Sometimes it’s hard to hair the truth.

I’ve been adjusting to life with bangs, as you’ll know if you read last week’s post about my new hairstyle. It’s definitely higher maintenance, which scared the living daylights out of me after I washed my hair for the first time and ended up with a disastrous pouf of frizzy hair and a short, curly, childlike fringe across my forehead. After flat-ironing it into submission and not feeling altogether pleased with the result, I complained to another mother during nursery school drop-off. Her response was enlightening: “Higher maintenance is sometimes better. I purposely cut my hair short so I’d be forced to do something with it instead of just tying it back in a ponytail.”

I left nursery school with a totally new opinion of my hair cut. Now is my opportunity to put in 15 much-needed minutes every three days in order to have great hair until I wash it again and repeat the cycle. So far, it’s been going well. I haven’t lost any steam yet and am dedicated about hauling out the irons (flat and curly) to create a natural-looking wavy hairdo that withstands the demands of ordinary family life, gym workouts, and winter hats.

Like mother, like son -- carrying on that redheaded gene
Like mother, like son — carrying on that redheaded gene

On Saturday, however, I encountered a neighbour in the check-out line at the grocery store. Our exchange went something like this:

“Did you cut your hair?” she asked me.

“Yes, I got bangs.”

“Wow. WOW. It looks amazing. I hardly recognized you.”

“Thanks. Yeah, I like it — definitely different.”

“It makes such a difference, a huge difference. What a difference! Wow, that’s such an improvement over how it was before. I can’t believe the difference. You look really great. I like it so much…”

I was stammering around, trying to give whatever polite responses are usual, until the whole exchange seemed to get out of hand. I began to feel defensive of my old hairdo, which, up until then, I hadn’t thought was that bad, but this neighbour was causing me to second-guess it.

She kept going! “It’s very nice. Where did you get it done? Who did it? It looks so good. It fits your face perfectly.”

I paid and packed up those groceries so fast, I was almost a blur. I just wanted to get out of there. I raced home and demanded to my husband, “Was my hair really awful before?”

“Why?” (Not a positive start to the conversation.)

“Because I met our neighbour at the store and she wouldn’t shut up about the drastic improvement.”

“Well, I think it is improved.”

“Did my hair actually look awful before?”

“No, only sometimes, when you didn’t do it and just stuck it in a ponytail.” I was horrified. My own husband was telling me that my hair looked awful.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“It didn’t bother me.” Back-pedalling? I think so. “Especially when you were just at home all day.” Ouch. So much for my preaching the importance of maintaining attractiveness while being a stay-at-home mom.

Oh well, what’s done is done. I can’t go back and have permanent supermodel hair to impress that neighbour — not that I really even care — but it’s always interesting to catch glimpses of other people’s opinions of us, isn’t it? Obviously I didn’t rate too highly in her hair department, but now I do. Hopefully I can stay there for a while yet, as long as I keep to that three-day schedule.


6 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s hard to hair the truth.

  1. Firstly, you look absolutely gorgeous! Secondly, this has made me laugh so much because I’m stting with my frizzy hair scraped back in a bun and wearing a scuzzy t-shirt and skirt.
    I’m laughing so much about your neighbour’s over-enthusiasm. A few years ago I went out to a bar (this is a rare ocurrence in my life!) with my younger sister-in-law, who spent the whole evening banging on about how different I looked with a dress, make up and my hair done. I actually felt like I must be a complete old hag in my day-to-day life! 😉

  2. You are fussing far too much over your looks. Bangs or no bangs, what makes you beautiful is the sparkle in your eye and the zest in your approach to life and your generous spirit. If looking good means being a slave to your curling iron for 15 minutes a day, I’ll settle for looking just the way I am – not model perfect, but genuinely me. Get on with the things that are really important.

  3. I pull my hair back quite often, I just can’t muster than 15 minutes of energy yet. I am thinking about getting my short hair cut done again, but that does mean that daily washes are required, and I need to blow-dry and use mousse and……..sheesh that sounds like a lot of work. I do like how I look though, and I know the mister likes it better too….it just seems easier to tie it in a pony tail and move on with my day. Decisions, decisions.

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