30
$\begingroup$

Okay, so for the story I am working on, I have a problem-or, rather, Serena the Shaman/Witch has a distinct problem. She has only one low-mana spell-Hydro Jet-and it deals low but consistent damage. All of her other spells-Burning Frost, Whirlwind, Stormsurge, Lightning-consume rather high amounts of mana. So much so that she can only really cast any of those heavy hitters once per any boss battle, which means she can't afford to miss, creating save-or-sucks and hesitation.

However, Serena has found a surprising secret that can help her with her problem. Something that can expand her mana regen and allow her to actually contribute to the team's quest of going home (long story I won't get into here). An absolute game-changer that can enable multiple castings of even such demanding spells as Lightning (shoots a small lightning bolt) and Stormsurge (miniature tidal wave that can wash out a group of small monsters, like a wave of charging goblins).

What is this amazing secret? Hair. That's right, hair. For some reason, hair naturally catches and retains small amounts of magical energy from the mage who creates it, making hair magical. Mages who realize this can put more magic into their hair-hair can contain more magic than it captures naturally, especially when one may or may not alter the hair for this purpose-and as magic is drawn to magic of the same type, store more and more magic that otherwise would be lost to them through casting.

This is why powerful witches and wizards have so much hair-it's not just because they want to look good! But as great as this could be for Serena, it also brings with it certain problems. Long hair can easily get in the way during combat, traveling-basically just daily life. It can be a pain to clean. It can get cut or damaged easier as it gets longer. And depending upon how it's styled, it can even be a strategic disadvantage!

I know this because an aunt once demonstrated how bad ponytails and pigtails are. Basically, by gathering all the hair into one spot (like a ponytail), you make it really easy for someone with bad intentions to control where your head goes. Same goes for pigtails. And for this and many other reasons I hope are obvious, I need to ask: what is the best way to style ridiculously long hair?

Specifics:

  1. The answerer must account for the pros and cons of different hairstyles and practically determine which one will least inconvenience an adventurer who doesn't want her power reserve caught, cut, snagged, or used against her. Ponytails, for example, on a quick and strong mage, can potentially be used as a whip (remember, magic is involved). But, as great as that might be, heaven forbid if the whip gets caught! Braids seem sensible, but as mages gain more and more hair (and trust me, Serena is going to want a lot of hair) they seem to become more and more unfeasible. The list goes on and on-I just want to know the best method of getting all that hair caught up so there aren't any physical or metaphorical loose ends here.

  2. If you are wondering what kind of volume to expect here, imagine Serene reaching up, throwing off her scrunchie, and the screen going dark around her as her hair billows out like a growing storm cloud. Or....just imagine any anime girl with long, billowy hair. I imagine any of the heroes from Glitter Force could apply if they let their hair down. Not quite Tangled level hair-I think-but definitely getting there.

  3. As noted in #1, magic is involved. That means low-key magical manipulation can and will be accepted in an answer. For example, while one can't create and control hair tentacles (too much mental effort to feasibly accomplish) one can magically manipulate hair and whip it forward to deal damage, a la Shantae. One could also shrink or thicken hair, change hair texture or rigidity to mimic things like rubber or metal wire (I hope the latter is balanced), or magically enhance the length if they just need longer hair right now. Obviously this would be expensive and should not carry an answer.

Further Specification To Address Comments:

  1. The amount of magic hair can store is determined by mass and volume, not necessarily weight. Thick, messy hair traps magic better overall, for obvious reasons, and vice versa for thin, neat, straight hair. Lots of small but well-woven hair, however, can retain magic better than just lots of snarled thick strands. As a sidenote, odd hairstyles or hair colors (brought on by dye) draws more magic into hair and increases its ability to store magic, so Jessie from Pokemon could actually be a savvy mage in this respect.

  2. There's no reason for the hair to necessarily be carried by the head-especially when the Levitation enchantment exists. The right accessories (like floaty beads) could really take a load off, or else a mage can pull a Bayonetta and make the hair cover their body, which would come with its own pros and cons.

  3. Rate of use depends on the user's experience not the hair's surface area. There is no need to have hair billow in battle, it just looks cool. Any experienced mage can just activate their hair's 'charge' and unleash it all at once, or just activate one section's charge for when they don't want to just destroy their reserve.

  4. Spells are an act of will; you can write spells down as runes to convey will for a later date, sure, but I fail to see how that could be done on hair. It's a good idea, and I do appreciate it, but I fail to see how I could make it work for my magic system.

