Hair today, gone tomorrow…

December 19, 2010

I’ve been in cosmetology school now for about four months.  I swore when I started that I wouldn’t change my long, blond locks, despite everyone’s telling me that it would only be a matter of time before I cut my hair.  Well, they were right, but not necessarily for the reasons they noted. Turns out, this isn’t my first rodeo with dramatic hair changes, and I’m always amazed by the responses one receives when altering one’s hair.

Many moons ago while in Kansas City, I bartended at a heavy metal bar during the time of “glam metal” and the reverence for long locks on both men and women.  I too, had long hair at the time, and this only increased my popularity and my tips.  At one point, I cut it all off.  I don’t remember the impetus behind this particular haircut, yet I do remember the response.  It was as if I had done something sacrilegious!  How could I have cut off my hair??  Plus, I was female; and sexy, sought after females at this establishment did not have short hair!  Interestingly enough, or perhaps sadly enough, I remember that my tips and my popularity decreased as well as my hair length.  It was one of my first experiences with the notion that many men (and women!) believe that in order to be attractive, a woman should have long, preferably blond hair, and also sport a decent rack and a tan.

What was I thinking to have stepped out of these well crafted boundaries??

Cutting off my hair this time hasn’t been quite as dramatic, thank heavens, yet it still has me thinking of what we see as attractive, and how we feel about our hair.  Even though I like this new haircut and color, I still have lingering doubts that I should have just left well enough alone.  After all, I had achieved the long, blond state, hadn’t I??

I see a myriad of types of people and their hair now that I am a hair stylist in training.  I feel for the ones who have thinning or fine hair, and I feel for the ones who are constantly seeking the elusive look that will make them feel prettier, more attractive, and in many cases, more feminine or masculine.  I feel for the ones who are bald and don’t want to be.

One of my ‘jobs’ now will be to help people feel better about themselves through their hair, and though I know it is a worthy endeavor, it still saddens me just a little that we are so attached to how we look in order to know better how we feel about ourselves.  I suppose it would behoove me to just accept this ‘edict’ as one that is pretty firmly entrenched in our society, yet I do hope that in being a good hair stylist, I can help people feel better about themselves not only because of their hair, but also in spite of their hair…

Won’t that be something?

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