Until about a couple weeks ago, my sense of self-worth was all knotted up in the length of my hair. Like a perfectly executed fishtail braid, this skewed perception wove through my neural network: curtains of mermaid curls are gorgeous; anything above the ears is an unfortunate mishap.
Because of this belief — reinforced by everyone from close friends to internet commenters — I have felt shitty about myself and my scalp for going on three years. Cue ghoulish mishaps with extensions. Cue ugly crying after haircuts. And, lastly, cue what Rodney Cutler aptly labeled "grungy skateboard hair."
You see, I didn't care how thrashed my hair looked as long as there was length to it. How sad, right? How very, very sad.
Cut to 2:30 PM on December 4th at Cutler Soho, a place and time that will ever after live in infamy. I was tired of handfuls of broken hair coming out in the shower. I was tired of clinging to the idea of long hair when my hair was so obviously not strong enough to grow past my ears. I let Jesus take the wheel.
Just kidding — I don't believe in a deity — but I did let Rodney Cutler take the scissors and my whole sense of self in his very gifted hands.
Using said gifted hands, Rodney pushed my — it has to be said again — grungy skateboard hair out of my eyes and remarked, super casually, "you have a beautiful face," thus setting into motion the transformation you'll find — along with a few of Rodney's most excellent haircare tips — below.
Rodney Cutler's Magical Scissors and Expert Tips
The biggest takeaway (besides the mix your own best product ever tip) was that there are people in the world — a master stylist among them — who think that short hair is something to be excited about not as a last resort and not as a step on the path to long hair, but in and of itself.
When Rodney told me that he could "cut my hair for days," that there was so much I could do with it that would be exciting and sexy and stunning, I stopped wishing that my hair was waist-length and whimsical again.
After the haircut, I didn't ugly-cry. I went home and looked in the mirror and marveled. I felt sexy. I was Rodney's secret to amazing short hair incarnate: total dismissal of the long-hair hierarchy.
Sure, my face is a genetic accident and bone structure is incidental and beauty in itself is a social construct but, thanks to some real talk and a pair of scissors in Cutler Salon, I feel beautiful.
So long, grungy skateboard hair. Hello, head-held-high glamour shots and a messy, Fat Boy pomade-fueled ego.
Are you living free of the shackles of hair-shame? Do you ugly cry after haircuts? Are you shorn short and don't want to be? Get on down to the scalp-lovin', soul-sharin' comments section and let's have at it.