Let’s just put it out there: I have a thing for hair.
I find hair to be one of the most memorable aspects of a character’s physical description. Perhaps that’s why there are so many red-haired heroines in romance, or why so many romance heroines have long hair.
One of the most well known Norse myths tells of the goddess Sif, wife of Thor, and how Loki cut her hair in her sleep, to shame her and trick Thor. Odin ordered him to restore her hair, and Loki had a hairpiece forged of solid gold, which took root in Sif’s head and restored her beauty. (honestly, if Sif were around today, I’d suggest Loki introduce her to my WAHL clippers and Manic Panic, and we’d make a pretty punk out of her, but I digress)
When it comes to writing (and reading!) romance, I find ways to bring memorable descriptions of hair into the story.
There’s the facial/body hair thing–Out of my Ushers trilogy, two of the three heroes are bearded. All my Bear shifters wear beards, and in my contemporaries, the guys almost always have facial hair. Or chest hair. Or both (SWOON). Even my blind heroine Romy, from Shifter’s Dance, manages to “see” Stephen’s hair:
She gave him her hand. She heard and felt his chuckle as he laid it against his cheek.
“This is how they do it in movies.”
She explored his face with her hands. A thick beard, soft under her fingers, framing the full lips that moments ago had been stoking her desire to a fever pitch. An elegant, aquiline nose. Attached earlobes. Long eyelashes. Hair that slipped like silk through her fingers. Well, that was a surprise.
“What color is your hair?”
“Brown like chocolate? Brown like honey? Brown like chestnuts?”
“It’s just brown, Romy.”
“Stephen.” She didn’t even attempt to keep the frustration out of her voice. “I can’t see, but I remember seeing. There is no ‘just brown.’ Tell me.” She tried to picture him in her mind, and the possibilities were endless.
“Brown like a cup of tea, and my beard has a little red in it.”
She could see it then.
My military heroes–Zeke from Fight or Flight, and Adam, the hero of “Always You,” a recently-finished project, have “significant” hair. Zeke wears his in cornrows, flouting convention while managing to stick to the letter of the law, and the Navy’s hair length regulations send Adam to visit his lover, Harris, at the beginning of Always You.
As for me–hair is significant to me too. I wear mine shaved on all but the top of my head, and I dye it varying shades of purple, from the deep purple in my avatar to the pale lavender I sported at the RT convention. You see, there’s no dress code in my home office, and this is a way to remind myself I am lucky to do what I love–write love stories–and not everyone has the freedom to express themselves fully, either on their heads or on paper.
Let’s hear it for hair–Do you have a “hair thing?” short or long? Shaved or bearded? Share your own hair stories in the comments!