You don’t have to worry, this isn’t about a white woman claiming to be part of the Natural Hair Movement. Nor about Lady Gaga’s song “Hair” (although I think she has a point with the sentence “I am my hair”).
New experiences and adventures come in many shapes and sizes. For me, going to a different hairdresser is one such adventure. I have chestnut red, curly hair. Very curly hair. People with curls are probably nodding along already, recognizing where I’m going with this.
And yet I took the offer of this adventure. Instead of going to my regular hairdresser (whom – after ten visits – still allows me to warn her about the difference between wet and dry curls), I tried someone new. Both the neighbor and my dad were thrilled about this salon, and there was a discount involved (I’m partly Dutch, after all).
After tea with chocolates and a long discussion about House of Cards (“Everyone is horrible, why is it so much fun to watch?”), I focused on my image in the mirror. I’ve never had a good poker face, but I guess my surprise was obvious enough for the hair dresser to smile a “I guess you need to get used to it.” My demand of “just the split ends and model it a little” had somehow turned into Stepford Housewife Annie. The hairdresser gave me the lethal stabs with “Don’t cover your face with bangs, it makes you too boxy” and “You’ll just have to get used to not tying it up.” Of course I had, there was not enough left for a pony tail! And what is wrong with hiding behind bangs anyway?
After paying €50 for this experience, I left with my eyes fixed on the ground. Of course, it’s just hair, it will grow back, you can wear hats, use bobby pins! It’s Just Hair. That doesn’t even cover my neck anymore.
My parents being thrilled with the new look somehow made things worse. So much for being a worldly twenty-something, while moping about an unwanted haircut. Yes, I know their disgust would made me feel even worse, but no, I didn’t care about that at the moment.
Later, I could admit to myself that maybe not directly recognizing yourself in the mirror was a large part of the shock. It looked good (thank goodness), but the experience was simply a bonus level you unwittingly unlock. You have to make sure everything’s safe before getting the coins.
Maybe this ‘do would be a kickstarter for new adventures. In ten years, it would be “The Rachel” of the twenty-first century. Okay no, now I’m trying too hard.
Hair is just such a big part of your identity and look, that you will have to calculate the possible outcomes at the hairdressers. Dare to speak up, from start to finish, and also about your hair. Be careful though, they have scissors.