Chopped my hair off

It’s happened to everyone. You go to the hair salon thinking you’re just getting a trim, and you leave wondering why no one prepared you for the horror that is a hairdresser chopping off inches when you ask for centimeters. There are few things worse in life than a traumatizing haircut, but we’re here to help. Below are our best tips for how to deal when your hairdresser cuts off too much length (besides binge eating a box of Oreos and starting a new Pinterest board for what your long hair would look like).

First, relax: Take comfort in knowing that you’re not the first girl this has happened to, and you certainly won’t be the last. Grab your friends, mom and any general support group you can and talk it out over a game of Apples to Apples – we promise you know someone who’s not only had a bad haircut, but who’s also had a worse haircut than the one you’ve got. It’s okay. Hair grows back. It’s not the end of the world.

Tell your stylist you’re unhappy: This can be incredibly awkward, but you’re not helping anyone by keeping it to yourself. Let the stylist know why you’re not satisfied, then ask around for a new, more reliable stylist. The salon may even give you a discount for dissatisfaction, and paying less money for a haircut you hate can ease the stinging pain a bit.

MORE: 10 Signs You Should Break Up With Your Hairdresser

Switch up your heat styling: You should do this for two reasons. First, if you’re double heat styling (blow dry first, flat iron or curling iron second), you’re doing double the damage. Cut back on the heat styling to reduce the damage and your hair will be healthier, which means it will grow back stronger. Second, switch up how you style your hair so that you give yourself a new look. It may take a bit of getting used to, but try wearing your hair wavy instead of straight (or vice versa) so that you can start to love your hair again while you’re waiting for it to grow.

Make masks a regular: Dry, damaged hair won’t do you any favors. Start using hair masks on the regular to promote healthy growth, plus give your hair some extra shine while it needs a little TLC. Twice a week, swap out your conditioner for a hair mask and you’ll start to see results quickly.

Play with new hairstyles: Don’t just become a ponytail junkie to hide your now-too-short hair. Switch up your look with a half-up, half-down look (which actually tricks the eye into thinking your hair is longer), play around with braids or take some time to finally learn how to get the perfect top knot. Short hair can be just as fun as long hair, it just takes a little creativity.

MORE: The 10 Stages of a Girl Getting Her Haircut, As Told By GIFs

Give yourself a mourning deadline: Every friend you have will reach their limit of how long they can listen to how much you miss your hair. Give yourself an appropriate period of time to mourn (say, a week or so) and then make the decision to not talk about your loss. The less you hear yourself say that you hate your hair, the less you will hate your hair.

Invest in a good hair growth supplement: When you’re trying to get your hair to grow, there are plenty of supplements that will help the process go faster. Be sure you’re eating healthy foods (or these 8 foods that will help your hair grow faster) and exercising on a regular basis to keep your body in a healthy state and promote healthy hair.

Start using shampoo that repairs: Ditch any shampoos that have alcohol or sulfates in favor of repairing shampoos that will help your hair stay healthy and strong. We’re big fans of L’Oreal Total Repair 5, which helps to bring dull, lifeless hair back from the dead.

Change your profile picture: Especially if your pre-haircut style looks amazing in the picture. Stop torturing yourself looking at your old hairstyle and change your profile to have a picture of your new style looking phenomenal. It’s the same logic as de-friending an ex after a breakup: Stop looking at the old pictures, and you’ll start feeling better about your new style.

Image via Istock

I’m going to come right out and say it: I have a strong emotional attachment to my long hair. Or should I say had, before I decided to cut it all off.

Now, the importance I place on my hair may cause some eye rolls and maybe even a sigh or two, but it’s true.

In fact, my statement shouldn’t cause judgment. I’m sure many of us have an emotional attachment to our hair at some point.

For me, it started around the age of seven or eight, when I was finally able to grow out my unruly, tangled hair from a bob to something longer. I loved the idea of having princess hair but, as I got older, my relationship with my locks changed.

I always had a bob as a child, until I started to grow it out…

Throughout my teen years, it was my way of fitting in. Long and feathered at the front, with curls harshly ironed out (arguably burnt) to within an inch of their life; every girl at my secondary school had the same look.