  5. The hair doesn't need to be attached per se, but A) attached hair can't have its power stolen by someone else, B) hair has to be specially enchanted to prevent magic loss during and after the cutting process, which is quite difficult and requires both enchantment maintenance and an insane amount of focus during the required ritual, C) attached hair, if destroyed, can have its power quickly snatched up while you can't usually do that for unattached hair

Finally, I appreciate your feedback, thank you for helping, and please let me know if there are problems!

$\endgroup$
21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is this like static electricity? Are we talking about hair mass or the volume it takes up? $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Jun 21 at 9:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Does the hair have to be carried by the head? If the hair is supernaturally long and thick, you might not want to hold it with your neck. You could progressively bind new sections with string (see "whipping knot") forming a sort of armoured ponytail which goes straight down from the head into a hood or backpack so the weight is on the shoulders. $\endgroup$
    – cloudfeet
    Jun 21 at 10:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Reminds me of Medusa from Inhumans with the prehensile hair that could be used as a weapon. (When they made that failed TV series, the effect was so expensive they could only afford it for 1 episode, and then they shaved her head, making her powerless.) Or if you wanna go real old school (Old Testament even), there's Samson, whose strength came from his hair (and was also shaved off, rendering him powerless - everything old is new again.) $\endgroup$ Jun 21 at 14:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JiminyCricket: I try to account for everything, but I knew I'd have to put in edits. I will do so as soon as I can. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jun 21 at 21:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Jessica Most models/actors/entertainers don't have particularly long hair. I mean, they have shoulder-length long hair, but from the perspective of long hair it's really, really short. (And a lot of them have even shorter hair and wear wigs.) Let me put it this way: people walk up to me in the street to look at how long my hair is, my hair is a few inches short of being long enough to sit on, and my hair is still just normal-long in the world of long hair. $\endgroup$ Jun 22 at 14:20

15 Answers 15

44
$\begingroup$

Two options that came to mind while considering your question:

Pinned/Taped Crown Braid

Not necessarily "for magic purposes", but something that works for everyday purposes to tie up the physical loose ends of very long hair is a braid (or two braids) wrapped or coiled around the head and pinned or taped in place. (Hair taping is essentially sewing the braid to the scalp hair with a long piece of ribbon.)

Simple hair taping with green ribbon

Starting the braids against the scalp (i.e., French or Dutch braids) would provide a more secure foundation for the rest of the braid to be pinned or taped to.

Pros:

  1. This hairstyle is very comfortable as it distributes the weight of one's ridiculously long hair evenly across the scalp, unlike a bun or a ponytail which concentrates the weight in one spot.
  2. No long length of anything to catch on branches, get caught in car doors or be grabbed by an enemy. Wear a hat or wrap head in a scarf for even less likelihood that someone can grab the hair.
  3. Kept up like this (and especially if under headgear), much less likely to get damaged or dirty.
  4. It's the most solid hairstyle in my arsenal. Once up, that thing isn't falling down.
  5. With the hair-taping version, it can stay in place for a few days so would be a time-saver on the subsequent days.
  6. If you position the braid/s right (and assuming the volume of braided hair doesn't turn it into a literal hair beehive) comfortable enough to sleep on.
  7. Relatively quick/easy to do the pinned version (10 minutes). Magic manipulation of hair strands while braiding or pins while pinning would make it faster.
  8. Looks like a crown. That's a pro in my book.

Cons:

  1. Not as fast (to do or undo) as a ponytail.
  2. Doesn't have the same magical witchy vibe as a cloud of billowing hair.
  3. Hair damage to enemy is limited to headbutting them.
  4. If you want a hairstyle that can go from "out of the way" to "literal cloud of billowing hair" in 2 seconds flat, this style is not the one.

Slightly more versatile variation

Instead of pinning or taping the braid/s around the head, Serena could essentially tie or tuck them around and use your world's equivalent of claw clips to hold them in place. Much less sturdy, but it's a quick way to go from wearing loose, useful braids to "now my enemy can't grab my hair" mode.

Large claw clips

Stick Bun

This is a style that facilitates quickly putting hair all up (or letting hair all down). It's less secure than the first option, but can withstand a full day of moderate physical activity. Works for ankle-length hair (and possibly longer but I cannot verify that from experience).

