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Somebody Tell Me What To Do

Like many Canadians who live in the sticks of the Great North, I tend to get a little stir crazy every spring. After spending half a year trapped inside my house strategically sitting next to a furnace vent so that warm air can blow up my ass and keep me warm, I am sick to death of my house and everything in it.

Including the face that has been staring back at me through the mirrors in my house.

Like the walls in my home, I really need a new paint job. Unlike my house, I can't escape the walls because everywhere I go, how I look follows.

Even as a small child, I got bored with how I looked. When I was five I convinced my brother to play barber with me and handed him a pair of scissors as I sat on a tiny wooden chair.

My mom was horrified but oddly enough, I was pleased as punch when I looked in the mirror and discovered my long tresses had been shorn and I now resembled the boy down the street I was crushing on.

Pink suspenders and a green and orange striped tee shirt. Either my mother wanted to punish me or it was the Eighties.

It took years for my hair to grow out since I'm cursed with baby fine wisps that doesn't seem to actually grow. And just when I had started to resemble a girl once more, one of my bestest girlfriends in grade school showed up at school with a pixie cut. It took about a nanosecond for me to decide I wanted my hair cut short too.

Of course, my friend was beautiful and well dressed and looked adorable with short hair. I was the type of girl that wore a red and white striped sweat shirt with matching stirrup pants made out of fleece and wore that darn outfit everyday until it was threadbare. Needless to say, I wasn't quite as cute as my well-put together friend and I learned a valuable lesson in the perils of succumbing to peer pressure.

It's amazing how much my ten year old self looks like my twelve year old son.

My hair grew out just in time for me to hit adolescence. Puberty was not kind to me, nor was the fashion trends at the time. Acid washed jeans? Bangs teased straight up and curled over? Frosted pink lipstick? Half pony tails? A dog wearing a diaper or a goat stuffed into a baptismal dress looks less awkward than I how I wandered around in my youth.

Remind me never to tease my children about how awkward they look. People in glass houses and all...

Thankfully, I survived puberty and discovered the value of mirrors along the way. But it wasn't long into adulthood that I was once again itching to change my look. And thus began a cycle I repeated during the entire decade of my twenties.

I'd cut my hair off, dye it, grow it out, dye it again and then repeat the entire cycle.

What can I say? Carrot Top inspired me.

I actually liked the brunette look...until the color fell out and my hair turned green.

My personal favourite: The Oreo Cookie look. My husband still teases me about this haircut.

This cut was referred to as the Oreo Killer. Or the marital saver.

I spent my entire twenties playing around with hair styles and colours and never once found a look I loved enough to trademark as my own. And then my son died. My hair was short and brown. I remember coming home from the funeral and looking into the mirror and not recognizing myself.

So I stopped messing with my hair and let it grow out. I was thirty years old and broken. My hair was the last of my concerns when my entire identity was buried alongside my almost five year old son.

Somethings never change. As I type this, my dog is on my shoulder.

Over the last five years, I've worn my hair up, down, curly, straight, in pig tails, in twists and stuffed under a ball cap, yet it always feels like it looks the same.  Looking back through the photos documenting my life, this is the longest I've ever sported the same hairstyle in my entire life.

My heart must be healing because I'm starting to twitch about my hair and eye the craft scissors in the junk drawer.

My husband emphatically prefers my hair long and naturally blonde. However, I'm less convinced his preference has less to do with my esthetics and more about the state of his bank account.

But after five years of the same hair style, I'm wondering, perhaps it is time for a change?

Photo courtesy of Mr. Lady

As I near my 35th birthday, perhaps it's time to let go of some of my baggage, starting with my hair.

Or maybe I need to accept the fact my youth is fleeting and the only thing I'm going to accomplish by cutting my hair off is pissing off my husband and scaring Jumby.

Long hair is a pain in the arse. Short hair highlights chin whiskers.

To cut or not to cut, that is my question.

What do you think? Care to share the worst hair cut decision you've ever made?

« My Husband Should Practice What He Preaches | Main | It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's Jumby! »

Reader Comments (105)

You'll be beautiful regardless of which cut you choose, so I can't wait to see. I love having short hair, but mostly because it facilitates my laziness.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

One of the first things I did when I learned my husband and I were separating was to cut my hair, color it a bit, AND straightened it. I always figurde if I don't like it, it grows back.

For my daughter we have been through like 6 colors in the past year and half (she's 11).

When it comes to hair, anything goes. It grows back.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Phillips

Don't do it. I have only cut my hair off once and unfortunately have a grad picture to remind me of it forever. Cutting your hair is a sign of giving into middle age (sorry but that's where we're headed, me a whole lot faster) Nothing says old like short hair. Unless of course you die it pink or something. But that's just an opinion from small town Ontario.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCid

Short hair also highlights cheekbones. Long hair drags the face DOWN. Look how much better Halle looks super short from when she had it long.

