Friday, 9 July 2010

How a Haircut Can Change your life:

Once upon a time, (after a break up) I cut off all my hair.

I have always had very long, thick, wavy hair and everyone told me I was mad to do it, but I needed a change and I was determined to have one.

I had visions of a cute, elfin cut like Winona Ryder or Audrey Hepburn. Modern, sophisticated. A new grown up sensible me.

Jason (bosom buddy and hairdresser of 15 years) had to smoke a whole packet of cigarettes (don't do it kids!) and have a stiff drink before he could pluck up the courage to chop off my locks...He desperately tried to talk me out of it, he was convinced I'd hate it and blame him forever, he knew it wouldn’t suit me.

It didn’t suit me at all of course, (Jason was absolutely right about that,) But I never regretted it for a second, it was really very liberating and it did actually change my life.

I found that I didn't get nearly as much attention as I did when I had long hair.

I didn’t look sexy any more. I still felt sexy but I didn’t look sexy.

At the time part of me was relieved to be invisible for a while. I was wounded and I needed a little time to heal but it also gave me space to develop my personality without having to live up to an image.

It felt natural to tone down the glamour too, Jase and our mate Marc, (genius with a hairpin, responsible for the best vintage up dos this side of 1946 and can do all the actions to ‘the court of King Caracticus’ even after 9 tequilas) call it my 'hippy' phase, (usually accompanied by a disapproving curl of the lip.)

I found that socially, I had much more meaningful interaction with men and women. Perhaps I was more approachable when I was not so overtly 'sexy', less threatening maybe…Perhaps I was more timid too, less overpoweringly confident (overpowering confidence; so often a mask for deep insecurity)…perhaps people, (men in particular) were simply less eager to impress and more relaxed, perhaps, in turn, that made me less cautious, more trusting. What ever it was, it was refreshing to be seen differently and I saw others differently too.

I felt, in a way, like I was exposed, vulnerable, all I had to offer was me and my personality, the sequin encrusted minx I occasionally hid behind when I was socially uncomfortable or needed a superficial ego boost had left me all alone, I missed her a bit sometimes but mostly I was glad to be rid of the provocative tart, she generally only attracted wallys anyway!

I remember having this conversation with Jase a few years ago and he told me that when he changed his hair colour he felt people reacted differently towards him, "I swear people actually talk slower when I’m blonde!" he said, flabbergasted.

You can make such a big statement with the way you dress and present yourself. It can be awesomely powerful but sometimes equally as frustrating when people can’t see past it.

People make snap judgments about our personalities based on our outward appearance and that, right or wrong, is a fact.

But, perhaps next time you have a bad hair cut, an acne breakout, put on a few pounds or don't feel as physically attractive as usual for whatever reason... you could use the time to be who you really are beneath the surface and work on detaching your self confidence from the way you look and attaching it to the way you really are.

Having a really bad haircut changed my life for the better,

I got to know myself on a deeper level, I left a superficial bit of myself, (which I used to believe I couldn’t function without,) behind me for good. I relaxed a little bit more in to my own skin and I accepted who I was without the glamorous exterior... Which happens to be a nice, shy girl who consistently procrastinates, has an unshakable guilt complex, magpie tendencies, a fondness for musical theatre and a real love for the smell of library books and honeysuckle.