The Only 3 Circumstances In Which I'm Willing To Be Seen With My Hair Up

Even though I live in steam room disguised as a country, I insist on wearing my hair down in public almost all the time.
Publish date:
May 16, 2013
long hair, ponytails, Asia, exercise, sweating

You will never find a photo of me with my hair up. Not one that I’ve taken willingly, that is.

I may have grown up and lived most of my life in a country that’s almost permanently sweltering, but I hate putting my hair up. I’m convinced it makes my face look bigger than it is, ultimately making me look heavier. It doesn’t help that my neck is darker, Thanks, eczema!

I may have stopped hiding behind my hair for the most part, but a little bit of me still remembers that former colleague who likened my neck to a tree trunk and pointed out that my arms are bigger than his.

When I wake up with wrecked hair, I will wash it, and blowdry it so I can leave home with my hair down. In fact, there are the only three occasions which I will put it up when I’m outside the sweet comforts of home.


I work out at an awesome gym that focuses on High Intensity Interval Training. By the end of 20 minutes, I resemble Sasha Grey after a sex marathon--minus all the hotness, just the sweat. .

Yes, my abs are flatter, my glutes look like they defy gravity and my arms scare scrawny Asian men, but every time I tie my hair, insecurities come over me without fail.

There are also suspension trainers, kettle bells and other equipment that make me look like more hardcore than I actually am, so it would just be stupid of me to look like a princess and not tie up my hair when I’m trying to be badass. My trainer’s looking at my form when I do pushups, not my fat neck, right?


Temperature in Southeast Asia doesn’t differ much from country to country, seeing how close we are to the equator, but being the most developed nation in the area, there is always shelter with AC within reach. Sometimes, it’s not a good thing, other times I welcome it with wide open arms.

Unfortunately, such is not the case for the rest of the countries in the region. I love these countries, mind you, but I question that love when I’m sweating in places I never knew I could sweat.


If you have five hours to spend in Singapore, I’d tell you to screw all the other touristy places and spend that five hours eating through a hawker center. These are open-air cooked food complexes near housing estates that have small, individual stalls selling some wicked local food.

While hawker centers used to be a venue for the less affluent, everybody embraces them now because it’s just a part of our culture. And while I love hawker centers, I will leave the place with my hair smelling of various foods because someone somewhere just ordered a plate of greasy noodles. I’m not complaining, I love the smell--but not on my hair.

Do you have issues putting up your hair, or is it just me?