to cut my hair or not to cut my hair

Coinciding with the angst over what to wear to Kaitlan’s wedding is a healthy internal debate over whether to grow out or cut my hair. It is not an unfamiliar conversation. I’ve been on this cut my hair short, grow it long roller coaster since Snowmaggedon 2010.

In February 2010, after toying with the idea for a year and getting progressively shorter in the process, I finally took the plunge. The very day Mickey, owner/stylist of Michael Anthony Salon and my long-time hair stylist (not to mention longest DC relationship) finally indulged my pixie-request, the second of too-many-to-count snowstorms ravaged DC. While I left his salon loving my cut and felt totally chic out at a bar later that night, I woke up the next morning to two feet of snow on the ground, horrible bedhead, and no power. No power meant, aside from no heat, no ability to style my new hair. By day three of no electricity, I couldn’t walk by a mirror without crying. Once power was restored, it was too late; the storm had robbed me of those critical first few days of playing with the hairdryer and bonding with my new short do.

Once enough snow was cleared for me to make way back to his salon (sadly on the eve of yet another storm) Mickey came to the rescue. He reshaped the cut, which had the effect of providing me a redo of those first few days of practice. I was happy. But then, on my next regularly scheduled visit, he wouldn’t even trim it. I had scarred him with my reaction to the first cut more than I had scarred myself. In fact, it took an entire year for me to convince Mickey that I really did want short hair. I came to his salon armed with pictures of Selma Blair and Michelle Williams. He looked me in the eyes and made sure I was serious. Then we did it. And it was awesome.

With short hair I feel more stylish, even though most models have waist-length locks. With short hair, I feel more sassy, even though my bed head is a fright. With short hair, I feel more sexy, even though I’m constantly told (by women) that guys prefer long hair. But I think I disagree. I love my hair on the shorter side in spite of the drawbacks. And there are downsides. For example, there’s no pulling it back into a ponytail for the gym, the soccer field or post-pool lounging. You have to wash and blow dry it everyday, no exceptions. No loose and messy buns for those of us with short locks. I started to think a few months ago that perhaps, for summer, I should grow it a few inches.

Thus longer hair became my goal, but then I saw a recent picture of myself and I think I want it short again. I’m tempted by this gorgeous hair style (and the sunglasses they highlight). But then again, if I cut my hair short, I can’t dream of carrying off this perfect poolside hat by Helen Kaminski.  Of course, ever since contemplating a dramatic change, I’ve had a number of good hair days in a row. I’m conflicted. I’m also plagued by the age old question: which length is more 40s soccer-mom-ish?

As Mickey knows all too well, I fear soccer mom hair almost as much as I fear mom jeans.