You may have noticed an odd focus on my hands – and not much else – in recent photos. I’ll admit it. I’ve been hiding a haircut I got last month. You’ve already seen me go from shoulder-length to pixie, but this last trim took things a bit more Rosemary’s Baby. Seeing as Ms Farrow just celebrated a birthday this week (check out Opening Ceremony’s awesome tribute), it seems an appropriate time for the big reveal. In photos of what I wore to last month’s Swap Day event, one week after going under the shears, I give you The Haircut:
I know what you’re thinking. It’s not so bad. Actually, it’s a gorgeous cut, technically difficult and perfectly executed. I just had the unfortunate timing of never realizing how much I disliked my forehead until immediately after I cut off my bangs.
How did I handle it? Like a champ, of course, with a full-fledged grown-up tantrum. I cried. I canceled all social engagements. I walked around with wet hair for two days straight in below freezing temps. And eventually I realized how childish I was being, sucked it up and moved on.
In my years working in high end salons I’ve certainly seen worse reactions, but I’ve also learned that there are better ways to deal. We’ve all been there, and we are inevitably bound to come across the situation again. For the next time, I’ve compiled a few tips that might help when a haircut brings us face to face with our own insecurities.
Sometimes, problems can be prevented.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your hairdresser. The most common cause of “bad” hairstyles is miscommunication. Speak up the minute you notice something you might not be happy with, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure of what they are doing.
I unfortunately did not realize how insecure I was with my cut until after the fact. In the stylist’s chair I figured the oddly bare look was merely my lack of makeup (I rarely wear a full face to get my hair done). I threw on giant sunglasses and thought I looked very chic with my new style. It was only after I returned home and filled in my eyes that I realized it was not mascara that was missing – it was my fringe. Cue panic.
Figure out what you dislike about it.
It’s common to overreact and do something that will make the situation worse. If your hair is too short for your taste, taking off more is probably not the fix you need. Once you figure out exactly you dislike, it’s easier to try to fix it.
When I had a chance to calm down, I recognized that the teeny halo bang styled in a perfect line made me more aware of the asymmetries in my face, and that was why I was unhappy with the look. By pushing my bangs to the side and breaking up the line a bit I felt more comfortable with my hair.
Try styling your hair differently.
While I was mid-tantrum, Gregor pulled out a folding chair and his own arsenal of products, sat me down in front of our living room mirrors, and proceeded to style my hair as he would if it were his own cut. While I had seen it only as the style I left the salon with, he was able to recognize it as something within the realm of cuts he’d worn before and show me some very different ways of wearing it. Although it’s safe to say no one will be paying him for a blow-out anytime soon, his styling efforts are not half bad, and they opened my eyes to possibilities I hadn’t considered.
Go back to your stylist.
I know this is probably the last thing you want to do. No one wants to tell a hairdresser they don’t like their work. But trust me, no hairdresser wants unhappy clients out there. It’s bad for business. Most hairdressers will be willing to sit down with you without any additional charges to try to make things right.
Explain to them exactly what you dislike about the style and what you would like them to do to fix it. Maybe you want them to connect the layers a bit more. Perhaps you were picturing something a little shorter. Maybe that one spot just seems uneven. Lots of hair issues are easy fixes.
Even if you don’t want them to take the scissors to your mop again, going back to your stylist can be helpful. They can show you different styling options (for those without a Gregor at home to do it for them) or teach you how to style your own hair at home if you’re having trouble recreating what you left the salon with. Any time you’re struggling with a new cut it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Figure out what you do like about your new hairstyle.
It’s so easy to focus on the bad that you might be ignoring the good. While I was feeling insecure with my face so exposed, the cut was garnering nothing but compliments. I was particularly fond of the Twiggy and Mia Farrow comparisons, and quickly figured out how to play it up with the way I dressed – hence the outfit choices above. The Club Monaco silk top and J. Crew sweater dress are usually reserved for my work wardrobe, but with my new look they’ve begun making appearances at more fashionable events.
Embrace your look.
Go ahead and plan your next move in your head, count down days on the calendar, keep a chart of hair growth, do what you need, but realize that it is only hair, and while it is growing back life is going on. Don’t let your insecurities make you miss out on the moment.