Friday, January 21, 2011

An old haircut for a new day

Never Done/tshuve: Got a 30's haircut for my late 40's.

I've never been one to get a haircut and keep it for years, but for a few years in my 30's I wore my hair like this: chin-length in front, razor cut and jaggedy around the ears and back. Since then, I've let it grow shoulder-length and longer, and just once, when I was growing out the hair dye, I cut it very short. I don't mean to sound vain, but I think it's looked good pretty much all these different ways. Except when it was mullet-like in my young 20's and bleached out in my 40's when I was trying to wean off the hair dye, but instead got a Japanese pop star yellow that I ended up coloring over and THEN growing out. But the cuts were good.

I recently grew it quite long, and then got what I hoped was going to be a shaggy Patti Smith-type punkish hair cut, and at first it looked great. Really great. Long, layered, shaggy. But it grew out fast, and I ended up throwing it into a scrunched pony tail all the time, which just looked bland and vaguely matronly to me. So I got it cut. I was going to get it cut on my 48th birthday, but I didn't get it together. I had a 15 minute consultation with the woman who cut it -- Melissa from Pomona. We talked about how to cut gray hair (no razors!), how my wavy hair flips out funny if it's cut too short on the sides, why short short bangs would not work with my front cowlick, and how I wanted her to pretend that my white pieces are colors she just dyed into my hair, and then cut around them to expose them. We considered shoulder-length and shorter. We talked about my pronounced jaw line. I felt that for the first time ever, I had effectively communicated to a new hair cutter -- that she listened and understood and contributed, and that I wasn't rushed or afraid of using too much of her time, and that we were actually on the same page.

And we were. She did a great job. She loved finding the white white pieces and exposing them. She cut a good six inches off, and I didn't end up with nightmares later. (I usually get haircut nightmares after a haircut.) She styled it in a way that had me freaked out, but I came home and stuck my head under the shower, and re-styled it, and it looked great. And it feels many pounds lighter, even though I imagine my hair weighed scarcely 3 ounces. (That is a total guess.)

I wonder if the way I've been practicing and reflecting on the mide (middah) of Silence: think before speaking helped me take my time to talk with Melissa, and I wonder how much our good communication was because Melissa is a good listener, and I wonder how much the two things go hand in hand, which is what I like to think is the case. In any case, I am happy to have an old haircut for a new day.

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