Wednesday, January 22, 2014

That time I donated alllllllllllllll my hair

My hair has been a bone of contention since….forever. For as long as I can remember, I’ve looked at other girls’ thick, wavy, long hair with green eyes of envy. I have extremely fine hair that has refused (despite all the money I’ve spent on products that claim they will make it grow like Rapunzel’s) to grow past a certain length.

I don’t know why my hair bothers me as much as it does—probably some kind of identity complex—but especially in recent years, it’s something I seem to fight with constantly. There has to be something out there about hair being linked to perceptions of beauty and self-worth. Ugh yet another thing I’ll probably need therapy for later.

Side note: my ex-boyfriend was so vocal about his distaste for short hair that after I cut it short my sophomore year of college, he refused to kiss me at first since “it’s like kissing your mom.” Yeah, he’s an ex for a reason.

Anyways, I have done a lot of drastic or stupid things with and to my hair in an attempt to get it the way I like it. Most recently, of course, was donating the whole damn mop to Locks of Love this past summer. Fun fact: although I have done a lot of different cuts and styles, I have never dyed my hair. Not even highlights. My mom hasn’t either and that woman has like three grey hairs total and my dad has none, so I’m hopeful that I’ll never feel the need to dye it.

In the hall of shame of Carlye’s Stupid Hair Decisions:

-Bob of 4th grade
During my football days, I wanted it short so I could keep up (also known as beat) the boys, and apparently look like one too.

Of note: My uneven bangs, the uneven length, and my giraffe-like neck. Killin' that posture thang.

-Perm of 6th grade
Not much to say here except that I wanted wavy hair and saved up $60 of my own dolla dolla bills to pay for that B on my own. It looked horrendous. How my mother was able to take me out in public with any kind of pride/lack of shame is beyond me. Definitely my worst hair decision

Ahh the perm. You're welcome world. Permed down to the bangs. And the butterfly clips. And that choker. And the lipstick. Oh dear lord.

-Bob of 9th grade
Sensing a theme with bobbing my hair? It looks hideous every time, but I go through periods of time where I want something “different.” If only Future Carlye could tell Present Carlye that it will look trainwreck-like the second I leave the salon

Twice as nice. Another uneven cut. And those brows. Apparently I was surprised.

-Straight across bangs of freshman year of college
Bored with my look, I had my roommate give me straight across bangs. Only they weren’t straight across. Those bitches were crooked and sparsely distributed over my sweaty forehead. They were so bad that when I came home for Easter, my mom (who refuses to take a scissor to anyone’s hair) insisted I have my then-boyfriend’s (see above…) mother cut them before my mom would take me to church. As we say up here in Minnesota, UFF-DA.

-Bob of sophomore year of college
See lovely anecdote above. I liked it but popular opinion (which too often sways me regarding my hair) thought I was an unkissable mom lookalike.

And this brings us to the present. I have wanted to donate my hair forever (check that off the ole’ Bucket List), but as previously mentioned, it never seems to grow much past my shoulders. Well in January of 2013, I decided that 2013 was the year to chop for cancer. One of my girlfriends decided she wanted to join me, and we decided on July for The Big Chop. I was running the TC Marathon in October and figured I didn’t need to carry around any extra weight (ironically…) on my long runs. What I didn’t take into account was how I was going to run hundreds of miles with no hair to pull back and bangs plastered to my face. Live and learn, I suppose.

My boss and several close friends were adamantly opposed, and for once, popular opinion (“no boy will ever want to date a girl with short hair”) did NOT sway me.

We went to my stylist, Kia, and did The Big Chop. What follows are my attempts at photojournalism (ha!) as I documented the day.

Callie ready to chop

Last brush

14 inches ready to chop

Horrible but rewarding

How gorgeous is she?!?


A true beauty

The beautiful and brave Callie went for a true pixie and of course, rocked that mother. I was a big chicken and didn’t want to do a pixie, but had to cut off too much for it to be an actual bob. So it ended up being somewhere in between and looked pretty terrible. However, it has grown out decently and while we were in Europe, I was able to get it back into a ponytail! I’ve never had to deal with such a high maintenance look—it looks like shit if I don’t wash it and style it everyday.

But despite all my griping and complaining about my hair, I have no regrets about my choice to donate. I received a certificate in the mail a few months ago and I know my hair went to a child stricken with a life-threatening illness. My vanity seems pretty shallow compared to that.

So here I am, with a bob like my mama’s working daily to give up the fight for what I can’t have, hair-wise, and accept and love the way it looks (except on greasy days, since nobody gon’ like that rat’s nest).

Regardless of my dislike of the shortest version of my donation cut, my fabulous stylist did an awesome job given how short it needed to be for LOL (lol). If you live in the Twin Cities area and are looking for a great stylist, let me know and I can connect you with Kia. She is wonderful.