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What can a new hairstyle do for you?

Updated: Jan 20


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!” 😬


Awkward pause.


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 anyone's 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, and I 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. 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 as a way to get approval or fit in with a group of people. This latest change is the first time in a very long time that my hair was more like something to have fun with and be creative.


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.

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