I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. It’s super-thick with a natural wave, so when it’s really long I look a bit like Cousin Itt:
Up through 7th grade my hair did the Cousin Itt thing, and in the winters static electricity would cause my strands to reach out to the cinder block walls in the hallway of my middle school, creating a two-foot wide web just waiting to entrap my friends. Mom would trim my hair in the basement, but it was still so long that I could sit on it (even if it was pulled back into a Pocahontas braid)! Although it got in my way and annoyed me, I didn’t get my first major haircut until 8th grade when Mom cropped my hair off in a straight line at about my bra strap. In high school, I wanted to take it up another few inches and Mom retired herself as my hairdresser and took me to a professional — a woman who cut hair in a shop attached to her house and introduced me to the miracle that is a pair of thinning shears.
Ever since high school I’ve gone through various stages of chopping my hair off and growing it out, a cyclical process that is primarily based on whether or not I’m annoyed with my hair at its current length and feel like I can’t (or won’t) do anything with it. Last year, however, I decided to grow out my tresses again. I had a particular length that I was aiming for, and maintenance trims & thinning kept me from meeting that goal with split ends or a lion’s mane so thick that my hair eclipsed my face.
I found myself loving my thick ponytail, which kept all of my hair off of my face and neck during workouts. And, for the first time in forever I could wind my locks up into a perfect (or messy) bun. I discovered that I can have layers when my hair is long enough that the wave doesn’t flip the layers out and around, creating weird duck tails off the back of my head. As my hair got longer, guys started weighing in, telling me not to cut it. I laughed, because it’s my head and I’ll do what I want with it… but why didn’t I want to cut it off already?! Why hadn’t I gotten completely sick of taking care of this much hair?!
I decided I must be on the doorstep of wanting to cut it all off; that I just hadn’t realized that I was about to flip the switch and go get myself a fun, messy bob like Diana Agron or Jennifer Aniston:
But I wasn’t ready to make the decision to chop it all off yet, so I made a deal with myself: I am not allowed to significantly cut my hair until I lose 10 pounds. Since making and accepting that self-bet, my reaction to my ever-growing tresses has been interesting. Most notably, I’ve lost and re-gained poundage so that I’ve probably only lost about 3 pounds total. That’s 7 pounds to go before I can cut my hair — and I don’t care! I’m still (for the most part) liking the long hair and dreaming of playing with it and doing things that I’ll probably never get around to doing (like curling or straight ironing; I’m a wash-and-go type of girl), but think would be so cool if I had a stylist or even a friend that liked to play hairstylist. Namely, I want this person in my life for the BRAIDS.
I simply do not have the endurance to hold my arms up above and behind my head while moving my fingers in intricate patterns long enough to actually accomplish one of these amazing looks… yet I want to see my hair twisted and plaited in amazing ways so bad that I’m willing to deal with the possibility of regressing into Cousin Itt on the off chance that maybe, perhaps one day, I’ll either man up and try one of these hairstyles out on myself or bribe a friend. Because really, who would turn down a free plate of cookies and the chance to put 1,000 knots in her friend’s hair?!