A dramatically different hairstyle, almost.

Yesterday, I took my daughter to get her hair cut.  She had decided to have her long, straight hair transformed into stylish and sophisticated layers which could be made to wave or curl.

I acted nonchalant, but inside, I was nervous.  I have stick straight hair myself, and it just hangs there.  I wash it; I brush it; I dry it if it’s cold.  I let it be its straight self.  However, I remember being young and thinking that my hair would be better if it was curly.  An 80’s perm proved it wasn’t.

My beautiful girl doesn’t even like to dry her hair or brush it more than once a day.  She likes the hairstyles she sees in celebrity photos, but I doubted she’d like the effort it takes to replicate them.  Or the learning curve.  But it’s her hair; she needs to make her own decisions.

Mostly, I was dreading her disappointment, but I was also wary of her expectation that I would help her style her hair.  I’m willing to teach, but I’m not playing stylist every morning.

Where these expectations come from I do not know.  The child lives with me.  She sees me everyday.  Why does she even think I know anything about hair or make-up?  I can braid hair, but that is my sole skill.

Even expecting me to be calm seemed overly optimistic.  The last time I got my own hair cut, I cried.

(I had asked for three inches to be trimmed, and when I put my glasses back on, saw that a good eight inches had been hacked off.  Every adult female I know assured me it looked fine, flattering, pretty.  I was teaching a Sunday School class of preschoolers at the time.  Every girl in that class walked in and gasped, “What happened to your hair?”  Out of the mouths of babes.)

Although she has never cried over her own hair, which before yesterday she’d only altered by growing out the fringe, then returning to it, she sobbed the day I buzzed my husband’s hair down to stubble.  Sensitive dad that he is,  he was all sympathy, hugs, and reassurance until she blurted out, “This is So Embarrassing!  I have a bald father!”

So it was with some trepidation that I took my girl to the salon.  Not opposed, not unsupportive, but nervous.  We don’t have a good track record with responding well to disappointing hair styles.

The hair cut went fine.  Fine being her not telling the stylist what she wanted, eyes pleading to me in the mirror as she mumbled that it was fine, and me having to explain what I’d seen on the photos she’d shown me last week so the stylist could try again.  After that, it was indeed exactly what she wanted.

I even bought hair styling products.  Things that promised to hold and shine and bounce.

The stylist told her it would take time to learn to style it the way she wants, so she should go home and practice.

We came home.  I showed her how to use the hair dryer and brush to get the look she wanted.  I explained how to use the curling iron.  I gave her a spray bottle of water so she could erase mistakes and practice as much as she wanted.

Five minutes later, she stomped downstairs to tell me that she was giving up.  “It’s impossible!  I can’t hold the brush and the hair dryer at the same time!  And the curling iron is stupid!”

I gave her the usual spiel about practice and learning something new and not giving up, then let her stomp back upstairs where she slammed the door.

Deciding to let the door slamming go this time, I am counting the new hair style – now safely ensconced in a pony tail – as a success since neither of us cried.


9 thoughts on “A dramatically different hairstyle, almost.

  1. Sounds like success to me. I’m like you — no matter how many times I try to change my hair, it always winds up just being its own straight self. I feel for your dd; I haven’t mastered the trick of round brush + blow dryer either. Plus I have that thing where I reverse directions when looking in the mirror, which seriously messes me up when I try to do my hair.

    I think a non-crying, can be made the way she wants it when she has a special occassion salon appointment is definite success. Even if it is tucked into a ponytail for the foreseeable future.

    • That is what I think, Reader. She might not do anything with it on a daily basis, but she can play around with it, and I could curl it for her on a special occasion if she wants.

  2. oh, just be glad that your daughter doesn’t have thick curly frizzy hair as I did growing up lol. I wanted all the famous styles that everyone was getting but was always disappointed. I cried every time my hair was cut a new way to try and soften the curls. Your remark about the little girl reminded me of a little girl that happened to be in the bathroom at the church the same time as me years ago. She looked at me and said “Why is your hair so big?” lol I hope that your daughter learns how to style her hair a way that she feels good about, I know it can be so important when we are young 😉

    • So few young people are content with the hair they’ve been given. I had blonde friends who wished for jet black hair, curly friends who envied my stick straight hair, friends who fried their hair with perms to get curl. It takes time to accept and learn to work with what we’ve got.

      • yes it does. We all have to come to terms with what we have. But I remember how hard it was to realize that I couldn’t emulate all those celebrity hair cuts lol.

  3. I go on no tears= success too. But then Princess has her hair buzzed by her father so it’s only me who ventures into a hairdresser. People who don’t wear glasses don’t get the same thrill of anxiety as you put ’em back on after it’s all over…

    Although I’ve also put ’em back on and got better at saying, “hmm, little more off…” 🙂

    • Exactly! With my glasses off, I cannot see what is being done to my hair at all. It’s like a secret makeover where they turn you away from the mirror. Because I only go once a year, for a trim of a couple inches, the results are rarely dramatic. But when they are, they are.

  4. I have never mastered a dryer and brush at the same time either. I always wanted straight hair. I have curly. At some point you accept the limitations of both your hair and your skills. I think I would count a no tears hair cut as a success too.

    I’ve had too many inches cut off in the past. Why does an inch to you and I look like 5 to a hairdresser? I will never understand the math they use.

    • I love your hair! The crazy thing with that last haircut is not only did I say three inches, I showed her the length I wanted, which was about to my armpits. She cut it to my collarbone!

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