"It's just hair." An evolution of cuts, color, and the art of not giving a crap.
Life - Style

It’s Just Hair

Last updated on January 7, 2017 by Liza Hawkins

It’s just hair: An evolution of cuts, color, and the art of not giving a crap.

A lot of people believe that their hair — the same style they’ve been known to have for years and years — defines them. And, not just “defines” them, but protects them … like a security blanket. The thought of cutting their hair, shaving it, coloring it, or even styling it differently is enough to drive anxiety-induced heart palpitations.

Meanwhile, I’m over here like, “It’s just hair.” {shrug}

In the beginning.

I remember my very first haircut of choice. It was 1985 and I was in third grade. Up until that point I’d had long, all-one-length plain blond hair. I suppose I was kind of an ’80s anomaly because a lot of girls my age had bowl cuts à la Dorothy Hamil, spiral perms, or the thickest bangs possible — mostly thanks to their mothers who were trying their best to style their kids cute. I definitely coveted those stylish ‘dos, even though now (like every hair or fashion fad from yesteryear) I’m cringing a little at the sight of those trends…

So, there I was, eight years old, and just having successfully plead my case for a haircut that didn’t involve just a “trim off the ends.” My choice of chop for my nearly-waist-length locks? A bob with bangs. I loved that cut. It was super different than anything I’d known.

Choosing that style myself, and then being allowed to get it (despite knowing my parents weren’t fans of the style even one bit) encouraged the beginning of an empowering “my body, my choice” mentality. I didn’t realize that at the time, of course. And, honestly, I don’t believe my parents did either — not a fault; just an observation.

As an adult, and especially as a parent, I’m able to look back and reflect on those small blips in childhood that together ladder up to making me who I am today, for better and worse. (Mostly better … I’d like to think even negative things in my past have taught me positive lessons!)

"It's just hair." An evolution of cuts, color, and the art of not giving a crap.

I made my way through elementary, middle and high school with various cuts and shapes ranging from long to short, bangs to no bangs (but mostly bangs — my high school years started in 1991, after all), and lots of Sun-In® and lemon juice. Then in 1995, during Senior Beach Week in Ocean City, Md., I dyed my hair red. It was cut at the time a little like one of the Meg Ryan styles from the early- to mid-90s, and dying it was a total impulse move on my part. (And so fun!)

The college years.

Later that summer I dyed it a deeper red, and then just before college I joined the pixie-cut bandwagon along with Winona Ryder (Reality Bites, you guys!) … and, so … off it went! Snip, snip! It wasn’t long into freshman year when I decided the red was dead, and it was time for something new. Short hair, like REALLY short hair, made the decision to go “Clairol Blue-Black” very easy.

The pixie grew out into various forms of a “shag” cut (which looked interesting with my naturally light hair and growing out Clairol Blue-Black hair), then a long bob, and by the end of college I had decided to grow it out to all one length again. When I graduated it was all natural color, all one length, and hit the middle of my back. But, not for long…

Over the course of the next decade, and well into the 2000s I had everything from a short bob to a long and layered look—always going back and forth from bangs to no bangs. (“To wear bangs or not to wear bangs? That is the question.”)

And, today.

Fast forward to today. In 2016, alone, I had no less than five different cuts and colors…

"It's just hair." An evolution of cuts, color, and the art of not giving a crap.

Just the other day it was time for a cut. I’d gone four months since the last visit to the Temple, and my shaggy bob had grown out into what my Future Professional called a lob. (I think that’s “hair stylist speak” for long bob.) I went in with some ideas for a shorter shaggy roundish bob, and left with a shortish pixie with a little length. How does that happen?

Well, I’ll tell you.

First of all, regardless of whether my hair stylist is finishing school, or has been at it for years and years, I like to give them the opportunity and bandwidth to get creative and to offer suggestions. The shortish pixie with a little length was a product of said process, so while it’s not what I went in asking for, it’s something I’m having fun with now regardless (and I’m certain she had fun doing it, too).

Because, guess what? It’s just hair. Hair grows back.

Yes, yes. There are hair textures that are less awesome and flexible with styles. I get that.

However, the majority of women I know are afraid (yes, afraid) to do anything drastic (or, even different) with their hair. It has nothing to do with a hopeless hair texture. It’s because:

“My face isn’t the right shape.”

“It’d make me look fat.”

“I’m too fat.”

“I won’t feel feminine.”

And my personal LEAST favorite:

“My husband wouldn’t like it.”

Who cares what he thinks, or anyone else for that matter? I say, c’est la vie!

In spring 2016 I had the unique opportunity to have a hair makeover with Johnny Wright. As in, “personal stylist to Michelle Obama” and “regularly flying on Air Force One” Johnny Wright. Yeah. THAT Johnny Wright.

I had zero say in what my hair would turn out like that day. I walked in with hair that was long, not quite to the middle of my back, but long. And left with a very, very blond bob. “I could NEVER have done that!” so many of my friends said.

And, ya know? That’s just too bad. Sincerely. Check out my post-makeover reaction…

After my most recent haircut, which was quite drastic and done without letting anyone but my husband know I had an appointment, my eight year old son came up to me and said, “I don’t really like your hair cut. But, that doesn’t matter—it’s up to you, whatever you want to do to your hair. I’m glad you like it!”

Exactly, son!

Here’s the before and after:

"It's just hair." An evolution of cuts, color, and the art of not giving a crap.

It’s just hair, you guys. It grows back.

It’s. Just. Hair.

Hi, I'm Liza — a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting lost in whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life and am always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect fizzy gin cocktail, and time to finish my novel!

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