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My Highs and Lows – Hair Edition

Long, short, dark, light. These are not words to describe how I take my coffee.

Better yet, they signify the multiple forms my hair has taken over the course of 30 years.  Obviously there are many more dangerous women out there, those who dye their hair bright purple or shave a portion of it, but personally, I’ve experimented just enough.  In fact, now that those days are behind me, I relish in looking back and seeing how the different cuts and colors really embody the different phases of my life.  Can you say the same? I encourage you to look back at old photos of yourself, it’s a very funny, heart-warming, and sometimes scary exercise!  Now I am going to walk you through memory lane a little bit to help you visualize my hair journey, and hopefully offer pieces of relatable information and advice.

The bob! I am one of four daughters in my family, and I was the chosen one to have the bob/bangs look at a very young age.  Oddly enough, my mom felt it was the perfect shape to accentuate my very chubby cheeks.  Thanks mom?!  I do love how the style came full circle, both the short length and wildly enough, the bangs too. We will reminisce with imagery soon…

Long hair. As soon as I was old and wise enough to make my own stylistic decisions, I became a long-hair gal.  I’ve had long hair for the majority of my life, from around the age of 8 to 25. The changes I made to my mane during this longer period of my life were relatively normal – I experimented with highlights, glosses, angles, and layers.  At varying years you would see me with a spectrum of brown-based shades, from light auburn to brown-but-almost-black.  The constant here was length.  There was no better feeling than putting my hair in a high pony-tail.  I was certain I had a face shape that was only suitable for long hair.

Before I describe when and why I returned to short hair, as it is today, I need to explain what happened to my hair Sophomore year of college.  What happened, you ask? BANGS happened.  I feel like people say that the underlying reason why bangs ever happen is a mid-life crisis.  Honestly, I wasn’t in a crisis mode but I definitely wanted to be different. The impulsive decision was driven by a dream that I could be that super cool girl who just could pull off bangs, effortlessly of course.  My inspiration was Kate Moss and Sienna Miller during their bang days.  It didn’t help that my mom was really pushing for it and accompanied me to the salon. As soon as my stylist chopped the front of my hair off, reality set in that I was not Kate Moss or Sienna Miller.  I left the salon crying, and angry at my mom (sorry mom!).  Heading back to Georgetown, I remember embracing my bangs on a few occasions, moments I’m proud of! Though, I admit I pinned them back most frequently.

Fast forward to 2014, I was working at Helmut Lang and craving change. I was studying for the GMATs but also living through a long interview process with Zimmermann.  Clearly, I was uncertain what the future had in store for me.  So, I decided to control what I could, and so it got physical!  While I swore I would always be a long hair girl, I again envisioned an easy-breezy, chic short hair life.  I had a stylist that I trusted and went for it.  Unlike my bangs experience, I made a change in my hairstyle and it changed me for the better.  The convenience and efficiency of a shoulder-length bob is invaluable.  Not to mention, coupled with my ombre-ish blonde highlights, I treat it as my best accessory sometimes!

Moral of this hair story, is that I can fully relate to those of you who are both mentally and physically impacted by your hair.  Taking small(ish) risks for a change in your look can provide the perfect refresh. And after all, there is nothing better than a good hair day!

By Tara Foley

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