From a very young age I have had a love-hate relationship with my hair. Growing up, that teetered more on the side of hate as I received mullet after bowl cut after feathered hair fan gone wrong. My mom sticks to her guns by saying that those styles were “in” back in the day when I accuse her of wanting to make me look ugly as a child.
Over the years however, once I began gaining more freedom as I grew up, I began experimenting, mixing hair dyes and chopping off chunks like I was some sort of mad scientist. From covering my entire head in hydrogen peroxide to get the trashy trailer park look to dunking my head in a pot of Kool-Aid to get pink streaks, I did it all and then some. My hair was always “my thing” – it was what had people talking and people were continually impressed with the daring or crazy things I’d be willing to try. I was always the girl with the cool, edgy short haircuts, looking badass before Anne Hathaway even thought of chopping off her locks.
That all came to a sudden halt when my hairdresser went a little too far with the shears and I ended up looking like this:
After about a month (or seven) of crying about looking like Billy Idol (can’t you see the resemblance?), I swore off getting my hair done for nearly two years. Aside from a little trim I got done in Paris, I didn’t let anyone come near me with a pair of scissors.
And so I grew it. And grew it. And eventually my hacked tresses started to grow back. When I got engaged in December 2011, I made the decision to grow my hair out as much as I could for the wedding while I dreamed of beautiful, intricate updos with my long flowing hair. I had always imagined what I’d look like with long hair… giving me so many options that I had never had like a pony tail or a bun, god forbid.
As a girl that’s had short hair her entire life, I wasn’t prepared in the slightest for how absolutely annoying long hair can be. Especially since I’ve been told my hair is as thick as a horse’s main (thanks, I guess?) Long hair takes FOREVER to dry. It gets super tangled and knotty. It loses shape. It’s heavy. And even though I always wanted long hair so I could do amazing, fun things with it, once I had it – I didn’t know how to do anything other than just let it sit there, resting lethargically and sloppily on my shoulders.
So, after two years of shear fear and six months left until my big day, I decided what better time than now to finally head back to a salon and get my hair done – professionally. I found a Groupon for E. Harlan Scott Salon right in Downtown Silver Spring to get a full color, deep conditioning treatment and haircut for only $39. I jumped on it.
After waiting weeks for my appointment (the salon books up really fast and now I see why!), I was beyond excited to finally sit down in a salon chair. After talking about what I wanted (and what I didn’t… I’ve found that tends to be the most important), I made my way into the backroom for an incredibly relaxing shampoo. I closed my eyes and dozed off while my colorist ran her fingers through my hair and massaged my scalp. There is nothing better than the feeling of someone else washing your hair.
After getting dried off, I sat down and she began applying color after simply telling her to just “pick one.” I’m a firm believer that people should place trust into those who have honed their craft – and she picked out the perfect color for me.
After more washing and shampooing, I received a deep conditioning treatment and spent the next forty minutes until a big plastic ball of heat as I read Glamour magazine and watched as other customers had their hair done.
After another hour or so of waiting, to my surprise, the owner of the salon, Eddie Harlan Scott himself, came over and told me he’d be cutting and styling my hair – a complete and total shock since I had purchased a Groupon and had never in a million years expected for the owner himself to take the time to do my hair. It was my lucky day because the man is a hair god. While he snipped away and I watched my hair regain its life, we talked about anything and everything, from my wedding, to his plans to open a salon school to the problems with my generation. All while he twirled me in my seat, making magic with his hands and his shears, going on about how my hair belongs in a Pantene commercial and making me blush with pride.
When he turned me around to look at myself, I was blown away. It’s amazing what a few snips and slaps of color can do to make you see yourself in a new light and help you regain the confidence you once had, but somehow lost in the shuffle. It’s not that haircuts and dye jobs are what should make you feel beautiful – as that should certainly come from a place within. What’s important is taking the time to pamper yourself and remember that you’re always worth the extra time and attention. No matter how busy you may be – always make time for you.