With this new series, my intention is to help foster and nurture an open and profound bond between father and daughter, one that transcends the awkwardness of puberty. (I wrote about it in more detail here.)

And in that spirit, I’ve agreed that once a week I will answer – honestly – any question my husband puts to me.

So, question five, here’s what hubby has come up with for me this week…

Hubby: A guy at work was telling me about a neurotic woman he knows (who may or may not be related to him – see Mate, I was listening when you told me about disclaimers!). Anyway, she got her hair cut; but then changed her mind, or it was a centimetre shorter than she asked for or something equally trivial. So she cried. Cried! Please explain – why do women get so emotional about haircuts? Because I don’t want to be cruel to our daughter in the future, but I would want to laugh at her in these circumstances…

Me: First of all – here’s my own disclaimer: I am not one of the women who does this.

I hope you know this already. And before you publicly out me, allow me to just address the one time ever that I cried following a visit to a hairdresser:

I am usually very laid-back about my hair. I’ve had it long; cropped; black; blonde – I like to experiment. More often than not, I get fed up with short hair, and by the time I’ve grown it into a long style, I’m bored again and go for the chop. When a hairdresser asks me what I want, my stock answer is ‘I’m not really sure… What do you recommend? I’ll let you cut it all off if you if you like.’

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On this most rare of occasions, however, I’d actively been growing my hair and *almost* had it in a proper style. I liked the previous cut, and it just required a little tidy. I went back to the same hairdresser – alas, she’d recently departed for pastures new. For probably the only time in my life, I explicitly asked the hairdresser to keep the length and just give me a trim and some shape.

So when she hacked my shoulder length hair to above my chin, I got a little bit frustrated.

When I got home and you told me the back had been butchered, I admit I had my own personal mini meltdown.

In fairness:

  • It was bad enough that you returned with me to have it fixed.
  • A different hairdresser (obvs) told me it was a complete mess and spent as long again putting it right. (It was the same salon though, and if you’ve ever been in this situation, you will appreciate how excruciating that experience was…)
  • My hair growth is slooooow, and – no exaggeration – that silly woman undid approximately one year of growing out. She put me back to the stage where I could no longer tie it back – or in fact do anything with it at all.
  • Several days later I discovered I was, in fact, pregnant (the reason I so badly wanted to be able to tie it back).

(Incidentally that dreadful woman didn’t dare approach me, but found it acceptable to harass my poor husband while he waited for me! And here is proof that I really was not myself – I watched from afar and did nothing. And I didn’t even demand my money back! Not like me. At. All.)

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Back to the matter at hand…

Honestly my love, with a few special exceptions – I don’t get it.

I may be opening myself up here to vilification from indignant women, aghast at my lack of empathy – but I think it’s a form of vanity, and almost always an irrational over-reaction.  Sorry ladies, I appreciate that our locks are intrinsically linked to our identity, but I feel some perspective is in order: with all due respect, if you can regrow your hair, then it’s not that big a deal.

And if you can’t? I understand the connotations, and my heart goes out to you. I reserve my sympathy, understanding, support, compassion and respect for you.

I can’t help but feel anyone who’s not in such a potentially harrowing situation – but acts like they are – is undermining the difficult circumstances some genuinely find themselves in.

So I will not be indulging such behaviours in our daughter; instead I’d like for us to teach her about appropriate responses, and the value of humility.

Like this? You can check out more of my hubby’s ponderings (and my attempts to answer them) here.

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An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is an experienced breastfeeding advocate, and expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.

22 Comments

  1. Interestingly, I’ve found that the longer my hair gets the more precious I am about it. When I was in my teens, my hair yo-yoed between short and long, then I went went very short at the age of 21, and from the age of about 24 it’s just got longer and longer. I’m now 35, so have had consistently long hair for over 10 years, and I feel as though at my age, once it’s short again I’m unlikely ever to grow it back to its current length, at the risk of ending up looking like the proverbial madwoman in the attic. I’m now at a weird crossroads where I sort of hate my hair and think it’s too long (it’s basically waist length) but feel weirdly attached to it, and every now and again someone will say “ooh you’ve got lovely hair.” and I will store that comment up and use it as ammunition against ever getting it cut. In short, I am one of those women. Sorry! #KCACOLS

    • Kate Reply

      Haha, I hope you’re not offended! I totally get the age thing, it’s one of the reasons why when I considered going short last year, I didn’t: I know this will likely be the last time I have long hair.

  2. Coombe Mill - Fiona Reply

    i must say I’ve not had a hair nightmare but did find it expensive which led me to start doing my own, I already did the rest of my family. I’ve been cutting and colouring my own hair for 5 years now. Last week I took off 4 inches and not a single member of my family noticed, that annoyed me too! Hope you hair is now at tying up length #KCACOLS

    • Kate Reply

      That’s fantastic! If I thought I could do that without ending up looking like a scarecrow then I definitely would! I do already colour my own hair, and I tend to make it to the hairdressers every 6 – 12 months!

