My hair came back from Barbados with a serious case of identity crisis; it simply refused to believe it was no longer in Barbados.
I can’t blame it. My name was on the plane ticket and even I can’t believe I’m no longer there.
Since I hadn’t cut my hair in nearly six months, two weeks of sun, heat and swimming in the sea amounted to about two years of damage. So about a week ago, I decided it was time to live up to my promises to myself and cut it short.
The Angry Chef and I drove to Lyon to buy food last weekend, and while I was there, I decided to try to find a hairdressers and get a hair cut, especially because I had to go to London for work the next day, and didn’t want to go to a conference with hair looking like it would much prefer to be in the Caribbean.
I walked into the hairdressers, and upon laying eyes on my long, blond hair, a gentleman with glorious greying hair said he would find a slot to cut it for me.
The moment I sat on the chair, I started having second thoughts. Maybe I just wanted a trim, nothing too dramatic. But if I always just went for a trim, I was never going to change, and I was starting to get a bit sick of long hair. It gets stuck everywhere, and our apartment’s furnishings are covered in it. So when the man with glorious hair asked me what I wanted, I went ahead and showed him a photo of Keira Knightley. Intrigued, he looked at the picture, and then back at me. “But that’s very short,” he said. I nodded. “Are you sure?” I nodded again. “Really sure?” This time, I said I was.
He held my hair in a low ponytail and SNIP!
For a moment, I thought I would cry. Get it together, I told myself. You’re better than this.
He held a fistful of my hair up in the mirror so I could see how much of it was gone. I thought I was going to be sick. My stomach twisted itself into knots. He must have noticed this, because he asked if I wanted to keep it. I said I did.
He continued to cut, and I continued to worry that this was too short. Every time I thought he was done, he cut off another one or two centimetres. He then sprayed a mysterious substance on my hair, and blow-dried it. I had to admit that, in spite of the shock, my head was now a different, quite pleasing shape. I looked older, and more sophisticated. I tried to remember the last time I saw a fancy-shmancy Parisian woman with flowing long hair.
Having short hair is different. When celebrities say this, it might be because a crafty publicist put words in their mouth. But I feel different with short hair, and it seems people also look at me differently. For one, people at stores smile at me a lot more. Maybe they smiled at me before, but I was too busy pulling my hair from under the handbag strap on my shoulder to notice. When I walk on a busy sidewalk, people get out of my way more willingly and more politely than they did before. But then again, maybe I can notice this now because I don’t have a hell of a lot of hair blocking my field of vision.
But the most interesting thing is that my characters seem to have a harder time recognising me and trying to get me to agree with them. Maybe shorter hair makes me tougher. Or maybe it was the flower child look that made me look softer. Who knows…
Have a great weekend, and thank you so much for reading.