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About a year ago, or maybe a little longer, I decided to go blonde. Not because I believed that blondes have more fun, but because as I grew older – and more to the point, grayer – maintaining my (somewhat) more natural dark brown color became more and more of a battle. I’d get it done and in a matter of weeks my roots would grow out, leaving me bearing an uncanny resemblance to a skunk. Since I have very fair skin and blue eyes (and a naturally blonde sister), I figured I could get away with the switch. So little by little, I went blonde. I liked it, a lot. The blonder I went, the happier I became.

I’d been growing out my hair since I was pregnant with my daughter, who’s now 3 1/2. I hadn’t had long hair since around the time I got married (almost 14 years ago), so the change seemed like a good idea at first. Also, I was heavier than I preferred and I liked the idea of being able to hide behind my hair. The problem is, I have very fine hair. When it gets long it looks limp and lifeless. It also has the notable ability to tie itself into knots. The longer I let it get, the longer I spent in the bathroom trying to make it work. Small fortunes were spent on conditioner and detangler. My frustration grew along with my hair, but for a long time I refused to let go.

I spent a couple of months obsessively combing through magazines and Pinterest, dreaming of short cuts but fearful that they wouldn’t work for me. I reached a point where my fixation was eating up a terrifying amount of my time. Eventually I found a cut I loved in every picture – Julianne Hough’s pixie. I went to the salon and had it all chopped in one fell swoop. I wasn’t sure I was going to go through with until I did, but from the moment she cut my hair to my shoulders, I was relieved. When it reached my chin, I felt better still. It was a fantastic cut, and my stylist is terrific. My hair looks a million times better short – less damaged and full of body. The style suited my face. While it’s (sadly) true that I don’t resemble Julianne Hough, my stylist tweaked the cut in ways that made it perfect for me. I received more compliments than I had in years, which was nice too. But the best part? I felt like myself again. Short hair suits me. It makes me happy. It’s easy to manage but looks like I put more effort in, somehow. What’s not to like?

Today, I went shorter still. I wasn’t planning on it, not consciously at least. True, I’ve been trolling Pinterest again, checking out shorter cuts. Even so, initially I asked her for the same cut I got last time, and she gave it to me. It’s a great cut, too. But this time I looked in the mirror and even though it looked amazing, I felt like something was missing. So I pulled out my phone and showed her my latest Pinterest cut, and she LOVED it. More important, she was willing to change it, then and there, even though she’d just given me a complete cut. She’s fairly awesome. I really love the new cut; I felt better the minute she started snipping again.

As for blonder, that will have to wait until next time. I have a ton of platinum highlights now, but it can always be lighter. Meanwhile, though, I’m happy. I look in the mirror and like what I see. I’m not hiding behind anything anymore, and that’s a great feeling.

P.S. I wrote my two most recent posts on my Nook, same as always. Trouble is, I got an iPhone six months ago, and I’ve gotten sort of used to the autocorrect feature. Dependent upon it, one might say. Lazy, even. Not having the words fix themselves was driving me crazy, so I downloaded the WordPress app and wrote this on my phone. Sad but true story. It seemed to go fairly well, although I have yet to decipher how some of the functions work. Give me time.