Change is good, especially after 25 yearsiStock/hirurgDuring high school I was tortured daily by the likes of Farrah Faucett, with her glorious mane of blonde curls—especially in that iconic 80s swimsuit shot that dazzled gazillions of teenage boys. My then-boyfriend had the poster pinned up over his bed, a constant reminder of our shared goal—for him to embrace Farrah and for me to be Farrah. But I have naturally dark, curly hair, and was on the chubby side—there was nothing remotely close to Farrah-ish about me. Thank God for college where I could let my freak flag fly—long, untamed curls (Take Back the Hair!). And that's how its been for many decades. But recently, when I turned 50, I started looking in the mirror a bit more closely and discovered something extraordinary. I am not 25 anymore! I don't mean that I feel or look bad or God forbid "old," but I realized it was time for a change. My little face and head were hiding behind a mass of crazy hair that once looked wild and wonderful and now looked wild and deranged. After four stylists refused to cut it, I finally found one who said, "Let's do this!" And I'm so glad we did. (By the way, it's a good idea to know these style terms before your next salon visit.)
You might start standing talleriStock/teksomolikaLiterally. Getting the chop made me realize that I was more than just the sum of my hair. I gained fully a half-inch on my doctor's scale simply from straightening my posture! I feel sexier. The new 'do gives me a sassiness—an intangible quality of being happy and alive in my own skin. I have changed my style a bit, wearing more plunging necklines and shorter skirts to bring attention to my body. My walk is more confident and my head and neck held a bit higher, which seems to attract attention. I have never been one to get catcalls or a double take out on the street, but this hair seems to be doing the trick. The first day I got it walking home from the salon, one of my neighbors, a young adorable guy, yelled out to me from across the street, "Hey, Sexy Hair. Nice Cut!" As a young women, I might have taken offense, but at this stage, bring it on! In bed, I thought my hair was a sexy addition to activities, but it was really just in the way. Now my boyfriend and I can spoon without my long hair getting caught in his face.
You'll find your inner moxieiStock/funduckThe short cut allows me to show up for the world in my full power and glory. Since the haircut, the power persona in me is taking more control of my life. She's a blast. She is thrilled with the look and just plain excited to be alive. She comes with me pretty much everywhere I go these days and gives me a big grin when I'm feeling a bit down. Obviously I am still me—getting up every day, going to work, doing the laundry, being a mom, but I am doing it with a bit more self-acceptance. Here's what your hairstyle could be saying about your personality.
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You could have fewer wrinklesiStock/katarzynabialasiewiczI know this one is going to sound strange, but since my long hair always felt like it was weighing me down, I was constantly raising my eyebrows, creating unsightly wrinkles on my forehead. Coming from a place of more confidence, even my face is more relaxed.
You'll become a style iconiStock/monkeybusinessimagesSince I got my new 'do, a few women—actually practically every woman I know—has commented on how much they love it, and many have revealed that they're afraid to follow suit. I say live on your own terms! If you're avoiding chopping your locks because you're overly concerned about what others will think, let my experience be an inspiration. Just do it!
You'll hit the salon more frequentlyiStock/brnjakovicMy hair has been holding its shape nicely, but I know that trim-time is near, and that's par for the course with shorter cuts, according to Lauren Thompson of Nunzio Saviano Salon in NYC. "If you cut your hair short like a pixie, it's going to be easier and less maintenance day-to-day, but you will definitely need to cut it more often, probably every eight weeks or so," she says. "Similar to the reason why men cut their hair so often, as it grows out you see the loss of shape and style when it is that short."
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You'll slash your morning routine in halfiStock/mapodileWith long hair, the washing and drying can be arduous (and it's possible to wash your hair too often, among other hair mistakes you could be making). Drying naturally could take over an hour, and I always looked like a wet dish rag leaving the house. Even when I tried to do the curly girl thing, with expensive haircuts and the multi-step Devachan drying program, I just ended up looking like I'd been electrocuted. Now I just wash and air dry. My hair looks nice and silky, with no frizz or dryness. Better still, it's dry in 10 minutes! Again, the kind of product you're using depends on the hair you have. "Most of the time with a short cut, a great pomade such as the Oribe Rough Luxury is great to keep the hair in place while also giving it texture," Thompson says. "For volume, you can also use the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray to give it a little lift, however, again, because it is short, you don't need to worry about the weight of your hair pulling it down."
You'll save money on shampooiStock/howardoatesI'm still using the same organic shampoo, but much less of it! Instead of a palm-full, I can use about about a cap-full, making the bottle last months longer. But obviously your experience will depend on your hair type. "If your hair doesn't get oily quickly, you can go as long as you need to without washing," says Thompson. (Find the best shampoo for your hair type here) "However, short hair is so quick to dry that it becomes very easy to wash and style daily." Women with long hair may choose to go a few days between washings because they don't want the hassle of blow drying and styling their hair, but when your hair is short, Thompson adds, "all you have to do is get it dry which is super quick, and apply a good style cream or pomade and you're good to go!"
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