Now Hair This

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that a few months ago, I received the world’s best blow out from a salon in Paris. Just in case a formal award was ever given, I went home and took no less than fifty selfies to document the occasion.


Superficial, I know. But I’m glad I have a bunch of pictures my fabulous hair – because it’s gone now, thanks to a Vancouver stylist who burned a few inches of it off last week when she mistimed a relaxing treatment and my own bright idea to let her cut the rest of it afterwards.

“I got a terrible haircut,” I texted a friend. “It’s supposed to be bob, but it looks so bad that I’m calling it a ‘slob’.”

“FaceTime me,” she replied. “It probably doesn’t look that bad.”

But it did look that bad – even after I tried to improve the situation by flipping my part to the opposite side, tucking the shortest pieces under longer layers and coating my whole head with a product that claims to work miracles. (It doesn’t.)

“Well…” my friend admitted. “It’s not your best look.”

“I know!” I yelled. “Even the stylist thought so – and I know that for a fact because she took a ‘before’ photo and then never bothered with the ‘after.’”

My friend snorted. “I’m sorry,” she laughed. “But that’s sort of hilarious.”

“Tell me about it!” I said. “And you know how on your way out of a salon, everyone’s always like, ‘It looks great!’ or ‘Hope you have plans tonight!’? Well not one person said that to me. No one said anything. The woman at the counter was just like, ‘And here is your receipt.’”

“She didn’t,” my friend said.

“She did!” I insisted. “Oh and by the way, I asked if I could tip on the card and she seemed shocked by the question.”

“I wouldn’t have tipped,” my friend admitted.

“Yes, you would,” I argued. “We’d both tip or we wouldn’t be friends.”

My friend leaned closer to her phone. “Why are the ends all uneven?” she asked. “They look really uneven.”

“Oh, that!” I said. “No lie, this is how she cut it.” I held an imaginary pair of scissors vertically and pantomimed cutting huge chunks, seemingly at random, from my shoulders up.

“Honestly, it was like a Muppet was giving me a haircut,” I insisted.

If you think I’m exaggerating about that, then I invite you to visit Instagram and scroll through the second and third photos that show just how botched my hairline now is.

“It’s not so bad,” my friend insisted, as any decent person would under such circumstances. “Besides, it’s hair. It’ll grow back.”


My friend is right, of course. Hair grows back. And I realize that an unflattering bob doesn’t qualify as a “problem.” I’m being dramatic and shallow and annoying all at the same time. I own it. Lock me up, or whatever.

But I’m writing this post anyway because I’ve been stupidly consumed by a haircut over the past week. Never have I looked in the mirror as much as when I’m not happy with my appearance.

Beauty is only skin deep, or so the saying goes, but I don’t think it’s quite accurate. Beauty runs a lot deeper than that: it’s engrained in our culture and shapes our identity; it influences our self-confidence and impacts our moods. When we don’t look our best, we don’t feel our best – and then it’s hard to be our best. Right now, I’m not at my best. Because my best involves hair that is all one length.

I don’t have a good answer for how to get over any of this, but I have a feeling my regiment of salon serums, multivitamins and a thinly veiled request for compliments won’t be much help. Like most things, this will only improve with time… hopefully when enough of it passes, I’ll realize that it was never important in the first place. Until then, I guess I’ll be thankful that my biggest complaint in life is suffering through a minimum of 60 consecutive bad hair days.

  1. Sadly, you are right. Well, let me clarify by saying you’re right about how a haircut we hate colors every aspect of our lives until it starts looking more acceptable. And having said THAT, the bob photo looks pretty good to me! The random layers aren’t evident. I’d suggest going shorter with a great stylist, but if you feel like yourself only with long hair, then you’re doing the right thing by toughing it out and letting it grow. One more thing: oh, to be young and gorgeous again! Save this photo and look at it again in 30 years. You’ll say to yourself, “Damn! I was SO PRETTY, even with the wanna-be-bob!” Best wishes – love your blog! — Kate

    • well thank you! I appreciate it… i’m committed to growth :) but good advice on looking back later… most likely when i have an unfortunate cut AND garys to contend with :) thanks again for reading!

    • Ditto what Kate said. I came to say pretty much the same thing — it’s probably not what you want to hear but after you turn fifty, you’re going to look back at that photo, and think, “Sheesh, what was I complaining about? I looked amazing!” Also, seriously, you look amazing. I can see why you feel like it doesn’t look like you, but it’s not as bad as you think it is. My hair is incredibly cowlick-y — I have to keep it long because it’s all over the place when it’s short — and the last time I got a haircut, the woman just went shorter and shorter and shorter trying to make it even. I finally made her stop, but the back was about two inches long. Haven’t gotten a haircut since.

      • well there you go… “advice i needed yesterday: imagine when you’re 50.” i’ll embrace the cowlicks this summer. thanks for reading and for the kind words. i really appreciate it :)

  2. Hey, in two weeks or two months you can get a really good trim and even out the rough parts. I totally get the ‘it’s gotta be long” thing, but still, if you don’t mention it probably (and I know this is a downer) no one will really notice it much.

    Someone might ask if you did something different with your makeup, or “did you lose weight?”

    Just nod and smile.

    • You’re totally right… a trim may do some good in a few weeks. Until then, I’ll follow your advice and shut up about it :) Might even lie about the weight loss while I’m at it!

  3. Nova, just don’t let it stop you from posting pics of yourself and your adventures. You are still incredibly beautiful. I don’t care what your hair looks like (though, I think it would take a lot more than a bad haircut to change who you are). I look forward to your posts more than I should. Your post last week was a light in an otherwise bleak day as I was sitting in ICU with my Mom. (Mom is recovering now, BTW.)

    • Aw – don’t worry… I’ll still be posting photos with reckless abandon. I’m glad to hear you look forward to my posts, though I’m sorry your mother is in the hospital. Glad to hear she’s recovering… hope she’s back on her feet soon. Take care – xx

  4. You look lovely no matter how your hair is cut, so just keep that beautiful smile going and no one will say anything about your hair.❤️

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