Hair. I’ve had some epic hair-dos. And some epic hair-don’ts. From the 80s big hair, which I am positive that I am AT LEAST 47.87% responsible for the hole in the ozone layer due to the obnoxious amount of hairspray I used to the horrific perm I got in the mid-90s that made me look like a female Kramer (the results of which caused me to hide in the bathroom and cry for hours), I have run the gamut of looks.
I rocked the short sassy ‘do for years when my kids were small. I had over 10 inches chopped off (and donated to Locks of Love) when my first baby figured out how to pull it constantly, thus making my hair’s very existence a chronic source of frustration. “Enough!” I said and lopped it all off.
I had short spiky bleached hair. I had angled bobs. I let my stylist wield her creativity through her scissors with an exuberant “Go for it” from me. I spent oodles of money on up-keep and styling products and more than not, many bleary-eyed efforts in the early morning to get that perfect look. I loved my short hair.
One night when my daughter was really young (maybe two?), I had a dream where I had looooooooooooong hair: I could feel it tickling the small of my back. I woke the next morning with a longing (hee hee) for long luscious locks.
And so I embarked on the journey of growing my hair out. Any woman out there will know exactly what I mean. That eternal challenge of making hair look good in between styles commands the most ingenious use of clips and barrettes, curling irons or straighteners, of styling aids of any sort and, most of all, of hats. Yes. HATS. Not just for bad hair days, but for bad hair weeks.
Finally, my hair began to creep past my shoulders and entered that realm of LONG. I could put it up in extravagant buns, curl it, straighten it, flip it around. I could feel it tickle my back in a delightfully sexy way. I am lucky that it grows relatively fast, my hair. Before I knew it, it curled past my middle back. And just kept growing. Aside from the fact that I had to clean my sink drains much more than ever, I loved loved loved my long hair.
So much so that I started to wonder how much of my ego did I attach to my hair? When I started to have nightmares about getting my hair cut off, I thought it was time to see how much it mattered. Plus, my daughter described my hair as “outrageous” one day – and I assumed by the mocking laughter attached to this comment that it wasn’t meant to be complimentary- and I thought I needed a bit of a change.
I like it…. the five inches I had cut off lightened it up, gave it more of a “style”…. I also realized that I basically have the same haircut that I did back in 1989, albeit without all the POOF. (I briefly thought about seeing if I could achieve that big hair and then don my tassled leather jacket for an evening’s throwback to the 80s just for shits n’ giggles…. but thankfully, that urge passed quickly.)
But I miss my hair, even though I still have lots. I miss it a lot. It’s my one allowable item of vanity. I try to let go of my ego in many ways, but my own self-indulgence refuses to let my hair be part of that equation. I can go without makeup, I don’t fret about five extra pounds, if someone hears me fart, I shrug, I kind of like the crinkles around my eyes. So my experiment taught me that it’s okay to want my hair long. It’s okay to love it as much as I do.
It’s actually kind of awesome to love something about yourself. Go ahead. Give it a try.