My Mythicality: Make a Bold Hair Decision
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Twice in my life I have made what I consider to be a bold hair decision and true to form both times came on the cusp of a “going through it” season. I’m the walking truth of the old joke that when you are going through it, you shouldn’t cut your bangs.
The first time was in seventh grade when I was all angsty and wanting to feel like an adult. I already dressed like a 58 year old receptionist named Sharon and then I allowed my hair stylist to convince me to get a bob. There were several issues that made this the pinnacle of poor decision making. First, I do not have a face shape that can uphold a bob. Elizabeth Taylor famously said, “Big girls need big diamonds.” Well, I’m going even further by saying big girls need big hair. Second, I have naturally curly hair. Like, as a child my mother used headbands, rubber bands and barrettes all at once in an effort to tame my mane and I still looked like Frank Zappa. Third, and without a doubt the key, hair straighteners were not a thing! I think I had one with interchangeable plates that could become a crimper but it didn’t actually work. I tried chemical straighteners, blow drying it straight and sleeping with my hair rolled in orange juice cans and NOTHING could help my hair situation.
Take this hair and add to it acne, thick glasses and a scarfed sweater set and you can see why seventh grade was a difficult year for me. To further illuminate this look and entertain you let me provide a picture.
Absolutely horrid, right?!? But as dreadful as I looked and as funny as it is now I can honestly say I’m glad my parents let me express myself through my look. Did I have a clue what I was doing? Naw! Did I look like a character off a sitcom? 100% but choosing to chop my hair off was one of the first major decisions I made for myself. It was a deliberate choice in the category of beauty and fashion that I love so much and it did help me feel like I was becoming a grown up.
Now, after that moment I swore I would NEVER cut my hair that short again because I realized that it was awful for all the reasons stated above and it took forever to grow back out. Throughout high school and college my hair went through various length stages but nothing so severe as my nightmare bob until my quarter life crisis.
I had just graduated from college and couldn’t find a job. I had to move back in with my parents and my car literally caught fire. I had no money, no prospects and I was beginning to have a tiny mental breakdown. In the midst of my “episode” I realized I couldn’t afford to have my hair colored and my roots were showing so my mother suggested dying it myself out of a box. Her reasoning was that my aunt used to dye her hair blonde in the 60s so surely I could do it as well. I love my mother but this was not great advice.
When I removed the towel from my head I cried...for like 45 minutes. My hair was orange! Not brassy but orange! Crayola orange! Carrot Top orange! Doritos orange! I looked like a Simpsons’ character. Needless to say this did not help my mental state. I decided to go to a local beauty school to get it fixed because of the cost and poor mother even had to drop me off because I was still car-less. Ugh!
Now, hear me out. When I walked into John’s Beauty School my intention was to get my hair dyed back to its original blonde and leave. However, as I sat in that chair and chatted with the stylist I began to realize how out of control I felt with my life. (Why is sitting in your stylist’s chair the best therapy? God bless everything Kayla hears me talk about!) The girl made the statement that they were so excited to have a young person in the salon that day because they only ever did perms and they would all kill to do a fun cut and color. As she finished the color she simply asked, “Do you want a cut?” and I don’t know what demon possessed my vocal cords but I uttered a “Sure!” followed by “Do whatever you want.” It was like an out of body experience and off the hair came!
My poor mother was not prepared when she came to pick me up and let me tell you she looked concerned. I remember her quietly asking, “What happened?” because it was obvious that something HAD happened (mentally and physically) and I was trying to take control of the only thing I had power over. (At least I didn’t self inflict this damage. I’d have looked like I got attacked by a Weed Wacker if I did.)
I wore this hair for many years because I felt it made me look like I had everything together even if I didn’t (though I was told on more than one occasion that my hair was the reason I was single. Men would be too intimidated to talk to me because I looked aggressive. Who knows if that is true?) I think I finally grew my hair back out when I felt more secure in myself. Also, the ability to pull your hair up in a ponytail cannot be overemphasized!
In the end, I think we have all made bold hair choices like Rhett and Link suggests. Some have been great and some that have been awful. All I can say is God bless the documentation we have to look back on and laugh. Oh how I can laugh now!!!