And even a hairdresser cutting it a couple of inches too short at the age of 17 was enough to reduce me to tears and cause me to aggressively pull down on my locks every day, pitifully hoping to make them grow back.

But it wasn’t until my early 20s that I really got attached to my hair – in particular, while I was at university. I experienced two turbulent years that resulted in my hair becoming my security blanket.

MORE: I ASKED A HAIRDRESSER FOR KATE MIDDLETON’S HAIR – THIS IS HOW THEY DID IT

In my second year at university, my dad underwent a triple bypass heart surgery during my exam period. It was one of the most stressful moments of my life, and I spent hours sitting in my room finding split ends and peeling strands of hair into two.

Or I’d scrape my locks into a high ponytail, when mum was feeling down, to put on a façade of strength and act like I could hold things together.

And then there was my third year. Experiencing an abusive relationship meant I actively avoided my friends and flatmates, and I used my long hair to hide my face as I snuck into the library or went into the kitchen to grab breakfast. My hair was literally a mask.

My first, second and final year at university

Over the years, my hair has always been something for me to hide behind or given me something to play with in awkward situations.

So I don’t exactly know what made me decide to chop it off and try something new after years of the same thing. Maybe it was being in a stable job and relationship, or maybe it was finally having the confidence to stop using my mane as a shield. Either way, I was ready to do it…

THE CHOP

Except, was I really ready? On my way to the salon, I felt slightly nervous. It sounds silly, but I felt as if I was about to leave behind a big part of me and I didn’t know if I could. But when I entered the beautiful Percy & Reed salon in East London and sat in Co-Founder and ghd Ambassador Adam Reed’s chair, I was more at ease.

As Adam began to examine my over-grown hair, I showed him pictures of various celebrities on my phone and he instantly knew what would suit me. ‘That one looks slightly scraggy on the ends, whereas this one is a lot fuller at the bottom,’ he explained.

Adam then told me that, to cut my hair, he’d be using a razor instead of traditional scissors. This would give me a more blended cut, meaning my thick hair wouldn’t be too bulky at the ends. Once we agreed on a length – just below the shoulders – I was sent to get my hair washed.

Aside from worrying about whether water from the showerhead would dribble down my forehead (does anybody else do this?), the warm soak put me at ease. Especially, when it was finished with an amazing head massage. My hair ws wrapped in a towel and I sat back in Adam’s chair, looking at myself in the huge mirror.

MORE: THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO CONSIDER WHEN COLOURING YOUR HAIR

Before I could doubt myself, Adam swept into the room and, with a warm smile, began to razor away at my locks. I could feel my head getting light with every razor swipe as my hair began to fall to the ground at speed.

But I had great confidence in Adam – and I think this is incredibly important. Whether you’re going for a drastic change or just a trim, you need to have faith in the person holding the scissors. Not only are you more likely to get the result you hope for, but you’re also more likely to speak up if it’s not going in the direction you want it to.

However, old habits die hard, and my hands began to feel slightly fidgety. I realised that I no longer had hair tumbling down my chest that I could mindlessly play with. Instead, I held on to my tea cup while having a chat with Adam.

As we neared the end of my cut, I looked in the mirror and didn’t feel a shred of regret. My long scraggy hair had been replaced by locks that seem bouncier and healtheir. But the best part of all was my face – I just looked relieved and happier.

I noticed that holding on to my tea cup meant it was now filled with small bits of hair. I put the cup down and decided that this was the time to own it and start to feel more confident.

Adam gave my hair a bouncy blow dry and off I went back to the big bad world – though this time, I had a slight spring to my step. Maybe it was just the lack of weight on my head or maybe it was the feeling of freedom, but I felt like – as dramatic as it may sound – a bit of a new person.

THE RESULTS

For me, the results felt drastic and amazing in equal measure. As I walked back towards the station, I caught glimpses of myself in car and window reflections and didn’t really recognise myself.

