that time I cut off all my hair

Drastically changing your hairstyle can be a very nerve-wracking, stressful experience. ‘What if I secretly have an alien baby head? Will everyday be a bad hair day? Do I have a plan b if this screws itself up?’ These were all questions that repeatedly sounded in my head when I was racking my brains over whether or not to take the plunge and go from below boob length hair (forgive me, but that’s the best description I can think of) to a medium pixie cut. I knew there’d always be the chance that it’d turn out terrible, but I was also really desperate for a change. So, one afternoon, I headed to the salon and just did it.

Short hair is the best!
Short hair is the best!

And without a doubt, cutting all my hair off has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

If you’re currently in the consideration / deliberation / thinking very long and hard phase, trust me, I know exactly what you’re going through! Here’s some tips that I think will be very helpful for you. At least they were for me.

a-long-time-ago
Before you read further … here’s how long my hair used to be.

1. Know what hairstyle you really want

Figuring out exactly what kind of hairstyle you’d like to get is perhaps the funnest part about getting your hair done. The possibilities are endless! You can get your inspiration from pictures of friends, pinterest boards and screengrabs of celebrities on google images, just to name a few. Be sure to gather a number of images that best depicts the kind of look you’d like to have. This is also really important when conveying your desired look to your hairstylist. Do be realistic however and consider how you will look with your own hair texture, colour, and personal style.

short-hair-research
Here are some pictures I found while researching what kind of look I’d like to have for myself.

2. Read blog posts and reviews on what people said

It’s always nice to know that you’re not alone in your weird, somewhat superficial hairstyle struggle; reading online articles, blog posts and reviews really helps! (I suppose that’s in part why I’m writing one right now.) I’ve come across some really good bits of advice from reading various bloggers’ or writers’ accounts of their hair transformations, some which I did heed, and some not so much. Here are two bits of advice that I found really good:

BIT OF ADVICE ONE: Ask yourself why you want the change. Many people undergo drastic transformations because of emotional reasons (a break up perhaps) but oftentimes, this is a really bad idea. Changing your hairstyle gives you a new look, but it doesn’t change your circumstance. So think carefully!

BIT OF ADVICE TWO: If you’re not immediately ready to make such a drastic change, cut your hair in stages. For instance, you can go from medium length to a bob, and later, to a pixie. If you are more worried about how your hair will turn out when it’s shorter, then this may be an option for you.

3. Weigh the pros and cons – kind of like a hairstyle cost-benefit analysis

Having found the perfect hairstyle and having ploughed through review after review, you’re probably almost ready to make the grand decision. To seal the deal, what I did was to weigh the pros and cons, kind of like making a hairstyle cost-benefit analysis chart of sorts.

PROS:

  • Drastically reduce the amount of shampoo you use
  • Drying time will be more than halved
  • Sayonara, dry and damaged split ends! I won’t be seeing you for awhile
  • Hair will feel much lighter

CONS:

  • Short hair is going to get unruly
  • Frequent cuts become a necessity – every four to six weeks in fact
  • Your neck will freeze

Is your answer still a resounding yes? Haha, great! Read on.

4. Be sure of the salon/ stylist you’re visiting

Now that you’ve made your decision (there’s no turning back!) be sure to research your salon and stylist carefully as well. Look out for reviews, prices and promotions (says my inner cheapo aunty)!. After consulting a few websites and some friends, I eventually decided on Shunji Matsuo at Jem because I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. Because it was a more drastic change, I decided to spend a little more (S$53) and get a cut by a more senior stylist. He was really friendly and clearly explained to me how he’d cut my hair before sharing some styling tips for keeping it manageable later on. All in all, it was a great experience.

shunji-matsuo-jem
Shunji Matsuo Hair Salon @ Jurong East, Jem. Business hours are from 11am to 8.30pm daily, and haircuts for women start at $42. Photo: Beaupass.com

5. Talk to/ text a friend while you’re getting your hair done

When you finally get to doing it, you’ll probably feel your heart pounding in your chest and your usually dry palms starting to get sticky with sweat. I know I did. I was so nervous I almost cried. I mean, I was about to cut off hair that took me two and a half years to grow out, and what’s worse, it might look terrible! If you’re the easily panicky type, make sure you go for a haircut with a friend or stay glued to your phone. Screaming on Whatsapp and on Facebook at whoever happened to be online really helped me calm my nerves and get through having my hair tied into a loose ponytail and cruelly snipped off – at least before the actual cutting and styling began. And then it was fine. It was totally fine. I couldn’t be happier with how I look right now; I only think to myself, why didn’t I do this earlier!?

So be bold! Whatever change you make, I guarantee you’ll feel fantastically fresh afterwards. Do be prepared however that your new look will be a big adjustment that may take some getting used to. But if this has been something you’ve really wanted for a long time, no matter what people say, you’ll definitely find a way to rock it.

And if not… don’t forget that it’s just hair, and it will grow back. ☺️

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