Desperate times, desperate measures


I’d been wanting to cut my hair for a while. The words of an old college chum still haunt me when my hair gets to a certain length: “You have a long face, so when your hair is long, too, it draws your face out more and makes you look like a horse.” Sadly, it seems like my face has only gotten longer with age. So, when my hair gets long, too, I look in the mirror and frequently see Weird Al Yankovic staring back at me, only not being funny and entertaining.

So, the hair had to go. I took a shower one morning and, seeing my hair already damp and straight, decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. I grabbed the hair cutting scissors and was determined. But I hit a snag. Looking in the mirror and operating scissors, or just operating scissors when they’re turned back toward your head is harder than it looks in the movies. I was sure I’d end up cutting at a sharp angle by mistake. So, I called in my daughter.

She recently turned 10, mind you, and is therefore far more mature than she was a month earlier when not yet two full sets of fingers old. When I asked if she could help me cut my hair, she jumped at the chance, leaving her sisters and the TV saying, “I didn’t want to watch that movie anyway.”

We returned to my bathroom, and I soon realized I may have made a mistake. I watched my daughter grapple with holding the scissors. “That’s right! She’s a lefty!” I gulped but realized there was no backing out now. She was committed, so I would be, too. When she finally got her grip down, and I showed her how to use the comb to level the hair off, she had at it.

I couldn’t see what was happening in the back. I chewed my lip as I heard her muttering phrases like, “Just a little bit more right here (snip). And now just a little there. (snip).” Finally she was done, and for all I could tell, it looked pretty good. She proudly ran off to brag to her sisters about what she had done.

I’m sure you’re hoping for before and after pictures, but I’m afraid you’ll have to use your imaginations. There’s not much to say except I went from just below the shoulders to just below my chin. That, and I closely resembled a basset hound. My hair poofed out like wide, floppy dog ears, only hanging much higher up. It was awful.

My husband was quite surprised by the change when he got home, but even more so by the fact that I let our daughter do it. We returned to the bathroom so my husband could discreetly cut two chunks in the back that were hanging lower than the rest of the hair.

I told him my misgivings with the whole thing, due to the basset hound look. He said, “Did you blow dry it?”

“No, it dried on the operating table.”

Next time I’ll just be more patient and get professional help.

Addendum: Since I’ve received requests for before and after pictures, despite my assurances that you’d rather not see these, I will comply. Can’t say I didn’t warn you.


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Don’t I look lovely? But the hair’s just getting a little too long.


This is me with my friends after a bender. I'm the one on the far right.

This is me with my friends after a bender. I’m the one on the far right.


39 responses »

  1. Bad haircuts grow! And don’t let your college friend’s words haunt you. Plenty of women with oval/ long faces have long hair, the styling and type of long cut have a lot to do with how flattering a cut is. All the best for your next cut!


  2. This made me laugh out loud. What a knack for humor writing you have. The Weird Al Yankovic analogy is so funny, not to mention your poof-job when it dried. How brave of you to let your 10-year-old cut your hair. You deserve mother of the year for that!


  3. You are a brave woman to trust a 10-year-old with scissors and your hair! I’m too cowardly to try to cut my own and so pay the professionals to keep it under a semblance of control. πŸ™‚


  4. You teased me with the before and after pictures πŸ™‚ You are definitely brave to let your daughter cut your hairβ€”I don’t even trust myself with cutting hair haha. I’m sure it’s nothing a trip to the hairdresser can’t fix. I have a long face too, but I can’t do short hair.


      • Hindsight is 20-20, letting my 12 year old cut my hair would terrify me, not going to happen. I have a guy who cuts my hair. When I want it done I tell him and he does it for me. He had over 200 haircuts on his ex wife, former girlfriends and female friends who were extremely happy with his work before he ever touched mine, AFTER being taught by an ex-girlfriend who was a stylist who was even more anal, (I mean cocerned about detail) than he is. So I am very particular about my hair. If he was not that good, I would have to suffer the salon route. And he cooks better than me, so he does all the meals for me and my children, poor me? Ummm, no, I am lucky, and I need to lose a few pounds….


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