To Crop or Not

A question for the ages. The ultimate dilemma. To crop or not. For years I contemplated getting my hair cut short. I have always had long hair, there are pictures of me as the awkward brown-haired tot, full fringed with go-gos and scrunchies in my hair as only a 90s kid could pull off.

Twice I have cut it into a bob, and twice  it was a bad idea. The first time I was a not so fresh-faced 15-year-old, seeking a dramatic change for my “rebellious” second year in school.

My friends at the time had all dyed their hair black, and my best friend even got a buzz cut. More so because her bright ginger hair did not take to the black too well, I called her a Jaffa cake for a time after. I felt left out, and I wasn’t quite committed to the whole rebellious goth scene we were seemingly into, that drank and smoked and listened to HIM and Slipknot and other scary looking bands. Oh no, a nice haircut was crazy enough for me.

The hairdresser was a man who was very excited to tell me all about this new thing called a “graduated bob”. This was not just your ordinary Joe soaps bob, this bob graduated in length, getting longer as you go from the back of the head to the front. Height of style.

This being the first time I had ever ventured into a hairdressers without my mother, I naively thought that you just agreed with whatever the stylist said. I still do.

I have this strange uneasy trust that the hairdresser knows a lot more than I do about my hair, and how I would like it, or how it should be styled. He could have said he would cut a lock from the front and gelled it into a cowlick and I would have gone along with it. However I agreed to go with this newfangled graduated bob idea. And hated it.

The second time I went in to get something dramatically different with my hair, the stylist yet again suggested a bob.

I immediately thought no. Last time I hated it and couldn’t wait for it to grow out. As they always seem to refuse to give me a fringe, I found the bob to be boring. My thick hair, wide jaw and short neck do not suit them, and I end up looking like I have a mop on my head. That or the melon cat.


My will was not as strong as I though however, and I got the bob in the end. I liked it the first day, it was a lot nicer than the first one. But as soon as I washed it reacted like potassium in water. Fizz, boom. And so I was left to deal with the monstrosity, to nurse it through the dodgy in between stage until it was long enough so that I could take it down from a ponytail without cringing.

So why you might ask, am I getting my hair cut short? Well, that is because I doused it with enough bleach to clear a port-a-loo. It’s nasty yellow-green and brittle like dry spaghetti.

To avoid the dreaded bob length, I have to either go through another few months of chopping it inch by inch to get back to my natural colour, or I bite the bullet and get a crop.

The fear of looking like a granny lurks at the back of my mind, images of curlers in my hair and a scarf around my head comes to mind. Memories of girls in my school who had their head shorn because of head lice haunt me, short unstyled crops a warning to all of us with long hair.

But it has to be done. My biggest fear is probably of the stylist not listening to what I want and giving me the most generic crop in the book. Or worse, they not understanding what I ask for.

Countless times I have gone in to a stylist and asked for a fringe for them to just ignore my wishes. Once I reminded them when it looked like I was about to be short changed yet again. Instead of discussing different styles or whether or not, or WHY they thought a fringe wouldn’t suit me, they just paused, scrunched a nose and cut something three stands thick not worthy of being called a fringe.

I learned the hard way to not just trust that a stylist understood what you describe to them. Yes, it might not be the right lingo, but I think if a hairdresser does not understand what your on about, they should tell you so.

So it’s done. The appointment has been made, the pictures cut from magazines and the lingo has been learnt. I’m going to get my hair cut and that’s it.

Hopefully I won’t just chicken out and ask for a trim and a few measly layers…


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