The other day I went for a haircut.
I’ve been at war with my hair for years. Though it seemed to hang poker straight for most of my childhood, during the tween years it grew a mind of its own. So much so that my stepdad dubbed me Flicka. As in My Friend Flicka where Flicka was the horse. Nice, right? My hair is very much like me – a little sassy, wavy, mind of its own. So you can see that we were a good match but also at odds with each other. Enter: war with own hair.
For years I grew it long in hopes to tame it down and to always have an out in case it got too unruly – pulling it back. Train for an Ironman and long hair becomes a long chore so there it all went. Another Ironman, there goes more. Working from home, even more. In fact, working from home you realize how overrated styling your hair, putting on makeup, wearing outfits instead of clothes becomes. And now for nearly the past year I have spent my days sitting in pajamas with wet hair or hair under a hat. No need for a hair style – or any style – at all.
But lately I had enough. Enough of hair just hanging there and besides I was starting to feel old. Time for a change. Start with the hair. It’s the cheapest anyways. A new wardrobe would be too much money and probably not get much use unless it was in the form of pajama bottoms and tops. Painted nails would only last a few swims. A make over – well, I did that after Ironman #2 and it cost me nearly as much as the mortgage for a month.
At first I looked to my husband for advice. Note to all wives: do not do this. When you tell him you want it short but long he comes back with maybe you should consider a mullet. Thanks. Then he confesses that he likes you no matter what you look like or do to your hair. Perfect textbook answer but really not much help. Then you ask your mom who tells you that she likes your hair best in braids. Since I am over age 12 I felt that wasn’t really an appropriate hair style to work towards. So then I was left to the internet. Google imaged searched short hair with bangs and looked around.
I know what you’re thinking – bangs are always a bad idea. And they are. They require a flat iron, a blow dryer, a style. But I’ve noticed I’m getting those little fine lines that start to appear in the mid 30’s. And I’m starting to get lots of breakouts on my forehead from spending most days under a helmet, swim cap or visor. Time to cover that mess up. So I had a general idea of what I wanted, what I didn’t want and what I might be talked into with short hair and bangs.
Off to the salon I go. I’ve been going to the same salon for 18 years. It’s one of those cool salons where the stylists are only allowed to wear white or black. Because that’s what cool people wear. It is so cool they almost don’t let me in because I’m way too uncool and show up wearing something like…grey. I have my same hairdresser who seems to understand my hair. And me. I’m the one that swims, she says. She can always tell because it feels like her scissors are dull. The swimmer that needs to pull her hair back (that is always my one rule). That is me.
I sat in the chair and confessed to my hairy sins – it had been 6 months since my last haircut. I realized she was ready to snap the scissors at me but in my defense I once went over a year without a haircut. Of course my hair today was wet. I had been swimming then showering and decided what’s the point. She looks at my hair and asks what we are going to do. I told her I was in the mood for something different. She plays with my hair and we talk about bangs.
Do you need to still pull your hair back?
I tell her I’m over that. Back in February I cut it so short there was no pulling back. I’ve since gotten over any need to pull the hair back.
Do you plan on blowing it out each morning?
I told her I could make no guarantees. I work from home and work out a lot. Blowing my hair out really doesn’t have top priority in my day. This is perhaps the best thing about working from home – your self esteem increases ten fold because you no longer have to worry about what you look like or compare yourself to anyone. Plus you save about 30 – 60 minutes each day from not having to sit in a giant pile of clothes in your closet choosing what to wear or slave over the mirror as you blow out your hair.
Do you want to wear it curly or straight?
I’m indifferent. Really, let’s go either way. I know my aloofness is frustrating her but seriously it is just my hair. If I don’t like it, it will grow back. And I say that to her. You have expressive freedom with my hair today. Go crazy. It will grow back.
We will go for Katie Holmes, she says. Of course you are not Katie Holmes and don’t have hair like Katie Holmes but we will do something like that.
Sounds reassuring. I don’t have hair like Katie Holmes but I will have her haircut. Thanks, I feel 100 times more confident that this will be my best haircut yet. And you are right, I could never be Katie Holmes. First, of all I don’t find Tom Cruise all that attractive. Too quirky and short. Secondly, I’d run a marathon much faster than 5:29 without wearing my ipod during the race thank you very much.
At that, I am swept over to the sink for a wash. This is my least favorite part of getting a haircut. I don’t like people touching anything close to my ears and the washer gets dangerously close. Plus she takes too long. Seriously girl it’s a wash and rinse. There is no need to allow your fingers to make out with my scalp. Stop touching my head and get away from my ears.
Finally I am back in the stylist’s chair. Imagine how fun life would be with this chair at your kitchen table. You go up, you go down. You spin around. You pump pump pump and then a sudden drop. I need one of these things. Make a mental note to look for one online.
She starts snipping away. Big chunks of my hair fall to the floor. There are layers, textures, and finally there are bangs. Oh crap. Bangs. That might not have been such a good idea. But as she spins me around I realize oh yes there it is...I have Katie Holmes hair. In fact, so much that I believe Katie Holmes stole my haircut and is now getting national press. It looks kind of cute, sassy, short and definitely in need of a daily style. I may have just screwed myself out of a wash n’ go life. But at least I have something very close to Katie Holmes hair.
Now I need her sunglasses, her style, her child and her husband. Wait, scratch the husband request. I need her best friend’s husband – David Beckham – because he is smokin’ hot. And as long as we are putting in requests I also need Victoria Beckham’s boobs. And fashion sense. Ok, my order is now complete.
My hair is blown dry and I realize I am now looking at my fate. This hair cut will require daily maintenance. If not I will have a massive chunk of bangs globbing up my face. I also realize that if you perhaps want to look at your ugliest you should sit yourself in a stylists chair under 100000 watt light bulbs magnifying everything you are trying to hide with the bangs you have already decided that you hate. When I install this chair in my house, it will not be near a mirror nor under lights.
The haircut is complete. I look somewhat ridiculous but I am convinced with some powerful bold hair cream I can get it under control. And a few bobby pins. A little bit of make up. Some earrings. All right, I am accepting that I’m going to need cosmetic surgery daily in my bathroom to look like Katie Holmes. But then I realize she is the one requiring a professional stylist each day to look like me. Because my face and hair have been ready to pimp this style since day one. It just took a few years into adulthood to finally be bold enough to let it out.
So, Katie, I want my haircut back. Oh wait, I just took it. And when you see me walking along the streets of Beverly Hills (seriously I have no intention of walking there) – but let’s pretend you did see me – you can say, I have that girl’s haircut. And you’d be so right. You’d be so jealous of me for sporting the best haircut ever. At least once I grow out these bangs…