I’m 27 years old and for most of my life, my hair has been long. I’ve had it to my shoulders, all the way down to my waist and back again in the quest for the perfect length. Then in January something snapped and I wanted it gone, I didn’t want to deal with tangled hair, hours of maintenance and having everything I own covered in heat damaged split ends any more. I wanted a pixie cut. While the majority of me was ready to lop it all off immediately and embrace my new life as a podgy elf, a small nagging voice was worried that it would be a catastrophic mistake.
So, inevitably, I chickened out the second I sat in the hairdressers chair and opted for a currently trendy lob. With hair that then sat on my collarbones, the shortest I’ve had it bar a disastrous bob when I was 9 that lasted about a month as my hair grows so fast, I was momentarily satisfied. My mum wasn’t happy about it, despite the fact I’m closing in on 30 and haven’t lived at home for the last 8 years!
Before and after in January
Fast forward four months, and several haircuts, and I’ve finally decided to take the plunge.
Why is this such a big deal, you might ask? It’s just hair. And you would be right. It is just hair, it will grow back. But, for someone who has always had a curtain to hide behind, it’s exposing. It’s taking away a metaphorical security blanket.The reason I’m reluctant is not because I’m scared that I won’t like it.
Five years ago I had emergency surgery, the complications of which kept me in hospital on morphine, and other drugs, for a month. My body went into shock from the stress of the surgery, and as a result of the medications I lost most of my hair. What was left was very fine, terribly damaged and unmanageable. I couldn’t have it up as it would fall free from slides or bobbles.If I wore it straight it would wave by the time I’d stepped out of the front door in the morning. If curled, they’d drop out during the walk to work. If I applied ever so slightly too much heat or pulled it too hard, it would snap off. For someone who had always been proud of their thick, glossy locks, it was unbelievably depressing seeing scalp in the mirror.
For the next 2 years, I had to wait for it to grow back and in the process, I looked a little like the Gremlin with the mohawk. When it did grow in, it was a different colour, intensely coarse and more difficult to control than ever before. I got a bit obsessed with it. I tried conditioning treatments, hot oils and all sorts of products to keep it in check but nothing did. I was too afraid to get my hair cut and so I didn’t go anywhere near a pair of scissors for almost 2 years. My hair was in a terrible state during this time.
About two weeks before I had surgery, dyed magenta, and about 4 months after, dyed red.
The one on the right is the only photo I have from that time, I was too embarrassed to take any and was trying to fix my MacBook camera when it went off. If you look closely you can see how damaged my hair was, and the fuzzy re-growth on top.
Now it’s time. I promised myself that I’m not afraid of a repeat of the past and I needed to be free of this long-haired oppression.
AND GUESS WHAT
I wussed out
My hairdresser Natasha (from Macadamia Hair Spa) talked me down to a slightly elongated bob. She made the wise observation that my hair is extremely thick, coarse and wavy and I wouldn’t be able to straighten it properly in a pixie, if at all. This honestly didn’t occur to me and now I’m grateful she did because I don’t fancy ending up looking like Drop Dead Fred.
I’m sort of relieved and yet disappointed in myself. I really would love the short, no fuss pixie but now I’m slightly perturbed at the idea of not being able to style it and for it to look half decent. Well, there’s always next time!