My Hair Is Like a Bad Boyfriend…
That’s why her hair’s so big…it’s full of secrets (Mean Girls, 2004)
A little background.
I threw myself into triathlon training last year and tried to do it with shoulder-length hair. And, what I learned was that when you have a ton of hair to deal with, swim caps are not your friend.
So, what did I do? I cut it all off. At 39, this marks the third time that I’ve grown my hair out to a shoulder length style, then cut it all down to about an inch of curls.
Why do I do this? I’ve always thought that hair is about how I’m feeling, and in looking back at pictures, each of the major haircuts has been about change. A transformation, of sorts.
The first time I made ‘the big chop’ I was struggling with how to manage my separation from A’s dad. I took all the blonde and brunette colors and had them cut off in a salon on Astor Place in the East Village. I was ecstatic. I had owned that hair from birth and it felt good to lose 23 years of history and start clean.
I spent a year growing it back out and by the time it was chin-length, I was dating again and learning how to be a single parent.
My next cut came in 2005 when I was training for the New York City Marathon. By that time I had accumulated almost ten years’ worth of hair and I was ecstatic to see it go. I knew it was time when I would have to wake up in the morning to shower and wash my hair just so I could pull it back into a ponytail to go for a run.
The most recent cut came last year. I had a good excuse, you know? Training for a half-Iron is no joke and I was tired of the hair and the heat so off it went. I took my standard picture to a local salon where they speak no English and the ladies asked, in Spanish, was I sure.
I was. I am.
It wasn’t until I had gotten home after that cut that I realized I was carrying around relationships with my hair. I was carrying ‘The Runner’ and ‘The One’ and I hadn’t even realized that it isn’t because of biking or running or swimming that the hair was too much…it was that so much had changed and I’d been too busy in the middle of it to notice.
So off it went.
And it was with short hair that I trained and wrote and started a business and went to Paris. So, as 40 draws closer, I think it’s time to say that I’ve accomplished so much more with short hair – probably because I don’t have to spend hours doing it each week.
But where does that leave me now? I’ll tell you…
It leaves me with hair that’s like your worst ex-boyfriend. You know the one. Every day you wake up with the promise that today is the day he’s going to behave. You just know that he wants to do right by you, but he’s so immature and selfish that he just can’t seem to get out of his own way. Or yours.
You think he’s going to play nice and do what you’ve suggested would be a fair compromise and he’s all for it until he gets outside. Then, he’s waving at strangers, curling up and hiding when he shouldn’t, popping out and looking crazy when he should be laying there neatly in one place.
Yeah, I’m wearing a bad boyfriend on my head, but I don’t know what to do about it. I keep saying I’m going to get rid of him, I mean, it, and then I wake up hoping that today is the day that we fall in love again.
I’m so sure I’m wrong that I just booked an appointment at my hair salon.
**And the image for this post? Well, it’s entitled “No More Bad Hair Days, by Shakespeare” and who doesn’t want to have no more bad hair days, right?