The big cut

Every once in a while I get someone that wants to cut all their hair off. Short, really short, chin length or less, a lot less.

Now you might think a hair stylist would just jump at this. Yeah, hang on a minute . How much do you like sobbing tears? Me either.

When I was first starting out I might have jumped but now I ask a few questions. How short is short? Have you gone this short before? Really, when? No in 3rd grade doesn’t exactly count. I am asking a lot of questions, sometimes not so much to get a specific answer as much as I am to get a feel for what this client is thinking. Are they doing this because they expect this haircut to have magical powers to change their life? Are they really ready to cut their hair off, especially if they have  long hair. Are their expectations of what their hair will do and look like realistic?

If I feel like the person is ready and will like (hopefully love) it I will do it and it is a blast. Sometimes they keep it that way for a long time, sometimes for a while and grow it out but rarely do they hate it. And it has been a long time since someone started crying in my chair. Or at least crying because of their haircut.

I have cut women’s hair because of breakups, divorce, new babies, new job and I have cut it off because it was falling out due to chemo.

Some clients I cut their hair off about every four to six months because that is how long they last “growing” it out before they hit the dreaded awkward stage. I have one client that has spent the last 15 years growing her hair out. Even when I occasionally refuse to cut it, to try and get her through that awkward stage she has never even gotten close to getting it much past her chin. Other clients have tried for years to grow it out in different ways and then one day we make it. They have long hair! Some of them love it and others go what the hell was I thinking!?

15 thoughts on “The big cut

  1. I have had my hair cut off a few times over the years, I love how easy it is to manage. I love how it doesn’t get in my way, get in my face/eyes….

    Every time I say I am going to grow out my hair, I get it just to my shoulder and I get completely annoyed… it ends up back in a pony tail EVERY DAY… and I end up having it cut short.

    Longer hair is just too much work. I am allergic to everything under the sun… so hair products and conditioners are out.

    It is about that time again….

  2. Draconian Stylist,
    I found this post interesting mostly because my wife has been sporting her hair très long all of her life, lower back long. When we first met, she wanted bangs, and shorter hair, and the “new” stylist cut everything without hesitation… My wife came back home with a new haircut, sad. I mean, she looked stunning, of course, but it was too much, and not having a discussion about the stylist about what they could do for her hair, she was disappointed by the whole process, and the result.
    Le Clown

  3. I love to see a woman with very long, straight hair; HOWEVER, I also understand why she would prefer it short. I spoke to a girl in high school who had gorgeous long blonde hair that touched her heels. After she told me what she went through to keep it looking so beautiful, I wondered a bit if she was crazy! Hours of brushing and washing and drying…
    Sometimes, being rather bald is not such a bad thing!

    • It is amazing what a person has to do to have hair that long and in good condition. Most people can’t grow their hair that long even if they want to, their hair growth cycle isn’t that long.

  4. Here’s my question: Why can I only get three good haircuts from any given stylist? The fourth one is always terminal to the relationship and I’m running out of salons. Is it ME?

    • Are you attempting to keep the same hairstyle with no changes? How long do you go between cuts? I find it is best if clients that are trying to maintain a style go no more than 6 to 8 weeks between cuts.
      Pictures really help and not just the first time but bring them back the second and even third cut. It jogs the memory and I am very visual. I also never mind people reminding me, before we start cutting, that they prefer longer bangs, particular side part etc. If you aren’t an established client I may not remember. Stylists can see a lot of people in 6 weeks. I don’t get offended if you remind me of your personal preferences again, I appreciate it!
      After about the third cut is becomes less necessary because you have made it into my long term memory. As long as I am seeing you on a semi regular time frame.
      But I hate it when people come in SIX MONTHS later and tell me to do exactly what I did before! Shit, I am frantically trying to remember and cutting blind.
      Hope that helps.

  5. You’ve seen the pictures of my drastic cut a month ago. I’m still loving the style. I do agree that the stylist does need to ask questions. Although I am not one of them, I have heard of women that go into full-blown meltdowns.

    Honestly, I’ve had the opposite issue. When I was younger and my hair was outrageously thick and long, no one wanted to cut it off. And even when I was a kid, Mom took me into the salon because I wouldn’t let her brush it and the stylisy kept cutting only a little at a time until my mom took the shears and cut it at my shoulders.

    But with genetics and medications playing games with me, the hair was falling out anyway, so I wanted it gone.
    My drains thank me. *LOL*

    • I think your haircut is great. And yes I have had a few people freak out, and usually I didn’t even come close to cutting off as much as they said they wanted. But there are the clients that I can do almost anything to and they are game.
      I have a client coming in tomorrow that I babied through a number of trims and finally she decided she was ready to cut it OFF. And we did, I mean clipper cut like a boys haircut! She looks fantastic and is so happy to not have to do her hair everyday.

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