Sunday, January 24, 2021

Haircuts and Self Esteem on Salon Saturday

January 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Self Esteem, Wellness

There are only two things in this world that I’m really high-maintenance about.

One is, obviously, food (though I’m getting muuuuch better about it/more flexible/more adventurous/less high-maintenance) and the other — the more critical by far–is my hair.

And no, it’s not because I’m “vain like that.”

The truth is, as a naturally curly red-head, I’ve struggled with my God-given color and ringlets since early childhood.

I always felt like I stood out in a crowd because of the color — and because of its sheer volume and potential for unruliness, I always felt self-conscious, particularly of the “pouf-factor.”

I envied my friends who had poker-straight brown, black or blond hair. They could wake and go. They could get perms in the 80s, wear feathered bangs in the early 90s. And in high school/college, they could do the Jennifer Aniston ‘do.

But me? Not so much.

To boost my self-esteem (and, admittedly, to blend in more) in college, I started straightening it, frying the hell out of my hair. But that look wasn’t really “me,” either — though I admit, sleeker hair did help me feel more professional for my internships and, later, work.

I’ve long given up fully straightening it, and today I try to just wear the curls long and loose (which does involve using what my BFF affectionately calls “The Squeak Machine” — i.e., my curling iron). I guess you could say I have more or less just accepted it is part of my “uniqueness.”

Because regardless of how I style it, my hair has always (funny as it may sound) “defined” me as me, for better or for worse.

In my immediate family, we all have the exact same eye color, so my hair is the one physical trait that distinguishes me/makes me unique from them.

Plus, not many people aspire to be red-heads; most people want to be a blond or brunette … so even if I try to blend in by styling it one way, I still often stick out because of the color.

(I should note, I can’t wait to get to Korea in February 😉 … HA! If I thought I stood out in Latin America and Europe, I’m REALLY going to stick out there! <<Sigh>>)

So as you can tell, I’m pretty high maintenance about my hair. And if I’m having a bad hair-day, well, just be on the lookout. In fact, my dad lovingly/teasingly sometimes calls just to ask, “How’s your hair today, Lis?” knowing that I, like my mom, am very particular about my mane.

Anyway, back to Salon Saturday and the rest of this meandering post.

To cap off a very busy work week and to do something fun to pamper myself while my husband is out of town, I took a much-needed trip to the salon to get my hair cut and styled today.

I arrived a little early and had some time to spare. So I did my favorite thing to do at airports and malls: I people-watched.

I studied women of all sizes and shapes and colors coming in, ready to be “beautified.”

Pacing near the hair products on display, they all that the same look across their faces, saying something like, “Yea, I might look like this now, but you just wait …,” knowing that within an hour or two, they’d have new highlights, a new cut, and a fabulous blow-out.

And they’d look fabulous.

I also noticed the freshly-cut and styled women at the counter paying, each one radiating and glowing, basking in her new ‘do.

Some were in sweatshirts and jeans; some were in heels and skirts. It didn’t matter what they were wearing. Leaving the salon, they looked gorgeous.

And though I hadn’t seem them walk in,  I could only imagine that now, post-cut/style, they looked like more beautiful versions of their usual selves– and felt that way, too.

So what is it about a haircut that can transform us? Make us feel so good about ourselves? Boost our self-esteem; give us a spring in our step?

Because let’s be honest, I know I can never recreate a stylist’s work … yet I still always walk out feeling light on my toes and smiling.

Today was no exception.

As I sank deep into the chair while my stylist massaged my scalp, I felt like a queen. I sprang for the deep conditioning treatment, had her lop off a couple inches and refresh my layers.

And when I left, I walked out feeling light on my toes and, yes, smiling.

With my confidence soaring, I couldn’t help but think of how something so simple (a few snips, some new products) can do so much for a woman’s self-esteem. And because it’s not something we do every day (especially in these tough economic times) it feels that much more special to treat ourselves to an hour of beauty bliss.

It’s a feeling I will carry with me all weekend, and one I imagine the other women who hit the salon today will do, as well.

Because to paraphrase L’Oreal … “we’re worth it.”

How about you? Does getting a haircut give you a boost of self-esteem?


25 Responses to “Haircuts and Self Esteem on Salon Saturday”
  1. Mara @ What's For Dinner? says:

    Yes, always!! In fact, I’m going on Wednesday to un-blonde and get back to my more natural roots (no pun intended)

    p.s. how do I get on that foodie list over there <—-?

  2. CandiceBP says:

    I LOVE going to the hair salon. I’ve been thinking about writing a blog post about my hair salon issues for quite a while.

    I think part of the salon transformation is taking the two hours (or however long) to be “beautified”. When else do we sit for one to three hours just letting ourselves be the focus, not trying to do anything else? (I even make sure to leave my phone in my purse and try not to check it.)

