Updated: Nov 6, 2019
I had been counting down the days until my hair appointment that was going to include making a big change. All the excitement brought to mind the time when my daughters and I were watching the movie, The Princess Diaries for the first time. We were so enchanted with Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of Mia, an awkward high schooler who discovers that she’s actually a princess. Her metamorphosis from commoner to royalty comes complete with a dramatic makeover (and who doesn’t at least secretly enjoy a good makeover!). After the big reveal of sleek-haired Princess Mia, my then 6 year old daughter turned to me and as she patted my fluffy har, she exclaimed “Wow Mommy, you look just like Princess Mia before she becomes a princess!” 😬
So, yeah, my hair has had a wild past. Big, curly, and (often) frizzy, just like Mia. I admired Princess Mia’s “after” look, but secretly I had been hoping that they would have kept her in curly hair (and give me some clue about what to do with mine!). Straight hair just isn’t my thing. I couldn’t see myself wearing it despite my resemblance to the “before” photo (and seriously, who wants to resemble a before photo?!) There would have to be another path for my hair saga. I had been wearing my hair long since I got married (1988) and would continue to wear it that way until my oldest was a senior in high school (2014). I did change it up a number of times, though. Bangs, no bangs. Layers, blunt cut. Past the shoulders, shoulder length. I had nightmares about getting it cut short. It was always such a relief to wake up to my long hair.
It took me about 5 years to work up the courage to cut my hair. I wanted to do it but it was going to be a long goodbye. When I finally went for it, my hair appointment was a blast. I chose an inverted bob; and I’ve worn it that way for the last 5 years. Looking back, i can see how having long hair was a huge part of who I thought I was. What finally pushed me to cut it was wanting to have a new identity. It seems silly to me now, but I was a little disappointed when I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in a few years right after my hair appointment, and they just looked up and said “Hi Jen!”. Talk about an unrealistic expectation for a haircut! I was still Jen, just Jen with short hair.
So, for the last few months, here I was again; contemplating another change. I have loved this haircut for a long time, but with my hair texture, it’s been a hard one to pull off. I’ve seen (and know) some very stylish, hip women who rock it. Their hair is just a part of their whole amazing look. I just wanted to be one of them. The problem is, I’m just not one of them. At last, I could say that I’m ok with that. It was so freeing. Now, I could start thinking about how to wear my hair in a way that looks the best on me and works with my crazy curls.
Figuring out hair is a life time thing; especially since it can mean so much more than just something that covers our heads. I’ve had different reasons for the way I’ve worn my hair over the years; it’s only now that I can really see that. Many times, I’ve worn my hair to people please or to try and fit in. This latest change is the first time in a very long time that my hair was more like something to play with and be creative with.
I will probably never wear Princess Mia’s sleek princess hair do. But I’ll also never go back to my pre-princess look. For me, it’s going to be somewhere in the ever-changing middle.