|Image via We Heart It|
I've had my pixie cut for about five years. When I was a child, my hair draped down my back nearly to my waist. My mother, a hippie burnout with flower-child fantasies, brushed and styled my hair into submission every morning as I howled in complaint. There were torturous braiding sessions, hours spent whining in her lap as my scalp burned with the rage of a red hot fire. My hair was as thick as a horses' mane, a deep chestnut brown, and seemed to have a mind of its own. No matter how tight my pigtails or taunt my braids, it would escape.
It wasn't until I entered high school that I realized I had some control over my tresses. So I chopped them off. Then I permed them, colored them with henna, straightened and blew-dry and curled and bleached and grew out and chopped them off again. Eventually I settled into a shoulder-length bob before transitioning into the pixie cut I have today.
I observe with wonder the women who have the patience and dexterity to style their hair. These creatures amaze me with their long fringe, artfully coaxed into buns and braids and cascading waves. Their hair is never frizzy, never unkempt. Indeed, they always look perfect. They have hair that shines from within, glossy strands that hang in place seemingly without aid of products or pins. They effortlessly arrange their hair into sleek ponytails and twist it into updos while I stare longingly with amazement.
A survey from ShopSmart, the publisher of Consumer Reports, found that the average woman spends about $195 a year on haircuts and $260 on color. More surprisingly, only 60 percent of women are happy with their hair. More than 1,000 women aged 18 and over were interviewed for the survey, which found that 44 percent of women have had a mood affected by a bad hair day, and 26 percent have actually shed tears after a haircut. The biggest complaints women have about their hair is the thickness and the color. According to the study, 23 percent of women are frustrated with their hair thickness. Seventeen percent of women think their hair is too thin or too fine; 14 percent dislike their hair type, and 10 percent are unhappy with the color.
Here are some more interesting facts revealed by the survey:
- 19% of women love their hair, 41% like it, 5% dislike it, 4% hate it and 30% are neutral
- 49% have naturally straight hair, but 10% of them style it curly
- 23% have naturally curly hair, but 19% of them style it straight
- On average, women pay $39 for a haircut and $65 on salon color
- 53% regularly color their hair
- On average, women spend 15 minutes or less styling their hair, and wash it 4 times a week
I, for one, am perfectly happy with my hair. It's quirky, unique and low-maintenance. And it's the one thing I consistently get the most compliments on. I have never once felt regret over cutting it. In fact, chopping my hair off was one of the most liberating things I've ever done. No longer did I have to pretend to be a hair person. My pixie gives me an easy out of the world of straighteners, curlers, blow-outs and tangles.
But I can't deny that I have moments when I imagine what it would be like to have long tresses, hair to twist into a ballerina bun or braid into plaits to wind around my head. I'd swish it around and pile it under hats and weave it with feathers and dip-dye the ends pink and moan about daily shampoos and the need to constantly snake my drain. I'd whine about how heavy it was while brushing it luxuriantly out of my face.
In the end, though, it's just hair. Those long-hair girls can have their buns, their braids, their cascading waves and ironed locks. I might have the occasional flash of jealousy, but truthfully, I wouldn't change a thing. My pixie is here to stay.
Now I ask you: What's your relationship with your hair? Have you gone through dramatic changes in styles? How often do you have a bad hair day? Does the state of your hair ruin your mood? Have you ever cried after a haircut? Is there something you wish you could change about your hair? And what does your dream hair look like?