Bun held with two hairsticks

Pros:

  1. Fast. < 30 seconds to put up, < 2 seconds to take down.
  2. If the sticks used are stabby, they're extra emergency weapons.
  3. If you need billowy hair at some point, just remove stick and shake head (a magically-induced breeze blowing towards you greatly enhances the effect).

Cons:

  1. If you can take it down in 2 seconds by removing the stick, so can anyone who gets close enough to grab the stick.
  2. Still not same magical witchy vibe as loose overwhelming hair.
  3. Hair damage to enemy limited to poking them in the nose with a hair stick if they get too close behind you.

Source: Have ridiculously long hair and have watched far too many hairstyle tutorials.

$\endgroup$
6
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for sharing your experience and practical insight, this was very helpful! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jun 21 at 21:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If you make the sticks not stick out you give up a little bit of convenience but make it so they can't be grabbed by an enemy. $\endgroup$ Jun 22 at 3:40
  • $\begingroup$ @LorenPechtel If the sticks don't stick out a little bit then the edge hair just falls right off and eventually the whole thing falls apart. You can use a hair fork and then one side doesn't have to stick out, and if you curve it then the other side goes past the bun but is at least flat to the head. Alternatively, you can bun it with no sticks temporarily, just by twisting and tucking the end in, and then put something over top (helmet) to secure it, then it's easier/harder to let down depending on how you secure whatever is holding it. A leather aviator helmet with extra space would work. $\endgroup$ Jun 22 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ @user3067860 Multiple forks wouldn't need to stick out on any side if they overlapped inside. $\endgroup$ Jun 22 at 14:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @LorenPechtel IME it just isn't secure like that. Not sure on the physics here, but two long hairsticks crossing in an X and catching the hair close to the scalp will hold my hair tight and not come out. Other arrangements do come out after a few hours. (Also, thinking about it, some of it is because with long hair sticks you can get good leverage when you're placing it--it's hard to describe but you basically weave the stick back and forth between the bun and the hair close to the scalp. If it's tighter there, then the friction holds the stick better and the whole thing stays up better.) $\endgroup$ Jun 22 at 15:03
23
$\begingroup$

A turban

Turbans are specifically designed to manage very long hair that are not cut, in some cultures due to religious reasons.

Like some of the other answers point out, you want to manage the weight of the hair in a shape that is compact and equally distributed - i.e. something sphere-like, and a turban can be shaped around the head for this purpose.

There are many great styles for women as well.

$\endgroup$
19
$\begingroup$

Coiled Braid(s)

Grow the hair long. Put it in a long braid. Coil the braid into a lump.

enter image description here

Stuff the lump into a helmet. Now you have long hair that cannot be grabbed.

If you prefer have two braids.

enter image description here

Then stuff your head in a helmet.

enter image description here

Perfect.

For a real example look into the Sikh Religion. Some Sikh men never cut their hair and wear it similar to the above.

enter image description here

Only they use a turban rather than a Stormtrooper helmet.

$\endgroup$
3
  • $\begingroup$ Good point! This could get impractical as hair grows to ridiculous lengths, but it could definitely work, and I always appreciate some humor! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jun 21 at 21:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias Unless I am very mistaken the rate of hair fall out will at a certain length equal the rate of hair growth, which in turns means that the maximum length of hair for most people is just 'very long', and not 'ridiculous'. $\endgroup$ Jun 24 at 7:37
  • $\begingroup$ @David_Mulder depends on personal values of "ridiculous". A young lady I once knew decided she had reached her personal ridiculousness limit when she kept pulling her own hair by sitting on it. At which point she was paid a ridiculous amount of money for having it cut short. $\endgroup$
    – nigel222
    Jun 24 at 9:18
15
$\begingroup$

Grow It Everywhere!

More hair doesn't have to mean super long hair growing only from her scalp. A bit of magic could give her an all-over shiny coat of hair that would make a Wookie jealous.

Advantages: There's a LOT of hair, but none of it is extremely long. Successfully cutting it anywhere only removes a small percent.

Disadvantage: Fire resistant hair gel might be a good idea, but could be expensive.

