I can remember being in the fifth grade and begging my mother to let me chop my hair off. My unmanageable curls fell to the middle of my back, the longest my natural hair would ever grow. I wanted something chin length but the idea horrified my mother. We settled on “shoulder length” which worked well for me when the hairdresser didn’t account for the extra three inches my hair would come up after it dried and curled.
Since that haircut I became obsessed with cutting my hair. Like one of the opening scenes of 500 Days of Summer, I prided myself on having no attachment to my locks. So cavalier in a stylist’s seat, I could cut it off without so much as a single butterfly in my stomach. It was that much more satisfying if I waited until it grew long and then I could make a splash at school the next day with 6-8 inches gone.
Long, short and then the grow-out phase in between: it was a cycle that I kept religiously for the next twenty years.
Until I had kids.
My attachment to my hair started when I was pregnant with my son. The hormones of my male child gave me the most amazing hair possible. It was thick, soft and always shiny. Pantene hair with a baby bump. Even though this super-hair fell out by the handful soon after I delivered, I never had the desire to cut it. The long hair lent itself to ponytails, far from the spit-up and grabby hands of an infant. My hair didn’t get the same surge when I was pregnant with my daughter, but I still never cut it. That was over four years ago. I’ve had a few dead-end trims, but nothing dramatic. Is it a sign that I’ve gotten over my need to make a statement with my hair? Or that I’ve settled into a middle age mindset – gotta keep my hair long until I have to get a practical short cut? Am I suddenly attached to my hair in the way I think I won’t be pretty without it long? Or am I just so lazy I couldn’t imagine a haircut that wouldn’t let me just stick it back in a rubberband?
What do you think? Should I go for the over-the-top chop or is my new attitude a positive sign of maturity?