Friday, January 30, 2009

hair - not the musical

A while ago someone posted a question in the comments about hair styles on plus sizes. I think this is a really interesting question, and one I feel is paid way too little attention.

Not that I'm saying I have any answers here, just that I continue to view my own hair do in the particular light of my size.

Here's a selection of hair styles on me. The first dates back to 1985 (I can hear you laughing), and the last is a party wig, but everything in between slots between 2002 and now, in chronological order.
There are two types of hair in which I feel happiest, and they are oddly diametrically opposed. For most of my adult life I have had very short hair, for a lot of it almost crew cut short. I like it because it is easy and practical and a bit edgy. It makes my hair look thicker and stronger. I hate that I need to get it cut all the time, that a bad cut leaves you with nowhere to hide, and that it can amplify my (supposed) assertive and intimidating personality.

Equally I love my hair longer and fuller. The best I ever had was when it was spiral permed at the end of the 80s. I know, perms just kill your hair and grow out awfully, but those months where I had fullness without 'big' hair were a total joy. Somehow the fullness makes me feel more balanced, like the extra size on my head somehow works better with the extra size on my body, and more feminine to boot (whatever that means). But too often my thin limp hair goes, well, thin and limp, and then it looks awful. And you need product and clips and bands and brushes and you have to pull hair out of the drain all the time.

So for me it works something like this. I wear my hair short for years and then for some unpredicted reason (like losing my hairdresser or being overseas or not having time) I decide to grow it. And for a while I enjoy having the hair thing for playing, the hair styles and plaits and knots, each new cut and it's variations on where the layers fall and how the volume sits, short fringe, thin fringe, no fringe. And people say, oh, actually long hair really suits you! So I keep it.

And then one day I wake up and look at myself in the mirror and think, what was I thinking?! Who is that vain, trussed up person in the mirror? And I rush out and get it all cut off. And people say, wow, that's funky! that really suits you!

So I don't know. In this particular incarnation of the cycle I halted at the usual cut off point and just had my hair taken back to the shoulders. That was a few months ago and really, it is time I got it cut again, those top layers are long and limp. Looking back at this collection of photos I like none so much as the really long and the really short.

So maybe it is time I went short again?


red_swirl / ginevra said...

I'm definitley in favour of sticky-out-at-the-sides type hair, for balance. I've been in favour of it for ages and ages but stuck with my default: slicked back in a pony tail.

This year, I finally cut it off and yes, much more balanced, much more in proportion. Of course, it's pulled back right the minute, I'm busy!

Dee said...

love your photos and this wont be helpful but you suit both long and short =)
I have similar thoughts and every hair cut I walk in saying 'I'll try growing it for a while' and everytime I walk out being convinced by Mario to keep it short!

The Queen of Fifty Cents said...

Dang, you are CUTE! Even in the wig! I side with the short hair crowd b/c it's so easy to take care of. Went back to a 'wedge' cut a few months ago and it always feels like it looks good. Also, I stopped using shampoo and wash my hair with baking soda, rinse with diluted cider venegar (you can read about this in various blogs). Seems to leave much more body in my hair and I like not using the chemicals in shampoo.

SueeeuS said...

I love that pic of you and Will, faces up close. You look so joyful!

I like that super super short choppy cut. You have that nice high forehead that allows you to wear that short short fringe that frames your face so well. I think lots of layers and super short is a good cut. You just have to use a teensy bit of product (like pomade/ bed head/ spiking stuff) to rough it all up and with the layers you can continue to give it volume that way as it grows out. Plus, it's low maintenance, near and dear to my heart! I like the illusion of volume, for overall balance.

You can go short layers for most of your hair, and leave some longer wispies here and there at the nape and sides (no, not a mullet!) for a bit more feminine look.

p.s. you DO have a wonderfully assertive personality. Born leader.

Janet said...

you know I've just had my hair cut and it's short short and I tell you there was a big battle at the hairdresser. I think it was because the hairdresser didn't think really short would suit a big woman. Anyway I left the hairdresser with a whole lot more hair than I wanted (long story) and hacked the rest off myself. It's so much better, either way I am still fat, only now I have hair I like!

My view is, whatever one's size, get the haircut you want.

Janet said...

ps... I so love your 1985 "do". Almost inspired to do a haircut retrospective myself...

Di said...

I go through the same cycles with long and short. Except Scott hates it short, and I'm quite liking what my current hairdresser does with it long, so I am long overdue for a big chop.

Di said...

I go through the same cycles with long and short. Except Scott hates it short, and I'm quite liking what my current hairdresser does with it long, so I am long overdue for a big chop.