Growing up I had only one style option: Long. So long that I sat on it. So long that it wrapped around the bolts of those uncomfortable plastic chairs in elementary schools. So long that getting my hair brushed at the end of the night was cruel and unusual punishment. So long that I hated it.
It stayed long until I turned 13, when my parents moved to the Philippines and I entered a “rebellious” phase when I did crazy things like paint my nails (gasp!), had friends who were male (the horror!), wore shorts that were (slightly) above the knee, and got an “A-” on my report card for the first time. Cutting my hair was the ultimate pièce de résistance of said rebellion. It was cut into the most unflattering bob by a lady with a fluffy mullet at JC Penney. It wasn't cute, age appropriate, or anything that a 13-year old girl would want--but it wasn't long so I LOVED it.
I've never looked back since then. The longest it’s been since I cut it 15 years ago is shoulder length. My hair has been every color imagineable, from fire-engine red to the most vile shade of vomit green. I’ve had the once ubiquitous Jennifer Aniston cut, a “Fashion-Mullet”, the A-Line, the Bob, the Pixie, the Sasoonie, the Betty Page, the Faux-Hawk and now, even the Curl-Hawk. I’ve had every asshole indie haircut under the sun and then some. But I’ve had one constant, one faithful friend I will never, ever abandon: Bangs. No matter what form they come in, they’ve been there for every fantastic haircut I’ve ever had and have been my saving grace for the not-so-spectacular ones, too.
I’ve never been scared of changing my hair, of taking risks, of doing something different. I like the danger of sitting in the stylist’s chair with my glasses off, blind as a bat while scissors, razors or clippers made their way around my head. Whatever the result, I always feel transformed and new. There have certainly been styles that have been less flattering than others and some that have been outright hideous. But nothing has ever really gotten me down, even when my hair fell out en masse after trying to retouch the roots of my platinum blonde hair. C’est la vie.
If there were life lessons to be learned from my ever-evolving hair they would be:
1. Embrace change and try new things.
2. Accept that you can’t control everything and work with what you’ve got.
3. There’s always opportunity to reinvent yourself.
4. The right attitude is everything.
5. Shit happens. Laugh about it.