Every hair stylist to ever touch my hair has told me that my hair grows at an alarmingly fast rate — faster than average. Not fun when trying to keep up with the latest celebrity bobs.
I had long, thick hair when I was a little girl. And then I had the hair-brain idea that I wanted it short. In my high-pitched voice (seriously, I cringe when I hear myself on home videos – my voice was annoyingly high pitched. It deepened significantly in puberty!) I told the stylist to cut it — into the infamous-every-girl-had-it-at-some-point “boy” bowl cut. It looked cute on me. Granted, I was in first grade. Doesn’t everything look cute on a first grader?
That was the beginning of short hair.
I maintained short styles from that day forward. When I was in middle school, I asked for this hair style with a lot of layers and bangs – to match the musician’s hairstyle I coveted. I cried when I got home because I had no idea how to actually style it. Also, it made me look like a mom. Every 7th grader’s dream.
Then came high school. I kept my hair short. My hair dryer and round brush were my best friends. Then, just before my senior year, I was introduced to the flat iron. And it revolutionized my life.
While in college, I attempted to keep it short. Turned out to be too much work. Pony tails and wet hair were much easier. I had many different hair lengths in college — dangerously short, normal bob, above the shoulder, at the shoulder, just below the shoulder, at my shoulder blades, and mid-back. Friends encouraged me to do Locks of Love, but I always chickened out a few inches shy of donation.
Then came August 2008. Without even looking at an old planner, I can tell you the exact date – August 8. I went to my favorite Aveda salon. Hair at my shoulders, I had the stylist chop an inch or so off. A simple “trim.” And I was happy with it. I liked it. It was me.
But from August 2008-November 2009, I went without haircuts.
Maybe I snipped a few times – to get rid of split ends – but I did not visit any hair salons. I didn’t really plan on growing it out for that long – it just happened. Maybe I was trying to save on hair cuts. Or maybe I was just lazy. By the time November 2009 rolled around, I had plenty of hair to spare. 10 inches were hacked off in a local Minnesota salon. One I had never been to, but chose for the big chop because it was free — when donating to Locks of Love. Hey, I hadn’t paid for a cut since August 2008, I couldn’t imagine paying for haircuts after that amount of time! Unfortunately the stylist was not the greatest. Neither was my memory. I used to know how to tell the stylist how to cut my hair – the weird wave in the back, the way it dipped, that you have to razor out the thickness or it gets too thick. I just let her cut and cut – into an inverted bob. That looked cute for about one week. And then the layers no longer laid on my head (because of the weird dip and wave). But I pushed through the style. I told myself it would get better. I guess I like lying to myself. It didn’t get better.
I scheduled an appointment at my favorite Aveda salon late in May (2010). Back to the place I trusted. Back to the salon I loved. Too bad the hair cut was not any better. Too bad the stylist didn’t listen. Though you can bet I was much more descriptive on the fine points of cutting my hair, thanks to the awful Locks of Love cut I received. Too bad, because I really liked the stylist. Just not her styling.
So. I whined. I whaled. And one week later, I was sitting in another chair at a different salon. A new salon. It about killed me to pay for a haircut seven+ days after my last hair cut. To the stylist, I explained in great length, how to cut my hair – the weird dip, the wave, the reason I needed it thinned out, the history of my head. This time, she heard me. She got it right.
Yet, here I sit. Hair pulled back. Blogging. Whining. Complaining. About the hair that is taking too long to grow. The hair that I want to be long again. The hair that people keep telling me looks good (even though I know it doesn’t – after all, my opinion on the matter is the only one that counts). The hair that people keep asking, “did you just get it cut?” The hair that I keep trimming on my own – with my child-size scissors – most likely making it worse. The hair that I’m going to let my sister trim (yikes!). The hair that I’m desperately trying to grow out.
The hair that is a metaphor of my life. My trying to grow, but keep getting trimmed, stage of life.
I’ll wait. I’ll deal. I’ll try to remember that this is only a phase – a process.
Soon, sooner than later, my hair will be the length I desire.
Soon, later than sooner, my life will be at the place I dream.