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I was right about hair cuts.

I was actually kidding about allowing you to choose my hair style via a poll. Sorry to disappoint. But I DID get a hair cut.

I asked the lady if there was something she could do that would make me look better knowing that I was not going to style or blowdry my hair. Oh yeah, no problem! she said. We agreed that we shouldn’t do anything drastic. She was surprisingly unwilling to tell me what to do. I thought these people were like fucking artists who couldn’t wait to CREATE all up on your head. But no. She asked what I wanted, I said I didn’t know, we went in circles like that for a while.

Before she started, I told her that most everyone I’d talked to had a horror story about a bad hair cut. Don’t be that horror story for me, I requested. She promised she wouldn’t. Then she washed my hair and cut some off. It took about 15 minutes. Then she spent about 45 minutes blowdrying it. In the end, I looked nice. My hair had some body, and was unusually smooth. The smoothness made the sproingly grey hairs that stick up on the top look…not as bad! I spent the rest of the day feeling like a stylish lady who knows how to style hair.

But the morning after, just as I suspected, my hair was merely a shorter version of the way it was before. Frizzy, boring, flat. You kind of can’t tell how frizzy and flat it is, but take my word for it.


I think I actually look a bit worse, because now you can tell I tried. Before I just looked like a hippy who didn’t care. Before my hair was unflattering, but there was something interesting about it. Now it’s unflattering and boring. And I’m disappointed that I can’t actually look nice every day just by getting a haircut once, and I feel sort of stupid for doing something that logic told me would not achieve anything.

But I’m also glad I tried it out. Now I know, and knowing is half the battle. I won’t have to wonder anymore. And I know what my best looks like, with professionally styled hair. Or, say, my 80%. I’m sure with the world’s best stylist I could have looked 10-20% more good.

And you know what? My 80% is only about 30% better than my totally unstyled normal. So I guess that makes me happier about my 50% look. It is really and truly not worth the trouble to get to 80%.

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. If you don’t regret it, all’s good.
    I hate the blowdrying, I hate it having it done in the salon, I hate doing it at home. So I haven’t done it in years. I sometimes use a serum, when the hair is still damp, and it makes my hair heavy and shiny, but I forget about it more often than not.
    You were asking about the procedure I did. It’s called needling, hurts like a mofo, regardless of anesthaesia, you have to stay inside if you don’t want weird looks or questions about who rubbed your face on the pavement and how the other woman looks, but then, three days later, it is a miracle. I could not believe it. Highly recommend it.

    May 14, 2014
  2. I like the skull decor motif! You are fabulous whatever you do, but in my experience, shorter is better when it comes to low maintenance. I’m with you on the no blow drying and no styling thing. Shorter can help you with that. You could go a lot shorter and still be able to do a bun or whatever. Or you could do nothing. But it seems like you don’t like it the way it is. As Benjamin Disraeli so famously said: Action may not bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. (I think).

    May 15, 2014
  3. I have worn my hair (which is a lot like yours) in a plait every single day for the past 2 years, 10 months. It’s completely impractical to wear it out around a small child. I give you leave to use this trick for yourself… If your hair is plaited, nobody knows what your haircut is like!

    May 15, 2014
  4. Amy #

    High five for doing things, because doing things sucks. Mostly. It looks like you have a good amount of actual wave in your natural texture – have you tried some scrunching with mousse while still wet/damp? (and then proceed with doing nothing – I think blow-drying with a diffuser is optional?) My sister’s hair transforms that way, but I have never been able to make it work, and I’m still a little bitter about that, because I thought it might be the laziest way ever to sort of do something with mine.

    May 15, 2014
  5. I am the wrong audience for this blog post, because I have extremely curly hair and my entire childhood ALL I wanted was lovely, long, straight hair down to my butt. Your hair in either photo was my dream (and some days still is!). I think the hair cut looks good. It could use some moisture – I know you’re opposed to doing “stuff” to your hair, but would you consider a leave-in conditioner, or even a little olive oil? And my final unsolicited two cents is this: I don’t think you actually gave getting a hair cut a chance, because you didn’t really change anything. It’s a bit shorter and has a few nice layers, but in a month or so it will have grown out and you might forget you ever cut it. I still say chop it for real!* Sometimes those big, jarring changes are good in far-reaching ways.

    *Disclaimer: Don’t listen to me, I don’t know anything.

    May 16, 2014
  6. OMG, I had like the exact same experience two hours ago. Except your after picture looks like my before (only with more split ends) because that’s as long as my hair gets. I now have a bob that the stylist promises me won’t require blow-drying or product, although she did put that in. It’s kind of meh, but whatever. At least I don’t see split ends when I look down now.

    May 16, 2014
  7. I think your new hair looks nice. Maybe you just need some time to get used to it. Try wearing it a few different ways. I’m not very good with the whole hair thing, I’m averse to salons, but as previously explained I make myself go about twice a year now. Anyway, good on you for being brave.

    May 17, 2014
  8. I will second the plait/braid–that’s how I had my hair all winter as it was the easiest way to make sure it didn’t get hopelessly tangled every day.

    I have actually just had my hair cut, but only into a straight bob. The only nod I make to styling is to have bangs which I trim myself between my very intermittent visits to the hairdresser–I’m not great at cutting them, but it’s less hassle than making time for somebody else to do it. I just got tired of how long it took to brush out my hair in the mornings, so I made it shorter–at chin-length, brushing it takes only five seconds. I’ll end up missing the long hair and growing it out again, I always do, but right now, it feels fantastic, which I care more about than how it looks anyway.

    Disclaimer: I’ve repeated this long to chin-length to long again in a four year cycle for the past twenty years, so I’m totally used to how I look with the short *and* long hair (and I’ve not attempted to vary the style since my teens.) Not sure I’d recommend it if you’re not familiar with the look… it’s a bit of a dramatic change. But it’s easy and style-free.

    May 17, 2014
  9. Ana #

    I’m with indeterminatewait…I don’t think you really “gave it a chance” and would be itching to for a real big chop, but please ignore me as well…I tend to take drastic action with my hair in the hopes that THIS TIME it’ll look fantastic. But I never regret a haircut since it does grow back rather quickly.
    I agree with you completely, though, that effort to reach 80% (from 50%) is not really worthwhile. If you’re happy with your hair, leave it be, and enjoy all the millions of other things there are to take your time and attention.

    May 19, 2014
  10. Nicole #

    I remember seeing your bump progression pics and I always envisioned you had shorter hair, like shoulder length or something.

    I like the shorter version. It looks more full then the longer hair.

    May 19, 2014
  11. I like the new length. And I can fill in your face and I think it looks nice with that additional information. But I’m sorry you don’t like it very much and feel like it was a bit of a waste of your time and money.
    I’m with you on the 50%. Brushing my hair is all I’m good for. Fancy is when I use a hair clip.
    I can’t imagine finding time to style my hair, and I can’t imagine there is any time in your schedule to do that either. And you look beautiful without salon styling hair.

    May 19, 2014
  12. I like the new hair–definitely has more shape than the “before” photo.

    May 20, 2014
  13. misfit #

    I make up for lack of style with color. And impulsive attempts at bangs. I feel like you need some funky gray highlights. It’s all the rage.

    I do think your hair in pic 2 looks fuller and more intentional. Dare I say, polished even? All this comes from someone intensely jealous of your rapunzel-ness. I would have one hair that would even grow that long.

    May 20, 2014

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