Not long ago, the idea of shrinking more than two inches of my hair shook me dirty. I was the girl in the stylist's chair, crushed by the fear of losing more hair than I had emotionally prepared for. I blame my control-freak Virgo page.
But in October of October I didn't feel any of those feelings when I arrived at 2:00 am with my long haircut, Erickson at the Bumble and Bumble salon in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, ready to chop a cool 11 inch and send it for to be donated. It wasn't the first (or even second) time I donated my hair. I had made a back-to-back cut during my teens who went to Locks of Love and the Pantene (now canceled) Beautiful Lengths program. But the nerves I had experienced then were away from the charts: What if I look like a toddler? Would boys still think I'm cute? were some of the thoughts that raced through my mind.
It is a pleasure to say that I no longer give a flying cock about what guys or anyone else thinks of my hair. Even as a daughter of a survivor of breast cancer, I know too well the realities of hair loss related to treatments and medication and emotional toll that it can take. It was actually my mother who inspired me to consider donating my hair. (She experienced thinning, but never lost all her beautiful curls.)
I have realized that the hair has a unique magic. For so many women and girls, hair is a vehicle for self expression and an integral part of one's identity. As a girl who is loved beauty since she was old enough to steal her mother's makeup (sorry mother), I know how happy I am to be able to donate my hair and give you someone through a wig or a hairpiece.
New look, new styling opportunities
Before my cut I could not tell you last time I had tried something adventurous in the hairstyle department. I had avoided cutting my tiles in my chest because I thought short hair (at least on me) was boring and clearly un-stylish – two things I now know could no longer be from the truth. But after a summer filled with some of the highest heights (like a groom on my best friend's wedding) and the lowest flame (lost my job and hit the bottom of my relationship) I decided that it was time to embrace change on the head: first step, throw all that hair.
All this takes me back to October 28, 2:12 pm, my moment to let go. When Erickson attached my hair to four (maybe five?) Nice ponytails, I felt nervous, something like being on top of a roller coaster. Only this time, nothing more satisfying for me than the sound of scissors snipping through pieces of hair. I couldn't help laughing at my reflection, which somehow felt more like it had a few seconds before.
"To get the look, I used a razor to take up the length and add motion," Erickson explains of the process. "When you take up the length you often get a lot of mass, so the razor helps soften the hair and give it a more vivid feeling."
What I could never have expected after my big change was that it helped me rediscover how I express myself through my hair. I had become quite obvious and lazy about styling my super-long length. But now I have played around with the new look in a way that feels crazy fresh. When I want to lean into the edged vibes of the clip, I use a curling board (my favorite is T3 Singlepass Wave) and a little Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray to create messy bends in my hair. On other occasions I will do a deep side section and add a sweet barrette like those from Kitsch x Justine Marjan. And if I run late, or not in the mood to do lots of styling, the right login styler is all I need. "Bumble and Bumble's Grooming Cream is great for when [you’re] on the go and just want to improve your natural structure, says Erickson.
While the right haircut can be amazing and change in many ways, there are a few things to consider: "Before going to the salon and asking for a dramatic cut, I always recommend my clients to do some homework," Erickson says. "Look at pictures and get inspiration for the clip you want, or find models or celebrities that have similar face shape and hair structure that you – you want to go to the salon, feel excited, not uncertain."