Last year, I did something very daring: I chopped off 45cm of my hair. I’d had long hair for as long as I can remember, and the idea of cutting it terrified me. But I went ahead anyway.
Six months later, I’m so glad that I took the plunge. My short hair has been a godsend in summer, so much easier to style and it’s given me the confidence to try new hairdos that I hadn’t been able to do with my Rapunzel mane.
But it hasn’t been all fun and games. I go through periods where I really miss having cascading hair. While I’ve never regretted it as such, it took a long while to get used to my new ‘do.
If you’re thinking about cutting your hair, here are a few things I’d encourage you to think about before you get out the scissors.
Be honest with yourself about whether you really want to do this.
O.K, here’s the hard truth: once you’ve cut your hair off, you can’t glue it back on again. So before you make a decision, it’s really important to think about why you want to cut your hair. Are you feeling fed up with your current look? Do you want to try something dramatic to shake you out of your comfort zone? If so, then perhaps a haircut is a good move. Do you feel pressured to cut your hair? Are you feeling down and just want to do something scary to get a reaction? Does the thought of cutting your hair fill you with dread? If so, then you might not want to chop off your locks just yet. It’s normal to feel nervous, but if you dread the idea of that trip to the hairdressers, don’t do it. If you’re doing it for anyone other than yourself, don’t do it. But if you’re excited by the idea of a change and you’re ready to take the plunge, go for it.
Find a hairdresser that you’re comfortable with.
I live in a small country town with one post office, five pubs and eleven hairdressers. When it came to picking a salon, I was spoilt for choice. I took my time and finally settled on a hairdresser that I really liked. She was exceptionally sweet and I felt comfortable with her right away. She insisted on having a consultation session where we had a cup of tea and talked for ages about what I wanted and she made sure I was completely happy before she made a single cut. In short, she was incredible.
I definitely recommend taking your time and choosing someone that you trust and feel comfortable with. Pick a hairdresser that listens to your ideas and offers sound advice. Don’t just go to a random salon and let them hack away at your hair.
Come armed with loads of ideas.
It is really helpful to have a clear idea of the cut you want. While it’s very important to consider how you want your hair to look, there are other things to think about too. Do you have a lot of time to style your hair or would you prefer something low-maintenance? Are you open to using styling products? Do you have the money to invest in a hairstyle that needs constant salon visits? How do you usually part your hair? Do you like to be able to experiment with different styles or do you wear your hair the same way all the time? Do you have any difficulties with your hair? Think about all of these things and be very clear about your wishes and expectations when talking to your hairdresser.
Be aware that styling is a whole new ball game
One thing that I was not prepared for when I cut my hair was how different it would be to style. The day after my haircut I wound up in tears in front of the mirror because I couldn’t put my hair in a bun the way I used to when it was long. But after a bit of practice, I figured out a new way to do it.
If you’ve had long hair for a long time, styling short hair can be a bit of a shock. It moves differently and is much lighter. The best thing that I can recommend to you is to have a play with it. Grab your styling tools and spend an evening just fooling around, seeing what works and what doesn’t. After a while, styling your new ‘do will be a cinch.
In the end, it’s just hair.
If you’re ready for a change and you’re up to the challenge of dealing with a new styling routine, don’t psych yourself out by over-thinking it. Yes, cutting your hair is a big deal, particularly if you feel as though your hair is a part of your identity. But in the end, it’s just hair. It will grow back with time.
Have you ever had a dramatic hair cut? How did it go?