A FEW CONFIDENT CELEBRITY HAIR CHAMELEONS MAY TURN HEADS AND GRAB HEADLINES, BUT MUCH OF THE REST OF THE WORLD REMAINS HAIR-ALYZED-FROZEN IN TIME WITH THE SAME STANDBY STYLE. HEIDI JULAVITS TAKES A CHANCE, CUTS HER HAIR, AND GETS IN TOUCH WITH HER INTERNAL ENIGMA.
So I can admit it now: I am a hairstyle wimp. Not to point fingers, but I believe I can state with relative emotional accuracy that I was scared off the notion of hairstyle by a “Dorothy Hamill” haircut, inflicted upon me at the tender, uneasy age of eight. For those who don’t recall with the vivid clarity of its victims–legions of girls aged four to 14 whose mothers were inspired by the skater’s signature hairstyle as much as her on-ice acrobatics–the Dorothy Hamill was a bowl cut. I looked like hell; as my barber cut off foot-long banks, two old women under their space-age dryers clucked regretfully and audibly, “Look at all that beautiful hair.”
Thus, I have feverishly retained my long hair for the 20-odd years following the Dorothy debacle. With clothes and shoes I have a healthy sense of promiscuity, but when it comes to my hair, I am ludicrously chaste. Yet like all hair goody-goodies, I know the importance of being a tease. If you happen to be my friend, you have received (every nine months or so) an e-mail from me asking, “Should I get bangs?” or “Should I cut it all off?” And if you are my friend, you have responded yes or no, humoring me but knowing all the while that I will not get bangs, nor get more than a trim; that I will always, until I am too arthritic to fiddle with a barrette, have long, straight, style-free hair that is pinned up or tied in a messy knot, thereby defeating the purpose of having long hair in the first place.
I’d like to further justify my entrenched cowardice by citing the fact that I possess what has passed, so far, as pretty hair. “You have such pretty hair,” they say–the relatives, the tennis coaches, and, most crucially, the boyfriends. It is fine and naturally blonde (or, as my Italian friend refers to it, “original blonde”). When you have “pretty hair,” and you are an original blonde, and your hair is your most commented upon feature, it is nearly impossible to cut it off for fear of suffering a loss of identity and sex appeal of Samson-ish proportions: My fear, to be specific, is that with a few quick clips of the scissors I will be transformed from a sexy coed of indeterminate age to a perky, “cute” soccer mom. Continue reading “Changing the Locks” »