$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your perspective! This could definitely work, but it comes with some very distinct problems. I'll address them in the OP under Further Specifications. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jun 21 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias - Oh wow! The question was so interesting that I didn't notice you were the author. Some of your other questions are what got me started reading WorldBuilding regularly. I'm also happy that my skill at being the cause of new policies has finally been recognized in WorldBuilding. 😄 Oh, and if straight hair is less effective, she could go for more of a poodle or sheep look. $\endgroup$ Jun 22 at 9:17
11
$\begingroup$

Bun

Your question seems to boil down to just this: what hairstyle has the greatest volume and the least surface area?

The answer, from geometry, is the sphere. In hairstyles, that's a bun:

Hair in a bun

You can choose your bun-making techniques to maximize its density, which will give you the smallest-possible spatial footprint for any given amount of hair.

If the bun is small enough, it can be concealed beneath a hat, which can help the magic-user avoid being recognized as such.

Buns do not require any unusual equipment to create or maintain. You don't even need a comb as long as you can run your fingers through your hair. If you have a fastener, great, but there are ways to secure a bun using only your hair.

From a practical perspective, it cannot be beat.

$\endgroup$
2
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I see that @Riorlyne beat me to the punch while I was writing up my answer. Leaving it, for now, for posterity. $\endgroup$
    – Tom
    Jun 21 at 2:30
  • $\begingroup$ Definitely keep this up, your perspective was very helpful! Thank you for your contribution! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jun 21 at 21:33
8
$\begingroup$

Hairband portal

Similar to a bag of holding except this is a small elastic band that can be placed over a bun of hair transporting it to another plane of existence. The band can be removed fairly easily, the hard part is actually getting it on (though a wizard probably has some kind of telekinesis they can use to pull their hair into the band. One possible downside is that hair floating in a formless void for an extended time may end up getting tangled, so it's recommended to remove the extraplaner scrunchy and brush your hair at least once a day.

$\endgroup$
1
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Interesting idea! I will have to put this under consideration, though I expect the means of making this, let alone acquiring this, will be difficult in my setting. Thanks so much! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jun 21 at 21:42
8
$\begingroup$

Wair a shako or conical helmet

Throughout history, the idea of wearing helmets with lots of empty space over the head has come back over and over again because this allows the helmet to deform under impact and/or redirect a strike away from your head for added protection. This technology was first seen a lot in East Mediterranean civilizations during the late bronze age. It was then revisited again during the high medieval period by a number of Northern and Eastern European cultures. And again it re-emerged as late as the 1800s in the form of the Shako across most of Europe.

That said, one thing all of these helmets have in common is that they leave plenty of room for hair. An average Napoleonic Era Shako for example had an internal volume of about 800 in^3 (13000 cm^3). Serena could braid and coil her hair such that a standard military Shako could easily contain floor length hair with room to spare.

All though these helmets may seem to be oversized and cumbersome, because they could be made thinner than a helmet that hugs closer to your skull, you could actually get superior protection at similar weights. Since Serena is a battle witch, it seem logical she should have a helmet anyway; so, might as well giver her one that is simply tall enough to hold her hair in place.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, a practical and historical answer! Always good to see your perspective, sir, thank you! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jun 21 at 21:46
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ That sheds a new light on the traditional witch's hat. I wonder whether the tuft on a Fez could be used to channel magic like a wand. $\endgroup$ Jun 23 at 9:10
8
$\begingroup$

Long hair owner here, in terms of hairstyles people have covered bun and wound braids pretty well, but I wanted to add on a bit...

Really long hair is a lot less maintenance than people think.

It is not that much problem to wash, you mostly only scrub the scalp area anyway, so after a point longer doesn't add any effort to washing. It doesn't even add that much to drying, since the exposed surface scales with the length of the hair--it's not like hair dries from the bottom up, hair dries from the outside in. You just need a big towel to wrap it in for the initial drying because normal towels will get soaked quickly (I use a beach towel and my hair isn't that long). You also don't have to get all of it wet every time if it's long enough, you can have someone hold your hair out of the way and then only wash your scalp area, especially if you are taking a bath rather than a shower.

It doesn't really tangle worse, hair in the middle or near the scalp doesn't knot as quickly because there aren't (as many) loose ends and not as much movement. The bottom (which does knot) is easier to brush to since you can pull it around. And you have more hairstyles which keep your hair from moving freely, no movement = no knotting/tangles. If your character brushes whichever parts are loose on a regular basis then they will be fine.