A few texts to my nearest and dearest were met with positive reactions – which was lovely – but mostly I was relieved that I loved it. If anything, I wondered why I didn’t chop it off sooner.

As well as being healthier and bouncier, my hair just felt a lot more fuss-free. When I arrived back in the office, I went straight into a meeting filled with unfamiliar faces – and, I have to say, my hair helped me feel confident.

As well as speaking up, my hands weren’t automatically reaching for my locks to play with, and I felt like I was sitting up and standing taller, as there was no mane to hide behind.

I guess it just goes to show that it can be easy to get too comfortable in your style, and sometimes – as scary as it may seem – taking a risk and trying something out of your comfort zone could be exactly what you need…

MORE: ‘I DYED MY HAIR PINK AT 44 – HERE’S WHAT I LEARNED’

(Images: Good Housekeeping)

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Refund or redo: How do you tell your stylist that you hate your haircut?

“The Rules” is a new Moneyish series where we define the rules around sticky money topics like giving an allowance, who pays on a date, combining finances with your partner, and more.

Don’t have a snip fit.

Everyone has suffered an unflattering haircut, perm or dye job at some time. One in five women has left the salon crying after a particularly bad hair day in the salon, according to 2014 survey, with the most common complaint being that the hair was lopped off too short, followed by locks that were dyed the wrong color or were overly processed.

The customer’s always right, but even though Americans spent $43 billion in hair salons in 2016, according to IBISWorld, there’s no need to blow your top like Macklemore if you don’t get what you want.

The “Thrift Shop” rapper reportedly told a crowd at the recent WeWork Creator Awards Global Finals that, “I got a horrible f—ing haircut. You know, just when the barber starts and then, like, four strokes in, you’re like … ‘I got a f—ing bowl cut on my head,’” he said. “You don’t need to lie, I know this s— is wack.”

But stylists told Moneyish that most hairdressers and barbers will do whatever it takes to get you leaving their salons looking and feeling your best – if you know how to ask. And rule number one is, you probably won’t get a “wack” haircut if you actually consult with your stylist – even for just 10 minutes – before he or she takes a whack at you.

“The way to prevent all of this is good communication,” Renee Cohen, senior stylist at Oscar Blandi, told Moneyish. Consultations are almost always free, or hairdressers should always also spend a few minutes at the beginning of your appointment talking through what you want, your daily routine, what styling products you use, your hair texture, etc. This is a must for untangling any knots ahead of time. “I won’t even touch the hair of clients I’ve been seeing for 20 years unless we have a consultation first,” she said.

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A picture’s worth a thousand words, so Erika Szabo, expert colorist at the Arsen Gurgov Salon, suggests bringing as many as six to illustrate exactly what you want. “Also, be open to feedback from your colorist on how to best interpret the hair color you are looking for to best flatter your skin tone,” she said.

And celebrity stylist and men’s groomer Kristan Serafino said that she always asks customers to show her how long they think an “inch” is, and they invariably guess too long or too short. “Sometimes what a client says, and what they actually mean, can be two different things,” she told Moneyish.

But if you’re still unhappy with your new look even after flashing a Pinterest board full of #hairgoals, here’s how to address it – and more importantly, get it fixed – without having a full-on blowout with the stylist.

Speak up while you’re still in the chair. The hairdresser can make a few tweaks if she doesn’t have another appointment pending. “Maybe we just need to trim the fringe or shorten the layers,” said Serafino. “Or it could be a simple as styling it in a way you prefer.” And Szabo noted that dye jobs are an even easier fix, because you don’t have to wait for your hair to grow out. “An expert colorist wants their clients to be happy with their service, so they are usually willing to fix the hair color for free so that the client always leaves happy with their new look,” she said. “Sometimes clients want more highlights, so I’ll do some face framing highlights for them to give it a bit more drama. Or I may give them some highlights to lighten them up all over or make them a half shade lighter.”

