Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hairy Decisions

Back when I was pregnant, I pondered the whole "mom hair" thing on this blog--whether I'd feel like a shorter haircut right around my due date would cement short hair as a "mom 'do" forever in my book.  I had let my hair get a little long at that point (long for what it was then), and was hesitant to cut it for fear that it would put this "official" stamp on things...that looking back on it, the hair I had when Jacob was born would be this short mom 'do.  Perhaps I was a little scarred by old photos of Kate Gosselin (yeah, I know), who was so frumpy when her kids were born, but fortunately made a solid recovery in the style department...though I will refrain from commenting on her transformation in the last couple years.  Anyway, I didn't want to become this typical mom with the typical short hair.  But in the end, I did cut it short, and went extra short prior to Jacob's baptism. 

Quite frankly, at that point I needed the haircuts when I got them because the in-between phase was pretty awful and left me feeling less than stylish.  As a new mom, any little bit helped. 

I kept the short hair for quite a few years, and then...well, I got lazy.  And cheap.  And now my hair is long.  For me, anyway.  It's just past my shoulders.  Of course, it boggles my mind to think it was at least six inches longer at its longest, back when I was in high school. 

It also had a long phase right around the time Craig and I started dating. 

But it got progressively shorter, and once I got rid of the long hair post-wedding, I never looked back...until now. I swore when it was short that I'd never go long again.  Short hair was easier, and since my hair tends to get thin and stringy as it gets long, it was the best way to maintain a polished cut.  But...the longer hair started to grow on me, especially when I gave myself some bangs.  It just added a different dimension to it, and it was nice to be a little different than I'd been for years. 

There are days when I look at my hair and hate it.  For the longest time I was jonesing to cut it short ASAP, but held off because it's the middle of winter and that seemed odd.  It just seems like my hair hangs there, and I often feel like the same girl I was for most of my life...with long hair I didn't know how to handle.  But then I saw a couple pictures of myself where I liked it.  Like this picture from the weekend...

Then I asked Craig what length he liked best.  I know it's probably not a fair question, but I wanted to ask.  He said he liked shoulder length.  I'm not even sure he knows what he really means, since it's rarely been right at my shoulders.  Since I've been with Craig it's mostly been long-ish, or a bit above my shoulders, or even higher than the bottom of my ears.  Each length has its pros and cons.  Short hair is easier to manage, but the risk of a bad hair day is higher because it flips easier.  It's also a lot more maintenance.  My hair gets stringy when it gets long, and it gets in the way more.  I like being able to put it back when I work out, and sometimes I think it makes me look younger (in a good way).  But when it's long and stringy and needs a brushing, I often feel like the awkward teenager that I once was...just blah.

The two wildcards in this are the bangs, which I haven't had with really short hair, and highlights, which I haven't had in a couple years.  Part of me thinks I should try something shorter, but find a twist on my old style to make it more modern.  But if I hate it, the growing out process stinks.  Another part of me is scared to cut it short, because suddenly I'm finding I might be one of those people who hides behind their hair.  I'll feel exposed without it. 

Perhaps the big revelation in all of this is that I may have lost myself a bit in the past few years. I just went with whatever style worked within the time constraints (for cutting or styling), and not necessarily how I felt.  Because when you have a baby, sometimes hair isn't your first priority.  I feel the same way about clothes, honestly, though I think in recent months I've come to terms with that a bit and found a better spot--one where I need to dress the body I have now and not worry about the ten years' worth of clothes in my closet that may or may not work anymore.  I am replacing the stuff that doesn't make me feel good one piece at a time and focusing on simpler pieces.  How I can apply that theory to my hair, I'm not sure yet.  But I'm just not sure what my style is now, so it's hard to know what I should go with--both to fit my personality and my lifestyle.  Just because I can do long doesn't mean I should, and just because short used to work for me doesn't mean it will now.  Stay tuned...

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