I'm convinced that cutting my hair off is not only allowing me a certain kind of freedom, but evokes a discomfort for some clients, and the hope of freedom for others.  I knew when Savanna left, I would cut my hair.  Something about her leaving the salon, and moving to the UK that set in motion a personal change within myself, an affirmation that when one person changes-everybody around them does as well.  The minute some of my clients have entered the salon and they see me, they gasp, do a double take, blink a few times, the words tic-tac across their forehead, "No, you didn't, did you?", like clouds moving across the sky. 

My change affects them, whether they like it or not.  Their reality has shifted, and I see how they struggle to find the old me to relate to, searching for our connection, as if it lies in the hair.  As if that weren't enough, my new cut reveals the grey hair I've been coloring for a long time for reasons of fun, beauty world infused ideas that grey hair just makes people look old, and I'm a hairdresser after all.  Some clients inquire if I'm going to keep it grey, asking, "You want to show the grey?"  As if to say, why would you want to.  Some people jump into defending their color and why they do it, and my grey hair clients, say why fight it, let it be.  There is plenty of conversation in the chair about why women should color their hair, why it's nice on some, but not everybody.  So who decided when and if it is okay?

Frankly, as a hairdresser it is absurd to possibly turn away hundreds of dollars, if not, thousands, by setting the example of how a woman can grow their grey hair out.  And, I am aware that to encourage clients to show their grey hair goes against most beauty industry professionals out there.  But truth be known, after 26 years of doing hair, I can operate my buisness as I see fit.  I want clients to see what they look like without color, at least once in their life.  Why not?  Then they can make a concious choice based on what they see and experience.  Then color can take on a whole new meaning.  Is it for fun, or is it stale?

I stopped coloring my hair because of the maintenance, and I felt ready to see the real me.  What do I look like at 48, and as my acting coach use to say, warts and all?  The freedom of cutting the dead, dark hair off, made me happy, and yet vulnerable.  I wanted to see what I had underneath all the dark hair, and have my look on the outside mirror the change going on inside.  I don't always love the way it looks, but I didn't the other way either. 

Some clients look at my hair, and say, "Wow, I want to do that!  Can I do that?"  Their tired of being slaves to color for all sorts of reasons.  They are terrified to see themselves without hair color.  They say, "You're leading the way. " I don't know about that.  What I can say is that I feel completely at home with it, and I love how bold it is, both energetically and visually.  Although, I have never felt I needed hair to make me look feminine, shorter hair does move into the sterotype of the older and less feminine realm.

And yet, this shorter, new, grey look makes me feel better.  I wish this feeling for every client, every person.  Right, or wrong, fashionable, or unfashionable, I love it.  Every woman needs to decide for themselves what is right for them, regardless of what others say.  If your hairdresser is stuck on you coloring your hair, than I would find someone who is willing to take you through the process.  Take the leap!

Photo:'s photostream Lantern Shows' photostream's photostream

Posted on July 15, 2008 and filed under beauty industry, Femininity, hair, Inner Strength.