Tag Archives: bangs

The Five Stages of Haircut Grief

I got bangs.

Granted, I realize this is probably not earth-shattering news to you.

But on a personal level, this is A VERY BIG DEAL for me. And not just because I now look like Zooey Deschanel’s less attractive second cousin.


No, this is A BIG DEAL because I haven’t changed my hair in years.


And overall, I’m highly pleased with new bangs. Save for one part.

See, that above photo is a bit of a lie. I took that after the hairstylist was done professionally taming my belligerent hair. But ever since that day, my hair has looked nothing like that. No matter how much I blowdry it, gel it, brush it, apply various irons heated to an almost illegal degree to it, I can’t get it to look like that.

And I think I know why. Just like when humans lose something, hair goes through similar stages of grief when it gets cut. For example, here is what my hair has been going through this past week–











As you can see, the above cartoon is blank. This is because my hair has yet to reach acceptance, so naturally, I don’t know what this stage looks like. And I have no idea when it will, if ever, happen.

But here’s to hoping it’s soon. Because I don’t know how many more people I can take asking me why I got into a fight with a weed whacker.

Getting my hair didn’t

I have to get my hair cut.

Seems like a simple, declarative sentence, no? Boring, even.

But what lies behind those simple seven words and popular punctuation mark is a nightmare-ish scenario filled with dread, plummeting self-esteem and the distinct possibility of getting suckered into a “hip” look that is really just a glorified mullet. (And to be honest, I don’t think I can handle another three months of Billy Ray Cyrus jokes).

Yes, believe it or not, there is a woman who exists that hates going to the salon. And (for those of you slow on the uptake) that woman is me.

Oh, haircuts how I hate thee! Let me count the ways:

1. My hair is what the professionals in the biz call “wavy,” which is really just a polite term for “looks crappy straight AND curly.”

2. I am forced to sit and stare at my reflection in the mirror for upwards of an hour in harsh flourescent lighting, which gives me ample time to make a mental list of everything that sucks about my face.

3. I never know what I want, other than the vague general terms of “layers” and “swoop-y bangs,” which means the following conversation always happens:

HAIR-STYLIST: So, what were you thinking?

ME: Um…I don’t know. Layers? Swoop-y bangs?

HAIR-STYLIST: Well, we could always [series of haircut terms I don’t understand].

ME: Um…sure.

And this always leads to things like the Liz Lemon of 2011, the Mullet ‘Do of ’02 and the Carol Brady of 1980 (OK, that last one is actually lie. I wasn’t even born in 1980. But it’s catchy, no?).

4. Since I hate getting my hair “did,” I always wait WAAAAAY too long to go back and in the meantime I abuse my hair mercilessly by home-dyeing it various extreme shades, which means I’m too embarrassed to go back to the same stylist, which means I always have to start over with a new stylist, which means the horrible conversation mentioned above in No. 3 happens all over again, which means I always wait WAAAAAY too long to go back and in the meantime I abuse my hair mercilessly by (how long you think I can keep this up?) home-dyeing it various extreme shades, which means I’m then too embarrassed to go back to THAT stylist (pretty long, as it turns out), which means I always have to start over with a new (hate me yet?) stylist, which means the horrible conversation mentioned (are you even still reading this?) above in No. 3 happens all over again, which means (HA! you still are…sucker) I always wait WAAAAAY too long to go back (OK, I’ll stop).

5. And thanks to the horrible, never-ending cycle of No. 4, I always feel like the stylist is silently judging me (and in at least one case, outright judging me via a barrage of questions such as “sooooo…exactly what hair color were you actually aiming for when you dyed your hair?”).

6. And even if I did know what I wanted and had the verbal skills to express it, it would still look horrible since my hair takes at least three weeks to finally realize it has, in fact, been cut. So in the meantime it acts like it hasn’t. So I walk out of the salon about $40 poorer and looking like my hair is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The only exception to all this was when I found Stacy, my stylist for a brief but glorious year in Texas. (Oh, Stacy, how I miss thee and your non-judgmental ways and your “swoop-y bang” skills). But it took me 28 years to find her and the chances of finding another Stacy are slim.

But since my hair is currently styled like the girl from “The Ring,” I no longer have a choice.

I have to get my hair cut.

So, Drunken Mel* of 2012, here I come.

*Mel Gibson**

**Hey, you try finding words that rhyme with twelve.