Real Life Confession #12: I Care Too Much About Hair

Being a woman, it follows that I hate almost everything about my physical appearance.

Maybe that isn’t true. Hopefully it isn’t true for any of the women who might read this. But, we are told by every commercial, every magazine, and every soup label that who we are and how we look is wrong.* Societal disdain is a hard enemy to combat and most days, I don’t even try. I accept the fact that I don’t look like a Hollywood celebrity – noting that most Hollywood celebrities don’t even look like Hollywood celebrities – and try not to think about how others would rate my attractiveness.

Cat ears notwithstanding, I recall being happy with my hairstyle that day

Cat ears notwithstanding, I recall being happy with my hairstyle that day

Age has taught me that none of it counts.  Manicures are for twenty-somethings in the midst of quarter-life crises. Me? I have a dog to wrangle.

Except in one area, that is. I may have given up on having clear skin, may not have weighed myself in at least five years, and may have embraced the classic t-shirt as my personal statement, but I spend a superfluous amount of time thinking about my hair. It is a vanity I cannot dethrone.

This is not to say that I think it always looks photo-worthy. Please. I am not the kind of woman who gets up at three in the morning to spend four hours making sure her tresses gleam. At least, I am not any more. (See aforementioned dog.) If it doesn’t look remotely decent, however, I have difficulty holding my head high when going to the grocery store. I don’t care about my tattered jeans or my dirty shoes when running out for cat food. I have to make sure my hair is clean and in place. In an ideal world, it would also be trimmed every six weeks.

Clearly, things often amble far from the ideal. Six or seven years ago I may have subsisted on ramen in order to pay for regular salon visits, which may be a part of the reason I am in a bit of a fiscal downturn, but this wasn’t sustainable. The biggest problem with this: when I let my hair situation slide too far, my confidence slithers right along with it. Basically, if my hair looks like crap, I feel like crap.

It is a bit ridiculous, I realize. No one else cares or even notices. I never judge anyone else for something as petty as the shape, length, or style of their locks, It is foolish to hinge so much of my personal pride on a pretty mane.

Logic has no place here. When my hair has split ends up to my eyebrows, I can’t help but reflect on past splendor. It seems like just yesterday I was walking around with this super-cute style:


If I remember correctly, the colour lasted about a week before it turned poop-red. It was lovely for the seven days it hung around, wasn’t it?

Spending money on something that does not benefit anyone else makes me feel guilty. The simple desire to spend this money makes me feel guilty. Thus, even though getting a hair cut is a positive experience that improves my self-esteem, it makes me feel bad about myself at the same time. Which is why before yesterday, I hadn’t had a trim since April of last year.

There was a whole lot of not cute going on.

train hair

The above picture is from September and the split ends are mortifying. The mind boggles at how long my hair had grown in the five months since this was taken. I will spare you the horror.

Self-care involves taking the time for actions that have that have positive impacts on our minds and bodies. Self-care makes me feel guilty. Well, nuts to that. It is a little thing, perhaps a selfish thing, but it makes me feel so much more like myself. It should not be a source of judgement and shame. If self-care is a feminist act then maybe getting a hair cut can be too.

Taken yesterday afternoon. So. Much. Better.

Taken yesterday afternoon. So. Much. Better.


Or maybe I am just enabling an obsession I need to conquer. It is just head-covering, right? It might be time for an intervention.

Do you have any vanities you can’t abolish? 

*Seriously, Progresso. I expect this kind of crap from yogurt, but soup? You have ruined what used to be a faultless comfort food.

10 thoughts on “Real Life Confession #12: I Care Too Much About Hair

  1. Ok first, your almost hubby thinks your cute, so what else matters? And the hair thing? I haven’t had a cut since November, my roots are getting kinda darkish, and I look like the wild woman in the desert. Oh wait….I am the wild woman in the desert. But my hair is driving me crazy and I am not sure if I trust some random person to cut it for me. Major dilemma. I love the pic with you and the short do. Very cute!


  2. It looks SO CUTE!! It looks like you have great hair, no matter what you do with it 🙂 I’m with you – a haircut always makes me feel better. I recently started paying someone to color my gray (I’ve been doing it for YEARS – but it is so much nicer to have it done, and she adds highlights, which make me feel special!). It’s expensive, but it’s my only splurge, so I’m going with it! I say, whatever makes you feel good – DO IT!!


  3. My hair has a mind of its own – never know when I get up if it will be straight, curly or just all over the place – so I gave up worrying about it years ago. I think the only thing I always do is wear a suit type jacket for meetings – something that makes me feel more comfortable. I like the new hair cut – but – you hair has always looked good to me


  4. After a long war I finally decided that my hair was never going to look good (it truly wasn’t) and so my solution was taking clippers to it. No hair, no problem, right?

    If I had the money I’d get a face lift because I hate how it’s going South.


  5. What are us women like. I am sat here reading this thinking I would kill to have your skin!! My hair doesn’t bother me – most days it is tied up into a bun, but my skin…I hate it. I have stopped wearing make-up on a daily basis to try and improve it and it’s not working. You have so given me inspiration for todays post – thank you!!


  6. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to look your best. Wanting to look like a magazine cover, yes. Obsessively dwelling over imagined, socially-constructed faults, yes. But basic self-care and the confidence boost that goes along with is A-OK in my book.


  7. I’ve been coloring my hair for like 21 years. No lie. Every four weeks.

    I love the color and get so many compliments on it, plus I’m pretty happy with the style (most days.) Due to holidays and my hairdresser being ill, I skipped my last appointment and it’s showing. I’ve been threatening to let it go natural for a couple of years now, but looking at the roots, I’m not loving it. LOL

    I don’t care what society says I should look like, it’s what I like about the way I look and that’s my hair, so I won’t apologize for spending the money on the one thing I do for myself and you shouldn’t either! If you like your hair to look a certain, indulge yourself.

    BTW, I think your hair looks awesome in every one of those photos.


  8. Sometimes I swear we are related. I do this too! I usually get my hair cut, maximum, 4 times a year. I would do it more often if I could count on the discount chains to do a decent job, but it really is true you get what you pay for. So spend (what I think) a substantial amount on those 4 hair cuts a year. Usually the last month before I finally break down and call the salon for an appointment, I am completely disgusted with my hair and it can make me downright grumpy and extra insecure. The thing is – no one else ever notices the split ends and gnarly look or they just don’t care. It’s just basically all in my head! Or on my head. Whatever. Amazing how powerful a good hair cut can be in making me feel pretty great.


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