My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Saturday, 3 May 2014

"Is that your REAL hair?"

Probably not.  How do you define real?

This is a question that I'm pretty sure that most people with hair out of the ordinary get this question at least once. From what I hear, people with natural hair different from the majority around them get this problem too. I get it quite a bit, partly because I do actually wear wigs quite a bit, and because I currently have emerald green hair. 

I have worn my hair as my natural hair, un-dyed and only marginally styled. Sometimes I have dyed and heavily styled real hair. Sometimes I have hair-extensions, so some of my hair is my own hair and some of it is synthetic or someone else's. Sometimes - quite often, actually - I wear a wig. I can totally understand the curiosity behind this, because often my hair is rather elaborate, unnaturally or unusually coloured or styled, and tell-tale signs like the hair-line and crown and such can be disguised by whatever ornaments and head-dresses I might have in my hair.

I personally feel that "Is that your REAL hair" is usually an appropriate question to ask if you are approaching out of genuine curiosity, not a mentality of "let us examine the freak-show"; the latter is something I find to be hugely judgemental and very rude. I know some people find these sorts of questions a bit rude in that they feel that it is not any of the asker's business, especially (but not only) those who want their unnatural hair to pass as natural hair. Personally, I quite like displaying the artifice of my outfits and styling because I'm proud of the skill and creativity that I have put it into it. 

If I am wearing a wig, and say so, please don't be offended if you ask to see my real hair and decline. I might be wearing a wig because I'm having a bad hair day, I might think my real hair does not match my outfit, or I might just not want to go through the fuss of putting my wig back on because taking it on and off properly means taking off my hair-ornaments, wig, wig-cap and and unpinning my real hair, and putting it back on means re-doing all of that and quite probably re-styling the wig and ornaments. While I understand the curiosity, I feel that it is perfectly within my rights to just not want to show it.

Please do not touch my hair, or anyone else's without asking - this so very rude! I cannot see why anyone would find it appropriate to touch a stranger without asking. Quite a few people will probably say that you can't touch their hair, but some of us are OK with it. I will let friends and acquaintances touch or poke my clothes, textured nails or hair, but even then I am not very keen on people that aren't Raven, my sister, or my hair-dresser/manicurist touching me. Some of the more extroverted people may well allow you to touch their hair.

Someone has actually cut off a thick lock of my silver wig while I was on a bus. I was very angry indeed about this, as they just damaged my property. First of all, good quality wigs with nice soft fibres - either human or quality synthetic fibres - are rather expensive. Secondly, it was a substantial enough amount to show the wig-cap underneath, and I have had to sew in more wefts of hair to try and patch the gap - which has cost my money for the replacement hair and time spent sewing. Most of all, though, SOMEONE HAD SCISSORS OR A SHARP IMPLEMENT NEAR MY HEAD ON MOVING PUBLIC TRANSPORT, but I didn't even know about it until I got home and took off my wig and saw the damage. 

Questions such as "how do you get your hair like that!" or "what kind of dyes do you use" are perfectly acceptable questions, as they are for the most part genuine interest (and the person asking might be wanting to do their hair like that themselves) and as such, if I have the time, and am not hugely in a hurry, I will usually explain.

For the most part, while I do sometimes feel that I am not there to satisfy someone's idle curiosity, at least I am interesting enough to spark it, and while I do not revel in the attention that I get, and often do wish that I didn't garner quite so much of it, I accept that as someone out of the ordinary, people will notice and will ask questions. Human curiosity is a good thing, and answering questions (carefully) helps foster understanding - I would much rather field the questions of the idly curious than the insults of the idly judgemental. 


  1. Very good post, I couldn't agree more. Shocking that people would just cut of pieces of your wig/hair, though. I have a friend who used to have very long hair who had the same happening to her, only to her 'real' hair. I really don't understand why anyone would want to do that.

    1. Interestingly, the wig I was wearing at the time was very long, so maybe there are people out there with a thing for collecting samples of very long hair. I can't think of any motive for cutting off a piece of my wig, or anybody's hair, that doesn't creep me out somewhat.

  2. When people have brightly dyed hair I often nicely ask what brand they use for useful future reference. Funnily enough when I had pink hair (for a very short time, damn bad quality dye) I got compliments from older people which was so strange to me! I hate the idea of strangers coming up and touching your hair, I don't know why strangers think it's ok to come up and touch people at all! I have had people come up to me and touch my tattoo without asking, that is so not ok! Also they often then showed me their really bad scribble tatts and wanted to chat and were usually guys :( That cutting a bit of your wig thing is so weird, I have no idea why someone would do that!

    1. I also just do not understand why anyone would think that it is OK to touch a stranger just because that stranger is/looks different. That is so rude.

      I think more guys have tattoos than women, and maybe some of them think that tattoos on a woman is something of a novelty, or maybe they're they were just trying to flirt badly.

      I can only think of using it for either some kind of token link to me in certain magical practices, or for some perverted reasons - neither of which I like the idea of.

  3. Og God! That kind of behavior is SO nasty.
    There was this time in which I was in the faculty and I suddenly noticed something wrong behind me. I turned around slowly to find a classmate (not even one I was friends with) holding my hair and looking very closely at it. She said something like "sorry, I just wanted to know if this was your real color". So I answered, "you could have asked politely". I never talked to that girl again.

  4. Someone. Cut. Hair. Off. Your. Wig...... WHAAT?! How the heck do people even not realize how rude and nasty that is...

    The only thing regarding my hair that ever happened was a few people asking whether I'm wearing a wig and I can totally understand because my hair has a really unusual bright red colour.

    1. I presume that the person that cut my wig knew full well that it was not a right thing to do, but either didn't care or decided that wanting a lock of my hair was more important than behaving properly.

  5. The only reasons I can think of for cutting somone's hair wig or otherwise without their consent are creepy, and even my husband doesn't touch witout asking, this bug has a tendency to BITE!!!


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