I'll admit up front that this post is not really related to running.
Except that it kind of is because a ponytail—or, I should say, one potential ponytail—is involved. And everybody knows you wear a ponytail when you run, if the length of your hair merits it.
The length of my hair has never, ever merited a ponytail. The longest it's ever been is shoulder-length, and those long, lustrous hair days were exclusively when I rode an elementary school bus. It seems it was chopped (my decision? I can't remember) somewhere around 3rd grade, and despite my intentions to grow it out in 5th, I quickly retreated back.
So for 95% of my life, my hair has been short. And I've liked it that way for a variety of reasons. Ease of use: a little water, a little juushing, and it's almost as good as new. Saves on shampoo and product. <3 minutes to blow dry, if I choose to, which I usually don't. Provides a little sass in a world of long + straight. Integrates all of my gazillion cowlicks with relative ease.
If I'm being honest, I also don't have the patience for long hair. Or at least for growing long hair. I head down that long-tresses road, thinking this will be the time I can finally deal with that in-between weirdness (see above picture, middle row, right). Then I'll be emptying the dishwasher or checking Twitter, and, despite my not even thinking or touching my hair, total exasperation just hits without warning.
"If I don't get my hair cut stat," I think, "I am going to lose my sh*t."
Then I make an appointment, which is usually a week away. By the time it rolls around, I'm back to being ok, but I've had that moment, and I know it'll come again. So I get chopped.
That said, I never had many style options with sassy + short. I could throw a bobby pin in for the simple sake of accessorizing—and trust me, that simplicity is a difficult look to nail—but beyond that, it pretty much looks the same whether I am running or trying to look radiant for a night out. Just me, a crazy determined cowlick, a forehead that won't quit, and a few wisps.
Lately, though, I've been growing it out, also for a variety of reasons. At this point in my life, there isn't much on my body I can change with no effort, but hair is one of them. God bless follicles: They grow whether we ask them to or not. (To be sure, my hair is also changing without approval: Grays multiply like rabbits in a cage.)
(If I'm being honest, there isn't much in my life right now I can change without it creating waves in areas that would benefit from feeling rocked. With two adult freelancers, one teenager, and one loud + energetic 12-year-old living under the same roof, status quo is a pretty lovely thing.)
I've always admired the ease with with somebody can twist up her (or his) long hair; throw it into a ponytail and pull out some sexy wispys; create braids or ringlets (not terribly sexy, I realize); and suddenly have a totally different look. I may never live in Paris or launch myself off a cliff like Thelma + Louise, but I could maybe have the French-like experience of creating a twist with my locks. (And maybe I'll eat a croissant while I'm done up. Oo la la!)
Athletically speaking, I daydream about wearing a visor and have it not look weird. (Visor + short hair: doesn't look weird on all people. But it does on me.) I've always been intrigued about how it would feel to have a ponytail swish when I run. I'd like my hair not to totally flair out of my bike helmet.
And there's a practical side to this all right now too: My stylist, already a bit of a haul to get to, moved 45 minutes in the other direction, so she's out. I had one (pretty pricey) cut right before the AMR Retreat in Ogden, and it just felt blech.
I'm not averse to paying for a good haircut—it's the one thing you wear everyday, right?—but I am averse to paying a haircut from a stylist I don't really know, especially when I sit down in his/her chair and am wishy-washy about what want.
Right now, my hair is very in between. Not long enough for real ponytail, but I can gather a few locks in a baretted one that screams TRYING TOO HARD. I've also got random layers that are best classified as wings.
On the plus side, I've been living in that awkward no-style for so long, I think I may have just settled in. On the other side, I'm not sure all of this growing will be worth it: What if I finally get my 'tail and it just wilts?
The only way to tell is to wait and see. Although you never know: I may be in the (TBA) stylist's chair next week. Stay tuned...