Please Talk Me Down From My Temporary Hair Insanity

Suddenly my hair felt like an offending creature clinging to my head, possibly plotting its descent down my face, where it would cover my nose and mouth and choke the life out of me.

Oct 3, 2011 at 11:00am | Leave a comment

image

In recovery circles, we talk about something called a "geographic," which is when you decide to solve all your problems by moving somewhere new. I never pulled a geographic; I spent my using years steadfastly drinking myself to death right here in one spot. 

But after my bout of hair insanity over the weekend, I'm starting to think there may be a different kind of geographical that I am all too familiar with: the impulsive hair change. For most of my life, I've changed cuts and colors compulsively, a new self always as close as the drugstore or salon. Dyeing my hair, in particular, was a mood-altering substance. Flitting around my house with just a bra on and my hair piled in a goopy knot on top of my head was one of the cheapest highs I had access to. The new color was almost an afterthought; the fun was in the decisive action to make a change.

In the past few years, I've grown a little more circumspect about my hair. I've been growing it out, which limits cut options to basically layers vs. no layers. And about 6 months ago, I got my first salon dye job. That's right, I paid someone else to do what I've been doing myself my whole life. And it looks nice! Invariably, when I post a picture with an article here, someone will comment that my hair looks great. (Love you guys.)

So why, over this weekend, was I suddenly and violently gripped by a bout of hair insanity? I hate all this hair, I suddenly thought. I want to chop all this hair off.  Suddenly my hair felt like an offending creature clinging to my head, possibly plotting its descent down my face, where it would cover my nose and mouth and choke the life out of me. I WANT TO CUT MY  HAIR SO BAD, I tweeted.

image

But visions of chin-length bobs danced in my head. Ultimately, I needed to hear from our @Cat_Marnell, who is both shallow and honest, and who cut me down with a link to the Fitzgerald story "Bernice Bobs Her Hair." For "lessons in regret," she told me. 

image

But my hair insanity was like a game of Whack-a-mole, and no sooner was my haircut obsession quashed than a new idea popped up. I'd change the color! Rashly, right away, by dyeing willy nilly over my salon highlights. This time, it was self-described "good friend" Julie Klausner who told me to leave my freakin' hair alone. She also told me she'd turn her series of inspired tweets about Melissa McCarthy into an article for this website if I did so. HOLDING YOU TO IT, Klausner.

Anyway, I know I'm not the first woman to get caught up in a hair change fever. What do you do when gripped by this particular form of insanity? Should I toss caution to the wind and do something impulsive with my head? Or do I need to step away from the scissors and the hair dye? I JUST WANT TO DO SOMETHING, ANYHING.