Nov 12, 2013

The Dichotomy of Your Mental Health and Your Haircut

If you think cutting your hair is as simple as hitting up a salon and asking for a haircut, chances are, you're a male. Or, alternatively, you're just looking for a trim.

True life: women take haircuts to a whole other level, at least in my experience. As it turns out, I believe your emotional stability is directly related to your haircut. Before you start screaming at your computer, hear me out... haircuts can be emotionally traumatic. For instance, take Mariska Hargitay, who recently revealed that a bad chop almost got her fired from Law & Order SVU. Our hair, while it lays dead as a doornail on our head, can affect our outlook on who we are as people. The New York Times has written about the emotional effects; Lady Gaga has belted out a prayer regarding her own hair... unlike makeup, when you mess with your hair, you can't erase the mistakes as easily as you can eyeliner.

So it makes sense that the decision to cut (or not?) my own hair has been an internal battle. Yes, this is a blog post about hair. If you are allergic to such topics, STOP READING NOW! If you're looking for something to take solace in, knowing that there is another neurotic, crazy woman out there who is equally, if not more, concerned about her hair than you are, keep going.

Let me give you the backstory: I've never had extremly long hair. 7th grade is when I peaked in terms of long hair. It's always been shoulder length or a little bit past that, while I always dreamt of the day I would have long, bountiful waves, a la a Victoria's Secret Angel. Was that too much to ask?

Since then, I've settled for the just-past-the-shoulders look. I don't love it, but I don't hate it. However, I know that I probably won't ever get that past-my-bossom hair, ever. And a few things have happened since I first dreamed of long, bountiful hair: A) I realized those VS Angels I wish to emulate are loaded up with extensions. (This is a fact I know to be true, since I had the Angel makeover this May and Orlando Pita himself sent me home with rack upon rack of extension after he applied each one meticulously to my hair.) B) At some point I got on birth control, which is notorious for stunting your hair growth... since I've gotten off of it, my hair actually has grown. (Yes, I'm off birth control. Don't meddle in my love life.) And C) I learned that the mantra that you should get haircuts every so often to help your hair grow is a big fat fib, probably started by some hairstylist who was eager to get their clients in the chair every 4-6 weeks. My hair kept getting shorter and shorter with every trim, with no progress in the growing-out department. So, yes, I guess you could say I don't believe in haircuts. Usually.

All that being said, my hair is fine in texture, but I have a lot of it, and it's getting back to my peak point, which is exciting! I still throw in The Tiz, my trusty extensions, whenever I feel like I want to whip my hair around like Taylor Swift or want to pull off a fishtail braid, but for the most part, I've embraced my natural hair this year.

Yet I'm craving a change. And I've been thinking about it for awhile: do I get a haircut? Not a trim. Not layers. A full-on cut. (Sounds like a curse word.) I've heard everything on this subject.

"DO IT!" "DON'T DO IT!" "GET BANGS INSTEAD!!!"

Everyone has an opinion on my hair, but I can't seem to muster one up on my own without going through six phases of deductive reasoning. "Jennifer Aniston has short hair. Jennifer Aniston is sexy. Therefore, short hair is sexy..." 

There are so many factors that play into this impending haircut. (If I can even use the term 'impending' at this point.) First being that I wouldn't be able to do hair tutorials with the cut I'm considering — I'll get to that in a moment — which is approximately 1/3 of my job. So that pretty much rules it out, Mariska Hargitay style. But if I never had to do another hair tutorial, ever, that still would't have me sitting in the chair at M├ęche, ready to make the big chop. 

I needed to talk to someone about this. Some roommates discuss their neighbors or their plumbing; my roomate and I have 30 minute discussions on haircuts. And some valid points were brought up. Points that I thought, "maybe if I put this much effort into my dating life, I wouldn't be having this conversation at 8:30 on a Monday."

I mentioned to her that I wanted to cut my hair because the ends are a mess and I want a change! "I want to go assymetrical. Longer in the front, past my chin, and shorter in the back, so it just brushes my shoulder a little bit. Then I'll add a ton of highlights so I look really blonde."

Fearne Cotton, bottom right, is the ideal here
She loved it right off the bat. "I think you have the perfect face shape for it!" 

Which brings me to my first fear: I have concerns that I will get a haircut that won't flatter my face, and it will make my face look fat, bloated, and like a potato. It's this, along with my irritional fear of thin eyebrows, that make me a nutjob. I'm also concerned that it will make my already fine hair look too thin, when I am hoping it will make it look thicker. See? There is a lot that goes into this crap.

