comments 11

My new hair cut, my new self


New hair! Shorter!

So about the hair cut… and about it not being that much different from before. Yeah, I get it.  But I am totally attached to my long hair (physically, obviously – I mean emotionally), so the idea of having it cut so that it is above my shoulders makes me feel naked.

 I wasn’t allowed to have long hair until I was fourteen. I wanted long hair so much until then. Until I was ten, I had a sort of page boy hair cut, and it was slightly annoying because on a hot day, or when I was doing something intricate which meant I needed it out of the way, there wasn’t enough of it to tie it back properly.

When I was ten, my mum made me have it cut really short. I’d convinced myself, even as I watched the hair falling to the floor in the mirror, that I’d somehow be able to fluff it up when I got home and it wouldn’t seem so short. Anyway I got home and looked in the mirror and realised there was nothing I could do. I felt this strange emptiness, like an ache, in my tummy.  Maybe sadness.  Maybe anger that I felt too guilty, always, to express.

It wasn’t until I was thirteen years old and a bit grumpier, that I got my way with growing my hair.  This was good but still, growing my hair was only a consolation when there were so many other things I felt angry about. Not being allowed to have the hair I wanted was part of it. But not being allowed to be the person I wanted to be was the bigger picture. More to the point, no-one was ever interested in the person I was. My mother was more interested in the person she wanted me to be, and that was a person who studied all the time, who didn’t go out, who didn’t do anything, just passively channelled all the things she had ever thought would validate her own self.

Going out, wasting time, enjoying myself – I liked these things. But. I felt guilty. I absorbed guilt into my bloodstream, grew up with it inside me. And I was totally motivated by the desire to receive just the tiniest piece of approval, some kind of attention or affection or hint that I was OK, that I was good enough.

As a result, I was a terrible friend and am surprised that anyone associated with me at all. All I was interested in was proving to myself and others that I was good enough. If it was at the expense of others’ feelings, well, my desire to be loved was stronger. This does not make logical sense. Hurting my friends would not get me love from someone who would not give me love. Call it superstition. Or an under-developed teenage brain. Even as I spent hours in the evenings looking at maths puzzles, the irony of my lack of logic never crossed my mind.

When I was ten (and I was already a terrible friend at ten), as my hair fell to the floor, I wanted to cry.

But now, in the hairdresser, I know that I have to have my hair cut to make it look nice again. Bouncier. Smoother. So I am a little bit excited.

AND! AND I am chatty, too! This is my new self! I have always always been the quiet type in the hairdresser, wanting my own space and time to relax in myself. But now I’m excited to share experiences. We talk about how much we like Amaretto and things you can do with it. My hairdresser tells me all about how she has always wanted to be a hairdresser, and how much she loves her job, and her fiance, and her best friend and her fiance, and how they have a great social life together. How she has a great family. I really enjoy it.

If we didn’t have the bad experiences, we wouldn’t appreciate the good ones. We wouldn’t appreciate the things as simple as having a haircut.

Anyway, hoping you have a good experience today.  Tell me about it! However small it is…



  1. Denise, I love this story! I think its something that many of us can relate to. I like the fact that you compare getting a haircut to a brand-new you. I’ve always felt that way too. It’s like when you leave you feel fresh, different, shiny, and new. It does feel like you’re a new person!

    The fact that when you go in for your haircut and are more social, more revealing is a sign that you are becoming the person that you want to be. Good for you! 🙂

    Love, love, love this post 🙂


    Laurali Star

    • I really surprised myself! I have ALWAYS been silent in the hairdresser. Never saw the point of talking to a stranger and now I do.

      Thanks for your comment and your encouragement 🙂

      • Absolutely! I’ve always been the same way too, by the way. It sounds like it’s a sure sign you’re growing 🙂

  2. Everything you say resonates with my own childhood. Especially when you talk about being “totally motivated by the desire to receive just the tiniest piece of approval, some kind of attention or affection or hint that I was OK, that I was good enough.”

    I need to follow your example and not sit in a day-dreamy silence half the time (especially in the hairdressers…) Actually, that was part of the reason that I joined the blogging world, to encourage me to share and be more talkative with others 🙂

    Lovely post, I hope you and your daughters have a fun weekend planned!

    • It’s funny finding things out you have in common with other people, which you might not even guess at in real life.

      It’s scary writing about myself sometimes, and revealing myself. A lot of the comfort is in the writing and sorting it out in my head but it’s still scary thinking maybe no-one wants to know. So it’s heartening to receive a lovely reply like yours.

      Write what you want to write, when you’re ready to. Sometimes it takes a long time to unravel things that have happened in the past.

      Best wishes

  3. Denise – you look too young to have two teenage daughters! 🙂 I think getting older has definitely helped me to be more social – I used to worry what people thought about me but I’m caring less and less which is very empowering! Last time I went to the hairdresser I had my colour done by a girl who was probably about 20 years younger than me but I had a fab chat with her about The Voice, various other TV programmes and celebrity fluff which I quite enjoyed! I too used to sit in silence when I had my hair done fearing that I wouldn’t have enough interesting stuff to say to the hairdresser – madness!!

    • Hey, I love getting older! I feel more confident now than I ever have done. I was sooo anxious in my teens and twenties. Also because I’ve always looked much younger than I am, I’ve always been paranoid about not being taken seriously, which has led to me being a bit too po-faced.

      Isn’t it a weird thing though how long it takes us to come out of our shells?

  4. amediablogger

    I am glad that I decided to look through your old blog posts. It is sad to read about your childhood; not so much the hair but everything that you shared here concerning your upbringing.
    Your haircut (although a while back) looks great, you look very happy in this photo and pretty. I hope you are still out of your shell and feeling good about yourself and life.

    • I need another hair cut soon.

      Yes, there’s a lot about my life in my blog. Thank you for taking the time to look xx


      • amediablogger

        I need a haircut too. I’m thinking I want a new look for summer so I’m hesitating until I find the look that I want.

        There is quite a lot about you in your blog. I’ll look over a few more posts when I have some time. I enjoy your writing style a lot. It’s not at all superficial.

        You’re welcome xx

  5. I know this is an old post but I was having a little look into your posts before I started to follow your blog, hope you don’t mind! I love this post firstly because you sound so happy in it at the end and secondly because I am now doing a similar thing. I wasn’t not allowed to grow my hair but I never really had it the way I always wanted. Yes, I had times in my teenage life where I had it long but I dyed it jet black (looking back what a disaster!) and I went through a really bad hair time when it was very short. Despite not being a girly girl at all my dream has been to have long curly hair, or wavy should we say. Yes, definitely more wavy than 80’s perm! At the minute it’s just past my shoulders and I can curl it but it obviously gets shorter with the curl so I’m not there yet. Quite a random comment I know 🙂

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