The First-Ever Non Break Up Haircut

Since I was a sophomore in high school, break ups have motivated me to do two things: write poetry that verbally castrates the subject of the work and cut all of my hair off. The former has led to both miserably humiliating and brilliant representations of my talents as a writer. The latter has only been miserably humiliating.

Though I seem to believe otherwise when experiencing the third of the five stages of heartbreak (Despair, Hunger, Rage, Neediness, and finally, Complacency), I look awful with short hair. My face hair is too thick, and, yet, too fine to wear anything that lands above the top of my shoulders. Let’s just say that the frizzy, blonde disco ball haircut has not and will never be in style. The numerous unfortunate-looking school pictures of this haircut don’t seem to occur to me when I’m sitting in the chair watching chunks of gold slide down the itchy black satin, creepily chanting “more…shorter…keep cutting.” It’s like I become convinced that I have grown so much from enduring this relationship that my face has, in fact, changed shape and a tiny flapper bob is exactly what I need to move on. Or win him back. Whatever.

For the next few (or several) months, I impatiently wait for my strands to make little ringlets at my collarbone and for my love life to regain consciousness. This time around, I’ll do it all differently, I say. I learn to trim my own bangs and how not to ask a guy for his number. I experience moments of regret, for the loss of both my ex and my hair, as well as moments of empowerment that I have moved on to better things. Eventually, I can make a pretty braid that reaches the middle of my back and I fall in love with a nice boy who has his own head of pretty hair.

Earlier this week, I got a haircut. My first-ever non break up haircut. I walked right up and showed her a picture of me—not of Alexis Bledel, Kirsten Dunst or some other pretty celebrity I wish I looked like—with my hair exactly how I wanted it. This was sure to be a foolproof haircut because I’d already seen the flattering features on my own head.

For the first time in my teen-to-adult life, I rather like it. (And, hey, so does my boyfriend!)

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