Trim


It was my first professional haircut in twenty four years. I needed a change so I arranged to get a trim and to have some long layers put in. I’m still processing the results: I don’t hate it, but I’m not in love with it either. At least, not yet- but then again it’s so clean that it’s busy doing its own thing: I might like it just fine in a day or two when the curl tames down.

The stylist was very enthusiastic about the curl. She spread product through the stands and crunched them up to make curls, but all I could remember was my most awkward of teenage years trying and failing and trying and failing and trying and failing to get beautiful ringlet curls like Nicole Kidman and ending up instead with a head that looked like it was covered in crunchy, tangled string.

The stylist’s version of curls was slightly more successful, but I still couldn’t shake my self-consciousness. I didn’t really want curl at all: I wanted, maybe at best, a smooth wave. So I’m waiting to see how it smooths out.

But again: I don’t hate it. It’s fine. My head is a lot lighter, and I’ve definitely got more body going on up around my face which is nice. And it still seems cooperative when I need to twist it up in a bun.

It’s remarkable to realize how much personal narrative is tangled up in hair. There’s this battle of identity and control growing out of my scalp. My hair has written a lot of rules for my life: redheads can’t go in the sun. Redheads are feisty and high tempered. Red hair is so beautiful! Never change it! Your hair’s so long, you look like a princess! Your hair is so long, you look like a hippie. Comb your hair or it’s getting cut off! Never cut your hair! We’ll just take off an inch- just to trim the ends. Don’t worry, it’ll grow back.

I suppose it’s no surprise that I’m feeling so agitated about my hair in particular right now considering how much it is tied up in identity and how much my identity has changed lately. A little voice in my head keeps saying: “I’m tired of being me. I want to be someone else for a while.” It’s a new refrain and I’m not entirely sure where it’s coming from, but it’s quite strong right now.

At any rate, I’m hopeful that the new haircut will help me recognize and let go of some of the extra baggage I’ve been carrying around on the top of my head. Already I’ve made a big step, just in trusting a hairstylist to get near my head with scissors again- just getting the haircut was a big step. So at least there’s progress.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on January 8, 2019.

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