Not everyone can grow their hair really long, and many of those who can never even know how long their hair can grow because very long hair is a real hassle. How much of the admiration of long hair is because it is a sign of wealth? People became obsessed with women who grew very long hair during the Victorian age, but that may be because it was a hallmark of those who didn’t need to work for a living, and had servants to carry out household tasks.
When the beauty craze shifted there was a serge of real-life Rapunzels’ amongst the middle and upper classes. Land-mermaids letting their long hair loose signified social status, as the poorer classes found it difficult to maintain such a mane. Disease was rife and physical hygiene wasn’t easy to upkeep during these times, so the best bet for the lower classes was to chop it all off and sell it for cash.
Taking care of all that hair took time, too, which signified a life of leisure. That doesn’t mean that every long-hair Victorian woman was wealthy -some supported themselves by exhibiting their hair, or advertising hair care products. Read about the Victorian craze for very long hair, with lots of photographs, at Messy Nessy Chic.