For most of my life, I’ve had long hair.  There was that one time in the middle eighties that I got my hair cut really short, a la Demi Moore in Ghost.  Because, really, who didn’t think she was just the cutest thing back then?  But, you know, I never got the Patrick Swayze attraction, even in Dirty Dancing when everyone thought he was such a heartthrob.  Oh, but I digress.  Except for the few times in my 30+ years when I thought that maybe I would enjoy having my hair short, I’ve had long hair. 

Well, Saturday, I got it cut.  I got almost a whole foot of hair cut off.  Yes, that short. 

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting all of that long, heavy, hair chopped off for a while now.  I even went to do it a couple of months back, but ended up chickening out and just got myself a glorified trim.  I was scared of making such a drastic change.  But after a lot of thought and several mentions of getting my hair chopped off “soon” to friends, I finally decided to do it.  I told B that I wanted him to take me (because going it alone at the salon is a scary proposition to me) and he did.  We just drove there, and walked in, and got it cut. 

Oh, but let me tell you where I went.  I went to Cost Cutters.  In a strip mall.  Off the highway.  Without an appointment.  Just walking in and taking the first stylist available.  And while I know that going there without even knowing whether or not you are getting a seasoned stylist or a fresh-from-beauty-school newbie is like playing russian roulette with your hair (and subsequently, your entire self-worth,) I just knew that I had to go do it now, or else suffer through several more months of the should I or shouldn’t I agony that had plagued me.

So I walked in, signed my name on the list, and walked back to the shampoo sink with Heli, the tall Scandanavian stylist who was the only one available.  I admit, I had a moment of panic when she immediately washed my hair without even asking what kind of cut I wanted and at least pretending to look at my hair.  But I sat down and let her wash it.  Panic, I thought, was for the weak.

Once I was washed, rinsed, and conditioned, she took me to the chair, sat me down and then asked what I wanted.  I said I wanted it short.  “Chin length,” I said.  “With layers.”  Then she looked at me dubiously, and asked me if I was sure.  Chin length?  For sure?  I also saw her sneak a look at my husband, who was sitting there with my kids, as if to see if he approved of my lunacy.  “But you have such pretty long hair,” she protested.  “Short,” I said.  Resigned, she finally took ahold of my hair and asked exactly where I wanted it to fall in the back.

Once she started cutting, I had another moment of panic.  Because, man, it was short.  Seeing all of that hair fall, those long, thick chunks, made me wonder if I was indeed doing the right thing.  And the preliminary cutting is always the most brutal.  She was just lobbing of my hair, like she was pruning a hedge–chop, chop, chop.  Being strong, I took a deep breath and let her do it.  It’ll grow back, I thought to myself.  Eventually, it’ll grow back.

Once all the extra length was gone, I looked in the mirror and liked what I saw.  It was angled forward a little, shorter in the back by a mere centimeters, with longer wisps curling just under my jaw.  It looked very chic.  And most importantly, my face didn’t look as chubby and round as I was worried it would look.  I started to relax.  Heli, I thought, you are a miracle worker.

It was at that point in time that she asked me again if I was sure I wanted layers.  “Yes,” I said, “layers.”  And she took a moment to run her fingers through my hair, almost wistfully, and then she began to cut.

And cut she did.  A lot of cutting was going on.  So much cutting, in fact, that I began to worry again.  I had visions of some sort of shag cut appearing, with very short layers at the top, and what would essentially be a rat-tail at the bottom.  I was scared I was going to look like Florence Henderson from the Brady Bunch.  (Oh, I know she was very avant garde with that hair cut back then, but that was then, and this is now.)   I repeated the it’ll grow back mantra and let her cut.

After 20 minutes –I kid you not–of cutting layers, she was finished.  And there was even more hair on the floor.  And a lot less on my head.  There was so much hair on the floor, in fact, that the stylist had to nudge it with her foot when she wanted to walk around, like some sort of big, furry, lazy dog who was napping underfoot. 

She took a minute to talk with me about the different ways to style my hair, and I told her that my method would be the least work-intensive method.  So she said she’d blow it dry with a round brush, and leave it like that.  “Good,” I said, “I can do that.”  About 20 minutes into the blowdrying, she kept having to rest her arms.  It is at this point in time that every hair stylist I ever go to says, “Wow, you have a lot of hair.”  They say it because my hair takes forever to dry.  Even when it is only several inches long, it takes a long time.  Because while my hair is indeed stick straight and the strands themselves are very fine, I have a whole lot of it.  I think I have twice the follicles of some people, resulting in a heavy mass of hair that takes quite a while to dry.  I am follicularly gifted.  (That must be my super power.  They say everyone has at least one thing that are good at.  I am good at having lots of hair.) 

Once my hair was dry, and my stylist was tired, she spent another 10 minutes fussing with it and checking the length in various places.  She kept asking if this is what I wanted with a dubious look on her face.  Only this time she was asking if I wanted to go shorter, instead of if I wanted to keep it long.  But I told her it was fine.  It was the length I wanted.  And even though this wasn’t exactly the cut that I was envisioning when I stepped into the salon (if you can call Cost Cutters a salon, because really, there should be some sort of distinction between, say, the upscale $200 and up salon and the under $20 salon) I was very impressed with my cut.  It looked damn good.  Damn good.  And I sure am glad that I put myself into Heli’s hands and sat through my moments of doubt, because this is what my hair looks like now:

Oh, well, crap.  My camera is not working very well, and I can’t get a picture uploaded.  But just imagine something along the lines of Katie Holmes’s new haircut.  Only, I don’t look like her.  But my hair is brown, like hers.  And it’s about the same length.  And it’s kinda, sorta similair. 


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by sara on 07/02/2007 at 3:08 pm

    I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT!!!!!!!! MAKE YOUR CAMERA WORK NOW!!!!!!!! RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!! =)


  2. Posted by e on 07/02/2007 at 4:03 pm

    From your lips to God’s (or my camera’s) ears!


  3. Posted by Melissa on 07/02/2007 at 6:05 pm

    Lovely description that would make your English teachers proud, but they do say a picture is worth a thousand words! 🙂


  4. Posted by Sara's Mom on 07/03/2007 at 11:49 am

    You have given me courage to do the same. My footlong hair will be off before the end of the month! I know your hair looks great, you are beautiful with any hairstyle.


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