“Are you cutting your lovely locks?” the kindly grandma waiting for her stylist asked as I hung up my coat. I nodded.
“Short?” she queried.
“Real short,” I answered, explaining how I planned to donate the cut hair to Locks of Love, which provides human-hair prosthesis to children who have lost their hair due to medical reasons.
“Someone will be very lucky to get it,” she said. “You have beautiful hair.”
I wrote in Sunday’s Forum about the power struggle of sorts I’d been having with my long, wavy hair. Last week, as I put the finishing touches on a three-day, five-story series on the power of hair, I decided it was time to end the struggle, and make the big cut.
I scheduled a last-minute appointment Wednesday morning at the beauty school. (For readers familiar with my Money-Savin’ Mama posts, you’ll be proud to note I got my hair cut for $3 plus tip, thanks to a $10 discount card.) My stylist, Britney, said she had never had a request like mine.
After repeatedly consulting one of her instructors, Britney bundled my hair into a thick ponytail using three clear bands. A few other students gathered around as she sawed her way through the strands at the base of my neck. She told me later her heart was pounding as she chopped nearly 10 inches from my head.
I was at peace with my decision, and excited about the layered bob we’d decided on for my new style. It felt so good when Britney expressed awe that my hair color was all natural (“It’s so pretty!”) and told me how healthy my hair was.
Then dear, sweet, young Britney inadvertantly said something quite ironic, given that all my hesitation in cutting my hair stemmed from my fear of having “mom hair.”
“We’ll give you the mom invert,” she said, referring to the angled cut that’s shorter in the back and longer in the front.
“Did you say ‘mom’?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said brightly. “I always think of moms when I see this invert.”
“I don’t want mom hair!” I cried.
“Not old mom,” Britney quickly reassured me. “Cute, new mom!”
I wasn’t convinced, even when the grandma from the waiting area complimented my new haircut. My husband also said he liked it. I played with it more when I got home.
Of course my toughest, most honest critic would be my 3-year-old daughter Eve, who loves to brush my long hair. She questioned repeatedly why I had cut my hair. She considered it carefully.
“You don’t look like a mommy,” Eve finally told me.
I perked up. Had I escaped the dreaded “mom hair” afterall?
“You look like a daddy,” she finished.
Oh. Great. Good thing hair grows back.