On impulsive haircuts, good council, and letting go of false comfort

Christina Hendricks - via beautyeditor.ca. I'll upload a picture of myself soon, I promise!

First and foremost, for those who were rather frightened by the title, let me assure you that the said impulsive haircut was neither dramatic nor disfiguring, and I am extremely happy with it. Although, there is the little technical problem pertaining to the fact that I haven't had a similar haircut for years, so blow-drying a bob is a little more difficult than the long waves I've had until now, not to mention that during my move last August, I lost the nozzle of my T3 Featherweight hair dryer, so that doesn't exactly do wonders. But I'll have plenty of time to practice, and in the meanwhile, I still make my new haircut look sleep and chic à la Emily in The Devil Wears Prada using my T3 SinglePass straightener, which I've had for four years and that I heavily recommend, as it is one of the most reliable styling tools I've ever had. 

But let me start from the beginning. Ever since I finally found a colour that suits me perfectly (reddish/strawberry blonde), I've become very attached to it emotionally. I've been a redhead for almost ten years, aside from a phase at sixteen where I dyed my hair black, and I could tell you how unsettling it was (the only remaining evidence of this disaster is on my Green Card, but I'll be naturalized soon...), but it would make this post even longer. Let's just say that I have a very special relationship with my hair, and even in retrospect, I still vividly feel the shock when I think about this time, four years ago, where I asked to get my split ends trimmed because I wanted to grow my hair very long, and the person cutting my hair took off literally ten centimeters, fixing the cut into a short, relatively conservative bob. I was freshly out of high school, and wanted to wear long, romantic waves one last time before I'd take a job upon graduation that would require a more polished cut. This said, many people told me this cut looked great on me, so it wasn't a complete disaster.

My path changed, obviously, and I embraced my romantic and creative nature. My hair grew into the long waves I wanted, although often dry and difficult to manage depending on the weather conditions. But I was content with it. Until recently. I had been going through rather upsetting times, and two weeks ago, I began itching for a change, to symbolically purge the past away and start a new chapter.
After using several "virtual salon" iPad apps, I narrowed down the possibilities to two: either abandoning my red hair for platinum blonde, or cutting my hair into a medium-length bob. Upon discussing the matter with Ze Most Awesome Gay Friend Ever one Tuesday night over pizza and wine, I settled for keeping the colour and changing the cut. I planned to take an appointment at Jacques Dessange, the go-to destination for us DC French Expats for the following Saturday, so that I'd have time to get used to the change before going back to work. 

Things happened differently. On Wednesday afternoon, I was at Barnes and Nobles, and while scrolling through my phone contact list, looking for someone's number, I saw my ex's name, still on the list, still followed by a heart emoticon (<3). Immediately, I felt my heart skip and the blood rush through my head as memories, happy and sad, came back, flowing, teasing, taunting, hurting. "She's out of your life," I tried to reason with myself. "You are strong. The past is the past, it can no longer hurt or affect you. You are moving on. This is only a stupid algorithm on your phone. Nothing more. You can delete it now and never see it again. It means nothing."
Yet, as I try to press the "edit" button to delete the contact, my phone freezes. I need fucking oxygen. I walk out of the library and into the street. It is cold, yet the freezing air has a soothing, calming effect on me. And this is when I see the Aveeda hair salon. Impulsively, I walk in. I ask to talk to a stylist, and am introduced to Samantha. I explain to her that I need a change, but I'm very afraid of it at the same time. Still remembering the 2010 incident, I'm afraid to lose too much length. I ask her what she would do, even though I still think that I'll wait and visit Dessange instead. But I like what she is saying, and for some reason, she sounds not only sympathetic (because I must have seemed a little crazy that day haha), but like someone who knows what they're talking about. 
I tell her I need to step out a little and think about it, then I'll come back and do it. Outside, I call Ze Most Awesome Gay Friend Ever. I tell him the situation, and after twenty minutes of talking, we finish our call as I'm walking back into the salon. 
"I'm afraid..." I keep saying.
"Go for it! You'll look amazing."
"How do you know?"
"Cause you showed me last night."
It is true; I did hold my hair into a fake bob, along with showing him old pictures from 2010. 
"Just make sure they don't make you look like a Fox News anchor."
"I'M AFRAAAID."
"Don't be!"
"Okay."

I hung up as I took off my coat and followed the stylist to the shampoo station. An hour later, my hair was cut into a voluminous medium-long bob with side bangs that framed my face beautifully. I LOVED it. 

To keep the conclusion short, because it is 3:36 AM and I am supposed to be sleeping, I'm still surprised I don't regret this decision, and even more that I took it deliberately this time. I loved my long waves, but I had absolutely no volume, the ends had gotten horribly dry ("effilochés", as the aforementioned friend described them - see, here's some French vocabulary!), and most days, especially in the winter, they didn't look in great shape. 

I guess this was once again about mustering the courage to leave what's seemingly confortable and securing when it is anything but... 



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