Hair doesn't weigh that much. Think about how much a heavy wool sweater weighs and that is a lot more hair than most people can grow from their head. It weighs more when wet, but think about a wet sweater after you washed it--it's still not so much that you can't imagine supporting it on your head, and once you squeeze some of the water out with a towel it's no problem at all. If your hair starts to get into Tangled length, you can literally wrap it around your shoulders or waist to support it.

Braiding is more practical than you think. It takes me about 1 minute (I timed it) to braid my hair in one basic braid, and my hair is just short of being long enough to sit on. The first 20 seconds was getting the braid started, after that it gets easier since you can pull your hair around where it's easier to reach, so maybe 20 seconds per foot of length after that. Doing French/Dutch braids takes me a lot longer but I'm also really bad at them, someone who practices this can probably do it in almost the same time, plus the French/Dutch part is only at the top of your head so anything over shoulder length is back to the same speed based on length.

Braided hair is good for sleeping, since it doesn't tangle, doesn't bunch up under your head too much, and then you're ready to go the next morning. You don't have to re-braid it all every day, either (not with just a basic braid, and if you want it to last even longer you can fasten it with a string/ribbon/hair tie in several places down the braid). You can unbraid/brush/rebraid the last foot or so to freshen up your braid quickly.

Keeping your braid safe is also not that hard--tuck it down the back of your shirt. If you're feeling particularly paranoid, wear a shirt with a high-necked collar. If you're feeling really, really paranoid wear a hood that covers your hair and the back of your neck. If your enemy has you at the point where they can undress you, they already have control of your head, hair or no.

All that said, if you can recharge unattached hair, magic users are going to be wearing a lot of wool. Those heavy robes aren't just because it gets chilly flying around, and that's only what you see on the outside--actually most witches are also walking around with a bum-pad stuffed with wool. Just like armorers are specialists, you would have specialist magic users who work full-time in the spring making sure newly-sheered wool will be able to store magic. (Maybe shed hair retains magic, as well, if treated correctly? I'm imagining a wonderful retirement home for elderly magic users where they spend their days gently chanting as they brush rabbits--I would like to retire there, please.)

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Very good, thank you for your practical and interesting perspective! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jun 22 at 16:54
6
$\begingroup$

Dreadlocked + Braided + Coiled
When hair is dreadlocked, it kinks up and traps far more magic than simply braided hair. Braided hair does better than coiled, etcetera. Which is why you want all three. Plus, it minimizes the total length by the greatest amount.

$\endgroup$
4
  • $\begingroup$ Disregarding the shape etc, dreads are the way to go if you just want the maximum amount of hair. They can be dreadfully long, which makes sense since even if a strand of hair comes loose from your scalp, it's still intertwined with strands that are still rooted to you. This woman would be very powerful indeed: huffpost.com/entry/asha-mandala-dreadlocks_n_3781219 $\endgroup$
    – gustafc
    Jun 21 at 14:31
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, this looks like it could be a great answer, but it needs more logic and sources to back it up. I appreciate your perspective, don't get me wrong, but if your answer could be better, nothing wrong with improvement right? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jun 21 at 21:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why does it need more? It has as much logic and sources as your original post. What exactly is it you are planning on doing with the answers here? If you need more detail, you need to explain why. $\endgroup$ Jun 22 at 11:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias from the linked article: "Her dreads were officially measured to be 19 feet, 6 inches long, but an unofficial measurement found one of the strands measured a whopping 55 feet, 7 inches.". $\endgroup$
    – jaskij
    Jun 23 at 14:19
6
$\begingroup$

Use whole body

Why limit Serena to wear her hair only on her head? She could wrap her hair around her whole body. Two wisps are wrapped around the arms, one main wisp is wrapped around the torso which splits in two wisps to be wrapped around her legs. The Ends can be secured with pins, ribbons or intricate folding/knots/braiding. The magical manipulation makes the setup an easy and fast task and once the hair is as it should be, no further magic is needed to keep it in place.

Pros:

  • The hair is not in the way, since its tightly packed to the body
  • The hair can double as clothing --> especially useful in cold areas
  • Additional layering of hair possible
  • super witchy vibes imo

Cons:

  • Can be uncomfortable in hot climates
  • Any attack on her, is also an attack on her hair. This might be mitigated by magic manipulation, depending on how fast it works. If the hair can suddenly become riggid upon impact, it would even be a pro instead of con.
$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ Very clever answer, thank you and welcome to the site! You're right, that does have super witchy vibes, and I especially enjoy the point on magic manipulation! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jun 21 at 21:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I came here looking for the Bayonetta answer lol $\endgroup$ Jun 22 at 22:13
5
$\begingroup$

The same as hair carrying an electrostatic charge

Van de Graaf generator image

If mana is stored on hair, the mana on each hair will repel the hair next to it. As Serena charges up her magic, her hair will naturally billow out into a perfect puffball. In other words, she will become a lady with thistledown hair. The pressure between hairs provides a pressure of mana, held in place by her will, which can be released like letting air out of a balloon. Long straight hair could be an issue though, requiring brushing and regular maintenance. You're also limited by how long your own hair is.

