Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Newly shorn for 2014

Is there a draft in here?

For the first time in more than half a decade, the back of my neck is cold. But, I guess that's to be expected when you part ways with about 18 inches of hair.

This past Saturday I took a trip to Bang Bang Salon, met the highly-recommended stylist DJ Makowski and couldn’t be more pleased with the experience and results.

Localized anesthetic
I showed him my Pinterest board, he asked a few questions about layers, bangs and length, then away we went. It was an easy, chummy hour that we spent together, chatting about football, New Year's resolutions, families, etc.

Quick and painless
"It's like a nearly 19-inch tail..."

 Originally from Buffalo, DJ has been cutting hair practically half his life. He's had Bumble and Bumble razor cutting training, so I had no apprehension when the straight razor came out instead of shears. (And the fact that he himself has great hair also inspires confidence.)

The end result? A ton of body and movement, while still being very sleek. After the mono-length mass I've had for years, the short style feels super light and healthy. DJ understood when I told him I’m not particularly gifted when it comes to styling, so outside of some relatively basic blow-drying, this style doesn’t need much. Added bonus: Even after sleeping on it, it just needs a bit more spray wax and we’re back in business. 

Before we got started, I forgot to mention the part about wanting to be able to pull my hair up, but I'm actually kind of glad. I may not have ended up with something so fun and different if I’d made those kinds of stipulations.

I can pull the top potion into a super-high, tiny ponytail, channeling Pebbles from The Flintstones. But the hair at the nape of my neck is maybe two inches long, tops, and I affectionately call these ‘twee tresses my pin feathers.

So, what did we learn from this little adventure?

1) Washing your hair every third day isn’t disgusting, but actually quite prudent, as it prevents over-drying. "Would you wash your favorite pair of jeans every day?" was the comparison DJ made. His recommendation to clients is at least go every other day, if not longer, between washes.

2) Leave-in conditioner is your friend, it helps prevent breakage and damage. Aveda's “Brilliant: Damage Control” leave-in spray smells like heaven, protects against UV and thermal damage and was so impressive I give bottles of it as gifts. A little goes a long way so the standard 8.5 ounce bottle actually lasts quite awhile.

3) The donation choice has been a tough one. I spent some time trolling the internet and speaking with people who have donated in the past, in an attempt to research different organizations' legitimacy. I listed more in-depth findings here.

There’s a history of breast cancer in my family, so Pantene’s program seemed like a natural choice. At the same time, life is hard enough whether you’re a kid or an adult, but trying to be a kid while facing an illness that causes you to lose your hair? Wigs for Kids will have my postmarked donation as soon as the 18-inch ponytail is fully dry.

Pantene requires a donation of at least eight inches, Wigs for Kids needs 12. I’ll undoubtedly grow to donate again, but who knows if I’ll ever have the patience or ability to grow 12-plus inches again? It will be Pantene’s turn next time.

I must have been really ready: I was a bit surprised by the lack of nerves Saturday and have yet to feel any regret. A coworker asked me which I feel is the more natural, best version of myself: long or short?

At this point, it’s too soon too tell, but I’m very much enjoying the change.

Here’s to a new year.

Thanks friend! See you in eight weeks.