Oh the Breakup Haircut, the crème de la crème of break up clichés.
I certainly felt the urge. I couldn’t control my emotions. I couldn’t control the man who was abusing them. Feeling helpless and out of control are two of my least favorite things in the entire galaxy. When I feel this way, I desperately flounder to grasp hold of something, anything that I can say, “See! I have control over something!” I was already metaphorically pulling out my hair in frustration, the next step- to literally cut it off- felt obvious. I could control that.
I’d done it before. My very first experience with heartache inspired an epic Break Up Haircut. I was 15 years old and my long blonde hair was a huge part of my identity. Since age seven I had refused to have it cut beyond a trim. But when I came back from summer vacation, the full realization hit me: Gabe P. and I were not getting back together. That his words, “I will always love you,” were truth only to a naive 14 year-old boy. I cried, took the PSATs, and went to Supercuts. I cut off 12 inches of hair and donated them to Locks of Love. Thus began my two-year androgynous, punk rock phase.
How do you top that? I’d have to shave my head to even come close and there is no way have the bone structure to pull off that look. I have always wondered if I could pull off a pixie cut. I considered posing the question to all you readers. “Break Up Haircut: should I embrace this cliché and go for a pixie?” Would you all have cheered me on or cautioned against rash, emotion driven decisions?
There was another reason I wanted to cut off all my hair. No surprise, it had to do with him.
“Harry”, my ex, was given this pseudonym for three reasons.
- As an homage to character Harry Goldenblatt from Sex and the City.
- Because he was. Hairy, I mean. Chest, back, arms, you name it, really.
Yeah, not missing that.
- He had a lot of hair on his head. A ponytail reached far down his back, which he hadn’t cut more than a trim since age 12.
He was emotionally connected to it. I quickly learned better than to even hint he might consider cutting it. Which was funny, because that’s exactly how I used to be. When I was a fourteen year-old girl. It’s a strange thing to understand your boyfriend because he’s just like your teenaged self.
It was hard for me to accept someone had not changed his looks since he was a tween. It boggled my mind. Honestly, I judged him for it on some level. I even admitted this to him. When it was all over, this fueled my desire for the cliché even more. “Maybe I will get a pixie cut!” I proclaimed at a heated bitch-session-with-the-girls, “Maybe I’ll just do it. Because I, unlike some people, don’t have weird emotional attachments to my hair!”
My acting job kept me from cutting it all off in the heat of the moment. Now from the sane vantage of hindsight, I see how fortunate this was. I would adore having a pixie cut. For about a week. Then I’d miss my long hair and hate the long, awkward months of growing it back.
I don’t need a new identity, I don’t need a fresh physical start. I like myself just the way I am, thanks. I don’t need ye old Break Up Haircut. Unlike some people…. but more on that tomorrow.