Haircut Remorse

My hair is nothing special. It’s straight, dark brown bordering on black, and a bit on the thin side.

I am not one for making drastic changes to it, such as in terms of color, since my hair would have to be bleached to a much, much lighter color first in order for any coloring product to work its magic, and that is just too much for me, money-, time-, and exposure to chemicals-wise.

Neither do I bother with trying to change its look through styling techniques that would leave me with soft waves or springy curls. My thin hair will never hold a curl to save my life unless you use copious amounts of hairspray and other products, as I’ve discovered during the times when I headed to the salon for a little styling before a wedding, graduation or other special event. My hair may look gracefully styled when I step out of the salon, but my hair will revert back to its original limp state about 10 minutes into the ceremony. No artful insertion of hair clips or dramatic sweeps with bows and flowers will keep my hair looking artfully done for hours.

My saving grace, as simple it sounds, is nothing more than a good haircut. For most of my life I’ve kept my straight hair long and worn it down or in a ponytail for the least amount of hassle possible, but every now and then I would dare to head over to the nearest hair salon to get a new haircut.

I’ve found, for instance, that a V-layered hairstyle works best for my thin, straight hair. Rather than limply sticking close to my head when it’s gone way past my shoulders and is cut in a single length, I discovered that getting it cut in layers causes the tips to delicately frame my face. When I tuck my hair behind an ear, the layers will appear. Even if I simply shake my hair and let the strands fall where they may, they always create an attractive shape around my head and over my shoulders (if I keep it in a single length, in contrast, it will just fall in unsightly, uneven clumps).

What’s more, a layered hairstyle adds volume and body to my hair because of the gradual thickening toward the ends, which is good news for anyone with thin, lifeless hair. And if I decide to pull the hair back in a ponytail or messy bun, the shorter strands around my face provide fascinating detail compared to a plain ponytail where every single strand is pulled back. So layers should be my go-to style forever.

Of course, there are instances wherein I would lose my mind all of a sudden and decide to order a hairstylist to chop it all off so that my head could feel light and I would have wash-and-wear hair — just run my fingers through it and I would be ready to go out. This can happen during the summer months when thick clumps of hair can stick to the back of your sweaty neck because of the heat.

And I would enjoy my short, airy hairstyle for a while…until I realize that the cut makes my face look fat, or there is absolutely nothing I can do to it (no clips, no ties, no nothing) until it grows out, and then there is the horrible period wherein it’s no longer as neat when you tuck it behind the ears, but it’s not long enough to gather in a ponytail, so it’s just matted to the back of your neck and it looks all awkward — not short, but not long. And all I can do is suffer in silence as it grows back.

I suppose my hair problems aren’t as extreme as a celebrity’s or those of anyone who needs to dress up and get up in front of people every day with new looks, but the experiences have taught me that a simple yet well-executed haircut from a skilled professional can certainly trump any hair trend or treatment any day.

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