Hair of the Blob

I love getting my hair cut. I love the smell of shampoos and dye and clean hair gently roasting under a curling iron. I love the old magazines, the chhck chhck of the scissors and the idiotic banter. But most of all I love the attention.

When I was at my heaviest, I loved having that 45 minutes or so when I was made to feel like a beautiful princess instead of an invisible fat nobody. Sure, I was paying for the privelege, but it felt good nonetheless. I’d especially love it when they’d say Let’s try something different today. I’d watch closely as they snipped and coloured away and hoped for a miracle transformation.

Now that I look back, I don’t think I ever actually looked at my face during a haircut. I’d maybe glimpse at my eyebrows, but somehow managed to focus solely on the stylists and the hair itself. After it was over and they’d hold the mirror behind my head, I’d nod and grin and say That is a gorgeous cut, thank you so much.

It wasn’t until a few days later, at home and trying to recreate the style, that I realised while it was a great cut, it looked rather lost and ordinary when perched atop my great flabby face. I’d frown into the mirror, trying to rearrange my locks, adding pomades or lotions or sprays, scrunching or smoothing, trying to make it look right. But it never did.

Six weeks later I’d go back for another cut and hope again they’d Try Something Different. I had supershort. I had bangs. I had blonde highlights. I went brunette. I grew it out, I grew it long. I started over time and time again.

And then one day, late 2000 I think it was, I looked up at the stylist who had that glazed, faraway look of concentration. Then my eyes moved down to my eyebrows. Down my nose, over my rounded cheeks, to where my chins spilled over the top of the black plastic cape.

It finally dawned on me. No haircut in the world was going to make me look smaller.

The power of my own denial never ceases to amaze me. How can one tiny 45g Frys Peppermint Cream hurt me? It won’t, until you eat six in a week. And how can missing one Body Pump class do any harm? It can’t, until you miss ten on the trot. It’s so easy to block out the bigger picture, to ignore how over time your tiny little Just This Once incidents add up to extra pounds, bigger undies, additional chins.

I still use the hairdresser as a guage of my progress. The last five cuts or so, I’ve sat down in the chair and looked in the mirror and thought my face looked a little fuller. Nah, must be funny lighting, I’ve said. Or, My period’s due any day. But I’m happy to report I’m over that bullshit. It’s time to get honest with myself and change those cumulative bad habits into ongoing good ones.

But I will still keep doing crazy shit to my hair.

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11 thoughts on “Hair of the Blob

  1. Y’know, whenever I went to the hairdresser, I was always convinced that they used the same mirrors and lightbulbs that exist in changing rooms. That special combination that made one look as crap as possible.

    Hence why I avoid getting my hair cut and trying on clothes. Me and my denial… joined at the hip baby!

  2. We must be on the same wavelength (so to speak)! I just wrote an entry in my journal about haircuts! Good for you for realizing that it’s about good habits, not necessarily about good hair. (But good hair sure is fun, ain’t it?)

  3. I totally relate! Whenever I have been unhappy about my life, or feeling in a rut, or ready for a change I would change my hair. It never occured to me that instead of a new hairstyle, I needed a new LIFESTYLE. I think I have just had a quite little Ah-ha moment. Thanks!

    Keep fighting the good fight!

  4. I love the attention too. I love when they wash and massage my head and fix with it.

    But I hate to look myself in the mirror, I always look so fat and ugly there. It is horrible and when they comb the hair wet it makes me look even worse then normal. And I never like the hair. I have to go home and restyle it asap *L*.

    and I hate when they try to talk to me. I only want to read the gossip magazines like Hello and such. Im there to relax and I dont want to make small talk with someone I dont know. I so must be costumer from hell *grin*.

    Now when Im abit smaller I go and do facials to get the attention as well or a massage. That is so nice. When they do only me, me, me.

    but I recognise myself in you. Last time I was at the hairdresser before starting my diet I just couldnt look myself in the mirror it was horrible. I looked so huge even under the cape that would cover anything you think. Now it feels abit different but still not ok.

  5. I always hated getting my hair done because I was the extreme opposite…my eyes wouldn’t leave my face during the cut and focus on my hair. All I could do was stare at how fat and large my face was, and how I was getting some pimples or I had forgotten to wax or the damned sallow colour I had going. I could never focus on the haircut, only that my head was a big pudding sitting on top of my shoulders, exaggerated by the cape.

    Now I’m smart and don’t wear my contacts to the hairdresser. I wear my glasses which they make me remove, and since I’m totally blind without them I don’t have to see anything.

    Still, I get my hair cut maybe once a year because I hate the whole experience. I just feel so fat there. There was one place I went that made you put on this robe-thingy to protect your clothes, but the freaking armholes were too tight. Onesizefitsall my ass.

  6. My god dg every time I read your journal it’s like I could have written it myself! I also use the visits to the hairdresser as a progress check – “how fat does my head look and how many chins do I have this time?” hehehe.

    For some reason I too always seem to look much worse at the hairdresser than in my own mirror at home. Must be the cape making your head look like a beachball and the unflattering lighting and the wet bedraggled hair…hmm yeah that could do it.

    But I too keep doing crazy things to my hair. I don’t even remember what my natural colour is 🙂

  7. Yep, hate the hairdresser’s mirror. Hated the beachball head with wet hair plastered over it hovering above the amorphous mass under the cape.

    I’m hoping that it will be less painful this next visit. I know I have at least ONE less chin this time!

  8. Wow…this entry hits home. I was the same way. Now that I’ve lost 50lbs, looking in the mirror at the hair salon is getting easier. I don’t go very often but when I do I wonder if my face is at all thinner than the last time.

    Funny how we can only look at our eyebrows and miss the rest of our faces…but I did it too!

  9. I have been reading your journal for a while now and really enjoy it. I have also added your journal to my links page.

    Just wanted to say that your comments today about “Just this once” and it really made me think. It is so true isn’t it. We so easily let ourselves go into denial and try and trick ourselves, but being honest with ourself is the way to success. Thank you 🙂

  10. My god, your comments about haircuts just hit home with me intensely today. This morning I was looking at my 2 week old haircut in the mirror thinking “how the f@#k did the hairdresser possibly make this look f-ing good”. Answer, she bothers to take the time to do it and you are so lazy that you get up at the last minute and try and master a style out of a wet mass of semi curls
    and end up with dried on hairspray styled poos. Thanx for your honest entries dietgirl.

  11. I consider going to the hairdresser’s as just preferable to going to the dentist’s. Which is why I haven’t been to one since 1994 or so and my hair is two feet long. What I want from a haircut is to look exactly the same as before I had it. So my mum cuts it and mostly nobody notices. I do admire the people (most of the rest of female humanity) who have the guts to have a totally new look. I just worry that I’d hate it and wouldn’t be able to get it back the way it was, or not for ages.

    But I identify with what you say, because I use clothes for the same purpose. Every time I buy something on impulse, it’s because this is the top or skirt or whatever that will finally make me look slender, cool and generally together, rather than the chubby and rumpled mess that I feel like most of the time.

    When I look in the mirror, I don’t actually think I look that bad. But obviously I pose myself in some way to get the effect I want, because when I see photographs I hardly recognise myself. Needless to say, I look much worse to myself in photos… please tell me that everyone feels that way.