DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have shoulder-length hair that I wear up in a simple twist style. At least several times per week, an acquaintance asks me, “Why don’t you ever wear your hair down?” or exclaims, “I’ve never seen you with your hair down!” They then follow up with, “You should really wear it down more often!” or even, “Will you wear it down to the event I’m hosting?”
What does one do with these types of comments and questions? Frankly, I find them insulting. I’m tempted to reply with such sarcastic retorts as, “I do wear my hair down, but only at intimate moments,” or “And I’ve never seen YOU naked!”
How can I politely tell them that it’s really none of their business, and if they don’t like my hairstyle, they need not look at me?
GENTLE READER: The etiquette infraction you describe is known as being “overly familiar,” and has itself become all too familiar.
Miss Manners’ solution is to balance it with increased formality. Think of it as taking a step back when someone gets too close:
“Why don’t you ever wear your hair down?”
“I’ve never seen you with your hair down!”
“You should really wear it down more often!”
“I prefer it this way.”
“Will you wear it down to the event I’m hosting?”