Hairdressing Curse: broken!

So, yesterday I went to the hairdresser and had a big ol’ chunk cut off my hair.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of those entries, where I end up screaming and crying that OMG, it’s SO UNFAIR, and I HATE MY LIFE. No, this is actually a good hairdressing story – or as good as a hairdressing story can get for me considering I’m still growing out a MULLET, obviously.

Anyway, as you know, after my last brush with hairdressing hell, I had sworn to never let a pair of scissors near my head again, and to just let it grow until it got so long I had to employ a team of small children to walk behind me at all times, carrying it. I believe the name “Rapunzel” was mentioned. And the thing is, I totally intended to stick to this plan, but a few weeks ago I suddenly realised the plan was fatally flawed, because while it is true  that the front part of my hair has, indeed, been growing, SO HAS THE BACK. At the same speed. So if I just let it grow I would basically never be free of the Mullet. I’d just have a super-long mullet instead. Yeah.

Gradually, then, the unwelcome truth became evident: if I ever wanted to hold my head up in public again, I would have to just bite the bullet and submit to having large chunks cut off the back of my hair every few weeks, so that eventually the front and back would meet in the middle, so to speak, and I would have “normal” hair again. Maybe.

Well, for the last few weeks, each day I have faced an almighty battle not to just pick up a pair of scissors and hack it all off myself. It is THAT BAD. And yesterday morning I woke up, looked in the mirror and realised that I could not tolerate it ONE DAY LONGER, and that if I couldn’t get it cut right that very day, I would be doing it myself. Given that I am the clumsiest woman alive, the second option didn’t sound good even to me, and so it was that I found myself in the car and driving towards the only salon I knew might be able to squeeze me in on a Saturday afternoon, repeating the mantra, “I will not ask for a fringe, I will NOT ask for a fringe” over and over again.  In fact, I repeated that mantra so many times I’m actually amazed I didn’t just walk into the salon and shout “NO FRINGE!” at them.

I didn’t, though. And they told me, yes, they could fit me in, so, with fast-beating heart, I sat myself down with the stylist and told her the tale of The Mullet, after which she moved in for a closer look at the offending hair.

“OH MY GOD!” shouted the stylist, jumping back as if stung. “This is… this is a MESS!”

Now, I have to admit, I felt ever so slightly smug about this reaction. The thing is, no one has ever really believed me about how bad this haircut was. For the past two months, I’ve mostly tied it back, cunningly trying to disguise the fact that I now looked a lot like Billy Ray Cyrus, when viewed in a certain light. And, you know, there is the fact that I’m a known drama queen, and I just know most people have listened to my tale of woe and thought, “yeah right, whatever. Bet it looks exactly the same.” But it was NOT the same. And this New Stylist had instantly seen it for what it was.

“There’s a really big difference between the length at the front and the length at the back,” she said, staring at the hair as if it might bite her. “It’s almost like…”

“Like a mullet,” I said. “Yes, I know: you can say it.”

“Yeah,” said the hairdresser, warming to her theme, “But the thing is, I bet even YOU don’t realise how bad this is. I mean, you can’t see the back of your head. Seriously, YOU SHOULD SEE THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD!”

I just nodded at this, as if I hadn’t spent hours in the bathroom over the past few weeks, holding up my little Sephora mirror to try and view the back of my head. And then weeping. And drinking.

“I mean, I’d have hated to have seen this when it was first done,” continued the stylist, who was actually starting to enjoy herself just a little bit too much at this point, really. ”That must’ve looked TERRIBLE.”

Then she tried to persuade me to let her cut it to shoulder length. “It won’t fix it,” she said, “But it’ll make it look less like a … well, you know.”

Readers, I held firm. I know she was right, but I was nervous enough about being back in The Chair (“You must be terrified!” said the hairdresser cheerfully as she started snipping. “I would be!”) without adding the pressure of a Dramatic Change into the mix. So we compromised, and she cut it to just a couple of inches under my shoulders.  This actually still feels like a Dramatic Change to me (when I brush it I get that horrible sinking feeling when the brush suddenly encounters air and I’m all, “OMG WHERE IS MY HAIR?!”), but I realised a long time ago that when you have long hair,  no one ever notices the fact that you suddenly have four inches less of it than you used to. This theory was proven last night when we went to visit my parents and neither of them noticed, even when I swished my head around ostentatiously. They just thought I was having a fit or something.

Anyway, it’s still going to take months to grow out the mullet completely, but the point is, I have at last had a haircut that didn’t make me cry afterwards, and I think this could be a turning point in the career of my hair. I feel like maybe the ancient curse has been broken, and there is new hope that the mullet may one day be defeated. And I was going to blow-dry it and style it all nice, then get Terry to take a picture of it, but then I thought, “Why do that when I can just sit around on my ass letting it dry naturally and get all frizzy first?” So I did. Then I remembered that when Terry takes photos of me, they generally end up looking something like this:



He took this while we were out walking the dog today. “Take a picture of my hair,” I said. “Try not to make me look like a lunatic,” I said. Gah. So it looks like this is about as good as it’s going to get in terms of photos of The Hair:

There were others, but I swear to God, I had my eyes closed and was frowning in every. single. one.  So, um, yeah.

Maybe I’ll ask for a fringe next time?*