Thursday, August 18, 2016

The big fret of a simple haircut

Last week, at my friend Allison's suggestion, I watched Sliding Doors.

All these years, I'd never seen it.

And I loved Gwyneth Paltrow's hair. Loved. I was like, this is the haircut I need! Yes! This is the cut, and this is the time!

I was going to get my hair cut short last winter and I chickened out, ostensibly because it was too cold. But mostly because I was scared.
But you know how sometimes something strikes you and you are like, this is exactly it? It felt like that.

I liked the movie, but my main takeaway was this: You change your hair, you change your life! She leaves a bad situation and gets the cute, dynamic, fun guy with the great accent!

Also, which I already knew, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.


I have a hair appointment Saturday. I have all these Gwyneth Paltrow haircut pictures on my phone. If I get hit by a bus and someone finds my phone they're going to think I'm a stalker.

When honestly, I'm indifferent to GP. I just like her hair in this one. And there's the scene with the adorable flowers! Could I do that?

I decided I really needed this haircut. (Not, I might note, to change my life and find a new man with a different accent. Just...I like her hair.)

So, I have this appointment. It was going to be for a trim, and then I decided I really am going to chop it. And yet the closer it gets, the less sure I am.

See, for a long time, the length of my hair was an indication of my state of mental health.

The shorter my hair, the more tenuous my grip on OKness. The closer I was to the bottom of that smoothy, grey, ugly pit of depression, and the closer my hair was to my scalp.

I would slide into depression, eat a lot of sweets, cry a lot, and gain weight and feel totally out of control. And I'd get my hair cut shorter and shorter.

I've read that cutting yourself is temporary relief from emotional pain. This was my hair instead of my arms. I would get it cut, and then cut again. Shorter and shorter.

I never, ever wanted to be alone, because desirability to men was equal to proof worth in the world. The hair cutting was like a subconscious way to ward men off, because the men I've always been attracted to have never been attracted to a woman with a crew cut.

Although in retrospect, the crew cut might've been OK if it weren't coupled with such apparent abject misery. Who knows?

My friend Wendy is all, hair grows and change is good.

I like this approach. I believe these things to be true.

But I also find that that I am scared to let go of my hair. Cutting it off is nervous-making, instead of a relief.

Fashion magazines are full of women with long, lush hair. Hair is feminine. Hair is attractive. Long hair is safer than short hair.

What if all my wrinkles show more? What if I look frumpy and mom-y? What if I feel unattractive?

This annoys me about myself. It really does. I'm a feminist. I shouldn't buy into the mainstream media depictions of women and femininity.

All these frets sound dumb, I know. It's only hair.

Except that for me, it's not. (Which also annoys me.)


  1. Go for it! You'll look phenomenal with that cut!

    1. Thank you so much! My appointment is at 3pm...I'm am still 87% sure I am going to do it!

  2. You wouldn't be Lisa if you didn't fret about your hair. FWIW, I think you have a gorgeous face and you rock short hair.

    1. You are so funny and so right, Tia. Of course I am fretting. Out loud. And thank you!

  3. I have the opposite problem. After years of wearing my hair short I'm growing it out. Sure it's nice, yes everyone says I look so pretty, but I don't feel strong or vibrant right now. Hair can be a reflection of who we are and how we feel about ourselves and who we want the world to see us as; I don't think it's anti-feminist to feel that way. Fashion has been a reflection of women and their space in the world since the first woman wrapped an animal hyde around her shoulders. If you cut it off and you hate it, it will grow. If you choose not to cut it off there's nothing wrong with that. But you could also cut it off and feel sexy and sassy.

    1. Thank you for this very astute comment. It is a reflection of who we are and how we see ourselves and want to present ourselves. It is interesting that you're getting all this pretty feedback, but this look is not how you feel strong and vibrant. Short hair is definitely bolder. The idea of getting it short makes me feel bold, certainly.

  4. My thing now is to cut my hair just once a year. On my birthday, I put it in a ponytail and cut off two inches, which I then add to my hoard. Then I go to a cheapo hair cutting place and have them even it out. This year will be my third hatchet job. I'm interested in watching how the white hair is taking over the strawberry blonde, slowly, but surely. Also - having long unkempt hair adds to my crone persona :)

    1. Hahaha! I love your crone persona! I am also interested in what you do with your hoard...

  5. It's been 2 years, but I just found your blog. So...DID YOU DO IT? I hope so: it's a great cut.


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