Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Last week, I cut my hair. This is on top of the 4 inches I cut off about 5 weeks ago. Last week, in an effort to simplify life even further, I subtracted another 2 inches. And I couldn’t be happier.

Simply put, I was tired of being slave to the hair.

Oh yes, long hair is fun, it’s cute, it’s sporty, sexy, styled up or down. But after awhile, it’s just a lot of work.

Let’s do some basic math. I’ve had long hair for about 10 years. It took about 15 minutes to dry this head of hair in the morning. Multiply that by an average of 2 showers per day and you get 30 minutes of hair drying per day. Add on top of that the brushing, curling or flat ironing (because my long hair was never wash ‘n go), and basic hair readjustments throughout the day. A little more math and you get 210 minutes per week for hair maintenance. Per month – 820 minutes. Per year – 9840 minutes. For 10 years, that’s 98400 minutes or 1640 hours. In other words, I have spent 68 days or nearly 10 weeks of my life just playing with my hair.

To get a better picture, numbers aside, imagine yourself standing in front of a mirror with a brush, a flat iron, and blowdryer. Now stand there for 10 weeks. I’m sure you get the point.

The real question is, what could I have done with that time? Perhaps a vacation? Another hobby? Drank more coffee? And now with all of this extra time each day, what will I do?

This gets back to the real reason I cut my hair. I decided that with Ironman training, and a full-time job, and a husband, grocery shopping, cleaning house, spending time with family and friends, yardwork, etcetera, I needed all the extra time I could get. So, snip snip went the hair.

It’s been very liberating. All of a sudden my hair has become the least of my maintenance worries. 5 minutes to dry it – if I choose to dry it. Less shampoo, conditioner. Less choices – can’t really pull it up so it’s mostly down.

I’ve gotten some backlash. Mostly from people who thought I had pretty hair or looked better with longer hair. My reply - you come to my house every morning when it feels like 85 degrees in my bathroom as you stand there after a shower, sweating in front of the mirror while blowing drying 12 inches of hair and by the time you’re done, you’ll be ready for another shower. Oh, so you’ve got better things to do with your time? Well, me too.

Training with short hair has been glorious. It’s much cooler on the run. It fits entirely and neatly under my swim cap. And on the bike? Well, no more long braids to flop around. Just two little 2-inch pigtails in back.

When I told Leslie Curley that I had cut my hair, she immediately made her own appointment for a chop job. In her words, “I couldn’t let you beat me at that too.” Triathlon is a fiercely competitive world – hair included.

I sit here very happy with my haircut and I’m ready to enjoy my extra 3 ½ hours per week to do better things with my time, like sit on my bike, do another swim, water my plants, read a book, daydream, enjoy coffee with my husband, or play with my short hair.

So girls, I encourage you to take scissors in your hand and cut the shackles of your own hair. Go ahead – try it and I bet you’ll like it. Besides, it always grows back.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just think Liz, shave your head and you could look like me! Just a little more! DO IT, DO IT NOW! Just think of the helmet vent tan lines we could compare together!

-TR