it’s just hair – right? - it's just hair - right?December 11, 2012 marks the day that my life as I know it changed forever . . . or at least for the next several months. Possibly years.

On that fateful day, I made a decision that has haunted me since.

I decided to cut my hair.

The result? Age-otori. (That’s Japanese for looking worse after a haircut.)

I’m not fishing for compliments. My sister has (begrudgingly) confirmed this to be true.

hair: a metaphor for life

Cutting my hair was a risk. Definitely not a life or death kind of risk. Few risks are. But as I haven’t had hair this short since I was maybe two years old, I couldn’t be sure of the outcome.

So I took the risk. I took a chance.

In life, we can’t always be guaranteed of the end result of the decisions we make. Does that mean that we shouldn’t make them? Of course not!

I’d been considering cutting my hair ever since the idea of walking the Camino de Santiago entered my mind. I thought short hair would be so much easier to take care of (lies).

Plus, what could be more minimalist than short hair?

Fast forward to December when I asked myself what I was waiting for. Why not just cut my hair now? So I did.

If I’d just cut my hair a little shorter or even up to my shoulders, I’d still of wondered what it would’ve looked like if I’d gone really short.

Sometimes you have to go all the way to find the place where you want to end up.

this too shall pass

My hair is going to grow back.

Even though it may take months for it to get to the point that I like it more, I still don’t regret cutting it.

I now have one less “what if” on my list.

Truth be told, I almost had a Jo March, Little Women, moment when she cries over selling her long, beautiful hair.

But then I thought, it’s just hair.

Revealed: This is what my hair looks like under that hat . . . just kidding.

32 thoughts on “it’s just hair – right?

  1. Bethany@OurSoCalledLife

    Hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained! I’ve definitely made MUCH more disasterous hair mistakes over the year. There was the not-quite-right bob that added 20 pounds to my face. Or the poodle perm. Oh, boy…

  2. Caitlin

    There is an art and a science to proper short haircut. I had my hair cut short three times a couple years ago… one time, I looked drop dead sexy with the short hair. The other two times I looked very “low-maintenance soccer mom.” If you want to go short, you need a stylist with experience in short hair.

    I have also been contemplating a cut lately, because my hair’s in that too-long stage where it’s just past my shoulders and I’m not really comfortable with it up or down. Mayhaps a trim is in order, since I don’t think I want to go super short again.

    And I looked at that photo… I actually like your new cut! :)

  3. vintagekaren

    I’ve had some “stellar” hair experiences over the years and have tried cutting my hair too! My worst decisions though used to be around clothes…buying clothes that were all wrong for my body type and coloring. I think I’ve finally got it figured out!

  4. Marcy

    After years of saying that I was growing my hair out, I finally realized that……I wasn’t. Ever. I decided that I would never utter the words again, because saying them was a waste of time, and a lie. I realized that I was a short haired girl, forever. I have decided this year that less than 1/8th is my “Forever Hair”. It’s a relief, so now I live (that part of my life) with NO APOLOGIES.

  5. livingsimplyfree

    I cut my hair off little over 3 years ago and loved it. But it’s time for a change and I’m in the process of letting it grow out, which in my opinion is the worst stage for hair. I have a lot of hair so it tends to look way too heavy and I feel like I am wearing a hairy hat instead. Good luck with your growing out stages.

  6. Mopsa

    Bah, you look so cute in the “about” photo! :P
    Anyway, I enjoyed how you transformed this experience in a metaphor for life :)

  7. A

    Caitilin is totally right: there is an art and a science to short haircuts. I’m a minimalist myself, and pretty frugal, but I will shell out the big bucks to get a good haircut that is easy to manage and is reasonably flattering. I don’t wear makeup, I don’t use hair products, so I think it all evens out. I highly recommend finding the best stylist in your area, and seeking his/her advice.

    That said, your hair looks great, and if you don’t like it? It will grow back! Trying to keep short hair short is the ultimate lesson in impermanence.

    @Marcy – less than 1/8th – inch? I wish I could go that short! I’m envious!

  8. living lagom Post author

    Thanks ladies! I don’t blame my stylist, he’s quite good. I blame my hair and the quantity of it (which I’m thankful for). I’m VERY low maintenance when it comes to my hair. I normally get it cut twice a year and only occasionally used styling products. Now I have to use product to keep my “hair helmet” down as it grows in. BUT, I’m looking forward to when it gets to chin length, which should correspond with the release of The Great Gatsby and my having my very first bob!

  9. Marcy

    We have to have pictures of your Great Gatsby bob!!!! Also, by the same author as The Great Gatsby, a short story that I think you can find for free online (somewhere….. I had it once)- Bernice Bobs Her Hair!!!!!

  10. living lagom Post author

    Thanks! If you REALLY want to cut it…then you must! How will you ever know, if you don’t? A less “brave” approach would be to cut it in stages to build up your courage and not shock the system.

  11. Sara

    I also think your hair is cute :) I seem to remember, though, that you hair looked nice when longer, as well. Personally. I’d like long hair on me, but my face and my nature don’t happen to agree..I start to look like a poodle or an aiming-to-please spaniel with long hair, and that I hate! I’ve been cutting my own hair for about 15 years now and the twenties style continuously suits me fine. For me, it’s minimalist, as well, since it’s easy to maintain. I just wash and comb my hair and that’s it :) Come to think of it, I guess I’m pretty lucky in this.

