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That Time I Cut Off All My Hair

Drastically changing your hairstyle can be a nerve-wracking, stressful experience.

“What if I secretly have an alien baby head?”
“Will everyday be a bad hair day?”
“Do I have a plan B if this screws itself up?”

Those were the questions echoing in my head when I racked my brains over whether or not to take the plunge; to go from below-boob-length hair (forgive me, it’s the best description I can think of) to a medium pixie cut. I knew there’d always be the chance that it’d turn out terribly, but I was also desperate for a change.

So, one afternoon, I headed to the salon and just DID IT.

Short hair is the best!
Short hair is the best!

And without a doubt, cutting off all my hair has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

If you’re currently in the consideration / deliberation / thinking-very-long-and-hard phase, trust me, I know exactly what you’re going through! Here’s some tips that I think will be very helpful for you. Or at the very least, they were for me.

a-long-time-ago
Before you read on … here’s how long my hair used to be.

1. Know what hairstyle you really want

Figuring out exactly what kind of hairstyle you’d like to get is perhaps the funnest part about getting your hair done. The possibilities are endless! You can get your inspiration from pictures of friends, pinterest boards and screengrabs of celebrities on google images. Be sure to gather a number of images that shows best the look you’d like to have.

This will help when conveying your desired look to your hairstylist. As the saying goes, ‘A picture speaks a thousand words’, which is much more pertinent when you think about just how many interpretations of ‘short’ or ‘wavy’ there can be. Also, be realistic and consider how you will look with your own hair texture, colour, and personal style.

short-hair-research
Here are some pictures I found while researching what kind of look I’d like to have for myself.

“Changing your hairstyle gives you a new look, but it doesn’t change your circumstance.”

2. Read blog posts and reviews on what people said – just like this one

It’s always nice to know that you’re not alone in your weird, perhaps superficial hairstyle struggle. That’s why reading online articles, blog posts and reviews really helps! (I suppose that’s in part why I’m writing one right now.) I’ve come across really good bits of advice from reading various bloggers’ or writers’ accounts of their hair transformations, some which I did heed, and some not so much. I don’t think it’s possible to sum up all that I’ve read because different writers say different things, and so, I shan’t try, but here are two bits of advice that I found really good:

BIT OF ADVICE ONE:

Ask yourself; why do you want the change? Many people undergo drastic transformations because of emotional reasons (a break up perhaps) but oftentimes, this is a really bad idea. Changing your hairstyle gives you a new look, but it doesn’t change your circumstance. So think carefully, lest you regret your potentially amazing decision.

BIT OF ADVICE TWO:

If you’re not immediately ready to make such a drastic change, cut your hair in stages. So perhaps you can go from medium length to a bob, and later, to a pixie. I considered this, but I finally decided I didn’t have the patience for an intermediate step and so, took a plunge into the deep end. But if you are more worried about how your hair will turn out when it’s shorter, then this may be an option for you to consider.

3. Weigh the pros and cons – kind of like a hairstyle cost-benefit analysis

Now that you’ve found the perfect hairstyle and after ploughing through review after review, you’re almost ready to make your grand decision. To seal the deal, what I did was to weigh the pros and cons, kind of like making a hairstyle cost-benefit analysis chart of sorts. And so, let me present to you mine:

PROS:

  • Drastically reduce the amount of shampoo you use
  • Drying time will be more than halved
  • Sayonara, dry and damaged split ends! I won’t be seeing you for awhile
  • Hair will feel much lighter

CONS:

  • Short hair is going to get unruly
  • Frequent cuts become a necessity – every four to six weeks in fact
  • Your neck will freeze

Is your answer still a resounding yes? Haha, great! Read on.

4. Know the salon/ stylist you’re visiting

Now that you’ve made your decision (there’s no turning back!) be sure to research your salon and stylist carefully as well. Look out for reviews, prices, promotions (says my inner cheapo aunty) and not to forget their location. After consulting a few websites and some friends, I eventually decided on Shunji Matsuo at Jem because I’ve heard nothing but good things about them; I recall one friend telling me how good their advice was during her consultation, and another saying how capable they were at transforming her unruly curls into luscious locks. Because it was a more drastic change, I decided to spend a little more (S$53) and to get a cut by a more senior stylist. True enough, he was really friendly and clearly explained to me how he’d cut my hair before sharing some styling tips for keeping it manageable later on. All in all, it was a great experience. Book an appointment if you’ve a busy schedule, or, if you, like me, hate phone calls and making plans in advance, just walk-in!

shunji-matsuo-jem
Shunji Matsuo Hair Salon @ Jurong East, Jem. Business hours are from 11am to 8.30pm daily, and haircuts for women start at $42. Photo: Beaupass.com

“No matter what people say, you’ll definitely find a way to rock it.”

5. Talk to/ text a friend while you’re getting your hair done

When you finally get to doing it, you’ll probably feel your heart pounding in your chest and your usually dry palms starting to get sticky with sweat. I know I did. I was so nervous I almost cried. I mean, I was about to cut off hair that took me two and a half years to grow out, and what’s worse, it might look terrible! If you’re the easily panicky type, make sure you go for a haircut with a friend (preferably a girlfriend, because her haircut will probably take just as long) or stay glued to your phone. Screaming on Whatsapp and on Facebook at whoever happened to be online really helped me calm my nerves. I watched as my hair was loosely tied into a ponytail and just like that – cruelly snipped off. Their company helped me last before the actual ritual sacrifice cutting and styling began.

And then it was fine. It was totally fine. I was fine. I couldn’t be happier with how I look right now; I only think to myself, why didn’t I do this earlier!?

So be bold! Whatever change you make, I guarantee you’ll feel fantastically fresh afterwards. Be prepared however, that your new look will be a big adjustment that may take some getting used to. But if it’s something you’ve really wanted for a long time, no matter what people say, you’ll definitely find a way to rock it.

And if you don’t… don’t forget that it’s just hair, and it will grow back. ☺️


This post was originally published on the writer’s personal blog, https://littlecorals.me/ 

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Elizabeth Kamaldin
A mass communications student turned human geographer, Elizabeth loves travelling and immersing herself in new places and spaces... and writing about them later! When not busy finding pet rocks, considering adding them to her ever growing collection (every geographer must surely have one!) she also dabbles in art and craft, and likes to think of herself as an amateur watercolour/ink artist (check out her ig @littlecorals)!