What’s the deal with haircuts? Yes, this question may sound like a Jerry Seinfeld bit from the late eighties, but that seems like the best way to phrase it. Going to the salon is a weird experience, right? We act like it’s just as uncomfortable as going to the dentist, but when we get in that oddly shaped chair with our feet suspended slightly off the ground, we remember just how much we like it. Our procrastination is focused solely on responsibility and punctuality. We forget about the effortless relaxation and obvious enjoyment. Part of the problem, I believe, has to do with frequency. Your stylist expects you to come in every six to eight weeks, but that can feel a bit over the top and it never seems to happen. Life is just too fluid and too manic for that type of commitment. If you’re like me, you wait until the last possible second to book your next appointment. You look at yourself in the mirror and think, “Oh, it’s not too bad.” Unfortunately, no one tells you it looks like you have a brown, molting mop on the top of your head. It’s not a good look.
Until today, I hadn’t cut my hair in over a year. I delayed and postponed until I was finally forced to go in. I couldn’t take it anymore! It was time.
The hours leading up to my appointment were filled with a nervous excitement. I, obviously, had been through this before, but I still forgot what it felt like. My mind went through every possible scenario. I thought I’d be called out somehow, punished for my choice of cheap shampoo and split ends. I thought I’d go in messy and frizzy, but come out looking like Jennifer Lopez with my hair sensually blowing in the wind. Instead, I emerged from my session feeling healthier, lighter. It felt like an imaginary weight had been lifted from me and had been left lying among the severed locks that were carelessly arranged on the floor.
The process, though quick, was not an easy one. Navigating through a minefield of mild niceties and compulsory small talk was excruciating. I’m consistently awkward. Any situation that requires one-on-one chitchat leaves me with sweaty palms and a twitching eye. This time I remained unscathed, responding politely, without having to contribute much gossip of my own. I’m forever grateful for the stylists who are comfortable in tricky silence. Having a stranger wash and style your hair is bizarre enough. Introverts everywhere agree, we can’t deal with much more than that.
In the end, my hair was cut, dry, and looking so much better than it had been. I took as many pictures as I could, because it was never going to look like that or feel that soft again. I went to the salon feeling ready and rough, but left with a strong sense of accomplishment. It’s amazing how transformed we can feel by a thorough wash and a trim. Our confidence soars. We feel energetic and renewed.