10 April 2012

The Short Version

I am not a person who claims to be "fashionable" or "well put-together."  Which is not to say that I am not interested in my appearance.

Part of my appearance that makes a huge difference to me is my hair.  As a child, I longed to grow it and have beautiful, lustrous curls.  I was certain that my mother was evil, as she insisted it stay relatively short, and forced me to endure home permanents that always ended with me looking like a poodle.  (Though she was always pleased.)  When I was old enough to be responsible for it myself (meaning I could wash and comb it myself), I was still sure that I would someday wake up with amazing hair.

My mother had extremely thick, wavy hair.  My sisters each had thick, wavy hair.  My mother and middle sister's hair color was dark brown.  My oldest sister had auburn hair.  My hair was fine, stick straight, and blonde.  Much later in life, I realized that I inherited the kind of hair my father had.  As a child, this did not occur to me, since he always wore a crewcut.

So anyhoo, at a certain point in my life, I accepted the fact that a) my hair was straight and would always be straight; b) that it was so fine, when it got any length at all, it would separate on my scalp, making me look like I was on the express train to Baldville; c) even though I want my hair to look AMAZING, I am not willing to spend time working on it for such a result; and d) when it is the least bit warm, I cannot stand to have it on my neck or face.  This led to the realization that short hair was for me.

For any female readers I have to ask - have you ever tried to get a nice, short haircut?  You'd think you were heading to the stylist and asking them to cut open one of their veins for you.  I've decided that I really like short hair, and that, especially during the summer, the shorter - the better.

The problem?  Finding a stylist who will give me a short haircut.  I have been told at least 100 times that if my hair is too short, people will mistake me for a man.  My response is, if they do, that's their problem, and I.Don't.Care.

Ah, but the stylist does.  And every time I read about women with short hair, it's as if they are somehow diseased, or trying to reconnect with being a little girl.  The writer usually assures us, the readers, that said women will (phew!) be growing their hair long again, so they can look better, and more feminine.  I even had a female friend tell me once that "all women look better with long hair."

Don't even get me started on that one.

So, besides recent stylists that I have tried, quitting work when they have a baby, I've been searching for someone who will just cut my hair short but leave me looking human! As a bonus, if they did not take it as a personal affront, that would be nice too.  I am astonished that it's so difficult - and this is in a large city with a bazillion salons of every type.

This past Friday, I tried salon #4086.  I walked in, told the guy* what I was trying to do, and guess what?  No grief about short hair!  As a matter of fact, he said, "Well, with summer coming, we'll work on getting it to look good and be short."  I wanted to ask him if it was a set-up or something, since he was offering no resistance, and did not take it as a personal insult that I wanted a short haircut.  But I decided to just go with it, and see what happened.

He took a previous butcher job (complete with bald spots!), and actually made it all look like a hairstyle.  Then he said, "I fixed it up as much as I could, but as it grows in, we can work on getting it to look nicer."

I love him.  And I have short hair.  And no more bald spots from bad cutting.  Please do not wake me if I am dreaming.  Unless you are going to compliment me on my SHORT HAIR.

*The last time I had a person who "got" me who cut my hair (or did any other things with/to it), it was a male.  I forgot this until last Friday.  Coincidence?  You be the judge.  


SissySees said...

Hooray!! I actually have long hair again in part because I got tired of trying to get more than one good SHORT cut in a row. At least when I have a bad, long hair day, there's always a ponytail...

(And yep. I probably do look like I want to be 8 again. I don't care either.)

joanchicago said...

My mom made me keep my hair short until I was in high school. Growing it to waist length was a delicious act of rebellion. Later I decided my long hair made me look like an aging hippy, so I had it cut short-ER. And then came chemo. My fabulous stylist (yes, male) gave me the haircut of a lifetime. And for weeks after I went back to him to have him cut my dark peach fuzz, strangers stopped me in the street to compliment my hair. All this is a way to tell you I know what I'm talking about when I say that no sane person would ever mistake you for a man.

Marie said...

Bridget, we have the same kind of hair. I wore it longer when I was younger, but now that it's gray, short is better. I'm looking for a good cut as well, and I haven't found it in our small town. Thanks to you, I'm going to try another stylist. Thanks for the nudge.

Kathleen Dames said...

No picture? Tease :) Congratulations on finding a style you like. I think part of the reason I've gone "longhair" is that I haven't found a hairdresser like the one I had in Boston (he came down to the Vineyard just to do my hair for my first wedding, since he and his partner couldn't find a dogsitter - he was very much a friend). Anyway, now I go to the local salon once a year (or so) for a trim with whomever is available, so no styling commitments. Some day I'll find another James. Sigh.

KSD said...

I have only found one person who gets what I want from short hair. It IS harder to find someone that you might think.

teabird said...

If I weren't so lazy, I might cut my hair back a bit. As it is, I just wash it and braid it and ignore it until it's dru -
Congratulations on finding someone who understands that short doesn't mean buzzcut!

Lynn said...

Good for you!!!! I am one that LOVES long hair, but alas my hair is also fine and thinning as I get older. When my hair gets long it gets stringy and just not nice. My daughter has similar hair to mine but still has a lot of it so it looks really thick.

And we need to see pics of your hair!

Anonymous said...

Well, Chica, I have to SEE it to comment. But I will send you a pic of my extremely chic daughter.

knitseashore said...

I can't speak to the short hair part, but I can nod in total agreement to finding a stylist who can manage fine hair. Until I found my current stylist, the others all had thick wavy hair and could never understand why I got so frustrated. My hair doesn't hold a style without an arsenal of hairspray, mousse, etc. Now that you found someone you like, hang on and don't let them out of your sight!!

Carrie#K said...

What? That's crazy! My mother kept me in a Pixie cut. Gah. It never would grow Rapunzel length. I blame her. Genetics is too easy. :)