The next step would be braiding and hair extensions. Braids do not need as much daily maintenance to stay braided, and hair extensions allow you to make your hair as long as you want. Individual hairs will not store as much mana, but the increased length and mass of braids could let you push more charge in overall.

The "puffball" now becomes something looking more like a pincushion, which is an awesome look on the battlefield. Imagine tribes of horsewomen with 1-metre braids flared out from their head, charging the enemy as lightning flickers around the tips of their hair. That's a movie I want to see!

It becomes less practical indoors though. Charge yourself up and you'll burn the ceiling, walls, and anyone near you. There is a solution though - braid beads into the end of your hair. It'll take much more mana to lift the beads against gravity, meaning that you can get away with a much shorter hairdo. However you need to be able to push much harder to charge them up, and not every magic user is strong enough to do it. So if you see someone coming down the street with big weights swinging on the ends of their braids, be very very polite to them!

Beaded hair

$\endgroup$
1
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1 I've seen extremely finely braided hair like this and 100% think it is the way to go. One way to improve the answer might be to quote some of the edits/clarifications the OP has made, which suggest this will meet their needs even better. "Lots of small but well-woven hair, however, can retain magic better than just lots of snarled thick strands. As a sidenote, odd hairstyles or hair colors (brought on by dye) draws more magic into hair and increases its ability to store magic..." $\endgroup$
    – awesom3
    Jun 23 at 19:13
3
$\begingroup$

I'm assuming you're ultimately going for hair that would be impossibly long for the real world.

Extremely long hair gets heavy and hot. Getting it off of your head and neck as much as possible will minimize the discomfort involved. Braids concentrate the hair in a small volume, leaving more surface area on your neck and the sides of your head open to radiate heat and keep you cool. Instead of piling those braids on top of your head or letting them hang, coil up the braids inside a backpack or in the hood of your cloak.

Pros:

  • Braids leave more of your neck and head exposed, which helps keep cool.
  • Minimal interference with hats, helmets, or other headgear.
  • The pack/hood shifts the weight of the hair from your head/neck to your torso, which is much better equipped for bearing weight. It also lets you have more hair than would be geometrically possible to stack on your head, without resorting to dragging it behind you on the ground.
  • The hairstyle itself is simple, quick, can be done without assistance from another person. In a pinch, you can even forgo the braid and just stuff your hair in the bag and run.
  • The pack/hood protects the hair from getting caught on things, from water (wet hair gets super heavy) and other environmental damage, and from intentional damage by enemies. It also helps keep the hair clean when you're (for example) in a dusty environment.
  • The hair is anchored to your body, so you avoid the pendulum effects of a heavy mass of free-swinging hair (you can turn your head quickly, you won't knock things off tables, etc).
  • Most of your hair isn't directly visible. When the amount of hair impacts the power of your spells, you can surprise an opponent by being significantly more powerful than expected, or can stuff your pack with fake hair and bluff your way past a dangerous enemy. Clever wardrobe choices could let you hide your hair completely, in case it's dangerous to be identified as a magic user.

Cons:

  • This would consume some of your pack space, or prevent you from using the hood as a hood.
  • Wouldn't work if the hair has to be exposed in order to assist your magic. You could work around that by using something like a cross between a drawstring backpack and a hairnet. Loosen the drawstring and the weight of the hair forces the pack open, tumbling out into free space.
  • Not ideal if you want to use the hair directly as a weapon.
$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ This works perfectly with Adventurer's Bags (I posted a question on those awhile back) and it's a very practical answer, thank you! However, I have a hard time visualizing a large, bagged braid working....wouldn't the braid slide in and out as one nodded and things like that? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jun 21 at 21:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Alendyias - The topmost portion has to move a little bit or your head will be locked in place, but the bulk of it will stay put due to its weight. Tilt your chin down until it touches your chest. Mark where your hair touches the top of the bag. That's the amount that you need available to preserve motion. Cinch the bag down at that spot, or clip a long barrette there that's wider than the bag's opening. You'll have 1-2 inches of slack when you tilt your head all the way back, but most people with long hair wouldn't even notice that. $\endgroup$
    – bta
    Jun 22 at 18:21
3
$\begingroup$

