Snippety Snip

Starting in the summer, I felt the urge to experience the glorious crispness of scissors slicing through my hair. In the past I’ve experimented on other people’s hair, with the results ranging from bad to mediocre. Poor results did not dim my enthusiasm. The need to take scissors to my hair was a visceral as well as spiritual impulse. I felt the need to take ownership of my body; to take personal responsibility for its care rather than feeling incapable of personal maintenance; to do what I wanted, rather than what some professional told me to do; to engage in a creative act instead of outsourcing that pleasure to someone else. I thought back on bad haircuts of the past and realized that I would rather have done them myself than had someone do them to me. On the plus side, I thought, who knows just how I want my hair to look aside from me? And finally: I’m over 40 and I’m afraid to cut my hair? Nope. 

Once I started googling “how to cut your own curly hair,” it was a done deal. Inspiration came from friends who confided that they cut their own hair, and from this video where the videographer makes cutting curly hair look as fun and manageable as … cutting hair! I had scissors purchased 20 years earlier in Yakutsk, in anticipation of friends cutting my hair while I spent the winter in Siberia. Now their time had really come. 

I procrastinated for a few days. Was I really going to do this wild, strange thing? Snipping my hair felt as foreign as … oh, having a baby at home. Or sewing my own clothes. Or any other personal, creative choice to which I aspire. Excuses gone, I finally put myself in front of the mirror and started snipping. My emotions were relief, empowerment and a rush of creative energy. I snipped for about an hour and emerged, smiling and excited by my new look and new freedom.

 Cut in process.
Cut in process.

Since that day I’ve been snipping away at my hair possibly a bit too often. It’s addictive, this hair cutting thing. I’m like an artist who can’t quite finish a work of art. It is possible that it takes so long to brush my daughter’s teeth because I’m too busy snipping to help her, night after night. Never finishing is getting a bit wearing. At the same time, I love that I can play with my hair, that I can do it when I want to, and that I’m doing it myself. 


The “final” results are not bad. It is curlier and livelier than it’s been for years. I’ve had a number of people comment on my hair – something that hadn’t happened for years, aside from loved ones suggesting I consider styling it.  

Try it – you might like it too!

(p.s., I think I need to take a bit more off the left side … what do you think?)

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