Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Hair Manners: A Light-Hearted Look


In the spirit of Miss Manners, there are definitely some hair-related manners. This goes for long and short hair, and every hair in between.

I realize we all have busy lives, and who needs another set of rules to live by, but consider the higher purpose of manners.

Manners are set modes of behavior by which we keep at least the veneer of civilization lemon-waxed and shining. Manners are the art of not doing something that would offend others.

So how does this apply to hair?

  • Do not comb your hair at the table. People are eating, and do not want stray hair in their food.
  • Do not play with your hair in public unless you are a child. (And if you are, someone will tell you to quit it soon enough.)
  • Do not pluck your eyebrows in public (see #1).
  • Do not leave stray hairs in the sink when you comb your hair in the bathroom. People do not want to clean up your hairs.
  • Ditto--the tub.
  • While we're on the subject, do not leave hairs wrapped around the soap in the shower. Of course if you live alone, then it's your choice: leave them or shave the soap.
  • Do not flip your long hair behind you in a crowded restaurant. Chances are it will land in someone's plate.
  • If you are balding, do not do the comb-over thing. It never looks good, and you're not fooling anyone.
  • Be aware of where your hair is at all times, especially in a restaurant. In other words, be careful not to drag your hair through the guacamole.

  • If you work in close quarters with others, be aware of others' sensitivities or allergies to hairspray, perfumed mousse, etc.
  • Do not play with or touch other people's hair unless you ask permission first.
  • Do not offer comments to strangers about their hair unless they ask for your opinion.
  • Do not create a new hairdo in a public place. Once in church I sat behind a teenage girl who, in the course of the service, made these hairdos one after the other:
  1. ponytail
  2. two French braids
  3. one long braid
  4. topknot
  5. two-level ponytail
  • (It wasn't so much all the hairdos that made her look ditzy; it was the indecision!)
  • Do not chew the ends of your hair in public. Get your protein another way.
  • Do not go for long periods of time without washing your hair. No matter how much else you may have going for you, dirty hair is still dirty hair.
  • If you wear a wig or hair extensions, be sure and check from time to time for passing debris that may have landed on your false hair. One summer I worked at a pancake house in Maine, and we had a tall, elegant older woman as hostess for the restaurant. She wore a beautiful blonde wig, and consequently never knew that at any time of the day she might have a paper coffee filter on her head that one of the waitresses put there. Sad, but true!
  • Do not appear in public wearing a headful of hair rollers. Whenever I see a woman do this, I have to wonder where she is going later that evening that she can afford to look that bad during the day.
  • No matter what the temptation, do not put underwear on your head. It's a look that seldom works for anyone.

Generally speaking, do not subject others to that which would bother you.

Hair Boutique Notes

If you have wild praise or other appropriate comments about this article that you would like to send to Jane, please email her at [email protected].

If you would like to express your opinions about hair manners, please post them on Hair Politics or Hair Talk.

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