This is the story of why I will never cut my hair short again.
When I was about 12 or 13, a girl in my homeroom class came to school with a pixie cut. This was a revelation to me. Most of my friends kept their hair long, as did I. The ones who didn’t sported these bouncy, girly bobs, the shortest of which fell to earring-length. But no one had attempted that super-cropped, wash-and-wear Winona Ryder hair until that one brave girl.
I went home that day and declared I wanted the same haircut. My mom took me to her salon, where I told her hairstylist to chop it all off, please. He handed me some magazines, and I pointed out the pixie cuts he could use as a guide. Then his scissors went to work, and I lost myself in a stack of the latest celebrity gossip.
An hour or so later, my new ‘do was ready—and it was bad. What I had failed to realize was that my classmate’s hair was straight and thin, while mine was curly and full. The result of my little experiment was not the ode to Winona Ryder I’d been expecting. Frankly, I looked like Jose Rizal minus the pomade.
I could feel the beginnings of a sob welling up in me, so I ran to the bathroom to see if my hair would improve if I wet it. It didn’t. In the waiting area, my brother clapped his palm over his mouth to stifle his laughter. My inner voice howled, “What have you do-o-o-o-o-one!”
Imagine our national hero’s hair with a pink barrette on either side of it. That’s what I had to live with for months, as I repented my pixie misadventure. And that’s why I vowed to keep my hair long forevermore. (Sidebar: Once, in college, I made a split-second decision to slice it up to my chin. A month later, I was wringing my hands over my poor judgment and praying it would just grow already.)
Since then, my length has only varied from chest to rib level—and it’s going to stay that way.
Still, having the same long locks, day after day, can get really boring—especially since I’m surrounded by girls who go for variation. My sister-in-law gets a new cut and color every month, and whenever I see her latest endeavor, I get a tiny pang of jealousy. Just last week, FN’s Patricia Dayacap showed me her freshly-cut, ombréfied bob—and out came that inexplicable urge to hack my hair off again. Thankfully, that urge is fleeting.
As a compromise, I’ve devised ways to change it up without interfering with the length. On bad hair days or ultra-stressful ones (which curiously coincide), I just slick it back into a low bun and call it quits. But on good days, when my curls are falling just right and I have a little extra mirror time, I’ll make an effort to try something new. That’s the best thing about long hair, I guess. You can twist and scrunch and pin and plait it into any style you want. And at the end of the day, you have the comfort of knowing it will always look the same, if you want it to.
In any case, here’s a chronicle of my favorite mane moments in the past few years. Maybe next year, I’ll have more to add—if I’m not wailing over a spur-of-the-moment haircut. (Fingers crossed!)
(Flashbox photo by Rosanna Aranaz)