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Sunday, October 06, 2013


I’m weird.  I’m really weird about hair – especially my hair.  But also hair in general.  Hair, once off the head, disgusts me…like irrationally grosses me out and kind of freaks me out.  But, for now, let’s talk about the hair on my head.  I’m fairly certain I think about my hair way more than is normal or necessary.  For a while now – about nine years – I have had short hair.  I have thick, naturally curly hair and, for whatever reason, once it gets “long” (for me – which is like just below my chin) it starts to drive me nuts and I chop it off again as quickly as possible.  I have, in the past, come from a hair cut that I wasn’t happy with and took scissors myself and went to town.  I LOVE short hair on women and I spend an unhealthy amount of time google-searching, bing-image perusing, Pinteresting “short curly hair,” “curly pixie haircut,” “curly short hairstyles 2013…” You get.  You name it; I’ve searched it. 

The other weird thing about me and my hair – especially short hair – is that while I love it and think I look better with a short, sassy ‘do I also have what I like to call “short hair low self-esteem.”  This can be traced back to my glory days of 7th grade (terrible, awful 7th grade) when I didn’t understand thick, curly hair yet.  I didn’t know how to use good product to keep the frizz down and I had a not so good short haircut.  Like it was a border-line old lady short hair cut and I was in the throes and woes of awkward adolescence.  My hair cut was such that, one of the, mmm, probably 50 year old gals, who worked at the middle school, complimented me nonstop, asked where I’d gotten it cut and came in to work a few days later with a carbon copy cut. Crap.

My relationship to my hair can be traced back to those awkward days and also hearing the (at the time) “mean girls” make fun of me.  I was chubby, I had acne, and when all the other girls had long straight hair, I had a short, poofy coif.  Another “friend” referred to me as (and I perfectly word-for-word quote because I’ll never forget it) an “egg on toothpicks.”  So, essentially, while I think I look better with short hair, I still constantly question and am plagued with self-doubt as I look around at the moms at the bus stop (all with their long, straight hair and also all tall and thin…and gorgeous), I wonder, “Do I look like an egg on toothpicks with a poofy old lady frizzy ‘fro on my head?”  Honestly.  These are the thoughts.

Now, for nearly two years, I’ve been going to a new salon where the owner, Karly, TOTALLY knows curly hair.  She’s magical.  I’m a huge fan.  As I’ve said, my hair has been short-ish for nine years.  Last summer, it was closer to my chin, -- the angled curly bob look that I’d rocked for a few years.  I decided to take it even shorter.  But another problem I have is: I do love change.  When I get my haircut I want it to look like I’ve gotten a haircut.  I wish my hair grew CRAZY fast so that every single time I got a haircut it would look really different.  I don’t grow out my hair to have longer hair.  I grow out my hair so I can chop it off again.

Well, this past spring, I got my shortest ‘do yet.  But pretty soon, I started to feel antsy (again) about having short hair. It also didn’t help that we were coaching Matthew’s baseball team and I didn’t feel like the haircut looked good under the baseball hat everyone saw me in several times a week. Karly suggested we grow it out – like REALLY do it – just to see if maybe I like longer hair again.  For a change.  I’ve also always wanted to have long enough hair to donate for cancer patient wigs (this requires cutting off at minimum 8 inches in a pony tail).  I’ve had a few friends do it and I’ve always wanted to.  Karly even pointed out that if I was willing to cut it SUPER short, then 8 inches isn’t necessarily CRAZY long hair.  The thought of cutting it SUPER short gets me so excited.  I can’t wait…and yet, again, I get plagued with my self-doubt: “I’m young(ish) now.  Shouldn’t I have long hair while I’m young? Old ladies have short hair.  I’ve got the rest of my life to have short hair…but I love having short hair.  I feel sassy and fun.  When my hair gets longer I actually feel kind of frumpy and mleh….but do I DESERVE short hair?!  Am I thin and spunky enough to pull off a sassy, maybe even edgier short hair cut so that it doesn’t look like an old lady ‘do…but I should really grow it out….but it takes so freakin’ long to get long…but I really just want to chop it off already…but short hair doesn’t look as good under hats and I do love hats….but should you really base your haircut on how it will look under hats…but can’t I just commit myself to growing it out for donation?  I mean, in the big picture, growing it out for two years isn’t THAT long of a time….EVERYONE has long hair, don’t I want to fit in…but I want short hair…but….”  Do you see what I mean when I say I think WAY more about my hair than is normal?  I mean, I can even write a whole blog about it!

And this is just how I feel about my hair.  I haven’t even delved into the commentary that I get from others.  While Mike has been supportive and is always complimentary about my short hair, I know for a fact that he does prefer longer hair (as most men do).  So, then I’m like, ‘well, shoot, I know that my hubby would prefer me a different way….’  Then there’s my mom.  Ahh, mom.  She was the one that initiated my short hair middle school days that will forever live in my mind in infamy and regret.  She had my best interest at heart, obviously.  And I think she, too, really didn’t have a good grasp on hair product and care for my super thick curls.  I mean, it took me nearly thirty years to figure it out!  She’s also made it abundantly clear that she thinks I look much better in short hair.  When I was discussing with her last week this plan to grow it out but that I struggle with it because I do think I look better with shorter hair, she interejected, “You can just pull it up all the time.  You don’t look very good with long hair.”  Oh.  I see.  I thought I looked BETTER with short hair; I didn’t realize that I looked BAD with long hair.  Oye vey.

So, here we are.  I went to Karly for a hair cut/trim last week convinced that I was going to throw in the towel (after only a few months of attempting to grow my hair).  I was ready to just say, “Forget it.  Take it the shortest it’s ever been.” But she talked me out of it.  She encouraged me to just try a little longer.  She did shape it and give it more style so I don’t feel so blah about it…but…but…my next hair cut is November 26th and I’m already thinking and wondering – way too much – about what I should do to my do.  I really don’t have a lot of hope in myself in this whole ‘I’ll grow it out for two years’ plan.  I just really don’t think I can do it.  But then, am I being selfish?  I mean, people going through Chemo would love my thick hair! But it is, still technically, my hair so shouldn’t I wear it the way I want it?  But then, can I pull it off?  Plus, longer hair takes longer to style.  I want my long hair-styling time for Kayliana now.  She can be the one with long hair.  Yeah, I’m totally chopping it off…or maybe I won’t…but…ugh.

The facts: Long hair Jenny (so youthful, so free)

Medium length-haired Jenny

Short, sassy haired Jenny (yet 'mature' = old??!)

This is what a nerd I am about this: I would appreciate your input and opinions!!


Kristyn Gish said...

Did you sneak into my head and read my thoughts?!?!? I have the same thing. I have had my hair shorter for a while and keep tweaking it at every hair cut. I want it to look sassy and cool but not like I am trying to hard. I see all the long hair then I am instantly jealous of all the cool hairstyles they can do. You've seen my hair longish, it just hangs there and drives me nuts. At least once a week I google short hairstyles and copy and paste them into a word document so I can show my hairdresser. I even stalked a girl with cute hair at the beach this summer so I could take a picture, but pretended to take a picture of Owen :) At the end of the day you need a haircut that you are happy with since you are the one that has to deal with it everyday. I am glad I am not the only one who obsesses over haircuts :)

Jenny said...

OH MY GOSH, Kristyn! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you stalked someone to take a photo. SO me! :) I want to see the pic you took and what you're thinking. I think we just need a short, sassy hair support group and go for it! The thing about short hair is while there's less to 'do' with it, I feel like it always looks (pretty) nice and stylish. We should do this thing and OWN it.

Ashley said...

I love long hair! You should try it!!