A few months ago when asked for my id at a local bar, the bartender at first refused me service. I assured them that I am 25 years old, and I rattled my address and birth date without blinking before they finally agreed to let me buy my very adult glass of wine. As I walked away, the manager suggested that I try ' not changing my hair so much' to help prevent any future confusion. What the manager didn't know was just how incorrect his statement was. I cut my hair into a chin length style in 2008, and I haven't looked back since. When my license photo was taken on my 21st birthday however I had shoulder length, brown hair.
* Photo taken circa 2007 *
Like most girls I know, I always wanted what I couldn't have. As a young girl I had pin straight blonde hair, so I admired girls with thick curly brown hair. I would take photo after photo of every celebrity I could find with me to the salon.
' My request is simple hair dresser. I just want to look exactly like this famous person who doesn't look like me, whose hair is nothing like mine, and who pays people to style their hair each morning. Got it? '
No matter how many different celebrity looks I tried, I still wasn't happy. I would always leave the salon with the same pin straight hair, and always with different layers put in. I still looked like me, and nothing like the picture. About the time I moved out of my parents house, I thought I had finally figured out the trick. I would grow my hair out, pledge not to cut it until it reached the length I wanted and instead I would dye it. My hair is notoriously slow at growing. I've read that each person's hair is genetically disposed to reach it's prime point at a particular length, and won't grow much beyond that. After 3 years without hair cuts, my hair was still just grazing my shoulders. During that time, I had explored various shades of brown. I didn't look any more like me, but I did look an awful lot like my brunette siblings.
* My blonde self next to my naturally brown haired siblings *
I was reading a book by Tim Gunn in 2008 in which he had written something that would change my opinion of my hair forever. I can't remember his exact quote, but he said something along the lines of,
' Ponytails are the worst thing to ever happen to your hair. Consider your hair your best built in accessory. You wouldn't buy an accessory you'd want to hide everyday would you?'.
That was all I needed to hear. The fabulous Mr. Gunn was right. I finally had longer hair, and it was spending more time up and out of the way then it was long and flowing. If I was going to keep it up all the time, I mind as well keep it that way permanently. I cut it short in 2008, but spent the next few years bouncing between stylists before I finally found my amazing hairdresser Hannah last year. I already had the short hair, but I wanted to add some oomph to it. I sat down in her chair for the first time and gave her specific directions.
" I'm sick of trying to look like everyone else. I like my hair short. I just want to find a style that can make me look like the best me."
* My fancy hair at a recent wedding *
There are some downsides to having shorter hair. When we get dressed up for weddings and fancy events I have only two options, half up or all down. ( Of course this also makes things incredibly easy ! )
I can't pull my hair back at all which is only a hassle when it comes to A. working out B. driving with the windows down and C. having the flu. The solution is simple. A. I go to workout class looking fancy but leaving looking extra sweaty, B I keep a comb handy to tame to extra volume once we stop and C I keep headbands near the toilet. You can never predict when a sudden stomach bug will hit.
The last downside was something I had never expected. It seems that short hair is something that attracts a special kind of man. Johnny has made no secret of his desire for me to cut my hair even shorter, but the truth is he loves any hair style that makes me happy. ( Cheesy but true) I have gotten a lot of feedback in the last few years however that makes me think that I got lucky with Johnny. One of his friends on a drunken night declared that I 'would almost be his type, except for the hair. I would never date a girl with short hair'. My response? ' Well I'm not single, but if I was if my hair was listed on your Top 5 concerns, you wouldn't have stood a chance anyways.'
* I may never stray from this hair style *
Hannah and I were gabbing ( like hairdressers and clients do!) during my last appointment, and she asked if when the time came for our wedding, I would be buying extensions to put in my hair. I didn't hold back from laughing at her questions. Why would I do a thing like that? Not only would Johnny have no clue who was walking down the aisle, but long hair just isn't me. I've tried darker, longer, and curlier, but none of those styles made me look like me.
Having shorter hair does mean up keep appointments about every 6 weeks. I'm always amazed when even at 5 weeks since my last appointment, I will still get questions ( Did you just get your hair done?) and compliments ( Your hair always looks so good!). My roots can be showing, and my hair can be off length but people don't seem to notice. What they do notice is the fantastic accessory I'm wearing on top of my head. The fantastic accessory that finally has me looking like me.