One of my longest standing relationships is with a hairdresser named Patrick. I have followed him to four salons, and in only three of the 12 years I've seen him has the drive been under 30 minutes.
I have dabbled with other hairdressers, ones who charge less or who are closer, and always return to him sometimes up to a year later knowing that he can tell what bad things have happened to my hair in the meantime. Like when I went to an Aveda salon in Bethesda, MD, and I kid you not walked out with a page boy bowl-cut reminiscent of Dorothy Hamill.
When I made the hour and a half pilgrimage to him recently, he came over with a big smile and went in for a kiss on the cheek. I looked away from the mirror we both were staring into and sheepishly admitted, "My hair needs your help."
He nodded without judgment, like you would hope from an old friend even though we barely speak to each other the whole time I'm in his chair.
We talked about what he would do, a trim, some color. The usual.
Everything seemed fine until he started wielding his scissors with abandon. At first I thought he wasn't paying attention, and then I realized that he was. He said:
"You need to get rid of that mom haircut, and be your fabulous self again. I can see her under there."
He was right. It's me who wasn't paying attention.
After coming back to my hometown in upstate New York six months ago after a successful yet grueling cross-country book tour, I have been busy, tired, and not taking care of myself in the ways I used to.
Patrick called me and my hair out on it.
There are a lot of bad haircuts out there. Do you have one?
Many of us are not paying attention; have become so busy that we forget to make the time and effort. Or, don't feel like we deserve it. Or, put other priorities in front of ourselves, and our sense of selves. Or...believe that this is the best we can get.
None of these are really about our hair, are they?
What is it about? I bet you know. It's something you have been avoiding, or a way you've been thinking that has tripped you up for a bit.
I'm back to fixing my hair in the mirror every morning, and it feels good. The warmer days and sunshine of spring are also helping.
Patrick reminded me how fabulous I am. Now it's your turn.
We can see your fabulous self under wherever you are hiding, and like what we see.
Shameless new haircut selfie: