Less hair

I have much to say about the agony of professional indecision I’ve wrestled with for 3 weeks (brought on by knowledgeable friends advising me that self-publishing is the way to go in 2012), but I’m going to save all that for next week, when sanity is restored and I can write about it coherently.

Today, instead, I propose a short detour into long hair, or more accurately, former long hair.

Over Christmas break in Texas, seemingly on a whim, I cut a foot of my hair off. And now you must immediately ask if I gave it to Locks of Love or some such organization because everyone does, and I shall respond by telling you they decline to accept gray hair. Perhaps because the texture changes and it becomes more stiff? I don’t know. Such groups also won’t accept color treated hair, and since I’ve put temporary color on my hair from time to time (which washes out), I am a two-time loser. I have as much hair as just about anyone you’ll meet, but apparently even sick, bald people don’t need my hair. Sort of boggles the mind.

Anyhoo, it did seem like I cut it on a whim, but I had actually been contemplating a cut. A couple of months ago, when I was filmed by WPBF for a TV segment on our Kiss And Tell book, the segment showed an angle of me from the side and behind. I was staggered by how much hair filled the picture. Of course I know I have long hair, it’s part of who I am, but seeing it from the back like that made me feel like it was all there was to me, that it defined me.

And so I began to wonder if it wasn’t time to make a change.

Ever since 7th grade, when Mom first let me make my own decisions about my hair, I’ve been growing it out. It’s always long, it’s just that sometimes it’s super long. Super-long hair brings its own set of irritants (for instance, when you’re tucking your shirt into your pants, your hair gets caught up in that process), so if those things become too bothersome,  I just cut off 8 inches or so. Sometimes I’m happy with my hair being to the middle of my back; sometimes I like it at my waist.

Lately, my hair has been super-long. I haven’t been annoyed with the care it requires, and besides, I’m in a period of cost-cutting, and salon trips are expensive. As a result, it’s been several years since I’ve had a serious cut.

While I’m mulling my hair options, my Mom visits from Texas and I mention to her how overwhelmed I felt by the mass of  hair in the TV segment. Without missing a beat she offers to pay for a haircut as an early Christmas present. I demur, keeping in mind this is the woman who thinks I look best in a pixie haircut and have since I was 5.

Not that Mom would make a short cut a condition of payment; I don’t mean that. In fact, she has acquiesced to my long hair with good grace, going so far as to braid it for me in special ways and occasionally buying ornamental clips. But I just wasn’t ready to say yes, even though I had visions of a long, layered cut dancing in my head.

A month later, just off the plane for Christmas break and getting a glimpse of my sister, I remark on her great haircut. It’s not very long, but all layered and stuff … pretty cool.

A young hairstylist recommended by her daughter had done the cut and since my niece steadfastly assured me of his shearing prowess, I decided to take the leap. I made an appointment for Christmas Eve, left a foot of my hair on the floor of that Austin salon and never looked back.

Which is kind of interesting, because I can remember a More or Oprah magazine article a while back featuring mid-life makeovers for women willing to cut their long hair and I knew if they’d asked me, I’d have refused. Not ready.

It’s true that every 4 or 5 days, I have a tiny moment of panic, when I remember I have no distinguishing characteristic, that I blend into the scenery now in a way I find impossible when my hair is long. (For one thing, almost every single day, people used to talk to me about my hair. And that’s over.) So — every so often — there are these odd moments of regret, but in between, I am tossing my shoulder length hair around like it’s a miracle, unable to believe how practically non-existent it is, not to mention how quick it is to wash it, dry it, brush it.

Yes, it’s still past my shoulders. And yes, that’s short to me. It’s all relative, people.

Last time I had hair this short I was walking to school at North Junior High, agonizing over the shame of changing into a gym suit for P.E. and wondering if I’d ever have a boyfriend.

That’s a long, long time ago.

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7 Responses to “Less hair”

  1. Mike Atwater Says:

    Anne, I appreciate your angst and your story. I’ve got some patchy places. Next time, sell some of your extra hair to me, Loot for Locks! I’m not picky about the texture or color, as long as it’s hair (sounds like a musical). Here’s to a Meaningful 2012.

    • annerodgers Says:

      Oh Mike. I would totally sell to you! But you are doing pretty dang well in the hair arena. I don’t worry about you. I’m so happy we’re still in touch. Happy 2012 to YOU!

  2. Dianne King Says:

    yeah, well, I’m not going for the fact that your hair was your only glory!

  3. Sam LeForge Says:

    Your hair certainly was not what defined you, my dear. You are a joy to everyone who is lucky enough to spend time with you, and THAT is what makes you so special.
    That being said, you look awesome with the new do!

  4. Alice Shukalo Says:

    You will never have no distinguishing characteristics and you will never blend into the scenery. I can’t imagine being in a room with you and having to look around and say, “Where is Anne? I thought Anne was here.”
    And keep in mind that, to the rest of the world, you still have long hair.

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