At least I got it out of my system.

Readers, there’s really no easy way to say this. In fact, because I am slightly afraid of you all, and know you’ve always reacted with horror to my “Hey, I could totally get a fringe!” suggestions in the past, I actually wasn’t going to say anything: I thought I’d just avoid posting photos of myself for a few months and no one would be any the wiser. But my clever plan was foiled, and it was foiled by my very own Shoe Challenge, which started last month and which requires all participants to take photos of themselves and post them on the Internet. Now, what kind of asshole comes up with a rule like that, eh? Oh. That would’ve been me. Excellent. I hate myself.

Of course, I could have simply taken advantage of the “you can crop out your head if you want” clause, but I’ve never done that before and people would notice and ask why, so I’m just going to come clean. I’m going to say this very quickly and then I’m going to run away and hide:

ItriedtocutmyownhairandIscreweditupsoIhadtogotothesalonandnowIhaveafringe.

And now, a short intermission, during which you can all shout at me:

<short intermission, shouting >

So, I’m not even going to TRY and defend my latest act of complete and utter idiocy. I did it because I am stupid, and that’s really all there is to be said on the matter. Because I am me, though, and I normally like to say much, much more than is ever necessary about any given subject, here is my explanation:

“I am stupid. Like, ‘If I’d been born a couple of hundred years ago, I probably wouldn’t have survived childhood’ stupid. Seriously.”

Wait, I meant my OTHER explanation:

Well, see, you know. I had been bored with my hair for a while. It wasn’t that it was a bad cut (Although obviously at least one person will email me now to say that yes, it was): it was just that I’d had it since I was about 14, and I was well and truly sick of it. The problem with that, though, was that over the last year or so, my anxiety about having my hair cut has only intensified. I mean, I know I always joke about hating going to the salon, but seriously, folks: I hate going to the salon. So I just stopped going, other than when I felt it had become unavoidable. And even although Iwas bored with my hair, I could see no way of ever changing it, because every time I DID have it cut, I was so afeared of The Return of the Mullet that I would just have it trimmed and then leave looking exactly the same as when I arrived. I knew I was being silly about it. “Amber,” I told myself, “Ain’t no point going through your ENTIRE LIFE with EXACTLY THE SAME HAIRCUT, just because you’re too scared to change it in case you hate it. Even although every time you have changed it, you’ve hated it.” But I WAS too scared. And I DID continue to go through life with exactly the same haircut.


Exactly the same haircut

It was a problem.

But then. Then came The Googling.

“You know,” I thought to myself one day, “I bet it’s not THAT hard to cut your own hair. I bet I could do it if I really wanted to. I will Google it.”

So I did. But rather than Googling something that might have actually helped me, like “THE PERILS OF CUTTING YOUR OWN HAIR”, say, I obviously Googled something like, “Cutting your own hair is easy, yeah?” Because I got a bunch of results that were all about how EASY it was to cut your own hair. How easy? SO easy! “Awesome!” I said. “Pass me the kitchen scissors, Terry!”

OK, I didn’t say that last bit. Instead, I took my search to YouTube. And there I found a bunch of tutorials with titles like, “How to cut your hair yourself – it’s easy, and not in the least bit stupid!” They had all been made by lovely young girls with gorgeous, gorgeous hair. “I cut it myself,” they all said in their videos. “Because it’s easy!”

And that was when I reached for the scissors.

Well, no, not exactly. I actually spent several weeks contemplating the thought, which obviously makes me sound even more stupid, because there was SO MUCH TIME for me to talk myself out of it. (“Why didn’t you mention this plan?” asked Terry, aghast, when I came out of the bedroom looking like I’d just lost a fight with Edward Scissorhands. “Because you would have talked me out of it,” I said, and that right there shows you why I should probably be taken into protective custody for my own good.) Then, on Saturday, I was having dinner at my parents’ house when, following a routine trip to the bathroom, I looked in the mirror above the hand basin and realised that some strands of my hair were much longer than others.

