Have you ever had a bad haircut?
Oh my goodness, it’s the worst, right?!!
And for us curly girls, it’s even more of a quest to find someone who you can trust to trim your luscious locks.
In the last 10 years, I’ve had ONE —only ONE—good cut. Sadly, I found this magical stylist only a few months before the world shut down. And now that I’ve relocated to a new area, I had to start the search all over again.
I spent over a month searching Google and scouring social media for recommendations. Finally I decided to go with a stylist who seemed confident during the consultation, which made me feel comfortable.
(Also worth mentioning that I was on a time crunch because I wanted my hair to look good for an upcoming video project I’m doing for a client.)
On the way to the salon I was sooo nervous! Oh my gosh, it was terrible.
My mind was racing, and I was sweating under my arms like a teenage boy getting ready to ask his crush to go to prom. When I got in her chair, I confessed that my anxiety had my stomach in knots as I reiterated my specific requests on how to cut my hair.
Then, it began...
She grabbed a comb and started separating my hair. I swear I heard the JAWS soundtrack playing in my head.
For those who don’t know (which is likely many of you), curly hair should NEVER-EVER be combed through while dry, and curls should be cut in their natural state—strand by strand, coil by coil.
Knowing this, I stopped her and tried to give gentle direction without offending her or questioning her expertise.
If you ever had this experience, you know how it goes…
You’re sitting in the chair. You can see what they’re doing, but you’re trying to trust the process even if you have a bad feeling about it.
Hate to admit it but I've been in this position before (a few years ago), and I said nothing. But, I learned from that experience, so going into this salon, I told myself, “If I’m uncomfortable, I will use my voice and speak up for what’s right for me.”
So—I spoke up.
She did her best to reassure me that this method of cutting wouldn’t damage my ends.
So—I trusted her.
I didn’t want to tell her how to do her job, but I did have a feeling that this wasn’t right. It wasn’t right for my hair, that’s for sure.
At that point when I knew it wasn’t right for me, I should’ve left. But nooooo, I was so concerned about offending her, and I put her comfort above my own.
From there, it was all downhill.
Not only did I lose several inches, which I specifically said I did NOT want, but my ends weren’t cleanly cut.
(Oh, and to top it off, I was rushing out of there to a speaking engagement which really didn’t feel good.)
I was so upset. I was mad at her, but then, I was mad at myself.
I KNEW I should’ve gotten up out of the chair.
I should have listened to my intuition - my gut.
It wouldn’t have been rude, it would have been what’s best for me. And if she took it as being rude, I can’t control that. What I can control is making the right decision for myself with a clean heart.
This is a lesson I’ve had to relearn a few times in life: don’t sacrifice my peace of mind, or joy, or needs to appease others.
🔑 KEY TAKEAWAY 🔑
So there I am, stuck with a haircut I didn’t want and feeling self-conscious about my ratty ends. These are the disruptive moments of life that need our mental strength...those moments when you need to reach into your mindful toolbox and get yourself out of “Crazy Town”.
After giving myself permission to be upset, and having a thorough venting sesh with my best friend (lol, you know that had to happen), I did three things…
I reflected on the lesson I needed to learn from this situation: trust your gut. And know that when you’re doing what’s best for you, you can’t worry about how other people take it. That’s for them to work through; you gotta stay true to yourself!
This helped me reframe my frustration with the stylist. She was nice and patient, and she really did believe she was doing the right thing. Plus, I’ll give her this, even though she took off wayyyyy too much, the shape of my hair isn’t terrible. I had to clean up my ends because she didn’t cut curl by curl, but at least I didn’t have any crazy holes or a lopsided cut.
I stopped dwelling on it by looking in the mirror and speaking my frustration out loud over and over and over. I used my tried-n-true Stop & Shift exercise… During the next couple of work days I literally had to stop myself from walking in the bathroom when I was stewing over it in my head. Instead I would shift my thoughts to my priorities for the day and stay focused on being productive.
I told myself a new story. The negative story was, “My hair looks terrible, this isn’t what I wanted, I can’t believe I lost 4 years of growth!!” The reframed version became, “My hair is short, but it’s not terrible. My curls are still poppin’. Thank goodness they are healthy, and hair grows.”
Remember, being stuck in misery is a choice. If you don’t like how you’re feeling, even if you can’t change the situation, you can always change how you perceive what’s happened. I’m not saying being positive makes all things better, but being negative always makes things worse.
🔑 KEY TAKEAWAY 🔑
Ummm... did I just tell you to use Stop & Shift to work past a haircut?
Yup 😂 I sure did!
Mindfulness builds mental strength. You have to work that muscle every chance you get if you want it to be strong and stay in the flow-zone.
Being present and shifting my thoughts about this whole haircut fiasco didn’t just help me keep my cool in the moment—it was also REPS! I was keeping that resilience muscle strong by WORKING IT!
If we want to be able to rely on mindfulness to carry us through the life-changing, earth-shattering, monumental moments, we’ve gotta practice using it in the smaller not-so-great moments. It could be a bad haircut, getting stuck in traffic on the way to a big meeting, burning the cupcakes for your kiddo’s bake sale…
Whatever it is, looking for the lessons learned, acknowledging where you are, and then shifting your internal narrative helps you conquer disruptive moments (big & small) and develop the mental agility to handle anything that comes your way!!