Wears her long hair down (and utilizes her own magic on her hair)

I know that the premise of the question is finding a style, however I'm going with a folkloric approach based on Celtic shamanism and witchcraft. Particular figures in Celtic Shamanism and witches in Wicca usually wear their long hair down, unbound or with simple knots if needed.

Serena does the same. Her hair needs to be free, unbound to be able to connect to the nature and be able to catch magical energy more efficiently. And here is the twist: She uses her magical powers (which I gather they are connected to the nature and weather elements) to keep her hair tidy/kempt, possibly keeping it magically damp (through cycles if needed) which can also help to keep it clean.

Here is a related excerpt regarding a lore of Celtic Shamanism:

This particular group of characters are women who are referred to as Wild Women, Wild Virgins, and most often, Blessed Ladies.

...

So, despite the Church's influence on folk lore, these Blessed Ladies remained magnificently beautiful, wore their long, blonde hair down (indication for being free and unbound, i.e. "wild,") and had all kinds of creative magical powers. Wherever they appeared and were treated well, the crops on the fields prospered, the cattle thrived, and people received magical gifts.

The long hair of the Blessed Ladies is of significant importance because people believed that hair is the source of magical powers, and long hair therefore indicated especially great powers. After all, the custom to shear the hair of women accused of witchcraft before they were executed was also directly related to the belief that magical powers are in a witch's hair. That the hair was worn down and not bound in elaborate knots like married women (in the Alpine region still), is a clear indication that these Blessed Ladies were considered virgins, or, as the German term Jungfrau literally means "young women." The word Jungfrau itself has nothing to do with nor having had sex. It simply indicates that a woman is "not bound in marriage" and only later became a synonym for being "untouched".

Mountain Magic : Celtic Shamanism in the Austrian Alps By Christian Brunner

$\endgroup$
3
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting idea, thank you! However, as great and creative as this is, I have to ask: how would she avoid getting her long hair caught or damaged? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jun 21 at 23:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias Magical restraint and magical dampness. Dampness also helps to keep her long hair stable; and I covered the cleaning part if needed. She utilizes her elemental magical powers, like water. $\endgroup$
    – ermanen
    Jun 22 at 8:48
  • $\begingroup$ Very clever, thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jun 23 at 16:00
1
$\begingroup$

Use a stylishly decorated bag of holding to contain your incredibly long braid(s).

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

Here is a link to a guinness article on long hair records:

https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/book/2019/9/10-of-the-worlds-biggest-hair-records-589939

Many American Indian men wore their hair long, and many (but not all) tribes had warrior cultures. LOng haired Indian warriorsobviusly managed to fight unhindered by their long hair.

Chief "Long Hair" (c.1750-1836) of the Crows reportedly had hair 25 feet long. If he wore hair only a fifth or a quarter that long while he was a young warrior, he would have found a way to manage quite long hair in combat.

https://www.weirduniverse.net/blog/comments/chief_long_hair

Supposedly some of his hair is preserved at the Chief Plenty Coups State Park in Montana. And if that hair is correctly measured, Crow Indian hair styles would be interesting for how to manage long hair.

https://fwp.mt.gov/stateparks/chief-plenty-coups/

And as I remember, the women of most Indian groups also wore their hair long. All the women of the nomadic hunting tribes of the plains had to travel a lot and so they should have had conveient hairstyles for their length of hair. And there were examples of female warriors.

Colesah (c.1800-1865), a Yaskima woman, was a medicine women, a psychic, and a warrior woman, which was fitting for the wife of Kamiakin. She rescued her husband at the Battle of Four Lakes in 1858, when a cannonball knocked a tree over on him.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colestah

Buffalo Calf Road Woman (c. 1844-1879) saved her brother at the Battle of the Rosebud on June 17, 1876, and fought at the Little Bighorn on June 25 - Cheyenne oral accounts claim she knocked Custer off his horse.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_Calf_Road_Woman

So it would be interesting to know what such warrior women did with their long hair in battle.

$\endgroup$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .