My hair has never been long, thick, and glorious.
It’s been long. That’s it. One out of three? Not so great.
I have always wanted to have bouncin’ and behavin’ hair that has just the right amount of curl and looks just as full at the end of the day as it does in the morning. I have always wanted to put my hair up in a messy-on-purpose-but-still-looks-cute ponytail, or a casual bun with pretty tendrils gracefully hanging down on each side of my face. I have always wanted to have hair that allowed barrettes and other accessories to cling to it rather than sliding off almost immediately as if to say “Are you kidding me?”
Unfortunately, I received the thin, stringy hair gene from my dad’s side of the family (THANKS, DAD’S SIDE OF THE FAMILY.).
It worked for me when I was a little girl in the 1970’s.
As an adult though, not so much.
Though I know full well that the best length of hair for me–the one that gives the illusion that I have average, healthy, almost-full-bodied hair–is just slightly shorter than shoulder-length, in my mind I still see myself as having the potential to grow hair that is worthy of the likes of Jacklyn Smith (a childhood hair role model), Andie
McDowell MacDowell (edited: Thanks Cy!) (a teenaged years hair role model) or Jennifer Lopez.
That’s why, every other year or so, I go through the painful (<----so dramatic, right?) process of growing my hair out as long as I can, hoping that I will magically get tresses that are worthy of a shampoo commercial. I’m persistent, you’ve gotta give me that.
At the beginning of 2011, after having gone through another attempted grow-out, I got my hair cut to shoulder-length for my author headshots. I vividly remember saying to Lynn, a friend who is a Hair Master and has been cutting my hair since the mid-90s, “Don’t EVER let me grow my hair out again. This is the perfect length for me!” She just smiled.
I loved the way my pictures turned out (my sister took them, by the way!).
After that, of course, I went back to my old ways of fantasizing about fantastic hairstyles for myself, imagining how wavy and shiny and resplendent my hair could be if I grew it out.
The next time I went to see Lynn I told her I was growing my hair out again. She shrugged. “Okay!” She relayered it, trimmed the ends, and off I went. This process was repeated all year long last year, and into January of this year.
I had an appointment with Lynn last week, and before I went to see her I anxiously waffled back and forth about what to do. J suggested that I make a “decision matrix” for my hair. The decision matrix is used in this house when a boy is doing a college search or a car search: it’s basically a fancy pros and cons list.
I really struggled with my decision matrix, because all of the evidence that I should indeed cut my hair was right in front of me, but I wasn’t ready to accept it. I left for Lynn’s still not knowing what I was going to do.
When I arrived and sat in the chair, Lynn asked, “Well? What are we doing today?”
“I don’t knooooow!” I whined. (<----seriously, I did.) I thought back to January of last year when I emphatically told Lynn that she should never, ever, ever let me grow my hair past my shoulders again because it was the perfect length for me, and realized two things: 1. I should have been talking to myself, not Lynn. 2. I should listen to my instincts more often. I told Lynn we were going to the shorter length again, and off came about three to three and a half inches. As I left Lynn's chair to leave the salon I caught one more glimpse of my hair in the mirror and actually thought it was bouncin' AND behavin'. It's about time I learn how to work with what I've got. By the way, I know you’re looking for a picture of my new hair. I don’t have a good one yet–the ones I took with my phone were icky–but will be vlogging at some point this week. Stay tuned!