I love super short. Probably b/c my hair is ridiculously thick and I can never wear it that way. The shorter I go, the wider I get.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkalisa

My daddy has been telling me since I hit 30 that I was "too old to have long hair". I'm 36 & it hits right at the top of my butt. I say it's your hair, do what you want & yes, it will grow back if you hate what you do but remember also, you have to live with it while it grows out. BUT, they also make hats. You are a fantastically beautiful woman & will be hot no matter what....

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjessigirl

Tanis you will be beautiful no matter what you decide. Personally, I'm in the process of growing mine out right now. I'm not sure WHY, but I guess I was bored with how it was. I'm in the pool or ocean every day this time of year. I throw it into a ponytail on the very top of my head, look like a dork, and swim like that. It's my effort to keep it from turning pure white from the salt water. (It won't work - my hair turns pure white from sun and salt water every summer regardless of how hard I try to prevent it!) I can't wait to see what you decide to do. : )

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTwenty Four At Heart

You look beautiful with long hair, but I get the hassle of it. I chopped all of mine off this winter. Like, all of it. My 5YO son bawled when he saw me, but once he touched it and it was still soft, he liked it again. I am so happy with the short cut, but I do have the advantage that my hair grows as fast as fast can. My biggest hair regret to date was not cutting it short-short, like I always wanted to, before now. Those not short, not long, what the heck is that style cuts... were not my friend. Not cutting it short, and not colouring it more - my two regrets.

Be free with your hair, and have fun! At 35, we are so young, and have lots of fun years left!!

P.S. I love the cut in the pic where you are hugging the headless person. ;)

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

Cut, cut, cut! http://www.womenshairstylesonline.com/Hair/Gallery/Victoria_Beckham_Short_Hairstyle_700.jpg
Make it a little longer in the front, make sure to keep your bangs.. but try something like this. It would look lovely with your face shape :D

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhlm

My hair philosophy is this: Life is short and hair grows. I just cut all of my hair off (again) and love it, but in about 6 mos. I'll probably grow it out for a while before cutting it again. I'll be 43 this year.

You would look great no matter what length your hair, but I would kill for that hair color so don't go dyeing it, ok? Unless you want to go magenta, in which case I'm all for it.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFairly Odd Mother

It is so odd that you wrote this post today. Today is my birthday, today I turned 35, today I cut about 6-8 inches of my hair off. I went from past my shoulders up to my chin. My children (2 boys who are 14 & 11) have not seen it yet. My husband, who met me when I had hair down to the middle of my back, has not seen it yet. I'm not 100% certain about what I did, but I'm glad I did it. Sometimes you just need a change and hair grows back.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

I love your hair the way it is!

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmoebaMike

you are so beautiful - i love your long blond hair - dont ever change it! But i do have a thing for redheads :)

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjenniferc

If I had your gorgeous face, I would definitely cut my hair off. I need long hair to hide my Lebanese nose and complete lack of a chin. Well, except fo that double one.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMomo Fali

Don't do it. You'll regret it.

Though I'm not one to talk, since I basically ignore my hair. Including the greys. What greys I say to myself each morning. Sigh.

The worst? I wanted a perm when I was eight. My mom tried to talk me out of it, but I was persistent (see: annoying pain in the ass) so she finally let me do it. Naturally semi-curly haired people should not get perms. Ever. I looked like I'd been electrocuted or something. I freaking broke brushes in it, it was that bad.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIssa

Get it cut a little shorter, maybe with long layers. See if that meets your need for change without going really drastic and upsetting your husband and son.

And if that doesn't work for you, just cut it as short as you damn well please. They'll adjust.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Getgood

OK in my early 20s I cut off all of my hair. When I say cut off.... well clippers were used! I spiked it on top and had long wispies that curled toward my face. It was dyed bright red and I gelled the wispies to my cheeks. Not the best look to say the least. Let's just say a lot of women found me attractive. Since I don't swing that way, this was a problem.

So in short (no pun intended), short just doesn't work for me. Besides DH would kill me if I cut my hair off. I cut it up to my shoulders once and he didn't speak to me for a week!

I understand what you are saying about it always feeling the same. There is only so many things you can do with long hair. But I think short hair has the same problem.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

-->How about a cute chin length cut for summer and then let it grow out this winter to keep your neck warm?

