Let’s talk about haircuts.
Sometimes you walk away feeling fab. You hop in the car and are instantly bombarded with flirtations from the plumbers and IT specialists sitting next to you in traffic. They just can’t help but notice how shiny and special you are. Swish!
Other times, you get caught up in the story of how your hairdresser was offered a ride in Ron Jeremy’s Ferrari, and you don’t realize until it’s too late that your hair is a full three inches shorter than expected. It’s times like this when I wish life were more like Microsoft Word. Edit + Undo!
On Friday I went to Great Clips. In the following photo, I documented my feelings post-haircut:
So I was being a little over-dramatic. I don’t cut my hair often. It’s partially thanks to good conditioner but mostly thanks to being lazy and forgetful. In any event, I hadn’t had a trim since July. I was used to hair that fell past my shoulders into a jagged mess of dried split ends. I had the kind of non-haircut cut that let my hair be hair without making a strong statement on the matter. This new style—visible layers, chin-framing—was way too much for me. It was like I’d traded in a finicky but lovable Volvo for a Jeep. I wasn’t ready for off-roading. Though my previous hair spent most of its time just hangin’ around, that didn’t mean I wouldn’t miss it.
Ahh, sounds just like an old mopey boyfriend. Bruce Springsteen would be proud.
The next morning I felt experimental. Ponytails don’t work anymore, but I can do this:
Boop! I’ve regressed to second grade. I plan on celebrating my good fortune in plaid pajamas with Legos and Pop-tarts in front of A Bug’s Life.
Haircuts are weird. It’s like going from the mall around the corner to the giant megamallopolis 45 minutes away. You spend half the time looking for Sultan Wok and the other wondering if anyone shops at American Eagle anymore. Everything is the same, but different. Theoretically it could change your personality. A friend was thrown off when I showed up without my usual mane. To her, my new hair signaled that I was no longer the free spirit who forgot her cell phone on a three-day road trip. I was clean, well-groomed, and in control of my destiny. I probably even had a car charger.
Who was I without my long hair? Was I “kicky,” as mom put it? Every time I tried to do the ol’ ponytail-pull I was met with an uncomfortable and let-down feeling. It was like I was walking around in someone else’s body. I knew how to feel sexy with long hair. With short hair? Well…
We call this the “Saturday Night Struggle.”
But I’m not one to wallow in my woes. Sunday at work I received compliments from co-workers and friends, and my roommates continually reassured me that it looked great. It certainly felt better to see clean edges rather than white and broken tips at the end of my ‘do. Besides, we can all take comfort that even the worst haircuts will eventually grow out. So, until April, when I’ll wave the white flag and shave my head.