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Refer back to your consult. Phrase your complaints with, “During our consultation we discussed leaving it this length, but it looks a little short,” or, “Could you show me another way to style my hair like how we discussed?” When it comes to color, Szabo suggests being specific, like, “I do not like this color because __” or “This color is not working for me because __.” Or follow the golden rule of softening a critique with a compliment, suggests Cohen, such as saying, “I really like the shape, but it’s a little shorter than I want. Next time, let’s not do it so short,” she said. “But don’t say, ‘What did you do to my hair?!’ because that just puts the stylist on the defensive.”

The customer is always right – but there is a wrong way to complain. (JackF/iStock)

Don’t immediately go to another hairdresser to fix it. “Give the hairstylist the opportunity to make things right – which most will do for free – and talk it through again,” said Serafino. “Sometimes it’s not necessarily the cut; it’s how the client is styling it. So your stylist can show you a tip or trick on how to use the brush or the flat iron, or how to wear your bangs in a different way.” Plus, if you can identify where the breakdown in communication came from, you can stop this from happening again. Just going to another salon not only costs you the price of yet another haircut or color, but there’s no guarantee the next haircut will be any better than the last.

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Give the look a chance to grow on you. “Your hair goes into shock. And so do people – we don’t like change,” said Cohen. “So wait until you wash your hair, or wait week or two, just to let the haircut settle in, and you can see how it really is.” Remember “The Rachel” shag from “Friends?” Millions of viewers fell in love with what became the quintessential 90s look – but the woman who was actually wearing it couldn’t stand it. “I think it was the ugliest haircut I’ve ever seen,” Jennifer Aniston told Allure. So it could be that your new cut or color actually looks great, but it’s just not sitting right with you yet.

Save demanding a refund or speaking to the manager as a last resort. Luckily, the horror story of the Wisconsin barber who was actually arrested for clipping a customer’s ear and shaving a stripe down the middle of the man’s head are few and far between.

Barber Arrested After Bloody Bad Haircut https://t.co/f6In402n7h pic.twitter.com/vut9WfDIFP

— Milwaukee Patch (@Milwaukee_Patch) December 27, 2017

Your issues should be resolved directly with the stylist. “Sometimes if a customer and a stylist have clashing personalities, or they just really don’t work well together, then you should go to a manager,” suggested Cohen. “If you want your money back then you are most likely not going back to that salon ever again … because no one else in that place is going to want to touch your hair.”

Come back within two weeks for a fix-up. Serafino says second visits to fix the cut or color are usually free, and a tip isn’t expected if you’re only in there for 10 or 15 minutes. “But if someone spends 45 minutes to an hour really educating you on how to style or blow-dry your hair, you’ve taken up that hair stylist’s appointment, which is money lost,” she said. So it would be nice to throw in the gratuity you would have given otherwise, especially if you’re satisfied the second time around.

But if you’ve waited more than a month for a ‘do-over, you’ve waited too long. “After that, you’re living with that haircut,” said Cohen.

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Here’s Why Cutting Your Hair Is Empowering, According To Experts Who Get The Urge To Chop

If you haven’t already heard through the grapevine or caught a glimpse of her heart-stopping new ‘do on social media, Ariana Grande chopped off her hair, and it’s got me feeling some type of way. Personally, I can associate most, if not all of my life’s biggest moments thus far with a specific hairstyle, and while no one can know for sure why the “Thank U, Next” singer switched up her look, when you see her transformation, you can’t help but think about how empowering it can be to cut your hair. I mean, after all this pop star’s been through in the past year, I’d have to imagine that saying goodbye to the literal (and perhaps figurative) weight on her shoulders must feel amazing.

Obviously, Ari didn’t call me up to chat and hash out the details on why she decided to cut her mermaid locks. (Plus, for all I know, maybe she’s just been wearing hair extensions this whole time and finally took them out for a selfie, BUT I DIGRESS.) I’m only guessing that she opted for a different style to welcome a new chapter of her life, mostly based on my own personal experience with these things, but maybe also because the 25-year-old singer just dropped the most epic declaration of independence to ever bless your Spotify playlist — and really, who doesn’t contemplate snipping their strands after a major breakup?

