A few days ago, I had a good 4-5 inches of hair cut off. It was wet and windy out, which made me rethink leaving the apartment for a bit, but I was determined. The hair had to go.
I’m pretty low-maintenance when it comes to hair, really. I go to a salon maybe twice a year, usually when my hair has grown to the point where 1) I’m developing split ends, and/or 2) I start getting impatient with how long it takes to dry after washing it. Shoulder-length with is my go-to cut because it’s a manageable length and just long enough to be pulled back into a ponytail. This time, though, I was feeling a little adventurous (and bored). A little Internet digging yielded inspiration – a style called the a-line bob. It’s longer in front and shorter in the back, with a gradient running in between.
So when Maddie, the stylist, asked me what kind of cut I wanted, I told her exactly what I had in mind. She understood immediately, but just before draping the protective cape over my shoulders, she paused. “You’re sure, right?”
For a fleeting moment, her question made me wonder if I’d made a decision I’d later regret, but I pushed that thought out. “Yes, I’m sure.”
“What’s it going to be?” The two older ladies who were sitting in the waiting area had caught onto our conversation.
“She’s getting all of it cut off, all of it,” Maddie said from somewhere behind me. The fleeting doubt suddenly came back. What did she mean by all?
“Well, even if you don’t like it, it’ll grow back,” one of the women said encouragingly. That was pretty much my rationalization for what was about to happen.
Not too many minutes later, Maddie was putting the finishing touches on my hair. “Ooh, that’s really cute,” came the comment from the back row. “You made a great choice!” I smiled. It’s not every day you get your own cheerleading team for small life decisions.
They kept going. “You know what, you should add some color to make it even better. Just a streak of blue or something.” Maddie laughed. “One big change at a time, ladies!”
When Maddie was done, she handed me a mirror and spun me around. It was definitely a change, but I had no regrets. “I really like it,” I told her honestly.
“You should have taken a picture before the cut so you could do a before-and-after!” said one of my hair-cutting commentators.
“I usually do that with people who are getting colors, but you’re right,” Maddie agreed. “We can still take a picture now, just the side-profile, if you don’t mind!” I didn’t, and since Maddie seemed proud of her work, I agreed to a picture.
As I was about to leave, I thanked Maddie heartily and she cheerfully gave me her card. The two women in the waiting area piled on a couple more compliments, and after thanking them, I turned to wave everyone goodbye. Everyone was beaming. As I let the door close behind me, I thought about how even the smallest decisions to do something different and slightly risky (in a good way) can bring joy and inspiration to people around you. Sometimes it really is appreciating the smaller things in life that keeps us going.