Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Growing Out the Pixie-For Reals This Time!

I love short hair on women.  LOVE it.  For me, it represents freedom, fun and being comfortable in your own skin, even without long hair to hide behind.   The short hair craze first reared its newly shorn head in the 1920’s as an act of rebellion and whimsy.  Women no longer wanted to (or had the opportunity to, as the class lines began to blur) sit for hours just to get their hair-did, in many cases, by a maid or a servant.  These 1920’s short haired ladies liked to par-tay and they simply didn't have time to deal with the constraints of long hair and fussy hairstyles any more. 
The next instance of short hair madness came in the 1960’s thanks in part to a wave of mod icons like Twiggy and Mary Quant.  The trend was soon followed by more doe-eyed gamine types such as Mia Farrow who looked frankly too delicate to hold more than a half a pound of hair before their fragile little necks would simply snap like brittle twigs. 
In between these crazes, a little lady named Audrey Hepburn graced us with Roman Holiday, and Sabrina, both of which incorporate the most fantastic long hair to short hair makeover scenes ever created.  When Sabrina returns home from her trip to France, completely transformed by her posture, new stylish clothes, and yes, new short hair, she has left behind the coltish child she once was to become the uber glamorous woman she now is; she is ready to stop reaching for the moon and instead have the moon reach for her (sigh).
And who could forget the sure minded princess in Roman Holiday who demands that the barber keep cutting off more and more hair until she finally immerges from the salon looking both free from her old hair and her old life.  She is so completely happily transformed, that you almost believe that she will have her happy ending, no matter how many times you have watched the Roman Holiday and know the truth.  No movie moment makes me happier than a makeover scene, and Audrey in the barber’s chair, a sudden look of shock on little Audrey’s face as she realizes that her hair is really gone, is my absolute hands down favorite of them all. 
So now back to me.  My first short haircut was a long bob with bangs when I was in second grade.  My dad hated it, but I was in love.  Ever since that first magical makeover, I have been cutting, growing out, and dying my hair- anything for the rush of pleasure of looking at myself in the mirror and seeing someone completely new.  My bangs have gone through the most transformations, and for good reason.  I can cut them myself on a whim!  Never underestimate the power of bangs and how they can transform a look without the pain or fear of a drastic new haircut. 
So the story continues, once upon a time, I had gone through several years of growing my hair out very long and cutting it off to donate to charity (there are several charities that need hair donations to make wigs for people who have lost their hair for a variety of reasons.  I highly recommend donating your hair if you ever get up the nerve to make a drastic change).  I had donated my hair several times, and had been giving myself a break from doing so.  Then, about six months or so after I met my now husband, I began getting the itch to cut it.  I had gone short before but now I wanted more.  I wanted a pixie.  I kept toying with the idea, but I was afraid.  What if my then boyfriend didn't like it?  He had met me with long hair.  What if that was part of the attraction?  I had heard my whole life that men hate short hair and even though I am not a slave to what men like, I did want my boyfriend to find me attractive.  What if it was a horrible mistake? 
Still the idea swam in my head until I finally got up the nerve to bring it up to my boyfriend.  He was all for a cut, but wasn't so sure about a pixie.  So, finally after a lot of hemming and hawing, I got the chop! It was a chunky bob that hit a few inched below my chin (of course, I donated my hair again).  The boyfriend loved it, and I did too.  And so, I was happy… for a while.  But the itch persisted, until I could take it no more.  Finally, I went to a salon and got my first ever pixie cut with long bangs.  It was so so scary, and at first I thought, what have I done????  My boyfriend took about a day to get used to it too, which was a bit sad for me.  But then, I fell in love.  And the boyfriend?  He fell in love with my confidence, and now claims to love whatever hairstyle I choose, always giving rave reviews each time.  He has never tried to keep me from getting my hair cut and always seems to like my hair choices.  As it turns out, confidence is a lot more attractive and important than long hair (to most men anyway).   
Ever since that chunky bob five or so years ago, I have had short hair ranging from a pixie to a bob and back again.  I have cut it myself, trimmed it, got it done professionally (and then rushed home to fix it myself) and even had it cut by my friend Rachel, a fellow short haired cut-it-yourself aficionado.  Every time I cut it, I love it for a while, but eventually get sick of it and vow to grow it out, only to cut it when it enters an awkward stage or gets any longer than tiny pigtail length.
Then, in 2012, I decided that if I was really going to ever grow it out for good, I needed to try one more thing I had always wanted to try while it was still short- thus blonde Nicole was born!  And boy did she have fun!  I knew that eventually I would get sick of the blonde and need to start over with short hair (cut off all of the dead bleached stuff) but I was impressed with how long I actually kept my hair blonde (five whole months!). 
But by month number five, the blonde had taken its toll, and my hair was a brittle mess.  So, my last pixie cut (perhaps ever) was born, and it was perhaps my proudest because I cut it myself and did a pretty awesome job (if I do say so myself!).  But cute as the new dark hair pixie cut I gave myself was, it could no longer give me the makeover high I craved.  I have been there, I have done that.  So now, though I am certain that most people who know me well will never believe me, I am really and truly growing out my hair for good.  I am not saying that I won’t ever grow it ridiculously long again only to donate it, but I am fairly certain that I will never again have another pixie.  Good buy old friend.  I will always love you. 
So, here I go, into the all too familiar world of growing my hair out.  Goodbye five-minutes-to-ready in the morning.  Goodbye needing nothing more than a headband too feel stylish and adorable. 
But a new day will come when I can wear pigtails and pony tails and eventually even wear my hair up.  For me, I live for the makeover and for people who know me, nothing would be more different than seeing me with long, long hair.  I think I might even grow out my bangs, although I make no promises.  I love the look of long hair without bangs, but my face tends to look just a bit boring without fringe, especially since I don’t like to wear very much makeup. 
So, while I make this change and go through all of the awkward stages that I am about to go through, I have decided to document my hairs growth here in this blog.  I am doing this as a record of my last growing-out pixie, but I also want my progress to be documented for the benefit of anyone who is afraid to take the hair cut plunge because they are afraid of the growing out process.  It is semi-torturous, but doable, and I will never regret that first freeing pixie as long as I live.  It’s just hair people, and if you want to make the cut, I totally recommend it, at least once in your life. 
So, here we go!  Wish me luck along the way!  It’s been a fun ride.  Goodbye short hair-I will miss you (in about two years, when my hair is actually supper long again). 
***Now, let me state in writing here and now my prediction for the next short hair craze to come: the 1920’s (ish) bob.  My prediction is as follows: Just as the Great Gatsby movie starts playing in May 2013, we will have a wave of runway shows featuring copies of Carry Mulligan’s sweet bobbed hair.  Then the short bob will quickly leak into salons around the country- albeit a slightly longer version for the too-short hair shy.  And there you have it.  My prediction for the 2013 new most copied hairstyle.  I will have a hard time not joining in, as the bob is my all-time fav hairstyle (a blog post for another day), but perhaps it will be about bob length in May anyway. 

Have a beautiful day- and don’t be afraid to try something new!     

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