Wednesday, September 29, 2010

it's only hair deep

Yesterday I got my hair cut. That's generally not a big deal. I've had countless hair cuts in my life, and for the most part they've been non-eventful.

Not this one though.

I've been going to the same person for a few years, but the last couple of cuts had issues. As in my bob had become asymmetrical when it shouldn't have been. And so, it was time for a change. But where should I go?  

I was completely stumped. Stuck. Incapable of making a decision. I put it up to my lovely friends on facebook and got quite the enthusiastic responses with a wide variety of options.

The decision wasn't getting any easier. By that point even my 9 year old son looked me square in the eye and told me I needed help.

And then, the humidity. 

Two days of rain and fog and poofing and waving in unexpected places. 

One salon took email requests. I shot off a panicked message late Monday night and got a response back early yesterday that they had time at 2:30. I was that desperate. I needed help immediately. I couldn't spend another day, another hour, battling rogue flips with my hair iron.

The place is called Crown. Loved the name. The logo. Their website. Clean, clear, simple, bold. When unable to make up my mind, those things factor in a big way. Alexis sat me down and asked what I wanted. 

I had nothing to offer. I wanted my hair but better. Sleeker. Tighter. Flatter. No suburbia (that's how I've been feeling lately). I wanted clarity, line, shape. 

She got it and started chopping. I learned more about my hair in that hour than I had in my entire life. Things like my hair is actually thin but there's so much of it that it feels unmanageably thick. That without thinning it out (or texturizing which sounds way better) I'll always struggle with puffiness. That when my hair is one blunt length, my summer bleached out color looks like the remnants of a single color process—I learned what that was too.

I also learned that I have no real grey. Those few strands that pop up now and again are just about it. Loved that one.

And so, Alexis cut. And cut. And chopped. And shredded (my word). 

I don't look like me anymore. 

And here's the challenge. I've had basically the same hair for 12 years. After having it super short (as in buzzed at Astor Place), pregnant me realized I looked like a pin head so I spent my first pregnancy growing my hair out and it's been a bob ever since. And the thing is, I have good hair. I actually have great hair. It's thick and heavy, wants to be blonder. It holds shape really well and if even if everything else about me is a mess, my hair makes me feel put together. 

Turns out I've been hiding behind my hair. And now that I don't have it, I feel exposed. 

Whew. 

For a person who puts themselves out into the world in the most insane colors and patterns and vintage craziness, it's amazing how an unexpectedly short hair cut can feel like I'm baring my soul. 

Or at least my cheekbones.

3 comments:

Kathy said...

I say my friend, you can discover life in one stand of hair, I applaud you. Love the way you used your hair as a way to express your feelings and baring all to people you don't even know. That is what I like about you, you put yourself out there and are not afraid of what is to come. I admire that, and that is what makes you special to me. Life is too short not to take some risk, and explore new options and to explore life in so many ways. I really enjoyed the spiritual pedicures on the hair, I don't think I will think about my hair in the same way. I have a family of different hair cuts, styles and textures, lol, I can see in my minds eye the different personalities that live in our hair, hmmm, maybe a new book? Have a great hair day today. Thanks for the thought.

MrsWhich said...

Where is the picture, Elissa dear? Can't wait...

Teresa said...

Oh how I wish I could go short like that. I leave my hair at shoulder length (or thereabouts) because it grows so dratted fast.

I'd have to get it cut every 3 weeks to keep it looking decent if it was really short. As it is, I hit the salon every 4 weeks (yes, I have much gray hair that I don't like) to cover the half inch of roots sprouting from my head in that portion of time.

Therefore, I am envious.