January 8, 2022

Since I can remember I’ve worn my hair in a large, messy bun atop my head. It’s why I grow my hair long. No matter what state it’s in, or I’m in for that matter, the top knot makes me feel pulled together and ready to face the music. The irony is that there’s nothing tidy or pulled together about my hair, but somehow the top knot makes me feel both those things. And then today, with the same obsessive zeal I brought to finding booster shots in December, I called half a dozen Florida hair salons to find a stylist that would cut my hair. We’ll be home in a day or two, I could have waited. Only I couldn’t wait. Today was the day. “Cut it short enough that I can’t put it up,” is what is I said to Shane as I plonked myself into her swivelling chair. It occurred to me as I watched her sun-drenched face sink to the floor, that when a stranger walks in and asks for ten inches of hair to be cut from her head a stylist might feel a degree of pressure or concern. “Don’t look so worried,” I reassured. “I want to do this.” Less than ten minutes later, I had a bob, not so dissimilar to the one I had when I was two and wore velvet dresses and blouses with frilly collars. I think I also had this same style in the late 90s when I was growing out my one attempt at a Mia Farrow pixie cut. We all convince ourselves that something, in this case, a hairstyle, makes us feel more pulled together and in control, when in fact we’re actually boxed in by it. My top knot, like a heavy crown, had started to weigh me down. The urge to chop it off was visceral. I’m not sure that I like this bob, and I certainly don’t feel pulled together, but maybe that’s the point. Shane, who’s in her early 60s and has a Southern lilt and platinum hair to her waist, seemed to like the cut. “Now honey, do you own a roller brush? Mousse? Any product at all? That’s okay. Let the cut do the work.”

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