Monday, July 20, 2015

Short hair, don't care: why I will never go back to having long hair

[As published on HERE]
If you’re a magazine reader, chances are that every now and then you’ll come across haircare tips like ‘You should shampoo every other day, not every day’ or ‘Never use hot water to rinse your hair’.
But ever since cutting my hair short last year, I’ve probably broken every rule there is in the haircare book.
I swear it’s a reverse mentality thing. All throughout school I wanted nothing more but to grow out my hair. To have hair so long it could actually touch on both ends below the chin. My school had a nasty rule that dictated that female students should not have fringes exceeding the brows and the backs had to be shorter than the collar (God forbid).
When I graduated from high school, my heart (and hair) rejoiced because I could finally colour my hair and grow it as long as I wanted! I think at its longest, my hair reached the small of my back, a few inches short of touching my waistline (if I really stretched it).
Having long hair was a blessing and a bane rolled into one. I loved how it swished around my shoulders, but most of the time it was hidden in a fugly ponytail or misshapen bun because it was just too hot to let my hair down. Shampooing became something I dreaded, and visits to the salon meant saving so much time and effort to try and make my locks look at least presentable from the confines of mi casa.
So one day, I grew so tired of the weight (ponytails and hairbands gave me horrible headaches) and split ends that I visited my friend at his salon and snipped off 6 inches of repeatedly-coloured, frizzy, permed and processed hair. My friend was kind enough to save my hair in a plastic bag for me to bring home, but when I tried touching it, I recoiled in the type of geli disgust you would when you had to touch a sink full of hair that wasn’t yours.
It just wasn’t my hair anymore, and I was free! And here I was, yet again, sporting a back-to-school haircut. Karma is a b***h sometimes.
Getting back to the point – so I discovered that all the haircare rules that applied when I had long hair were no longer useful.

Rule 1: You shall only shampoo on alternate days.
The basis of this rule is that while the natural oils on your scalp do travel down the hair shaft, they will never reach the ends, which is why they’re often fried and frizzy. With long hair, you can always disguise oily roots with a hairband or tie everything into a bun, but with short hair, skipping one shampoo makes your hair so pathetic, you’ll wish you called in sick.

Rule 2: You must rinse your hair with cold water only.
I like my showers slightly on the hot side, because seriously who’s insane enough to blast ice-cold water on their head when they’re all relaxed and happy from a nice shower, I don’t know. For long-haired ladies, it comes back to the same rule about the natural oils – too-hot showers strip away the oils, making the lengths and ends dry and damaged.

Rule 3: You will always use conditioner to prevent damage.
One of the best things about having short hair is that it’s wash-and-go. No need for conditioner or hair treatments, which makes your scalp icky and greasy because you end up applying it too close for comfort. Conditioners make your hair flat and sad, because with short hair, you don’t need to stretch that shampoo for as long as you can. It’s been 1.5 years and counting since I last used a conditioner, and my hair still feels like it’s alive.

Rule 4: You must get your hair professionally-coloured.
Yes for long hair, because you never seem to reach all parts of the scalp with DIY-ing your hair colour. And you’ll need more than a box, which defeats the purpose of DIY colour being cheap. But then, none of these sort of problems for short hair, because honestly one box is more than enough and you end up having to slather even more on your hair in order not to waste too much product. Or you could always apply the leftover on your boyfriend’s hair, or your father too – if he doesn’t mind that it says ‘Macaron Pink’ or ‘Caramel Honey’ on the box.
Sometimes I miss the good old days when I could braid my hair or do a high ballet bun. I miss buying hair accessories and matching them with my outfits. I miss running my fingers through my hair.
But I don’t miss the headaches. The long hours spent waiting for my hair to dry. The patchy dead animal colour on my ends caused by repeated colouring.
I’m a short hair addict, and I’m never going back to having long hair.
P/s: J-Law, ScarJo, Karlie Kloss and Emma Watson all rock short hair to great effect (compared to when they had long hair).


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