Friday, July 27, 2007


This is a post about hair, and more specifically girls and the struggles we often have making hairstyle decisions. Even more specifically, it's a post about me and my hair, and some of what we've been through together.

For most of my life, I've generally been a long-hair kind of girl. When I was little, I kept my hair long, partially because I liked it that way, and partially because I knew that my daddy liked it that way, and partially because I didn't know how to do it any other way.

When I got into high school I went through this superstitious phase where I thought that if I cut my hair, I wouldn't be able do as well on the track team. Somehow, in my mind, that long ponytail bobbing behind me had the power to demoralize (or hypnotize) my competitors, keeping them safely behind me until my race was over. Besides, I figured that if I had short hair, I might not be able to keep it out of my eyes during races, and that would distract me. So, I had long hair in high school.

About a year or two into college I got my hair cut. It was pretty short for me, chin-length. I basically had it that length until it grew out, which didn't take very long, as it turned out. I also cut it short right before I went on my mission, figuring that short hair would be easier to take care of while I was out saving the souls of Northern Californians.

By the time I returned from my mission and resumed my college studies, my hair was once again long. I kept it that way for about a year, and then debated as to whether or not to cut it. I debated way longer and with more fervor than was really necessary, but that's often par for the course with me.

My big dilemma with cutting it had to do with (what else?) Boys. All the guys I knew said that they liked long hair better than short hair. That didn't hold water with me though, because I would see these girls with a trail of men following after them (you remember the story of the pied piper of Hamlin?), and I couldn't help but notice that the vast majority of them had hair that was more on the short side than otherwise.*

Anyway perhaps because of that observation, I finally got up the courage, and went ahead and cut my hair. I cut it short-ish, and for the first time in my life, I maintained it short for a couple of years, rather than just cutting it once and letting it grow from there. Guess what I discovered? Men may say they like long hair better, but Short-Hair Charlotte dated much much more than Long-Hair Charlotte.

I have a sneaking suspicion that that particular phenomenon had not so much to do with hair length as it did with the fact that Short-Hair Charlotte felt prettier and this was thus quite a bit more spunky and carefree than her more reserved, proper counterpart.

So, since that discovery, I've just felt free to do whatever I wanted with my hair, more or less independent of the status of my love-life. UNTIL last February, when I got this almost uncontrollable urge to cut my hair, but my wedding was only two months away and I just had this feeling that if I had short hair in all my wedding photos, that I'd regret it forever and my life would be totally ruined, also forever. Then once the wedding was over, I waited because I thought that if I cut my hair immediately that Eric (and perhaps others) would think that I had just kept it long so that I would be able to "catch my man", and that now that I had him, I was going to cut my hair and put on 20 pounds and generally let myself go in every way imaginable. I think I actually discussed this little thought with Eric, and got his assurance that he wouldn't think that at all, but by then life had gotten pretty hectic, and hair maintenance had slipped to the bottom of my priorities.

So, I held off, until this week. I made the appointment, and planned to chop if all off. Then, one day before the appointment, I lost my nerve and decided to just get it trimmed. Then, on the morning of the appointment, I found my nerve and decided (again) to chop it all off. Then, at the exact moment when my dear (long-suffering) Laura (pictured at left, although this is a picture from my wedding day, not the most recent cutting experience) asked me what I wanted to do, I compromised, and told her to cut off about two to three inches.

So, now I have shorter hair, although I don't think you could actually classify it as short hair.

Eric told me the other day that he thought I would look fairly decent bald (he's random like that). In light of the dilemmas that I tend to have about hair length, I suppose that is something I could consider.

But then it would grow back, and I'd be right back where I started.

I'd post a picture, but I haven't taken one since the cut. I really don't look that much different anyway. This post isn't so much about my current haircut as much as it is about my past experiences anyway, right?


*Although I was never one to have a trail of men following after me, I did have what I would secretly call my "few but faithful". Honestly though, if you have a few, faithful admirers, even if they are just a little bit more on the geeky side than otherwise, what more do you actually need? Not much. Especially once you've narrowed the "few but faithful" down to the "one-and-only-even-if-he-is-MORE-than-just-a-little-bit-on-the-geeky-side". Once you've done that, you're pretty much set. That's been my experience anyway.


Jeri said...

You totally crack me up. My hair has basically the same history as yours (minus the track team) - and I'm SO wanting a change, but I just don't dare/know what to do - so I do nothing.
Someone suggested I get my eyebrows waxed, and I was toying with that idea - but not really very enthusiastically. I said something to Tim about it - and he said, "why in the world would you do that?" I knew I married Tim for a reason. Don't you just LOVE men who love you just the way you are???

Jodi said...

I have been struggling with that whole "age appropriate" hair length. With a hair dresser mother, I must admit I have experiemented with every trend imaginable. I think you have figured out the secret "it is how it make you feel." There is nothing like a sassy new haircut to put a bounce in your step and help you remember your inner diva.

melissa c said...

I'll tell you my philosophy on hair. I think people need to have a "style" for their hair.

It doesn't matter if it is long or short, it is the style that counts.

Many people do the "bangs with long hair" want a change, and cut it to the "bangs with short hair". There is no difference in my opinion. It is the same "style"

I can honestly admit that I have really enjoyed my different "styles" since I let myself finally have some after my mission. I have loved doing something different and it will always grow if you pick a style you end up not liking!

That is my tidbit!

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