(This was the cut I mentioned here, by the way, so either some strands of my hair grow freakishly faster than others, or I’d been walking about like that for the past four weeks. And the only reason I had THAT cut was because the last time I’d been to that salon, they’d left one side much longer than the other. Yes, I still went back. Because they’re cheap and I’m in and out in ten minutes, which makes me willing to overlook the fact that hairdressing obviously isn’t part of their skill set.)

(This isn’t even the bad bit of the story yet, by the way.)

“Aha!” I thought. “This is just the opportunity I’ve been waiting for! I will use my new found hair-stylin’ skills – thanks, YouTube! – to fix this!”

So, while my parents and Terry were all outside taking photos of the night sky (Don’t ask), I went into the kitchen, snuck the hairdressing scissors out of the drawer (Yes, my parents own hairdressing scissors. Because my parents own EVEYTHING. Seriously, there will probably come a day when I can type the sentence, “.. so I went into the kitchen and snuck my parents’ nuclear warhead out of the drawer…”) and retired with them to the bathroom.

SNIP! Went the scissors. SNIPSNIP! A-SNIPSNIPSNIP! It was, dare I say it, easy. And also oddly satisfying. As I snipped, I felt my powers grow. It was like when Luke Skywalker started learning all those mad Jedi skillz. Seriously, it was JUST LIKE THAT.

“The Force is strong in you, young Padawan,” I told my reflection. “Attempting all kinds of complicated hairdressing feats, soon you will be!”

And sure enough, the hair looked fine. But I had created a monster of a different kind, there in my parents bathroom. You see, up until then, my thoughts about hair cutting had been of the strictly theoretical kind. It was one of those things that are kind of fun to think about, but which you know you’ll never actually DO, like when I imagine myself on X-Factor sometimes. Now, though, things were different. Buoyed by my recent success in the bathroom, my plans started to take on a more concrete form. It was but a matter of time before I put my skills to their true test, and one way or another, I knew my hair would be a-changin’. I just didn’t realise it would be happening this Tuesday.

After all my planning, though, when it did happen, it was very much a spur-of-the-moment thing. It was yesterday morning. I’d just finished blow-drying my hair, and I wasn’t happy with it. The bits at the front were looking a little straggly, and wouldn’t sit right, and all of sudden I knew EXACTLY what to do about it.

“Screw this!” I said, then I turned on my heel, grabbed the scissors, and cut those bad boys right off, without even giving myself a chance to think about it.

Of course, as soon as I saw the worryingly-long strands of hair fall to the floor, I realised what you all realised right at the start of this post: that I had made a monumental mistake. The full weight of the delusion I’d been operating under all came crashing down upon me in that one-split second, and for the first time in weeks, I was able to see clearly: and not just because I’d chopped several inches of my hair off.

So I cut some more, in a bid to even it all up.

WHOOPS.

Only then did I accept defeat and do what I should have done in the first place: I called the salon. And not my local Krappy Kuts, either. I knew this task would be beyond them. No, I called the proper salon, ‘fessed up, and managed to get an appointment with the salon director that afternoon. One hour and a lot of money later, I was no longer looking like a total idiot (Luckily my ruthless attack on my own head had centred solely around those strands at the very front, so the rest of the hair remains intact. And actually, the stylist has managed to give me more or less the cut I was trying to do myself, and which I’d been thinking about getting for months. It’s just a shame I don’t actually like it now I have it, thus proving that I was RIGHT to be scared to make even the smallest change, and that I should never, ever, EVER try to change my hair, no matter how bored with it I get). I WAS still feeling like one, though, obviously.

And that’s how I came to have a sideways fringe, and no money.

The End

(P.S. No, I’m not posting photos. I’m going to be pinning it back until it grows out anyway, and I’ve also been getting some very personal comments about the general state of my face here recently: I can change my hair, but there’s not much I can do about my face, unfortunately, so no photos until it grows out!)