Wednesday, November 21, 2012

MY HAIR AGAIN...

It's now been eight months since I cut all my hair off and I know you've probably been frantically beside yourselves waiting for an update on how that's going; despite my almost refusal to post photos of myself here so you can't even see what it looks like or how it looked before.

I had it cut in the spring - my long hair felt like it was literally weighing me down: it would snake round my neck at night and strangle me and get caught under my bag strap on my shoulder. I was on constant guard against split ends, probably missing many wonderful sights as I investigated my ends on trains, planes and anywhere there was good light.

When I had it cut, first into a shoulder length bob and then shorter, shorter to chin length where it now rests, it gave me a jolt of new energy. I had to keep getting it cut - I couldn't bear it getting long again. Split ends are not an issue - I don't even have to use conditioner. I kiiiiind of felt like a new person and spent the whole spring and summer happily rocking the short hair - in fact I think many positive things happened because of it. When you have long hair you can hide behind it - go short and your attitude changes to 'here I am'. Light, unfussy, modern. I really feel better with short hair. Usually.

Because oh. I have discovered an incontrovertible truth. Last night I opened Photobooth - something I hardly ever use - and stumbled on a series pictures of me taken on it over the past five or so years. I didn't even know they were there. Me and my long hair: glossy, thick, sometimes with a Jane Birkin-y fringe, sometimes not. It was plain to see: I look WAAAYYY prettier with long hair. And younger. Shit. Long hair - which is pretty much six years of growing and trimming out of my reach.

I expect this happens to everyone. You cut it, you love it, then you're over it and realise there's no quick route back to er, pretty? In the summer it was fine, but now the dark and damp has set in I realise I need something extra to look ok. And I prefer being natural. I don't want to have to wear make up to look ok. Short hair demands lipstick, or eyeliner, or something so you don't look like a bore.

I completely hate myself for writing this post and feel like a 'Shit Girls Say' cliche. There's no easy answer. I will have to get used to just looking professional, or modern, or peppy or some such.

17 comments:

surlespavesdeparis said...

I perfectly understand what you mean! I have long hair now but want to cut it (shoulder length I guess). But it took me so long to have it... so long and now I am hesitating...

RD said...

A timely warning. I am considering going from my current neck-length to radically short. True I've never let it grow for 6 years, but I find all changes energizing. When trimmed I get that bounce you describe, but as it grows I feel my inner poet returning... Though I have to say, I am having difficulty imagining you with very short hair... xx

Claire said...

surlespavesdeparis - why does it take sooo long?!

RD - you have always had very poetic hair, it's true. And true you haven't seen me since I had my hair cut, which means we need to meet up! x

nicola lynde said...

I think it's just a life cycle and theres nothing you can do but a delicate dance of growing and chopping until you magically reach that age when you crop it all into a 'middle aged' do and never think about again (I imagine this to be the same age that men give up on anything remotely boxer related and go tighty whitey but this is all beside the point) I literally just went through the being so weighed down by my long hair and chopped off a couple weeks ago. RIght now I'm not sure whether I will go shorter or longer next but know that I needed to be free of it. So if it's any consolation, as much as you want it now, you would have never been happy with it if you'd never cut it. Does this make sense? Sigh, hair.

Claire said...

Nicola - you are very smart! I had a moment today when I thought i might have inadvertently chopped it into a middle aged do without realising! Sigh, hair.

erica-knits said...

I cute my hair short(er) in the spring too, so liberating! Split-end amnesty is great! However, I totally understand your desire to have your curtain of hair back... I'm growing mine out again, too. Gah! Hair is so complicated! As a symptom of my hair neurosis, I have a terribly tumultuous relationship with hair stylists - I break up with them often. I've been through three this year...

Kate said...

I cut my way over shoulder length hair to a chin lenght bob about a year ago, felt the same liberation and freshness as you did, kept it up 'til May and since then I'm regrowing for probably 2-3 years (I get 3 inch per year) until I'll be down again. Had a very similar realization with old pictures on iphoto ... *sigh* ... it's about the third time in my life I go this route ... we'll be there again eventually only to cut it as Nicola so rightly observes ...

Claire said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one neurotic about my hair! Makes me feel much better...

Alexandra said...

I've always had long hair and every now and then I go through a phase of thinking "Should I just cut it all off?" The one time I did (and I only cut it to shoulder length), I felt tragic! So you're not alone! I'm tempted by getting a fringe, but I feel like you say about short hair, you'd have to wear makeup with it. It's more of a 'look'.

http://herribbonsandherbows.blogspot.co.uk/

Anonymous said...

I suppose it's more important how you feel about your hair than how you actually look, so whatever decision you take to feel good, it's a good decision. Even if it means growing your hair back! And it doesn't necessarily mean that you made a bad decision to have it cut... uhm, does it make sense? xx
Mia

mimi said...

ah I had this. after a lifetime of super long bum length hair and feeling weighed down, i chopped it off- first to my back, then shoulders, then it crept up to a louise brooks bob. V nice and definitely felt all fun and peppy and whatnot, but I got sick of the maintenance (thick hair needing constant straightening). and the photobooth thing - oh yes. Then I went the opposite extreme - 2 years with not a hint of the hairdresser's scissors and it's back, longer than ever. I had a fringe put back in after much debate - loathe to snip even a fraction off, but grow it did.

Margaret Kelley said...

Sigh, curtain of poetic hair. I'm glad I'm not the only one in this situation right now.

I cut mine to pixie last january, and have been growing it out ever since. It's more or less a little longer than chin now. I want it long long long and must resist the ever present urge to snip!
It's for vain reasons, though. I think I will look prettier. And I'm hoping the length will attract a boy. ;)

Gracia said...

Yep, some cuts or lengths just don't feel right, I completely understand. I have only recently grown out a bad haircut that left me with unflattering curls atop each ear and reminded me of when I used to cut my own fringe during high school years. Hair is so personal and it needs to feel good.

Claire said...

Alexandra - I've seen your hair in photos - it's beautiful, don't cut it!

Mia - yes, that's it exactly. It was a positive thing which needed to be done. Only now it can't be un-done so quickly!

Mimi - only 2 years? My hair is slooow growing...

Margaret - exactly! Boys do tend to be attracted to the more obvious things like long hair and short skirts! Bless them.

Gracia - eep to curls above the ears! This actually was/is a good cut in a way, I just suddenly realised how useful having a curtain of hair is to hide behind and swish around etc. When you have short hair there's nowhere to hide on unflattering days.

Anonymous said...

ah, but then your cut is not that short, and to recreate the effect you had previously with long hair I expect it will take about a year? it doesn't need to be as long as before, it should be enough when it's just past shoulder lenght... in the meantime you can experiment some subtle but effective eye makeup, it should be fun! xx
Mia

la femme said...

Loved this post too.

Why DOES hair take so unbelievably long to grow back? I chopped mine to just-touching-the-shoulders in 2010, and it seems like it keeps growing to just an inch past that and then stopping.

At least conditioner isn't an issue with your short style? And there are worse things than looking modern and peppy.

Good luck returning to Birkin style, if that's what you still desire :)

anna said...

hmmm, I must be one of the odd ones out who looks better with short hair...long hair swamps my face and I find it to be much more upkeep (but I am very lazy when it comes to these things). The pixie crop/ Jean Seberg style haircut has pretty much been my fallback for years now.
As for whether men prefer long or short hair...their opinion does not count as far as I am concerned! I say just go with what makes you happy. xx