called, “Beauty Mistakes We’ve All Made.”  Number 4 on her list? 

We leave the house with dripping wet hair. Yes, curls should airdry. Yes, that can take forever. So do it the night before, or wake up early. Or use a diffuser on your hair dryer or roll your wet hair into a bun. But please do not go out into public with a dripping wet head. 

Is wearing your hair wet in public offensive?  After many divided comments at that post, she elaborated her complaints further in a second post titled, “Drip, Drip, Drip: Should One Go Out in Public With a Wet Head?”  Julyne writes, “So I have a beauty pet peeve.  I don’t like it when women with long, wet, curly hair ride the subway.  If the subway jolts, I can’t help but imagine a bunch of wet hair slapping me across the face.”  The comments on both sides have been fascinating.  Clearly there is need to educate and clear the air.

Does it offend you when someone at work or around town has wet hair?  I am not talking soaking wet, straight-out-of-the-shower wet hair; I mean clean, damp, neatly styled wet hair.  Does having it cut short or long matter?   I am also referring to this hair being “first thing out the door morning hair,” not on your way to a formal evening event, or to a professional business meeting.

If you would have seen me today, this is what I would have looked like dropping off my daughter for kindergarten.  Would I have offended you?  I really would like to know.

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16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. IFW  |  August 8, 2008 at 11:39 am

    It wouldn’t bother me in the least! Unless you count the envy of wishing my hair would curl like that! (I term this “the grass is greener syndrome”) I will have to admit that if you were whipping your hair around so that it was either slapping up against me or spewing water/product all over me – then I would be offended. It’s a personal space thing. If I’m on a bus or subway, I don’t want to be hit with someone’s backpack as they turn around. If I’m on a plane, I really don’t want to be seated anywhere near someone who had a lot of garlic the night before, especially if they tried to mask it with perfume.

  • 2. Critty  |  August 8, 2008 at 11:39 am

    I can’t believe my wet head offends people! If I do my hair the night before, it’s a frizzy, messy disaster in the morning and I have to re-spritz it with water. I can think of 4 million more offensive things than wet, curly hair. Like Muffin Tops 😉

  • 3. Jen Hill  |  August 8, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Yeah, I wouldn’t want a mouthful of wet hair on the subway either, but “BO” is a much worse offender. Thanks gals.

  • 4. tracy m  |  August 8, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Wet hair is why I’ve kind of given up on the curly-girl hair. I still don’t blow dry or flat iron it, but I do shower the night before and put it in a bun. It just takes hours and hours to dry- seriously, it will still be wet at 3 in the afternoon.

    But offensive? No. Not at all.

  • 5. kate2004rock  |  August 8, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Unless you’re meeting the President of the United States or some other equally important dignitary, on a job interview, I don’t see why it matters. I often leave my hair wet, but is usually pinned up and back to get some wave to wit when its dry by 11am, if not its in a braid.

    There are definitely times and places where its inapproriate. But otherwise, its just no one else’s business!

  • 6. hairyshoefairy  |  August 8, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Totally not offensive. It isn’t like it’s dripping water everywhere or all down your back. I doubt most people would even notice it was still wet.

  • 7. Nenette  |  August 9, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Looks great to me… not offensive at all! There are people out there who put stuff in hair to make it look wet all the time, so I don’t know how people could take offense to that.

  • 8. Decorative Diva  |  August 9, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Wet hair, neatly styled, wouldn’t offend me.
    I think some people go out of their way looking to be offended.

    With that caveat, I try to never have my hair wet in public, because I hate the top of my shirt getting wet 😛

  • 9. Jen Hill  |  August 9, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Excellent points women! The slick wet look used to be pretty chic a few years back, remember Demi, and Sharon Stone.

    With this feedback, I will now confidently continue with my routine. I think when you put yourself in someone else’s hair, it really helps. Many thanks.

  • 10. Laurel  |  August 9, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    No way! It’s never crossed my mind to be “offended” by wet hair. I too like to air dry my hair and frequently see my kids off to school with wet hair. (I walk them to the bus stop just three doors away.) The other mothers at the bus stop are most often there in their pajamas and with no makeup on., so I guess that for us mothers the name of the game in the morning is to get our kids off to a successful start, and squeezing in at least an extra hour to let dry or dry one’s hair can seem excessive. I went through a blow drying phase a couple of months ago and feel that I paid the price for it even though I used a Ceramic brand blow dryer that is not supposed to harm the hair.

  • 11. Jami (a different one)  |  August 11, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Because I have oily hair I generally wash mine right before I go anywhere. If that offends people, oh well. It’s much nastier to be five hours into an activity and suddenly look like I haven’t washed my hair for weeks. Ew.

  • 12. realworldmartha  |  August 12, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Fun post.
    So I have curly hair. I would never be offended by it at all. I do say from my own experience that having long and short hair makes a difference. If you have thick long curly hair it can take hours to dry!!!!!!! Even with a diffuser, in the winter, it takes forever. Short hair really helps keep the drips down and away from others 🙂

  • 13. JASS  |  August 12, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Not offended in the least.
    But people who have complete bed head, or morning breath, or eye snot in their eyes does offend.
    Call me crazy!

  • 14. anonymous  |  August 14, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    I just got in trouble at work for having damp hair. It was pulled back neatly, but apparently some nameless person in upper management was offended by it and my boss had a “talk” with me about it. I sit behind a computer all day and don’t interact with clients or anything, but always look neat and clean.

    Nobody I know has ever heard of such an office policy, but I googled and ended up here – I can’t believe someone could really be so offended by this – I’m honestly looking for another job now, because to me this just smacks of more ridiculousness to come.

  • 15. Jen Hill  |  August 14, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story anon. I am sad to hear that you were treated so poorly by your co-workers today.

    I really think there is a lack of understanding when it comes to styling hair and different hair types. Best wishes on finding a better, more compassionate, and civilized place to work.

    Big hugs to you!

  • 16. yara  |  August 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I don’t think wet hair offend nobody it’s just that sometimes dry hair looks more formal that wet, also some people think that wet hair can makes you look a little bet simple.
    In my case wet hair looks better on me, but unfortunately i can’t use it like this a lot because of my job, and my hair is losing his own curl. 😦

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