  12. Eva

    I aree – your new cut looks great in the picture. But I relate to wanting long hair again (too bad it takes so long)…

  13. Karen T.

    I too think your hair looks cute. I’ve worn short hair for over 20 years now, and agree it is very important to have a good cut (I have fine, slightly wavy hair and several inconvenient cowlicks). That said, I certainly enjoy the wash, quick style, and go every morning.

  14. Barefoot Bodhi

    I’ve decided to grow out my pixie, which I first got almost 6 months ago. It actually looks pretty good, but I don’t feel feminine and it’s stressing my relationship. Now I’m at the “decidedly shaggy” stage (I got my last haircut 2 months ago) and am battling the urge to get it cut again.

    When I decided to cut mine, I had just finished my doctorate, was done with in-person interviews for a job, and had finalized a divorce about a month earlier. It was the dead of a muggy summer and I figured, I’m going to do this evenutally, why not now? I actually didn’t feel great about the cut for a couple months after I first got it. There’s lagom to haircuts, too — my initial cut wasn’t short enough.

  15. living lagom Post author

    Mine is decidedly shaggy at the moment as well. I hope as it grows out, I find my lagom. But I think at different stages in life, we desire different styles.

    My friend told me there’s a saying in Russian, that when a woman cuts her hair, it’s because she’s wants to change her life.

  16. Jay The Baker

    You need this book:

    “Even hair grows.”

    That’s what your post reminded me of. I have read this to my daughter many times! There’s something to be said for the simplicity of taking care of short hair. Isn’t it a bit arbitrary that it’s more common for women to have long hair? It could’ve been the reverse, had history unfolded a little differently!

  17. Jay The Baker

    That price is crazy. I have no idea why it’s so expensive. Our copy’s been my wife’s since she was a little girl.

  18. Pingback: Some Good Laughs for Your Day « Journey to Ithaca

  19. Lisa

    I’ve been contemplating cutting my very long hair into something short for a long time. I just want to see, you know? I keep admiring short hair on other women (who have faces that are shaped nothing like mine :P ) and I just want a change.

    But I am curious how short hair is more high-maintenance than long hair. Can you tell us about that? I barely do anything with my long hair and I’d probably find lots of work to be annoying.

  20. living lagom Post author

    I was admiring short hair on other women for quite some time too. And thinking about it and thinking about it. That’s how you know you should give it a try. Ask your stylist what style would suit your face shape and hair texture. If you don’t love it, it’ll grow back, but at least you gave it a go!

    Short hair is more high-maintenance for me because when my hair was long, all I had to do was wash it, scrunch it a bit with my fingers and let it air dry. My hair has a natural wave to it, so that’s all I needed to do. With short hair, I have to use soothing lotion after I wash it and hope that it sets nicely. Since I don’t wash my hair every day, the second day after I wash it, I have no idea what my hair will look like when I wake up. Some of it goes this way, that way and the other way. It’s a surprise every day! So I have to try and tame it with water and more soothing lotion. But that’s MY hair. I have a lot of it. If you have fine, straight hair and are willing to put more effort into styling it, it may not be a big deal for you.

    I now wear my little hat and wide headband a lot. Regardless, cut it.

  21. Carolyn

    Lately I’ve been considering growing my hair LONGER for simplicity — potentially easier styling, less spent on haircuts. But at my age I’d feel it necessary to wear it up……..and I look better with shorter hair, and if well cut, I can get away with “wash and wear”. But then I’m committed to fairly frequent salon visits. It’s a conundrum, and I go back and forth!

    A like the Russian saying about a woman cutting her hair when she wants to change her life. At least twice I’ve gotten a radical haircut right after a breakup. The fun thing about a haircut is that it can be an instant change! Whereas growing is so slow and gradual.

  22. living lagom Post author

    Why not give longer a chance then? Don’t let age stop you. I’d hate for someone to tell me that I couldn’t do something because I was deemed to be of a “certain age.” I’d probably just make me want to do it more!

  23. cworthi

    Not anybody else telling me…….me telling me! And I remember my grandmother with her white hair, always worn up. I thought she was so elegant. Today I had little bangs cut — not altogether successful. I’m just fickle!

  24. living lagom Post author

    Then don’t talk to yourself that way! ;) Bangs are tricky. Mine were cut slightly too short. I’m still waiting for them to get to a desirable length. I’m fickle too.

  25. cworthi

    Oh, yeah! Tricky. I wish I’d just decide my hair is going to be a certain way, and stop thinking about it. Maybe it’s a way I keep myself entertained. Or distracted. You should do update pictures periodically.

  26. living lagom Post author

    I’ll update my About page as I make hair progress. I also have photos on my Instagram account. I’m really looking forward to being able to pull my hair back into a ponytail. That day will definitely be documented.

  27. Gina

    Don’t know if this will comfort you,but here goes.
    I had long light brown hair all my life. Almost a year ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer, fought it and won due to many wonderful doctors,nurses and even my family rallied to help me through the worst of it. However, my lovely locks were lost as a result of chemotherapy . I discovered clever hats to wear, people noticed the rest of my features and I realized that “it’s only hair.” Such a small price to pay for a new life. My hair has begun to grow back, it came back black and thicker! I have received so many compliments on my new haircut, if they only knew the real catalyst for change.
    And that is what life is all about, change.

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