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.


  1. That reads wonderfully! I did the same thing; had hair half way down my back, got the lot cut off. Somewhere inside I knew I'd always grow it back. It was fun; I actually liked the short hair, particularly when I shaved it all off completely. It, like you say, allowed me to get used to being 'me' rather than depending on the hair, which was good to hide behind. With short hair, I got used to being me, foudn out I didn't need the hair, and when I grew it back, I did it because I wanted to, because it seemed like a fun thing to do. You're a clever gal, Gilly Woo. A clever gal indeed. Very, very insightful.

  2. I have a pretty bald head myself, and have had hair all the way ot my waist before now. I totally understand the shedding instinct, and I have always chopped my hair after I've been particularly down, the funny thing is that now I love having short hair because I feel upbeat all the time, I'm really happy with my lot in life so having it all cut off makes me feel like I'm not hiding anything in a way. I'm sure it will grow back one day, but for now I really feel more free to be myself, and less pressure to use it to make myself look 'good' than before. You are right, a haircut can change your life!

  3. Best 1 yet. My Woo. Beautiful inside and out no matter the length of her hair. xxx

  4. When I see you, I see a very bright, wonderfully generous spirited woman who just happens also to be a lustrously-haired secksy lady! Loving your work xxx

  5. You are SOO...Lovely...I hope you enjoy the next few week'

  6. Great post! So well written, I totally agree too, Have a sweet day!

  7. I really enjoyed reading this! Will try to take something away from it too although I fear that you're a braver girl than I...


  8. Just went back to this it!!..Just bout to leave ..noticed the last post was 27th Aug!!! well now it's 21st sept!! happy day's!! luv you lot's MuM XX

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