When I was very small I had short hair because my mum was in charge of these decisions and she liked short hair.
When I was a little bigger than very small, I wanted my hair long enough “to put in bunches” which is Scottish for pigtails. My mum let me have just-barely-long-enough hair for about a month, and then she insisted I get my haircut again.
My hair was always so short and in such a non-descript style, I bore a striking resemblance to a little boy. And so occasionally I would run around after my older brother, and we both pretended I was his little brother.
I hated getting my hair cut. Because I never had any say in the outcome.
One day I decided to choose my own hairstyle, my mum and her/our hairdresser tried to talk me out of it. It was supposed to be a spiral perm – all the rage in the late 80’s I swear! I ended up with a DISASTROUS puffy, old lady perm, and I wore a hat for the next three weeks until my mum took me back and the hairdresser cut as much off as she could. I actually LOVED the fix haircut, except that my ears stuck out.
As an older teenager, I decided to assert my authority over my own hair. When my hair was deemed due for a cut, I refused to go. My mum persevered for a while, but if I wasn’t willing to walk to the hairdressers with her there was no way she could make me, and so I didn’t have to get my haircut.
For a few years I had scruffy I-have-no-idea-what-to-do-with-this hair – it’s a great look for a teen girl, perfect for making friends and winning the hearts of boys. My patent-still-pending “just gel the sides” look was fabulous.
My fringe (Scottish for bangs) hung down over one eye, great for hiding from mean stares not so great for reading anything further away that the end of my own nose. My aunt told me later that every time she saw me she wanted to reach out and snip that hair curtain right off.
By the time I was 16 I had uniform long straight hair, and that’s pretty much the way it has stayed. It’s gotten progressively shorter over the years, my kid likes to tell me I looked like a hippy in her baby pics, now it’s never longer than just past my shoulders. I trim it myself. I’ve even learned how to put in layers.
As an adult I have gotten my hair trimmed at a salon exactly one time. I thought I had grown up enough to enjoy the experience and want someone else to do something to my hair. I was wrong. When it comes to my hair, I trust no one.
My daughter (the one who said I looked like a hippy) is a different story. She has excellent hair, thick and luxurious and a beautiful shade of auburn with highlights that bring back memories of her strawberry blonde days. I have always let her decide what she would like to do with her hair, because it’s on HER head, not mine.
She’s had quite a few different styles in her relatively short lifetime – she regretted the decision to get bangs, but you live and you learn.
She saved up her babysitting money and paid a fancy salon to make her hair bright pink.
She got tired of the pink. And the hair. And she cut it all off.
She’s so confident with her hair that she let her friend cut it for her. Her friend did a pretty good job, so she asked the same friend to cut her hair a few more times.
This week my daughter decided her hair needed to be cut again and she’d like to pay her friend for her time and effort – a very cool and mature attitude of which I approved.
When I picked my kid up from her friends house, with her shiny new haircut though – she wasn’t smiley and happy. Uhoh.
She did not like the cut. It wasn’t a bad cut, her friend did a really good job on the back (super short) but the front was longer and puffed out too much (Dora the Explorer having a bad hair day) and it didn’t resemble the hairstyle in the inspiration pic.
How were we going to fix this?
The solution was to go back to someone we had previously trusted with her hair – the kid hair salon we’d been frequenting since my kid had enough hair to require a cut. They didn’t let us down. They fixed the messed up cut. It’s good to know who you can trust with your hair.