Regardless, hair is (and has historically been) considered to be symbolic of change, according to research published in The British Journal of Sociology, so if you aren’t in dire need of a straight-up trim, there might be some other, more deep-rooted emotions inspiring you to call up your stylist.

Look, maybe you’re skimming through this article right now and thinking that I am the most dramatic of drama queens, but I’m serious: Once in a while, there’s a driving force greater than split ends leading you to the hair salon, and according to mental health counselor Dr. Danielle Forshee, LLC, that gut feeling poking and prodding at you to go brunette, to get those lavender highlights, or to really take the plunge and give your stylist permission to do whatever feels funkiest, often has to do with who you feel you are at your core, and how you want others to perceive you.

“Hair is an extension of our identity, how we see ourselves, and how we would like others to see us,” Forshee tells Elite Daily. “When we need a change, cutting or changing our hair is usually considered because there is a significant amount of meaning about what our hair means to us in terms of our identity, and how others perceive us.”

However, Forshee adds, people don’t solely yearn for this type of change when they’ve been through something traumatic or upsetting. Though she does say that breakups and loss are among some of the most common reasons why people will opt for a bold new haircut, Forshee tells Elite Daily that positive life changes — like having a baby, starting a new relationship, or getting a promotion — might also inspire you to go for a different ‘do. “The decision to cut your hair during a transition period, whether it be a positive or negative transition,” the mental health counselor explains, “symbolizes to the individual themselves a new start.”

Giphy

For women of color, in addition to potentially symbolizing the beginning of a new chapter in life, cutting your hair (also referred to as “the big chop” in the POC community) is often a form of liberating self-expression, as well. Kiyah Wright, an Emmy award-winning celebrity hairstylist and founder of Muze Hair, points out that straight hair is typically the “only accepted beauty norm” when it comes to hairstyles in the POC community, but she says diverse types, textures, and lengths are all beautiful in their own right, too.

“In the POC community, the big chop can represent liberation, self-discovery, or starting anew for many women,” Wright tells Elite Daily over email. “This can be anything, from literally freeing herself from heat damage, hair breakage, and/or effects caused by a relaxer or hair extensions, to making a bold statement by defying and breaking free from traditional beauty standards.”

What’s more, Wright says that showing off your new ‘do, aka “the big chop reveal,” can also be a sentimental moment in a woman’s life, depending on the emotional attachment she has to her hair, and why she decided to cut it in the first place. “A big chop can be a big deal to some in the POC community because some consider their hair to be their crowning glory,” Wright explains, adding that, when a woman shares her new hairstyle, she’s also, in a sense, revealing “a new identity to those closest to her, and to the world.”

So yeah, I’d say that’s pretty damn empowering, wouldn’t you?

Giphy

But as much as I’m in favor of switching up your hair from time to time in the name of starting fresh both literally and figuratively (I, myself, dye my hair at least twice a year), it’s important to keep in mind the fact that, no matter how hard you may wish for it to be the case, cutting or changing your hair doesn’t actually transform who you are at the end of the day. Moreover, separating yourself from a fistful of strands likely won’t separate you from any emotions you might find difficult to process, either. So while sitting in a stylist’s chair and feeling the scissors slice through damp pieces of hair can feel incredibly freeing, it’s not a magical antidote, nor is it a cure-all.

If the only reason you’re pursuing a new hairstyle is to come out of the salon a new you, then you might want to re-evaluate why you’re getting a haircut in the first place. “When we cut our hair for the purposes of change, psychologically, we are experiencing a rebirth,” Clarissa Silva, a behavioral scientist, relationship coach, and creator of the Your Happiness Hypothesis Method, explains. For many people, she tells Elite Daily, the act becomes “symbolic of hope that they can attract different circumstances and heal from past hurt.”

On the one hand, says UNITE Hair’s creative director, Gary Baker, a haircut can be a “true statement of change,” particularly because it’s “so visual and immediate,” he tells Elite Daily. It’s beautiful, and it’s empowering — but cutting your hair is also something that is often done in haste, so it’s important to know where that driving force for change is really coming from. Are you antsy for a haircut so you can celebrate a new chapter in your life? Or are you trying to lift a figurative weight in a very literal sense?

