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This hair is your hair.

August 13, 2010

Tonight I heard a familiar phrase that’s been uttered countless times since I was in beauty school: “He’s not really into me cutting my hair shorter.” It was said to me by a dear friend who has been talking about going from a longer, layered cut to a shorter, sleeker, a-line bob. She’s wanted a change. Something cute, fresh and different from what she’s seen in the mirror for so long. But her husband likes her hair longer. So now we’re in waiting mode – will she or won’t she? It’s a common occurrence, and one that still perplexes me to this day.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not writing this to come down on my friend or her hesitation – merely to make a larger point. The hair that is growing out of your head is yours to do with as you please. No one owns it but you. Lots of people come into the hair salon saying “You do whatever you think is best with it.” And while I get we’re they’re coming from to some degree – we’re the trained professionals, they are the novices and laymen – we still do not own their hair! If a woman comes to my chair and I spend several hours coloring and cutting her hair, yes, that is my work that she is walking out the door with. But maybe she has a total epiphany and goes home and shaves her head. Or maybe she decides to go somewhere else and get the color redone or get a totally different haircut. Salons are filled with clients coming in from a different salon asking someone to change what they recently had done to them. Once you’re out of the chair it’s all yours again. We just get to rent your hair briefly while we do our work and then you own it once more. It’s kind of the beauty of the work – it’s like living art and it’s never static, always changing.

So remember that the next time your husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, parent, sibling or friend tells you that you “can’t” do something you want to do to your hair. Or they tell you they’re “not okay” with your ideas of the changes you want to make it to it. Remember that whenever you look at celebrities and think you have to do everything to your hair to make it conform to whatever look they’re rocking at the moment. Remember that when you think your hair is the sum total of who you are and it turns out it’s owning you instead of the other way around. An English client of mine once told me that Americans tend to wrap their identities up in their hair, while English people tend to look at it more as an accessory or a compliment to their overall appearance and personal aesthetic. If you don’t like an outfit or a hat or a piece of jewelry, you can take it off and try something else on. You can do the same with your hair and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2010 10:02 am

    Well said!

  2. August 13, 2010 12:06 pm

    Amen. The best thing I ever did was shaving my head bald one summer. It changed the game. Now if I want to rock monday go to meeting hair (lacefront), my fro or anything else, it feels like it’s coming from a place of accessorizing rather than some fear based place that suggests if I do something different with my hair nobody will fancy a shag with me.

    • August 13, 2010 11:55 pm

      Yes! Just what you said. It’s like so many people are so scared that if they change their hair the person who is currently boning them will lose interest. It’s just hair people, it’s not the sum totality of who you are!

  3. August 23, 2010 1:02 pm

    I can’t imagine holding back on something I want bc of my boyfriend. He actually likes shorter hair and no makeup and when we met I was growing my hair in and continued to grow it in (and he grew to like it). Also, I ended up wearing MORE red lipstick when I realized he hated it because I more consciously knew he didn’t like it and I didn’t want to subconsciously avoid it.

    That said, I always think it’s so stupid when a woman cuts her hair short that people consider it revolutionary. It’s a haircut. It’s probably cute. It doesn’t mean she’s suddenly more liberated, more sassy, more badass.

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