I started growing my hair out at age 8. My reason was simple; all the girls I knew then had long hair and I wanted to blend in. That reason felt logical at the time sounded absurd now, but that decision I made more than a decade ago stuck – I had long hair ever since.
My bob hair took a whole year to grow out before it was long enough to be tied into a pony-tail. In that same year, I started dreading visits to the hairdresser. My mother would made me go once a year, to make sure that my hair was, in her opinion, to an optimum length before the new year began.
I will always remember one visit to the hairdresser’s. I was so young back then that I had to sit on the little stool on top of the big chair so that my head was higher than the chair rest. As she flapped the cape over my body in preparation, I squirmed in my seat.
“One inch. Just one inch.”
Pouting, I looked at my mother as she held her thumb and index finger close to one another. I reluctantly agreed. Little did I know back then that she extended the distance between the thumb and index finger behind my back as she signalled the hairdresser to cut more than she promised me. Sneaky!
I fidgeted in my seat so often that the hair dresser had to reminded me to be still every couple of minutes. Finally, she was finished snipping as she removed the cape and ushered me to get off the stool. I stretched out my hand and reached for the hair behind me. There was a significant proportion missing. Reality sunk in soon after, as I looked at my mother and the hairdresser in accusal before I burst into tears.
Years later, my mother and the same hairdresser would always laugh about the incident that happened over a decade ago. I continued to cut my hair at the same hairdresser in my hometown before I moved to this new city.
Last weekend, at the spur moment, I decided to cut away all my curls, more than 5 inches of it. As I stared into the mirror with my not-so-long hair, I will always remember the time I cried at the hairdresser’s.
My new hairdresser suggested a short hairstyle… maybe next year.