It feels like a lifetime of moons ago, but I for a while, used to work with a Very Famous & Popular Fashion Designer. You’ve seen his work if you’ve been to Chennai. I would write long, detailed proposals, manage clients and on the odd occasion, count upto 1,500 buttons. A better use of my time would have been instead; printing out those proposals, using them as rolling papers and smoking them — but I invariably ended up doing everything the Very Famous & Popular Fashion Designer wanted me to do, because he was well… a very famous and popular designer, and I was just me.
It is during this phase of my life, that I convinced myself to get rid of my waist-length hair. I sashayed into a salon, and somehow, in a desperate attempt to fit in with all the popular kids and their bobs all over again; I said the dreaded words, “You can actually cut off 4-5 inches, that’s fine.”
Here’s the thing. I used to have a stylist I loved, and still go to sometimes — but when he moved to a different salon on a fancier street, charging way-too-fancy-for-me prices, I decided to overcome my fears about captivity, small talk, and new hands touching my head. And this, kids, is the story of how I met a nice man who left me with 3 inches less hair than I had expected.
Looking back, there was a moment, actually several moments, when I could have stopped it. Here I was, sitting in that dreadful chair wanting (wishing) for my new, cool stylist to think that I was uber-cool. So I kept smiling and biting my tongue, while he kept trimming, and trimming, and trimming. Since my M.O is to feel temporary discomfort and disappointment instead of losing my shit over every little/not so little thing, I didn’t say much.I also ended up looking like Skrillex.
Somewhere between taking a matcha green tea with soy milk instead of regular; and mentally accusing the barista of ruining my entire life (not just order), I broke down. The bob turned out to be very blunt, barely reaching my chin, my bangs were too short on my face, and if I’d squint a little and tilt my head to the left — I looked like Matilda’s twin sister.
Fun bows made me look like a 6-year-old, half my hair immediately fell out of a ballerina bun, my French braids left a tiny tail, and I looked weird. I was subjected to more ridiculous commentary and all of a sudden, every dinner-table conversation was surrounding the dead cells hanging off my head. I slumped onto the ground, curled into a ball, and ladies and gentlemen… I cried.
The final stage was acceptance. Eventually I realised that I have to pick myself up and get it together. Drag my ass to work for Very Famous and Popular Fashion Designer, probably get made fun of a little bit. But I couldn’t mourn things I used to be able to do to my hair. I’d find new fun things. Or old new things. Or new new things. Wear a wig, probably find some sea salt spray, make a small sacrifice to the Hair Gods? All in all, I learned an invaluable lesson on optimism, experimentation, tears, bows, and things I will never try ever again.
Saumya R chawla
The writer loves to over-share, drink wine & watch period dramas