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I have really long hair.  It falls somewhere between my ass and my knees, and I keep it natural, with just the occasional trim of the split ends provided by my boyfriend.

A few years ago, I had some shorter baby hairs that kind of framed my face.  I liked the way they looked, but at some point my hair got thicker or something and they grew out, leaving my hair all one length.  It wasn’t anything I thought about very much at the time, but the other day I was looking through some old photos and was reminded of how cute I looked with those little tendrils tousled around my face, falling down my cheek, or getting playfully into my eyes.  As I thought about it, an idea started to form.

I was nervous about the idea of taking scissors to my own hair. Trimming split ends is one thing, but this would mean going from thigh length to chin length, which seemed like kind of a big deal.  You have to understand, I’ve been in a salon chair all of once in my life, as a little girl, and my hair has always, ALWAYS been long.  Scissors and my hair are not regularly acquainted.

Still, those little wisps called to me, and I made up my mind that I was just going to do it.

When I got home that night, I made a bee-line for the scissors.  Now that I had settled on my course of action, I was kind of anxious to get to it.  I went to the bathroom and carefully parted out the hair at the front of my head, about an inch back from the hairline, and across from temple to temple.  I combed it down in front of my eyes and held it in a little ponytail.  What I was holding was a fairly substantial bit of hair.  I had thought that, though the wispy bits had grown out, I would still mostly be dealing with shorter hairs around my face.  What I was holding in my hand was a solid 24″ long, if not more.  This gave me pause.

I looked in the mirror.  I looked at the hair.  I considered its thickness and length, and whether this was something that I was going to regret.  Then I thought about the old pictures.  I felt myself teetering on the edge of indecision and almost backing away; but then something reckless in me decided I needed to take a leap before I talked myself out of it, and *snick* I was holding a handful of my own hair and the curtain hanging over my eyes suddenly ended just past my chin.  Whoa.

I played with it a little.  I pushed the hair back and let it fall down around my face.  Nice.  I tucked it behind my ears.  Nice, but…  The bangs were long enough that when tucked behind my ears some hair poked out at the bottom and looked a little unkempt.  That wouldn’t do.  I carefully took the shorter hair and pulled it down behind my ear, pinching with my fingers at the point where the hair started to poke out behind my earlobe.  Another *snick* just above the fingertips (well, maybe just a little higher, for good measure) and I was unkempt no more.  I repeated the procedure on the other side of my head, and then combed the hair back forward to even it out with a few more snips.

I checked my work by pushing the hair back behind my ears again.


I had made the classic rookie mistake of forgetting that hair springs up shorter when cut, especially fine wavy hair like mine.  Now I could barely get the bangs to stay behind my ears at all, and when they fell in my face they skimmed my nose instead of falling past my chin.  I was shocked to think that where minutes ago there had been feet of hair, only a few scant inches were left.

I loved it though.  I couldn’t stop playing with my hair: pushing it in different directions, letting it fall in my eyes.  It was so fun, and novel, and dare I say, exciting, that I was a little tempted to just grab the scissors and go crazy.  I mean, if a few square inches of short hair are so enjoyable, more must be better, right?  My sense of caution prevailed, however – at least for the moment.

Now I’m at work, and I still can’t keep my hands off my hair.  I keep pulling it out to its full length and marveling when it slips out of my fingers after a few inches.  It looks great too.  I stare at myself and smile every time I pass a mirror.  The tousled tendrils around my face look so much more carefree and fun than the severe, buttoned-down look I had been sporting with all of my hair pulled tightly back.  Now I couldn’t pull my bangs back tight if I wanted to.

This is great, but I have a feeling that it’s not the last time I’ll take the scissors to my own head.  It was too much fun not to do again.

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