Try to consider these questions before you go through with a cut. But, once you do chop your tresses, just own it, girl. No matter how your strands fall, they’re beautiful, just like you.

Get ready to take it all off.

Feel free to play with ombre locks or unicorn-colored plaits, but if you’re in the mood for a total hair makeover, there’s nothing like the feeling of cutting off your hair.

“Oh my God, it was the most liberating thing!” exclaimed Emma Watson when she famously and dramatically went pixie-perfect. “The stylist just grabbed the back of my hair and took a whole ponytail of hair out. It felt amazing. I love it.”

But it’s not just the feeling of getting shorn, it’s the way it looks afterwards — gorgeous, gamine, and always on-trend. Personally, I love having my hair short (have you seen me on the “Meet the Team” page?). First, try the hack that tells you if you’d look good with short hair (really)! Then, get ready to take the plunge. Here are 19 reasons why you should.

1. Short hair is always in style

Short hair trends may come and go, but the truth is — there’s always a short hair trend. Look back over the years, from Twiggy to Michelle Williams, and ask yourself: has the look ever truly gone out of style?

2. You have math on your side

Thanks to the 2.25 Inch Rule conceived of by John Frieda, you can now use a ruler and a pencil to determine if short hair would suit you. (And this trick really works!)

3. Getting cropped feels amazing

As Emma Watson discovered, there is nothing, nothing like the adrenaline rush of telling your stylist to take it all off and then watching as those locks fall to the salon floor.

4. Short hair is truly transformative

Unlike other beauty trends, cutting your hair short truly transforms your entire look; you don’t need to overhaul your wardrobe or freshen up your makeup collection. Suddenly, everything about you will be different.

5. And everything else will look different, too

… In fact, you’ll find that suddenly your old striped shirt is the perfect gamine accessory and that classic red lips or smokey eyes make a totally new statement when paired with short hair.

6. You can do it little by little

If the idea of watching ten years worth of hair growth become null and void in ten minutes makes your stomach churn, keep in mind that you can cut your hair in degrees instead of going for a dramatic chop. “Short hair” encompasses many a style, including lobs, bobs, and pixie cuts.

7. You’ll get rid of unhealthy hair

If you’re anything like me, your hair has borne witness to a multitude of processes, dyes, and heat styling, as well as harsh products, the sun, pollution in the air, and so on. Imagine just getting rid of that damage!

8. It’s a chance to start over

Once you’ve chopped off the unhealthy parts, you can hit the reset button with virgin locks untouched by sizzling hair irons and tornado-grade blow drying.

9. You may rethink long hair completely

Also, is there any chance your hair’s become like a security blanket of sorts? Like “Oh, I’ve had my long hair forever, it’s comfortable, I’m never going to change it, I just put it up in a ponytail and…” Stop. Maybe it’s time to reassess what your hair means to you.

10. Short hair stands out

If your hair has, in fact, become something of a security blanket, then wouldn’t you like to whip that blanket off and reveal your fab self to the world? No matter how on-trend it is, short hair simply stands out.

11. It’s not permanent

Your hair will grow back. You know that, right?

12. There’s tons of styles out there

If you’re worried that the excitement of having short hair may eventually wear off and become boring, keep in mind that there are tons of dreamy styles out there as well as varying degrees of length.

13. You can still play with your hair

In addition to the myriad styles out there, you can play with your look, going with slicked back and sleek one day, and tousled and beachy the next.

14. You’ll be in good company

Having short hair always makes for a fresh and unique look, and you’re going to be in good company, whether it’s style icons from the days of yore (hello, Audrey Hepburn) or modern celebrities who are currently kicking ass with their short crops.

15. Hats will suddenly look a million times cuter

I speak from personal experience when I say that nothing, nothing suits a cute little cap or hat like having a short cut.

16. Your hair routine will be SO much easier

While it’s true that a short cut does require maintenance, let’s be honest: there’s gonna be a lot less hair to wash, dry, and style.