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWebSavvyMom

I am struggling with the same thing. My hair is the longest is has been since high school, my hubby is happy. I am annoyed. It's hot(in Florida) and I have super thick and curly hair. I want to chop, but I keep chickening out. So I will live through you, CUT it. lol

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenni Williams

http://mysterymommy.blogspot.com/2009/02/flashback-friday-its-inner-beauty-that.html" rel="nofollow">Here are some of the worst of mine.

I love your hair the way it is, and I'm glad that you are feeling the need to change it.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterliz

I always said that, for my 60th birthday, I wanted a crewcut and a wicked fast car. I lost interest in the car, and couldn't wait for 60 for the cut. I did it for my 47th.

Here's the thing, though. Unless you've got budget to spare for the maintenance cut, you're going to be too tempted to resist trimming it yourself when it gets a little shaggy. And cutting your own hair is the first step over the line that divides eccentric from certifiable.

I look like Bob Dylan on a good day, and a toilet brush the rest of the time. But hell, it's only hair. You know you want to, so just do it.

When I was in grade 7, I wanted an inverted bob with teased bangs and a bit of layering in the front (yeah, it sounded good at the time). The hairdresser I went to turned me away from the mirror and proceeded to give me the ugliest little boy haircut I've ever seen in my life. I was horrified. And more than a little traumatized. To this day, you couldn't pay me to get my hair cut short like that again. Ever.

With that said, I think a shorter haircut would be cute on you. Just make sure your hairdresser lets you face the mirror while you're getting it done.

Cut it. It's only hair. It grows back. Life is short and you only get one go round, as you know.

When I was 9, I convinced my mom to let me get my hair cut in the Princess Diana style. The next week, the recruiter for the boy scouts showed up at our school and tried to get me to join. Yeah, I feel the pain of the 12 year old you.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteravasmommy

Cut it if you will (though I would love to have your length), but don't you DARE touch that color. Do you know how much money I spend trying to get even close to your beautiful blond? and it never get's there, and looks horrible 3 weeks later! But, I identify with your constant need to change it up. I haven't seen my real hair in 20 years. And I'm only 32!

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTara P

I had long hair that I usually wore up in a clip or ponytail and everyone commented on how great I looked with my hair off my face. Even my hairdresser (ex) commented on why did I want to keep my hair long, just so I could make it look short. He cut it. I regretted it for three years.

DO NOT CUT IT. Everybody who looks good in short hair has THICK short hair. Baby fine hair needs some length to it.

PLUS - if it's short and needs styling - you have to wash it every single day to look even half-way presentable.

Apologies to the previous poster - but chin-length in the summer is the worst! It's too short to put up, but long enough to make your neck sweat.

Change the colour, get it shaped a little - but do not cut it.

Do. Not. Cut. It.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichele

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelley, Moms Who Blog. Moms Who Blog said: Somebody Tell Me What To Do http://ow.ly/17Gacc [...]

A month ago I cut my hair off. It is super cute and very different. This is the shortest I have ever had it.

I am having serious pangs of regret now.

O, and I am with Michelle who commented above - chin length. Not so good in the summer. Just a pain in the ass.

The best thing I ever did with my hair was cut it SHORT.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarin

I love your hair long. Maybe its because last year I decided to get a very short haircut that was very hard to manage, which was a stupid idea for me, so much extra work.
I know the feeling of wanting a change though, so I am really no help to you at all.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJ from Ireland

A reverse mullet. For you, not me.

My worst hair decision was shaving the sides of my head above and around the ears, with my dad's single-blade disposable razors. It took my an hour and a bag of razors and you can damn betcha that I looked awesome.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBackpacking Dad

I think you should cut it. I love my short hair and I don't think I can ever go back.

The worst cut I ever had was I asked for my hair to be razor cut so it wouldn't be so thick...well my hair came out looking like a female version of the mullet. Needless to say I changed hair dressers.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKandace

I think your hair looks best in the second to last photo... But if you are itching to cut, go for it!! Once, in high school (uhm, could there have BEEN a worse time to do this? I think not!) I decided to cut my hair short. Went to a salon and they f'd it up and didn't do what I wanted. I came home crying to my (drunk) mother and she offered to *help*. Needless to say, I ended up with a godawful haircut and spent the whole night crying in my room. I ended up having to basically buzz the front- where your bangs are SUPPOSED to be- and it got longer towards the back. The basic overall shape was that of the typical egg-shaped alien head. Not a good look. Especially when you try and take attention AWAY from your cut by dying it. I swear I was going for blonde, but it ended up orange (my hair is naturally dark brown and I guess I'm not meant to go light.) It was seriously HIDEOUS. Words can't describe. Totally traumatized me from cutting it short again for years... You bet your ass I ripped up every shred of evidence I could find!! No more photos of that haircut. *wink*

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaden

I cut most of my hair off last August because I'd been sporting the same shoulder length do for several years. The short cut I got is awesome, people tell me how great it looks all the time and it makes me feel more confident. It is easy as hell to deal with in the morning and that might be the best reason for short hair ever.

