I cut my hair the other day. It’s been nearly a year since I had it trimmed. I usually only cut it once a year and as a result of doing this for 4 years, my hair is really long. It’s also really dried out because of it constantly being abused by ponytails and sweat. I don’t heat treat my hair much because I hardly ever style it. If I use enough (generally a shit ton) of leave in conditioner, it looks OK and is long and curly at the ends. It was time for a cut. It was a little too long and weighted down because of the length. A friend of mine cuts hair so I turned to her.
There was a week in between when I made the appointment and the day of, so I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do. What I didn’t want was mid-length hair. I used to have super short hair and it was a lot of fun to style and color. That, however, requires a haircut every 3-4 weeks. Not exactly budget friendly, but I could swing it. So, I considered a complete overhaul and dared to dream of short hair again. I also like my hair really long. I like how the ends curl and how it lays over my shoulders and down my back. It was either above the ears of just below the shoulders. Nowhere in between. That’s a no man’s zone that makes me constantly consider cutting it all off and wishing for longer hair; a no win situation. I knew I wasn’t psychologically ready for super short hair. I knew I’d kick myself for going so far the other way on the hair do spectrum. Long layers and layered bangs.
I sat in front of my computer the day of the appointment still wondering what I would do. Friends were texting asking if I had it cut yet. I had posted on Facebook about cutting it and what did folks think I should do. I had a lot of feedback. People were pretty even between “go for it; go short” and “stay long.” A half hour before I was to leave for the appointment a post came across my wall about donating at least 8 inches. Shit, I don’t have a ruler. Do I have 8 inches to spare that won’t put me in the mid-length area? I had to do something with this hair. Now that I’ve seen it’s only 8 inches, I can’t unsee it. I have to donate my hair. It isn’t chemically treated and though it’s not in the best shape, according to the donation guidelines it’s good enough. My friend measured out 8 inches and I was still left with a lot of hair. “That’s it? What’s 10 inches?” Yes, every dick joke in the world went through my head. It’s me, after all. “That’s it? That’s 10 inches?” I considered a solid foot, but went with 10 inches instead. I felt good about this. I like donating and giving back. It’s just hair to me; hair that’s weighing me down. This same hair could bring a smile to someone who really needs it.
My friend put my hair into 4 pony tails and cut off each. She laid them out on the counter and proceeded to shape the rest of my head. My hair was still pretty long for just having had 10 inches cut off. She flat ironed it. I like how my hair looks straight. It isn’t straight in Florida. It is in Ohio where there’s no humidity and the water isn’t desalinated. My hair used to “work” in Ohio. It doesn’t now that I’ve lived in Florida for 4 years. I have to do my hair when I go back to Ohio and I’m always thrown for a loop because the water is so different. I’m usually working in an office when I do go back to Ohio so I have to do my hair. I work from home in Florida so messy buns and pony tails rule. Anyway, an hour-ish later I was blown out, straightened and looked–like I should work in an office. When I picked up Weez she said, “I love your hair, Mommy! You look…professional.” If you can’t tell, I was on the fence. I liked that it look healthier, but what I was trying to avoid was mid-length hair and that’s exactly what I have; wavy, brown mid-length hair. When straightened, it’s just below my shoulders. I don’t usually straighten my hair. It curls more now because of the layers so it’s right at the top of my shoulders… It reminds me of that scene in “Steel Magnolias” where Shelby rips on MaLynn for having hair that looks like a brown football helmet. It’ll grow or I’ll keep cutting it. That’s what happened years and years ago the first time I ever went really short. I just kept cutting it. I’m in no man’s land now. The temptation to cut it is great indeed.
I feel good that I donated and I feel good that I donated so much. I need to learn how to do my hair. I need to do my hair. It’ll grow. Or I’ll cut it… My friend did a great job so I’m not disappointed in her work. I gave her little direction. I need to go back to her though and have some of the bulk taken out of the area around my neck. I feel like I should like go to a 1990’s prom or slide on some mom jeans and buy a minivan.
If you have 8 inches or more of hair that you’re ready to donate, just ask your stylist. They usually have a collection and send into a donation center once of a month. Or you can send in your own hair to:
Alicia Wozniak was born and raised in Cleveland. “Woz” now lives in Tampa, with the rest of Ohio. This 40 year old can be found teaching Zumba, all over Facebook, figuring out Twitter, blogging, and working her full time gig in a marketing division of a textbook publisher. She wonders how many jobs she really needs. If she isn’t moving, she’s unconscious. Life, which includes a Weez, is good and as long as the beer is cold and it isn’t snowing, she’ll keep moving forward – Xanax close at hand.