For the last several years, my hair has been VERY long – like, almost 2 feet long. I think the average length was 22 inches – that’s all the way down to beneath my waist. The shortest it has been in almost a decade is down to the bottom of my bra band, but it was usually about waist length. Prior to that, a shoulder-length cut is the shortest I ever let it get.
For the last 20-odd years, I just refused to have my hair shorter than that. For the absolute longest time, I HATED the thought of having short hair. That, of course, was rooted in my childhood. When I was about 4 years old, I had beautiful long, straight, light auburn hair, until my mother decided to have it chopped off into one of those Dorothy Hamil hair cuts that most girls had at one point in the 70’s. She kept it cut like that for years, and of course I grew to resent it. In the mid 80’s, she decided she wanted to perm my hair, but I didn’t want a perm. I did, however, see the opportunity to strike a deal with her. If I allowed her to perm my hair, I was allowed to grow my hair out as long as I wanted. That lead to many many years of perms (some bad, some not) and my hair growing longer and longer. My form of bargained rebellion. Haha.
After I got older, I didn’t have to have her “permission” to grow it or get it cut any longer, so I ceased getting perms. (However, many many many years later, my hair still has a residual curl to it from all the perms.) My hair did become a shield, though, and I kept growing it out as a way to hide.
Over the past few years, I’ve been doing a lot of changing on the inside. A lot of growing up and soul-searching and trying to find out who I really am. The last 6 months or so, I’ve finally felt like (and seen) that I was starting to make progress in healing from past emotional wounds and becoming someone new, someone stronger, albeit more jaded. All these changes… I think they finally made me ready to start making some changes on the outside, to reflect the ones on the inside. My hair is the easiest to change, so it was the first to go.
I met with my hair dresser on the 13th to talk about cutting my hair. He’s been wanting to cut it to about 2-3 inches beneath my shoulders for YEARS now. So when I was in his chair for my bang trim, I asked him how short he wanted to cut my hair. He gave me the usual response. My next question was “What if I said you could go even shorter?” He paused, turning me towards him slightly, giving me this total deadpan questioning look. I grinned and added “I’m talking a cut that’s ‘Locks of Love donation’ short.” He got this huge grin and asked when I wanted to get it done. I told him as soon as he could fit in me in for an appointment – his next response was “Well, how about right now?” So yup. I did it.
He pulled my hair back in a ponytail, took an electric razor to it to get through the thickness, and soon enough, I was holding a 13 inch long ponytail in my hand. After that initial chop was done, he cut more off to style it into a cute bob with long layers. So the average length of my hair went from 22 inchecs long down to about 7 inches long. MASSIVE change, but I love it. Absolutely NO remorse at all over the cut. I think a lot of that is because I know my hair will be going to a good cause, since that ponytail is being sent to Locks of Love.
Since the hair cut? I’ve been getting TONS of compliments on it. Various people have told me that it looks sexy, sassy, spunky, cute, mature, and sophisticated; as well as getting told it makes me look younger. Someone said it made me look 10 years younger – but I sincerly doubt I’d pass for 21. I do think it looks good on me, although I’m not sure I agree with all the adjectives that’ve been used to describe it. Haha. The only drawback so far, is that it takes a lot more maintence than my old style. I could let the long hair air dry, brush it out, and I’d be good to go. But this shorter ‘do requires gel and blow drying to straighten it and flip the ends under. It’s all good though, it’s worth it for the way it makes me feel.
I am also a massive packrat. I can’t help it – my father, his mother, her parents, etc – were all packrats as well, so it’s in my blood. I hold on to absolutely everything, no matter how pointless it is to keep it. I’ve been “forced” to clean out the attic the last few weeks, and I’ve been reluctantly trashing things. Since the hair cut, however? I’ve actually been EAGER to clean, throwing away even more than before. It’s as if the outer change to get rid of my safety blanket, so to speak, has made it easier inside for me to let go of material things. I made major strides in cleaning over this last weekend. The only reason I stopped cleaning was because the trash was too full, and I was out of containers to put the recycling or good will items in. It was odd – I was actually upset that I couldn’t clean and trash more. I never want to clean, so that’s very unusual for me.
It’s amazing, really, what something as seemingly simple as a haircut can do for your mood. Now it’s time to dye it, and I’ve got a new color picked out for that as well. A nice light caramel that my hair dresser suggested instead of my normal auburn.