The downside? Short hair must be cut regularly or that cute short do turns into a version of horrid hairstyle.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatootes

I am the same way with my hair. I always need a change, much to my husband's dismay. If it were up to him, I would look exactly the same as the day he met me, frizzy bob and all. I say cut it, color it, whatever. It is only hair, it will grow back.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

The night I met my wife I had a Mohawk, so I can't really advise... I would go with the Flowbee.


June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOut-Numbered

I say go with the Don Johnson look from Miami Vice. I hear its coming back. Consider this advice carefully as I am someone who once unintentionally had a mullet.

I say do what will make you happy, cutting it shorter will always eventually see it grow back. I generally prefer long hair that can be pulled back from time to time. Although that oreo thing has potential!

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHockeymandad

Don't cut them.. but how abt highlight?

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPerx

Cut it. I just cut mine off. I grow it, then I cut it, then I do it all over again. I want bangs, I don't want bangs. Long hair rules, long hair blows. About two weeks after I cut it, I decided I wanted it long again. My hair grows fast, though, and is thick and luxurious and gloriously dark and shiny.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeeved Michelle

Maybe cut off just a bit at first? Like when you're entering a cold body of water? Or just jump in quickly? Like when you're entering a cold body of water?

As you can tell, I'm really no help. But I do have an awful picture of when my mom chopped off all my long hair in the fourth grade. Once you see the pic, you might realize why I'm not much help:


June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTara Anderson

Just leave your damn hair alone. It gives me something to grab when we.... well, you know.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBoo

if my face could pull off short hair i totally would do it. that puts me on the try it again side! worse case it grows back, right?

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

Worst Hair Decision: Perm. Third Grade. My PE Coach took to calling me Fifi...nuff said.

I personally think the older a person gets the shorter the hair should go.

However, you aren't old yet so don't cut it if you don't want to.

there, i was diplomatic.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarahSee

I wish I could cut my hair off and start over but my hair takes sooo long to grow that I'd probably be hairless for a few years...eek! :)

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLua

I shaved my head 3 years ago and kept it that way for a year. Loved It!

After that I let it grow. It's now half way down my back and like you I'm torn...

It took a long time to grow these tresses... but I'm getting tired of it.... but it took a long time to grow....

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFrogdancer

Okay, take it from someone with no hair and therefore no options....

Keep it long! Change it often! Go for colour! Have fun with it!

Some of us just hope we look hot bald!

I'm thinking I'm with your husband on this one. (Sorry!!) I think you look beautiful with the long blonde locks. It suits you. (And I kind of liked the Oreo Cookie cut. Does that make me weird??)

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErin Woods

How about cutting it to shoulder length with a little bit of layering to give it more body, and cutting wispy bangs? I like the color and the natural wave would really come out. Then it'd be a little long, and you could put it in a ponytail if it was in your way.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermonstergirlee

I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE how long hair looks.... I HAAAAAAAATE having to take care of greasy, stringy, baby-fine hair that's longer than chin length....

So I have extensions!! :P clip in extensions. Easy-peasy sexpot hair in a drawer in my bathroom for when I feel like having long hair- sensible, short, easy to take care of chin length hair the rest of the time...

The only one complaining is my husband's wallet!!

Of course, if you listen to me, you'd be taking advice from the woman who had blue streaks just this past September.... of course, I'm not 30 yet so it's ok!! :P

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPottyMouthMommy

Frosted pink lipstick, bangs straight up with just the ends curled under, blue eyeshadow, hairbands and Richard Marx, I loved the eighties. Along with all of that I rocked the most awesome perm which desperately needed to be shaped and baby pink color rimmed glasses. I have the picture unfortunately to prove it. How about shoulder length hair layered for you?

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

Worst haircut I ever had was a permed mullet in the days before mullets were (briefly) in style. And it took FOREVER to grow out. I cringe every time I see photos from that period. After Thing 2 was born, I cut my hair off in a moment of post-partum insanity (that's the only explanation I can come up with). It actually looked pretty chic but I was constantly getting hit on by members of my gender, not that there's anything wrong with that, so I grew it out.

The next to last photo of you, your hair looks great.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

That last picture? All I can think of is that scene from 'There's something about Mary', where Cameron Diaz uses That Which She Thinks Is Gel in her hair. Please, please don't answer the unasked question!

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermarissa

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