In Which Jenn Runs With Short Hair(!)

Jenn with long hair

I have had long hair for the better part of two decades. For the last 10 years especially, I mean long – like almost-to-my-butt long. And I like it like that! It feels very me. I call it my Fairy Princess Hair.

Well, I don’t have it any more. I hacked it all off last week.

WHY??? you scream, flecks of spittle hitting your monitor as you shake it with fearful rage.

… Okay, maybe you don’t care about my hair as much as I do, for some reason. But since you asked, I donated it! It is now in possession of Lolly’s Locks, an organization that assembles quality wigs for adult cancer patients who can’t afford to buy such a thing on their own. And that’s why all this happened:

Long hair

None of this has anything directly to do with running – but it’s more impactful than you might think. Namely, there’s the question of how to handle my hair during runs.

The standard go-to running gal hairstyle, the faithful ponytail, has been a firm no for me for most of my running career. My hair was so dang lengthy that a ponytail served only to lash at my back and get stuck to my sweaty face and neck. No thank you. I played around with pigtail braids for awhile there, especially for races, before giving up and jamming it into a bun atop my head. (For runDisney races I like to slap a Minnie ear headband in front to distract from the madness.)

Well, no more. Now my hair is too short to make it into a real bun. At best I can manage a sort of sad half-twist. So I’m back to ponytails, against all odds.

In some ways, this ponytail has served to be a bit of an annoyance. It doesn’t smack me around anymore – it can’t reach – but it does have a habit of thumping against the back of my head. And it can be pretty tough to gather it all together in a single ‘tail, leaving little escaped bits falling out at the bottom. But the extra coolness around my neck area is an admitted plus for summer, and I suffer less tangling so far. Call it a wash, I guess?

I’m sure hair management will be an ongoing project as it slowly lengthens again. In the meantime, any suggestions?

How do you deal with your hair for runs?

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!


  1. It looks really cute short! After I cut mine off to donate a few years ago I had a tough time managing it for running/workouts. Headbands were a thing for a long time, and then pigtails, and then braids as it got longer. I'm a big fan of the french braid with hat combo now that my hair is long again. Hopefully you figure out what works for you soon!

  2. I used pigtails for a race this weekend and it worked out well! I mean, they were still kinda sweaty, but at least I had everything out of my way.

  3. My hair is getting longer and I'm thinking about growing it long enough so I can donate it. But yes, I have definitely thought about how this will affect my hair when I run! haha

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