Friday, December 3, 2010

When in doubt, just cut off all your hair

I have never been one of those women who is afraid to experiment with their hair. I have worn my hair long, short, brown, red and yes, even blonde. My hair has always been something that I accessorized with, taking an "it will always grow back if I hate it" mentality.

During my pregnancy with F, my hair grew at lightening speed. It was crazy. Even my obstetrician - a guy - often commented on how long my hair was getting. The quick pace of growth didn't seem to slow after I had F either.

It had been a long time since I had worn my hair long and I began to remember the perks of lengthy tresses. When I didn't have time to shower, I could sweep it all back into a ponytail. It got long enough to create elaborate styles when I had the time and a large messy bun when I didn't. I was really enjoying the long hair. It made me feel more feminine in a house packed to the gills with testosterone.

Then it started to fall out. A lot. One morning in the shower, I pulled out a handful of my hair. It was shocking. It was really gross. It was going to clog my drains. This continued for a few weeks and the stress of losing my hair created more stress, thus inciting a vicious cycle of stress and hair loss. Tumbleweeds of hair danced down my hallways and it looked like we had adopted a long-haired molting animal of some kind.

I finally lost my cool. Since I had worn my hair short before, I knew that chopping it all off would be no big deal. But my previous short hairstyles had all been high maintenance and I do not have time for blow drying and styling and all that other crap. No. This time, I needed to go shorter. Super short. Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby short.

I'll admit it. I was scared. I have a few renegade cowlicks in my hair. What if they rebelled and I looked like Alfafa or Dennis the Menace? What if I just looked like a guy? What would I do without the safety net of a ponytail? Then again, what if my children started coughing up hair balls? How much would it cost me to have every drain in my house snaked by a plumber to evacuate the hair blockage created by my fleeting mane? I went online. I found a picture of a haircut that I liked. I went to see my hairstylist, Roland. I gave him the picture.

I told Roland my problem and what I was thinking about doing. Roland has been cutting my hair for five years, so he has a pretty good understanding of my impulsive hair tendencies. But this time, I made it clear that I only wanted him to do it if he thought I could pull it off. He thought I could and I gave him the green light to start cutting.

As long clumps of hair fell victim to the scissors, I began to feel lighter. Sure, my hair would still fall out because that is one of the things that can happen when you have a baby. But at least it wouldn't be quite so shocking. A handful of short hair isn't as jarring as a handful of long hair. When he finished, I was very happy with the cut and glad I made the decision to go short.

When I walked in the front door, C ran up to me, looked at me quizzically and asked, "Mummy, are you you?"

"Yes, I am me. I just had my hair cut." He seemed to accept that as a plausible reason for my new look.

It has taken a some time to adjust to seeing my reflection. After two months of short hair, I am just now expecting to see short hair in the middle. I also got back about twenty minutes of my life a day because washing this close crop takes no time and I don't have to dry or even brush it.

I am sure that I will grow it out again at some point in my life, but I am enjoying my new 'do and the hair-free floors and drains that come along with it.

Mamas, do you have any good child-inducing haircut stories? I want to hear them!

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