Phases of a Haircut

I recently got a haircut (as opposed to a trim) after a while, and it was, as always, an emotional journey.

Every person goes through a few stages of emotion before, during and after a haircut (this is probably more applicable for girls/women getting starkly different hairstyles from their original. But I guess guys chopping off long hair would also experience this).

Stage 1 : Excitement

You reach the salon full of enthusiasm – the feeling of having finally decided to go for a different look is empowering. You can almost see yourself flipping your hair around and looking like a trendsetter.


Stage 2 : Anticipation

The hairdresser is happy to see you, as always and tsks at your hair before chivvying you towards a hair washing station. Once that begins, you are busy thinking of how best to explain what you want to the hairdresser (while periodically wiping shampoo foam off your ear)


Stage 3 : Determination

You’re finally in a chair in front of a huge mirror, your hair all wet and stringy. The hairdresser asks you the question you have been waiting for ever since you arrived – “So what kind of cut are you thinking of today?”

You let out a breath and say, “I want it short.”

And then you add, “But not too short. I think shoulder length? What do you think?”

Stage 3 quickly transforms into the next stage.


Stage 4 : Anxiety/Trepidation

Did you make the right choice? Will this new hair really suit you? What if your hair looks like a frizzball at such a short length? Does the hairdresser think this is a good idea?

The hairdresser nods his understanding of what you’re looking for and asks if he should do some layers. You say yes and tack on, “Whatever you think will work best.”

Oh dear oh dear oh dear.


Stage 5 : Varying levels of Horror

When the scissors begin snipping, and you’re shown the first bit of hair off to confirm the length, you’ve clenched your fists hard, gritted your teeth and gotten ready for the ride.

When he finally begins cutting the front and a huge chunk of hair falls, the horror strikes when the hair plastered on your scalp looks SO SHORT.

The shock continues till the haircut is done.


Stage 6 : Resignation

The hairdresser finishes and passes on the reins to someone else who will blow dry your hair into magazine-front-page-model-esque finish. At this point, the shock and horror have worn off as you realize that there is little to do but wait and see how crazy you look (while fervently wishing that the level of crazy is minimal).

You also resign yourself to the hot gusts of air sometimes directed on your face and ears. Beauty hurts.


Stage 7 : Wonder

As the blow drying occurs, and sections of hair emerge from hot air and huge round brushes, you start seeing that all is not as bad as imagined. Your mind has, of course, made things out to be worse than actual. But the reality seems better.

Once your hair is set, it actually looks okay. It moves around like a dream and you feel all dainty and handle your hair gently. All is not lost!

So the moral of the story is, sometimes you can experiment and try out new things, and know that you’ll probably get something wonderful out of it.


P. S. Stage 8 occurs in a few hours/days (depends on the person) where you lament the loss of your long hair and wait for it to grow back again. Such is life.


Few people say it like Sarah


4 thoughts on “Phases of a Haircut

  1. Absolutely spot on. It’s the same emotions every time but I’m always disappointed when I leave having had just a trim!

  2. Haha, I’ve never really tried to change my hairstyle much, but I always go through 4, 5 and 6 because hair cutting people are so unpredictable. And I secretly think they just enjoy cutting hair and can’t help themselves even when I say that I “just want a trim”.

    • So true! I have personally heard my hairdresser telling his colleague that “you know I just go ahead and cut. So people need to be careful when they tell me they want it short”. Traumatic memory forever

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