Two Weeks

I’ve heard it said that the only difference between a good haircut and a bad is two weeks. In my case, however, it’s more likely to be two years!

I went in last week for a trim – a trim that I thought might involve the loss of a few inches because I wanted to get rid of the worst of the thinning that appears to be the result of low ferritin levels. I started with hair just one to two inches above tailbone and came out with hair at mid back. That is not a few inches!

I should have been warned when the stylist held up my ends and said, “You don’t need all these ends, anyway.” Says who? Those ends are what made my hair as long as it was; those ends were the tassel at the end of my braid; those ends stopped my buns falling down.

If that hadn’t set off warning bells, then seeing another stylist (who knows me well) look at the back of my head, look down at the floor, back at my hair, and then refuse to make eye contact with me certainly did. She tried to make conversation with me after that but I wasn’t fooled. Nor was I reassured when I was not shown the back of my hair with a mirror, the hair that had been cut off was all swept up before I could see it, and the stylist put my hair up in a bun so that it wasn’t until I arrived home four hours later that I got the chance to see just how short she had cut it.

And short it is. For me anyway. It’s no good someone telling me it’s still long. How can it be long when it feels so short, when my braid barely flicks over my shoulder, when I can no longer put it up in a bun with just one hair stick?

This length is not a particularly flattering length on me nor does it have any style. It just stops. The times that I have thought about cutting back to BSL I have envisioned at least a few layers around the face and have always had the personal understanding that I would keep it at that length or shorter. The grow-out between BSL and waist has always been a particularly unattractive stage for me – one that I’ve never wanted to repeat.

I’ve discovered more curls at this length – which should be a good thing – except that the majority of them look as if they have been chopped off mid-curl (curly girls will understand). I don’t know if a few more washes or a few months of growing will correct the problem, but at the moment, I’m feeling that my hair is uglier than ever.

And then there’s the fringe. I’ve never ever been happy with my fringe. I would love not to have to wear one but as my nearest and dearest have told me, I NEED a fringe. I just wish I could find a style I liked. And a stylist that wouldn’t butcher it. Why did she insist on layering it? (Insist is a gentle term considering I had no say in the matter at all – after telling me it didn’t need any length off and wasn’t ‘too bad’ – that condescending tone again – she proceeded to chop off at least half an inch making it too short and too heavy in one fell swoop).

She was right about one thing though – as much as I hate to admit it. She told me my hair would be more manageable at this length despite not one word from me about it not being manageable. DH had occasion to take me up to the hospital on Saturday night and as they did an ECG, chest x-ray, scan, blood tests, and inserted an IV line, it certainly was a lot easier to manage mid length hair that was down and loose than longer hair.

I just wish it wasn’t so SHORT!

[Note: due to my hair being wet and the way I am holding my head it looks as if I'm at natural waist. I can assure you that that is not the case. It is a lot shorter dry and when I'm standing straight. In fact, if I didn't know better, I would assume that this picture had been taken before I had my hair cut. It never looks that long in the mirror when I view it.]


crb said…
Hi Jules,

I'm so sorry about your salon trauma. I hate going to the "stylist" as well, and pretty much only handle the shears myself now (barring a few very recent horrible mistakes). Will two hairsticks do the job now, even if just one won't? From your posts it sounds like you're really going through some turbulence right now, and I know losing too many inches in your locks doesn't help (even though anyone other than a longhair wouldn't understand that), but know that I'm praying for you -- along with plenty of others, I'm sure!!

- CRB (we used to chat over on TLHL, before I chopped my hair off into a pixie in a fit of menopausal rage, and now I'm too ashamed to go back...)
Jules said…
Don't be ashamed. You'd be welcome back any time and I know that everyone would understand. I cannot tell you how many times I've come close to doing the same thing. Please ... we would love to see you again.
Hi Jules,
Michelle here (we met on TLHL..from Australia). I will first confess that I have been lurking about your blog for a few years and it is really a treat for me. I have loved watching your family grow and how beautifully you are all doing life, celebrating, working, living together. I was saddened to read about your hair. What a grief. I know you know it is only hair and I know you know it will grow back..back I also know that it is little comfort. In fact even if I shared a similar story (my hair was shorter than years had been) I can be certain that it will not help to heal. Being a woman, and being one that has invested the last 5 years into growing my hair I understand how shattering this can be- and what a deception it was also.
As the days go by I pray God will show you some good that can be made of this.. and not just a bandaid 'good' but a good that goes deep into your spirit and brings you freedom and revelation. It is a harsh reminder that our beauty and our worth and how we view ourselves must be more than skin deep. (I struggle with this myself- days when my hair refuses to respond the same way to the shampoo bars I am using, and instead of soft manageable hair I have a tangled mess.) Again I am so sorry you are going through this pain, and I am praying for you. Please don't overlook what a wonderful woman you are. Only last week I was saying to my husband how much you have blessed me- and we haven't even met!!!
(oh, incase you would like to lurk about my life a-little you are welcome to visit my blog: Smiles, Michelle
winterwren said…
Hey, Jules,

I hope you are doing okay. Well. I know you are not doing *okay* and that something must be really wrong or you would not be having all of these tests, and I know that a self-important stylist chopped off a large amount of your beautiful hair.

But given all of that, I hope you are okay--I hope the tests come back as good news and I hope that you can feel some peace about your hair. I have had a similar thing happen a few times (not counting the time I intentionally chopped it all off fifteen years ago.) I also hate that length between BSL and waist on myself--oddly, to reference something you said on the loom, that length always makes me look too tall (and less feminine).

And for what it is worth, and I know that it is not worth much right now, I think it really does still look lovely. Most people are hard on themselves, but you especially, and I am always struck at the vast gulf between how horrible you say that you (or your hair) look and how beautiful the eventual photo reveals you (or your hair) to be.

I hope that whatever is wrong--whatever the tests are for and whatever made you write the post before this one--turns out to be not so wrong.

When things are rough, it is always nice to do something that makes you feel pretty, and I am sorry that instead something happened to make you feel sad and unpretty. But you are your hair still are very pretty. I hope you can spoil yourself a little right now (and that others spoil you!)

Take care,

Ceil said…
Hi Jules! I am so sorry...sometimes these people think they know what is best for you, and don't listen. Good model of what NOT to be! I do see the waves in your hair, and they are pretty. I don't have curly hair, so I'm not sure what you meant by 'cut curls'.

I hope you can get to the point of accepting the length. And you learned to be an avid advocator for yourself at the stylist.


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