    On top of that, there really is just something beyond wonderful about having a hair cut and color that you love. It’s like finding the perfect everyday outfit.

    • lissa10279 says:

      Amen, Candice! I put my phone away, I don’t even read a magazine … I just let the girl do her thang. Now if only I had my hubby home to go out for a date night tonight!

  3. Bianca says:

    Yes, yes, yes! I love getting my hair done, pedicures, massages, you name it. I love being pampered.

    And I am sooo worth it.

    • lissa10279 says:

      You ARE so worth it, Bianca! 🙂 I love pedicures, too. I don’t do manicures often because, well, I bite my nails (terrible habit) but I LOVE a good pedi.

  4. I spent the afternoon being treated to a massage and facial — a late birthday present from my sister-in-law. It doesn’t exactly boost my self esteem but it sure does make me feel good. Maybe it’s the same thing….

    • lissa10279 says:

      Marsha–if it makes you feel good, then yes, it sure is the same thing. Self esteem can come from internal OR external factors — of this, I’m convinced!

  5. K8 says:

    I just wanted to tell you, as a brunette with almost straight hair, I ALWAYS wished I had curly red hair 🙂
    I also wanted freckles.
    Maybe the grass really is just greener on the other side.

    Getting great haircuts is a must. I went through about 20 hairstylists before i found one I would go to more than once. I’m praying he doesn’t move or anything!

  6. cggirl says:

    Lissa I WISH I had curly red hair like you!!!

    As for me – I never even let them style my hair, just cut it and let it dry naturally so I can see what it will look like at home. I just love it. It’s fun and expressive. And I get bored with my hair sometimes. So cutting it short, or adding some
    bangs, or letting it grow while putting in some
    purple streaks… All fun stuff 🙂 and requires less thought than getting more tattoos cuz hey, it’ll grow back, so u can be adventurous.

    Yay hair!

  7. cggirl says:

    (oh and I am fully aware that I should appreciate the hair I DO have and that if I had yours I might wish for something else sometimes… Cuz we all sometimes get sick of what we have and think the neighbors grass is greener. Just wanted you to know some people DO consider red hair and curls to be desirable 🙂 )

  8. Shelly says:

    I love getting my hair done! the convo with the stylist is always nice as well.

    I hate washing my hair the nest day after a haircut because like you, I cant ever to get it to look as great! Tragedy.

    I am not sure why the feelings exist that many of us get while being pampered. It is weird to think about. If we could carry that feeling (especially feeling more confident wich I feel often after a great cut) with us everywhere we go and all the time, I doubt we would be so concerned about our flaws and everything we hate about ourselves. Maybe I should back therapy and go get my haircut every week!

    • lissa10279 says:

      I agree, I wish we could carry it with us. I wonder what people in the media and celebs feel like — they get hair and make-up done every day for work … while it must be nice not to have to think about those things (OR your outfit …) I imagine it gets old after awhile, whereas for us, it’s a novelty.

  9. love2eatinpa says:

    thanks for the uplifting post of pointing out something we all do but never really talk about. you are so seinfeld! 😉
    ! i love going to the salon too. i like jokikng with whoever is washing my hair – telling her that it”s REALLY dirty so she really should massage my scalp over and over and over again. : )
    i do feel good the day i get my hair cut/styled, a little extra bounce in yours step, just as you said. i’ve often asked my girl if there is someway she can come over my house every morning, because as you said, it can never reproduce what she does.

  10. lissa10279 says:

    Funny you say that; Seinfeld is my most favorite show. EVER. 🙂

  11. living400lbs says:

    Did you ever drape a scarf over your head to see what it would be like to have long, straight, Laurie Partridge/Marsha Brady hair? (I did!) Or was that an early 70s thing?

  12. angela says:

    I wish I could feel that way about going to the hairdressers but I can’t. I hate them washing my hair and having to sit in front of a mirror for an hour. I could never have my nails done either. Urgh…

  13. Jacqueline says:

    No, going to get my haircut is a chore I’d rather avoid. Anything regarding beautification lowers my self-esteem and I find that the less I have to do with any of it the better I feel long term. If I could just get the women in my life to stop trying to make me do things that make them feel better but don’t help me, that would be great.

    The only time I didn’t mind going to a salon was when I was going to a hairdresser who was an out of shape, middle-aged Frenchwoman who reeked of cigarettes and seemed to be either drunk or high most of the time. She dressed as if she’d never gotten over her punk phase and attacked my hair as if all this nonsense was about as annoying to her as it was to me. Somehow the haircuts always looked good anyway. Suddenly, she disappeared.

  14. Whether your natural or just love a good relaxer/perm it’s not about image all the time it’s more about feeling good and some of us like to look good so we can be the best you. I switch it up and I do it with a smile embracing my self worth and can do attitude I like to share that with everyone without making someone feel they should do me. Just be the best you and do something for someone else it makes you feel good about your self and promotes good self esteem.


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