Just a side note: I want to take a minute to express that while I over-analyze myself, it is quite the contrary when it comes to others. One of the most interesting things anyone has ever told me is that, from editing my videos, they figured I was some snotty bitch who judged everyone on their looks. You are the beauty host, after all! But once they got to know me, they said I changed their opinion. AND THANK GOD. Because I really wish my friends would stop making excuses for their appearances around me. Sometimes it feels like they have to explain themselves because they're nervous that I'm taking a good look-see at their skin or hair and whipping up a laundry list of things I'd makeover in my head. There is no need. Because guess what? My friendship is not contingent on whether or not you have a chipped manicure, or if your roots are fresh. I don't care if you're breaking out — I break out too. I am usually thinking about how your pores are smaller than mine, or how you have great eyelids. (Yes, I notice those things.) You could be a troll for Heaven's sake, and I'd still compliment you on your wild haircolor (even though your personality would piss me off). So don't judge me for being a psycho about my hair. This type of thing doesn't exist outside of my own self-evaluation, and that of celebrities. (Which I do for a living. Just saying.) 

OKAY BACK TO THE STORY. After showing her my inspiration photos: Kate Bosworth, Katy Perry, Fearne Cotton and some random chick (see above), she was still supportive. "I think you could totally pull it off, but this one right here? It looks a little Southern." Yep. She said the S-word. She is referring to the photo on the top right.

NO DISREPECT TO MY SOUTHERN HOMIES. Trust me, I want hair taller than the Empire State building, with lots of bountiful curls. Think Carrie Underwood. (This would all fly right out of that Empire State window though, if I did cut my hair.) But if I'm going short, I want the cut to look cool and chic. And I quote, "like I'm hanging out with the band." (Yes I totally said that, which makes me want to kill myself.) Gabby chimed in with a, "Yeah! You don't want to look like you just got your first job at SuperCuts." 

I don't think she could have put it any better. Y'all know exactly want I'm talking about: the cropped cut, oftentimes, can come off like a literal hair helmet on their heads. It can look great, pending that's the look you want and can pull it off, but I like to date linebackers — not look like one. Which is exactly what I would look like. I'd magically gain about 250 pounds as soon as my hair was chopped off. It's all so rational...

I am a Southern girl at heart, so it kills me to say it, but I can't do the Sally Field helmet hair people. I can't. I'm not that cool. So that is the first struggle: keeping the cut "cool." 

The conversation continued. 

Full disclosure: I debated deleting this entire portion because I'm embarrassed to admit that this was remotely a thought in my head, but hell, if I have thought it, I'm sure someone else has. 

"I know right? I know this is crazy, but I fear that men won't find me attractive with short hair." I pause and look at her. Gabby is a cool chick. Really pretty. And she has short hair. Time to backtrack. "I mean... I know that's so stupid but..." She cuts me off before I can explain.

"Oh, trust me. I get it. Before I had my hair this short, I had long, almost blonde hair. After my boyfriend and I broke up, I cut it all off and it was amazing. But I had to give myself a few months after the breakup before I could do it. Do it when you haven't been dating anyone for awhile!"

Well, great news! I've been single almost four years, and I have zero prospects. If there is a time to do it, it would be now, when no sh-ts are to be given. But why do I care so much about whether men will find me good looking with short hair? Isn't that absolutely ludicrous? Shouldn't they think I'm attractive regardless of the length of my hair?!

I can't stop thinking about the Instagram photo I posted with my hair-spiration, and couldn't help but notice that zero men liked the photo. Zip. And all the comments? WOMEN. I mean, I don't usually dress for men — I feel most women dress for other women in general — so why would I keep my hair for men? I'm sure I could go off on some feminist rant right now, but that's not the point here.

Not to mention, this hair on my head? IT WILL GROW. It's not like I'm getting a rhinoplasty or a giant back tattoo. It's a haircut. It will grow back out. Nothing permanent. So why am I acting like I'm making a life-altering decision, like pulling out all of my teeth or something?

Back on the topic of men though: do I want to be with someone who doesn't think I'm pretty when I have short hair? Only when I have long hair? Hell no. But I remember how crazy everyone went when Miley chopped her hair. Miley, in my opinion, is a beautiful girl, so she will always be beautiful, with or without long hair. But that's the thing: beauty is so subjective. If people don't like the way I look, it's not just because of my hair. Right? And why do I care is the real question.

On the contrary, we grow up putting so much emphasis on our hair. It's hard not to be concerned about the way it looks. I mean, we all love those makeover scenes in movies where the mousy-haired dud gets an upgrade to long, voluminous bouncy curls; or, in the case of She's All That, a ratty, long-haired geek turns into a chic, stylish babe with a crop cut.

Basically, it all comes down to this: I need a hair whisperer. Or maybe a Hairy Godmother/father. They can lead the way and help me see the light: what does my hair want from me? If it could send me a text and let me know whether or know it wants to stay or go, that would be great.

So next time you think someone just went an got a haircut on a whim, chances are, she's thought about at least one of these things, and furthermore, probably spent countless hours on Pinterest or looking in magazines to find her ideal look. When in doubt, always be supportive of a new 'do after it happens.

1 comment:

Megan Hyde said...

This post is perfection; Changing up a style is fun and scary all at once. You would look amazing with any of the cuts you showed examples of! Good luck!

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