The next day we went to Huangluo Yao village where the women have very long hair and saw their display.
They have hair which reaches the ground or can be even longer and thick, very black and shiny – though the latter is probably because of how they care for it. They wear their hair tied up in a complicated bun, almost like a turban. It is tied in a pony tail in the middle at the front and then twisted and wound round the head, the second time threading it through the loop of the first time and then finally secured in a knot at the front and the comb used to smooth it through that process is then pushed in to hold the knot in place; all very neat.
According to local tradition, women cut their hair only once in their lives ― at about 16 to 18 years old when they are considered ready for adulthood and marriage. The cut hair is kept like a hairpiece, and twisted into part of their regular hairdo. They hold a Guinness Record for the length of their hair!
This post is an extract of my mother’s travel journal written during a tour of China in 2013.