Read this before you cut your hair.

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.

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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.

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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?

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5 thoughts on “Read this before you cut your hair.

  1. Awesome, well thought out post.

    Nope I’d never do it, I was born with a thick mass of hair and mum never let me cut it though I used to chop off a fair bit as a ‘trim’ each year but I was meant to have long hair and the longer the better – I think I had it up to my knees once but I’d prefer my ankles 😛

    Plus I view hair in a traditional way, way back from the peoples who viewed hair as an energy component of the body e.g. when US soliders used Native Americans for a tracking experiment, they found the men with the long hair had their incredible instincts but when they cut their hair their abilities significantly dropped. The same goes with spiritual people and priests in Asia from many cultures and those who hide their hair so no one can use it against them with negative energy or take their energy through it. Luckily my hair is bouncy so I’ve never felt hot with it, I never even put it behind my ears unless I put it up and as a kid I used to have a really loose ponytail like you see those Japanese girls in anime with the ribbon practically at the end of their hair. Speaking of which in South Asia a lot women cut or dramatically change their hairstyle after a breakup to signify a new period/change in their life and there really is a psychological change – akin to but on a more extreme level people who feel extreme stress and feel the urge to cut/shave off their hair to feel less burdened/clean/new/like a different person. Lot’s of interesting things to think about.

    In the West though I’m surrounded by people who cut their hair regularly and change main hairstyles – I admire the styling and creativity very much. Though like you’ve shown – there’s all kinds of hair aids to make hair look longer, thicker, shorter, in set styles, bangs/fringes nowadays and available to everyone. I remember when I used to them mainly in Black/Asian cosmetic shops and it wasn’t talked about so much in Caucasian communities but still very common but now it’s more socially acceptable and nice to see people not so scared to talk about it.

    Awesome thought provoking topic as usual from you!

    • Thank you. It was a huge deal for me to cut my hair, and I loved my long hair so much. I’m currently growing my hair back out again, but I think I’ll probably cut it before it reaches an extreme length. I’m enjoying how soft and healthy my hair is now that it’s shorter (my long hair was riddled with split ends).

      Thanks so much for sharing these cultural and spiritual aspects of hair length. I’ve never considered those things, and now I’m eager to learn more.

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