  3. Very interesting, I definitely would have wanted my money back if someone hacked my hair off! I’ve had some hairdresser disasters but never cried, I just where it up for a while and then go get it restyled somewhere else when it’s long enough. Love the idea behind these posts xx #kcacols

    • Kate Reply

      I still can’t believe I didn’t ask. I can’t think about it actually, or I’ll get cross with myself again!

      Thanks so much. ? x

  4. This is an interesting read. Like you I don’t get emotional about haircuts and experiment with it all the time (much to my hairdresser’s frustration) However, the one time I did cry was when in a moment of madness and heavily pregnant with oldest I went to a new hairdressers and asked for all my hair to be chopped off in an elfin style like Victoria Beckham looked like. The result was not good and with my huge prenancy bump I felt that I looked like a little fat man. That is the only time I have cried when I got home. I have never done anything that drastic since! #KCACOLS

    • Kate Reply

      Oh no! I think we’re both off the hook with pregnancy hormones!

  5. Haha, once I had my hair cut and my housemate cried! She lives vicariously through my hair because hers is a mad bush. It was almost waist length and I got bored and had it chopped into a jaw length bob & she was so shocked! But it’s like you said – it’s hair, it’ll grow, woman up! #kcacols

  6. This is funny as I have just added my post about my daughters first hair cut, and I was hugely emotional!! I have cried actual tears over my own hair many times, I have no idea why we are so emotional, maybe we really do need to get a grip! #KCACOLS

    • Kate Reply

      I think your child’s first haircut is acceptable, because it’s about more than cutting hair! X

  7. Squirmy Popple Reply

    I never get that bothered about my hair. If it gets cut too short, it will grow back. These days, having a hairstyle is kind of useless, since all I have time to do is pull it back into a mum bun anyway.

  8. Educating Roversi Reply

    I never have got emotional about a hair cut, but i think I could be if it went really wrong. It’s my self confidence. It makes me feel like me. I’m constantly losing weigh (and putting it back on again!) and my hair makes me feel more attractive so if the hairdresser did something hideous to it, I’d cry i think. Luckily, my hairdresser is awesome.

    • Kate Reply

      I guess some people are more attached to their hair than others. I appreciate that it’s a big part of our identity, but then I also think of the likes of my poor hubby whose hair will not grow back once it’s completely gone… And of course those who are ill.

      At least you have a hairdresser you trust! ☺

  9. The Pramshed Reply

    I know exactly how you feel, I have had some disaster haircuts and highlights. This often happens when I go to a new place, the first some of my highlights went purple and I didn’t realise until I got home – I had quite happily been walking around London, the second was very recent they didn’t match the new colour against the old colour so I had not only roots but banding – bad!. Lesson learnt from this is to stick with your same hairdresser. I’m glad that you got your hair sorted out in the end. Claire x #KCACOLS

    • Kate Reply

      Oh no, how awful! Funnily enough, I think I’ve just found a hairdresser I’ll stick with, at the age of 31! Thanks Claire x

  10. Rachel (Lifeathomewithmrsb) Reply

    I am so self conscious of my hair! My hair is quite thin so i can’t grow it too long as it doesn’t have any style to it. I have one hairdresser who does my hair and that’s it! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

  11. Silly Mummy Reply

    Yes, I’m like you really. I actually hate having my hair cut – I hate being messed around with! So I do it when absolutely necessary & keep it as simple as possible! I would probably be a bit upset if my hair ever got cut really, really short (as I would not suit that & my hair grows slowly). However, I struggle to see how anyone could get it that wrong, as I would think I would notice & stop it for one thing! I’ve had them cut my hair shorter than I intended, fringe shorter than wanted, too many layers, and grade it at the back when I wanted it one length. As you say, those things can be lived with. Even slow growing hair grows enough for a slightly silly looking fringe to become okay in a few weeks. It does bug me a bit to have paid a lot & not be happy with it. But then that’s my fault, as I could make a fuss & get money back – I just never do!

    Though it is easier said than done, & I think most of us do have our areas of vain insecurity that is not proportionate, I do agree with you that the aim should be to encourage our daughters not to be too invested in such things where possible. #KCACOLS

    • Kate Reply

      I think part of the problem is our Britishness – we really don’t like to cause a fuss do we? Far better to pay (with tip and showers of praise, natch), than to risk causing a scene…

      Let’s hope our children do better in this area! (Not that I usually have a problem complaining to be honest.)

      Thanks for commenting. ?

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