The kid told me the other day that she thinks I should grow my hair long. I’ve actually been thinking about my hair more than usual lately. Despite a few drastic haircuts in between, I usually have the same style that I have had since high school.
At some point after 1996, when the movie Scream came out, I went to the stylist with a picture of Neve Campbell and asked for hair like that, and my layered bob was born.
There was a point, not too long after the kid was born, that I went really short – though I know some women who would call my usually ear-length really short – and that was the period when I probably felt the least like myself ever.
Even as a chair my hair was usually short, the result of waking up in tangles every morning and screaming bloody murder as my mother tried to fix it. For a while I slept in hairnets in an attempt to solve the problem.
This was, I guess, a result of being a restless sleeper and having a lot of fine hair. It just tangles. The kid has the same problem now. At least once during a brushing I have wondered whether the neighbours will call the police, and considered just shaving her head so that she’ll be old enough to just deal with it herself by the time it grows back. But I get the feeling that my kid is just a long-haired kind of girl, like her Auntie. My sister has always had long hair the same way I’ve always had short.
I have considered growing it out more than once in my adult years. The last time I really made an effort was before my wedding, when I thought having longer hair would give me more options for styling. A few weeks before the wedding I realized, with my mother’s help, that I didn’t look like myself. Why would I want to not look like myself on my wedding day?
The fact is that every time I think about growing my hair I get a distinct image in my head of the one time I had long-ish hair.
I don’t remember what grade I was in, but when I look at my school photo I just see myself drowning in hair. Because, of course, for picture day I wore my hair down. You see, one thing that has kept me from growing my hair (and also one of the reasons I feared having a daughter) was my complete inability to do anything with my hair. It rejects clips. I don’t know what to do with product. If it’s not up in a ponytail it’s down. though I have had occasion to do very simple pigtail braids. Every hairstylist I have ever had has had to come to the realization that I will not buy their products, will not use flat irons or round brushes, will not blow dry my hair.
I wash and go. Some mornings I even forget to comb it. It has never occurred to me to put much time or effort into my hair, except when I had bangs I had had no choice. When you wake up with hair sticking straight up out of your head, you have to come up with some sort of solution.
My go-to layered bob is wash and go too. Even messy it looks okay. Cut short enough (but still long enough to tuck behind my ears) it’s not too hot on my neck, and when it’s long enough to pull back into a ponytail I know that I’m probably ready for my next cut.
This haircut has stuck by me – from high school to my wedding day to the day I gave birth – always suiting me just fine.