Back in March, my 4 year old daughter asked to cut her hair super short. She loved it as it was happening and she’s loved it every day since. Not a word of regret, only feeling herself and her look. I want what she has. All this time, I’ve secretly been wanting to cut my hair off as well, but well, didn’t. Because.
Because I’m at an age where short cuts will make me look like a mom.
Oh yeah, because this haircut is what makes me look like a mom, not anything else about myself these days. I think it’s the two kids hanging on me and then me with the non-stop cry-laughing and pointing and “omg did you see/hear what they said” part that hides it so well.
Because I’m of a body type that isn’t right for a pixie cut.
Because my husband was giving me grief about it.
EVEN MORE BULLSHIT. He doesn’t care half that much.
Because I like being able to just pull it back and go.
BUT THAT IS ALL YOU DO LADY.
Now that those excuses are out of the way, what was it exactly?
I’ve had short hair at several points in my life and really liked it. I mean, it’s just hair, and I’ve never had great hair like so many women I know, so it never really bothered me one way or the other. Like, I wouldn’t know a good haircut because I always go to the cheapest, fastest, most convenient places, which suits me perfectly.
I went to the local Hair Cuttery and Annie was my stylist and she said, “What do you want?”
I said, “Super short.”
She said, “I don’t want to do that.”
She pointed to a woman with shorter hair and said, “Like that?”
“No, way shorter.”
She said,”Oh I don’t want to do that. You’re going to cry aren’t you? Are you going to cry?”
I said, “No, and if you don’t want to do it I’ll wait for another stylist”, because frankly, I was getting annoyed by this point with this little game she was playing with me.
I showed her a picture of what I wanted and she audibly gasped; I thought is she this new that this is shocking to her?
My Stylist tried to talk me out of this new haircut but I resisted.
“What does your husband think?”
“FUCK what my husband thinks. No offense, but really? That’s a question you’re asking me?”
I said, “Look at my little girl over there (the one on the ipad next to her brother in the blow dryer chairs) LOOK AT HER. Doesn’t she look fantastic?”
Annie said, “Well, yes, adorable.”
“I want what she has. She wanted to cut her hair short for a year and I was the one not letting her and she has felt more herself since doing it than when I put her longer hair in pigtails each day, so are you going to cut my hair off or do I have to march back over to SuperCuts where they don’t give me any grief?”
She got to work
She told me how she’s had women in her chair start wailing while getting their hair cut and I learned that some women really really are attached to their hair. It’s traumatic for some and I have never experienced that. She said it sucks to feel responsible for that even when they came in and asked for it, so that’s why she was so persistent in her questioning of me. I gained more empathy for women who have a really hard time cutting their hair and for the stylists doing the cutting.
I mean, ok, BUT STILL.
As the long chunks of hair fell to my lap, my kids peeked around the corner to get a glimpse of what was happening.
She kept cutting and saying, “Shorter?” I kept replying, “You know what I’m going to say.”
We finished up and she said, “Thank you for insisting I cut it this way because it looks great and you definitely have the face for it. I’ve never had anybody react to cutting all their hair off with such a grin on their face.”
I said, “It’s just hair.Thank you for going along with me on this one. I’ve got kids watching me and paying attention to me when I say I want short hair but then don’t actually cut my hair short, so I’m keeping my word to them. But more importantly myself.”
Being kind to myself and following through on things I want to do is hard enough when I don’t have two little voices calling me on my shit all the time. They keep me accountable. Dammit.
I saw my girl behind me in the mirror with her little smile because for months now I’ve been telling her how much I love her hair and I wanted to get short hair too. But then she watched me NOT get short hair.
Every night when I kiss them goodnight, my hair falls in their face and they both don’t like that part. They both would say you should get a haircut and we’d all laugh about it as I would unthinkingly say, “I want to cut it short!” but then they watched me continue to NOT cut it short.
Well today I cut it short. And my girl is so tickled that she took to it immediately. My boy was a bit more hesitant, but by bedtime tonight, when I leaned down to kiss them goodnight, he laughed and said, “that’s so much better, mama.”
My girl and I took a selfie today and she said we were like twins and honestly, if she hadn’t shown me how to own her own short hair, I wouldn’t be feeling myself quite so much tonight.
I don’t know what took me so damn long. If I’m truly in this fuck it forties mode – and I am, OH YES I AM – things are going to get a lot more enjoyable around here as the world burns. Because fuck it, right?
Edited to say I LIKE IT EVEN MORE ON DAY 2.