17. Short hair is badass

Even if you’re going for face-framing curls or a sweet little pixie crop, there’s something about cutting your hair that just says FTW.

18. You may decide to change up the color

Less hair in the equation means an easier time playing with color, so maybe there’s a bleached blond short cut à la Katy Perry in the cards for you!

19. Growing out can be fun

This one might seem unexpected because, hey, you just finally made the leap and cut your hair, right? But as your newly healthy and liberated locks grow, you’ll begin to discover a new frontier in other styling possibilities and lengths.

Images via giphy.com and .com.

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Here’s something a lot of people don’t tell you before your wedding: There is a ton of pressure to grow your hair out so that your updo actually looks the way you want it to, but that very pressure might just drive you nuts.

About five months before my ~big day~ I flew home to Minnesota (where I’d soon be getting hitched) for my hair and makeup trial. I showed my hairstylist my favorite look from Pinterest, as you do, and she copied it exactly. I was thrilled!

My hair at my hair trial. Rachel Torgerson

But her parting sentence before I left the salon consisted of the very words that would secretly drive me insane during the next five months—the final countdown to my big day: “If your hair was one inch shorter, we wouldn’t be able to do this style,” she said.

Something to note: I have color-treated blonde hair that I try to take really good care of (i.e. I only shampoo twice a week, I use a lot of moisturizing masks, douse it with hair-strengthening Olaplex, etc.), but I always get regular trims to keep it looking healthy. But because I was now paranoid that I wouldn’t be able to recreate my dream wedding hairstyle if I got even the tiniest of trims, I decided I wouldn’t cut my hair at all before my wedding (which took place in September of this year).

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Originally everything was fine; my hair was growing without upsetting me too much, so I stuck to the plan. Then, about two months before the whole marriage thing, my hair’s damage started showing itself and I couldn’t unsee it. My strands would snarl easier, and no matter how many masks I applied to them, they’d never be as smooth as I’d like them to be.

Throughout this waiting period, I’d look at myself in the mirror and stare at my increasingly damaged ends and yell, ‘UGHHHHH!!!’ really loud in my bathroom out of frustration. I was driven so crazy by the time I went in for my color appointment two weeks before the wedding, that I almost cut my hair bob-length short (which would have completely thrown off my painstakingly planned updo). The only reason I didn’t end up doing it was because the salon happened to not have a hairstylist available on such short notice. Which, in hindsight, was probably a blessing in disguise. Regardless, I consoled myself by saying I’d chop my hair off immediately after.

Time quickly passed, September finally rolled around, the wedding went amazingly well, and I loved my hair the day of—by the way. Here’s a ‘lil peek at it:

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Had the time of my life last Saturday and fully expect to keep the party going forever.

A post shared by racheltorgs (@racheltorgs) on Sep 17, 2018 at 8:28am PDT

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Crew 🤗

A post shared by racheltorgs (@racheltorgs) on Dec 7, 2018 at 1:11pm PST

But the MINUTE I got back, it was ready to lose some length. I called up Giovanni Vaccarro, hairstylist and creative director at GlamSquad, to make it happen. Discussing a slew of my favorite short styles with him, we thoughtfully chose something that would work nicely for me: a mid-neck length with face-framing layers, and piece-y movement throughout. This style was perfect for someone like me, whose hair was all one length complete with damaged ends.

Gio started doing what he does best: creating a style that suited me, and I couldn’t wait to see the finished look.

Gio snippin’ it allllll off. Ruben Chamorro

Wanna see the result?

Yaaaaaasssssss! Ruben Chamorro

YES! I felt so free when this happened. Even though I didn’t lose a TON of length, I was seriously so, so happy. I mean, this picture captures my emotions quite well:

Ruben Chamorro

Looking back, I was glad I didn’t chop my hair off before my wedding because I really wanted to have that perfect Pinterest hair moment, but I’ll never wait that long again to lop off my length because my new, fresh style felt too damn good to get.

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Rachel Torgerson I’m Cosmopolitan’s fashion editor—you can follow me on Instagram at @racheltorgs.