I FINALLY Stopped F$%@ing With My Hair (Almost)

Messing with my hair is my own personal form of therapy. Some people binge eat; I cut my hair.

Sep 20, 2012 at 3:34pm | Leave a comment

I love experimenting with my hair. I love cutting it, dyeing it, bleaching it, and damaging it. If something is going bad in my life, I make myself feel better by cutting or coloring my hair. If I have something to celebrate, I celebrate by cutting or coloring my hair. Sometimes I pay someone to do it. Sometimes I just do it myself, with enthusiasm and really bad scissors. It rarely ended well.

Most girls do NOT like to fuck with their hair. Their idea of a haircut is getting their layers tipped. I come from the school of thought that A TRIM IS NOT A HAIRCUT. I mean, it’s JUST HAIR. It GROWS BACK.

Messing with my hair is my own personal form of therapy. Some people binge eat; I cut my hair. I've had plenty of post-emotional breakdown haircuts and colors. I’ve had hair so processed and bleached out that it would break off (my Courtney Love phase); I’ve mixed so many colors that my brown hair ended up with a green tinge (my “My best friend is in Cosmetology school” phase). My hair has been blue, purple, pink, green, blonde, red and any other color you can make up. It’s been layered, razored and thinned out. I’ve had bangs; I’ve grown out bangs. The only thing my hair hasn’t been, in as long as I can remember (since BEFORE THE INTERNET), is long. UNTIL NOW.


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The best thing about this hair length is that it brings even more attention to my cleavage.

While this may not be “long” to some people, this is the longest and healthiest my hair has been since before I was diagnosed with cancer in the mid-90s.

I was 11 when I was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia (no sad faces; clearly, I survived). My immediate question to the doctors was, "Is my hair going to fall out?" They said yes, but not for a few months. I thought about that. At the time, it was about shoulder-length. I was growing it out after having to cut some gum out of it, again. I thought about what it might mean to be bald. In preparation for my hair loss, I cut my hair into a short, ear-length bob.

I loved it. My head fell so much lighter; washing it was a breeze, and I didn’t have to deal with constant tangles. Having short hair was the greatest thing in the world. It was a beauty revelation that would stick with me for the better part of 15 years.

Eventually, I went completely bald, and that was NOT as much fun as having short hair. In the summer before I started 8th grade, I was declared in remission and went off chemo. My hair started growing back in little circular patches of fuzz. I hated it. My cosmetologist aunt said we should have fun with it. That led to this:


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This is where it all started. There was lime green, magenta and many other colors of the rainbow. My dad didn’t allow me to wear nail polish or makeup throughout my adolescence, so coloring my hair became my thing. It was 12 years before I saw my natural hair color again.

When I went to prom in 2001, my hair was what I considered “long.” When my prom pictures came back, someone told me my hair “looked good in that length” and that I’d “be prettier if I grew it out.” I immediately went into my bedroom and chopped it all off with a pair of fabric scissors. I just didn’t –- and don’t -- like the idea that I had to have long hair to be considered hot. It’s not just dudes -- I get more shit about it from girls. I was the ONLY girl in my sorority with short hair.

“But long hair is SO SEXY,” they’d say. Really? It looked like a giant pain in the ass to me. All of that blow drying, the washing, the styling, and doesn’t your neck ever get sweaty? GROSS.

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This was my “Josie & the Pussycats (the Movie)” inspired hairstyle at my Junior Prom. Before now, that was the longest I’d let it grow.

Eventually, everyone in my life came to accept that I liked to mess with my hair.

“You should grow it out,” turned into, “What are you going to do next?” People finally stopped asking me if I was a lesbian because of my short hair, which is, by the way, THE STUPIDEST FUCKING THING I HAVE EVER HEARD. It’s like saying only skinny chicks get laid. Total lie. Don’t believe the hype.

I started growing out my hair a few years ago due to the cost. Short hair is expensive; maintaining the perfect balance of layers required monthly “trims.” I was unemployed, and I couldn’t afford a decent haircut, much less a shitty one. I didn’t trust myself not to fuck it up by cutting it myself, so I didn’t. I just let my short, ear-length dyed-red hair grow into its natural, dark brown state. I hated every minute of it, especially when people commented on how much better they liked it.

And when I was finally able to afford to start coloring my hair again, I realized that I didn’t want to. My hair is the longest it's been in nearly 15 years. It is cut into a shag-inspired layered cut with side swept bangs. It frames my face, thins it out, and brings out my cheekbones. It’s cost-effective. Plus, it brings even more attention to my cleavage, which, in my world, is never a bad thing. It's gorgeous, it’s thick and my identity isn’t so wrapped up being the girl with fucked-up hair anymore. I have finally learned to just book a blowout and call it a day.

But I’m still totally going to dye it purple soon.