After cutting off my hair back in September, I’ve only recently gotten used to the idea that one needs to cut one’s hair more than once or twice a year. Lulled into a false sense of security that a hairdresser who cuts your hair successfully once, can do it twice, is apparently the first lesson I need to learn this year.
Last week I entered the 5 stages of grief for my new haircut and color.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to recount all 5 since I’m firmly stuck in the first stage – denial and isolation – as a result of the instructions I issued with wanton abandon;
‘oh go crazy. I don’t care. I will grow back’
NOTE: No self respecting or sane female over the age of 13 offers these instructions to any person in charge of hair cutting. I, apparently, take a while to learn.
I knew it was bad when she suggested ‘popping a bit of makeup on’ before she even took the towel off my head. When I questioned ‘why?’ (it was 7.30am and I work at home), she muttered something about ‘wanting you to get the full effect’.
I now know this means ‘if I take off the towel now without some distracting lipstick, you will start screaming’
She then suggested that she turn me away from the mirror while she cut it.
I started sensing that something might be up and firmly suggested that no, I preferred to see what she was doing and resolutely planted my feet on the floor, facing the mirror as she unwound the towel.
Ok. So it was kind of red.
Red like ‘Red’ on Orange is the New Black. Red like every meth addict you’ve ever seen in an ‘after’ shot; Red like every teenager who is mid rebellion. NOT the reddish brown that resembles my natural color and what I had requested.
I didn’t freak out though (see how that Denial kicks in immediately?), since my hair is short and its not a lot of ‘mass’ to deal with. So I smiled and resumed reading how ‘Stars Are Just Like Us’.
Sidebar: Stars are not like us. We do not win awards on national TV for doing our job. No-one I know has a swimming pool. Tom Ford has never offered to dress anyone I know for free. Yes, stars are like us in that they require oxygen and shelter. After that… whole different species. I don’t even think they require food.
Back to my redness.
My last haircut was liberating, pretty and, dare I say it, suited me perfectly. I assumed that I didn’t need to supervise this second time around and instead, focusing on reading all about how labiaplasty is the new de rigeur procedure(Vogue is always so relevant).
I looked up and realized that through no actual activity or yearning, I’d transformed into a red headed, slightly thuggish looking lesbian. If it wasn’t for the aforementioned make up she’d applied, I’d probably be fairly comparable to Robert Grinch of Harry Potter fame. Except not so good looking.
But, as you’re required by the rules of womanhood, I smiled, complimented her on her style and skills, payed the extortionate bill (plus tip) and headed to the door.
Maybe it would look better in natural light.
Like… at midnight.
I’ve spent the last 4 days primping and pulling, adding products and shine, pushing it every which way and the only conclusion I can come to is that I’m not going out until February. And until then, I’m wearing a hat. In mid February I might venture out socially, but only to a place where a red faux hawk is acceptable and attractive on a woman with tattoos.
So basically a female prison or a dyke bar.
Yes, its just hair, and yes it will grow back. I am spending my afternoon trying to recolor it brown, and it is, after all just hair.
Except. This is the lesson you’re meant to learn at 16.And I am apparently incapable of learning it.
I thought I learned it when I tried to dye my hair blond using a home kit, and rendered my head vibrant neon orange for one awful terrible weekend.
I really thought I had kicked the habit when I let a highly fashionable straight guy cut me a Dorothy Hamill bowl and dye it darkest deepest brown.
After seeing a photo of myself with plum hair, I definitely learned that any shade of purple makes me look as though I have cancer.
And I thought I’d finally put these types of days behind me at 35, when my divorce caused me to cut off my hair and dye my shaved head black.
I am 42. I am still having those days.
On the positive side, this wacky hairstyle and color does signal that I am open to change (also ridicule and ‘any dare’), and it won’t need brushing or combing for ooooooo a month or two (one does not need to brush, dry or anything 1 inch of hair). I’ll save about $10 on shampoo, which will slightly counteract the $100 I’ll be spending on vitamins and supplements to make this fucker grow out faster. I will also be saving $$$ since I won’t be leaving the house for any social occasions for a while, though the cost of replacing all of my white towels (now dyed slightly pink), will probably outweigh that.
Lesson learned? I’d love to say yes but doubt it. The colors I am willing to go are getting fewer and fewer, but as long as there are scissors and my willingness to trust, I know I’ve got a few more of these to go before I do actually wise up.
Meanwhile I’m going to get back on the Crossfit wagon. Apparently anger will kick in shortly and throwing some weight around will be highly therapeutic.. even if I have to wear a hat to do it.