A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” -Coco Chanel
I like to live on the edge. Brace yourself, these examples aren’t for beginners. Like, sometimes I’ll leave the house for a doctor’s appointment with no time to spare, arrive breathless and with intense focus, lower my heart rate so my pulse is reasonable. Occasionally, I’ll make dinner for five out of half a box of macaroni, a single chicken breast and a shriveled tomato. Well, that’s actually like, pretty frequent. The kids say it’s good. Of course I don’t eat it, so I don’t know for sure. I once waited until a week before a formal event, bought a too small dress and after trying to lose the five necessary pounds to fit into it, bought Spanx on the way to the event and changed in a McDonald’s bathroom. Clearly, I’ve got it goin on.
When one lives by the seat of their pants, there are lots of other edge-living, heart-pounding options. What to choose? There’s Free Solo Climbing where you scale mountains and skyscrapers without safety gear. There’s running with the bulls, you know- in Spain. I’ve heard Big Wave Surfing covered in shark bait is cool. But those all have one thing in common: They aren’t scary enough.
I opted for the scariest option. I sat in front of my hairdresser, locks down to my shoulder blades, gripped the chair and my favorite pony tail elastic and uttered the riskiest four word combination ever: “Cut it all off.”
I’d been thinking about it, like a lot of women do, for years. I’d flip through Vogue and see some gamine model with a short sleek look or after spending 45 minutes drying my long hair, think my next appointment, I’m doing it. Then, last summer, with changes in my life outnumbering my tally of Pinterest Boards, I prepared for The Cut.
Sarah Palin went Rogue, I went Pixie.
After five years of hair growing I’d had it. There was the time and expense and I was weary of monitoring the weather as my hair styling guide.
Hot and Humid: wear it up.
Rainy: wear it up.
Windy: plaster to scalp.
Windy and Rainy: Forget it, just stay inside.
Dry, Sunny with no Wind: OMG! It’s a Hair Opportunity! Curling Iron, Flat Iron, three different styling products and then there was the wardrobe. Hair Up Outfit is VERY different from Hair Down Outfit. I was exhausted.
Pixie Preparation is similar to preparing to hike the Appalachian Trail. Alone. In winter. The only required gear is a steel will, a couple of granola bars, blind faith and a sharp pair of scissors. In my case a razor. As I sat in the chair watching as each swath of hair was felled like a tree, I was surprised that I didn’t feel sad. Instead, the more was cut the more free I felt. No longer tied to what was, my hair like past accomplishments lay at my feet.
“Cut more,” I said to J. my hairdresser.
“Um, are you sure? Maybe you should live with it a while, you don’t want to look, well…butch.”
I laughed out loud. The crazy laugh of a woman with no planned future and her past accomplishments being swept away by a long-haired teenage assistant with a broom and deposited in a dustbin.
She cut more. When she was finished I ran my hands through it. It was spunky, cool and minimal. I couldn’t stop smiling. I walked out of there like I was somebody else; the me I was always meant to be. Untethered and exposed, like I was walking barefoot all the time.
I loved it and I noticed a trend. Pam Anderson, as famous for her hair as- well, other attributes, cut her hair too. Then a friend sent me a Facebook alert: did I know that Jennifer Lawrence stole my haircut?
OMG, I’d done it. Forget the edge, I was living a rock and roll lifestyle. Who else lives as close to the edge as Pam Anderson? Have you seen Tommy Lee? Jennifer Lawrence is frank, funny and can make tripping up the stage in a ball gown at the Oscars seem like a critique on fashion. Come on people, can’t we just wear jeans?
So, what does a living on the edge, rock and roll mother of three do next?
Hell if I know.
Rock and roll, people. Rock and roll.