In the past five years, I’ve had more hair styles and colors than I can count. I’ve had hair I loved and hair that made me say “eh” after staring in the mirror for a while. And I’ve heard all the possible reactions, too.
Hair is more than meets the eye. It’s the most affordable and reversible way to dramatically change your physical appearance, which tends to have an effect on the way you feel about yourself. And experimenting with your hair can be an eye-opener in which you’ll learn more about yourself than you may have expected.
Things to remember before going down the no-hesitation-hair-road:
1. Hair color is relatively easy to change and can be redone nearly immediately if you end up with a color you loathe.
2. Hair grows back. Period. This is pretty awesome in comparison to other cosmetic changes people make. If you get a bad nose job, you can’t grow your old nose back. You catch my drift?
3. We’re in the midst of a heyday of super cute, boho-chic headbands and hats are totally “in.” If you end up having to live with a hairstyle you’re not so hot on for a bit, there is a plethora of accessory options to conceal it if you must!
My recommendation: Experiment with your hair! Do something crazy! I’m not talking about a half-inch trim or one shade lighter. I’m talking about a new style. A fun color. Or both!
Last March, I tried a true pixie cut. I was going for low maintenance and wanted to even out the length of my hair. I felt free, lighter, and a little badass. Reactions from others were interesting. Some offered half-hearted compliments followed by lamenting over my long blonde hair they said they “missed.” Some were overly enthusiastic. Key players, like my husband for example, offered the ever-so-sweet “I think you’re beautiful no matter what, but…” and even more honest yet, my very own parents shared flat-out that they were not fans of my new do.
When you make a dramatic change to your hair, reactions will inevitably vary. People can offer verbal flattery, but facial expressions sometimes tell a different story. You find out how thick your skin is. You discover the different feelings you’re able to evoke in yourself when you look in the mirror. And you’re forced to exercise self-confidence. If you choose to try something loud or a little funky, or cut off all your flowing locks all together, you quickly learn the only way to love it is to rock it. You’ve got to be confident in your bold new look with a smile on your face and your shoulders back.
Now, you might say, “But my significant other prefers long hair.” I say, “That is the worst excuse ever.” It is YOUR hair; you do what you want. If your significant other loves you for you, what you do with your hair won’t matter to them.
You might say, “I’ve always worn my hair this way,” or “I’ve always had long hair.” I say, “Precisely! What better reason to change things up than the fact that you’ve always had the same hairstyle?” We talk all the time about mixing up the foods we eat to keep diets interesting, or spicing things up in the bedroom to keep the spark in relationships – your own personal style is no different, keep the self-love alive and surprise yourself with a new look!
And you might say, “I love X style, but I could never pull it off.” And to that, I say “Nonsense.” As we all know probably a little too well, we’re our own worst critic. You can likely “pull off” a lot more than you think, so leave this to the professionals. Find a great stylist you trust and ask them to throw some ideas your way, and then, take their advice. They might try something new that makes you feel better under your own hair then you could have imagined.
I mentioned I was fond of my pixie. But I found I was bored after a short while. My go-to style is a blonde, asymmetrical pixie; it makes me feel spunky yet sophisticated and confident. Right now, I’m rocking my natural light brown curls – a bona fide beach-dweller mini fro. Who knows what I’ll do next?!
What’s great about losing the fear of experimenting with your hair is that you have no hesitation in changing it to match your current stage of life. And therein lies something a little magical and highly empowering I wish for all women to experience.