Aside from the occasional stint as a bridesmaid, I usually just keep my hair in a ponytail or French twist. I like my hair, but it has never been the main focus of my daily routine. I’m much more excited about picking out a bracelet or a scarf! Even so, once I started to think about this post, I couldn’t stop coming up with thoughts and memories about my hair: like the first (and last) time I gave myself a haircut, or when my mom’s friend Charity (who put herself through college working as a hairdresser) put Marcel curls in my few inches of post-chemo hair, or the time I planned to dye it a lovely shade of auburn and ended up with a lovely shade of aubergine instead.
But after careful consideration, I’ve decided to write about three very important hair-moments in my life: my first haircut, my worst haircut, and the haircut I had on Wednesday.
My First Haircut
Most of my early haircuts were done at home. Both my mom and my paternal grandmother could cut a mean mullet – what can I say, I was a lucky kid! I don’t remember my first beauty-shop haircut, but I’ve heard the story a few times.
Somehow my Aunt Nancy (young, unmarried, and childless) got saddled with the job of taking me for a haircut. Normally I really enjoyed having a day with Aunt Nancy – since she was young, unmarried, and childless, she was obviously pretty cool. But I guess strangers with scissors put a damper on my day. I was very unhappy to be at the beauty shop, and apparently I let everyone know how I felt. Aunt Nancy may have been young, but she was old enough to be a mom. The beauty shop biddies assumed that I belonged to her, and were expressing their displeasure with dirty looks from beneath the hot-air driers. Once Aunt Nancy explained that she was babysitting and not actually my parent, they all rushed in to help: she got some pity and I got a lollipop. I’m guessing I eventually got a haircut, too, since my grandmother wouldn’t be happy with either of us if we came home without one.
My Worst Haircut (not counting the one I got when it was all falling out anyway)
I’ll keep this quick. There was a salon school in the town where I went to college. They charged $8 for a haircut, and that sounded like a great idea to me. Sadly, despite my best instructions to the student, she gave me a mullet. So I walked around the corner to the high-end salon in town (after a pick-me-up cookie at Starbucks) and booked an appointment for that night. It was with Gil, and I’ve never looked back.
The Haircut I Had on Wednesday
Remember Gil from the last story? He still cuts my hair, nearly 10 years later. And this week he cut off two 12” ponytails that I’m donating to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.
I never did the wig thing during my treatment – I tried it once and it was bad. Very, very bad. That may or may not be a post for another day. But I’m pretty happy that somebody else can wear my hair. After losing it all, it is a great feeling to be able to give it away on my own terms.
xoxo, Girl G
PS: Why Pantene Beautiful Lengths? Because they’re recommended by the American Cancer Society (scroll about halfway down to see).