It occurred to me as I was driving to my hair appointment last week that I have had short hair for almost 10 years now! I consider my hair to be one of my best features, which is maybe weird considering how little of it I have compared to many women. Short as it may be, I really like my hair and my haircut. I think it suits me, I like how it looks, and it makes me feel good! It doesn’t get much better than that.
My hair used to be a security blanket, and a really dull, ratty blanket at that. My hair texture is what would be considered “fine,” which is salon code for flat and boring. I always say that I have great “hippie” hair – certainly no flat-ironing necessary over here. It’s too bad I was born in the 80’s! It took a lot of hairspray to poof these bangs back in the day, then one gentle breeze later and they were flat to my forehead again. In one last-ditch effort at volume, I once asked my mom’s hairdresser to give me “layers,” which I had read about in Seventeen Magazine (so many red flags in this sentence). The results made me cry for 48 hours, and I then proceeded to wear my hair up almost every day from eighth grade until my senior year of high school.
I finally took the plunge and cut my hair to my chin the year after I graduated from college. It was scary – I had nothing to hide behind and no backup ponytail for bad hair days – but it was also a surprisingly liberating experience. I loved it! I had never felt so stylish or pulled together. I did (and still do) have to blow dry and style it every day, but it takes all of five minutes. With the exception of the year my brother was getting married and I wanted to get an up-do for the wedding (for the record, after all that, the hairdresser said, “well we don’t have much to work with here”), I have never seriously attempted to grow my hair out again.
I have gotten a lot of flak for my hair over these years. I wish I was exaggerating when I say that even strangers have suggested that I should grow my hair out. I’ve been told that short hair on girls is a “northeast thing,” that I must have short hair because I went to a women’s college (offensive on many levels), and also have heard several versions of backhanded compliments like, “You would be so pretty with longer hair.” I get this sense, from men especially, that there is something inherently wrong with a woman who doesn’t want long hair (UNFEMININE).
I have made peace with my hair choices, but at this point in my life, having recently become a mom, it is coming back to haunt me a little. It has been suggested that I might have “mom hair.” The horror! I admit that my first reaction is to get defensive and then list all the reasons why I do NOT, nor will I ever, have mom hair. It is for some reason so derogatory to say that someone has mom-anything. Think about something like mom jeans – the term basically refers to unattractive jeans, worn for comfort. The implication is that moms lose their figure, their femininity, and do not care about their appearance. But when I really think about it, yeah, I do have mom hair. I have an unattractive cut (to some people) that I wear for my own comfort and convenience. And you know, I like it that way!
So I guess what I’m saying is that if comfortable jeans make you feel good, go for it! If a minivan makes your life way better then please, be my guest! Wear your mom badge proudly. I love my mom hair, and I have no plans to grow it out. And honestly, I have more important things to worry about than whether you like my hair.