I went back and forth for years – yes, years – on whether to do the half-shave/Skrillex haircut that has littered the fashion and music world for quite a while now. After completely bleaching my entire head multiple times and way beyond its texture recognition, first for blonde-ish and then for a mermaid’s mane of blue/teal/green, my hair hung limply from its follicles, displaying none of its virgin bounce, curl or wave.
When I refer to my hair texture, this is to it air-dried, because I am LAZY – all caps - with my hair. After spending eight years of wearing dreadlocks, I was accustomed to devoting more time to other beauty rituals, like makeup application so, when those strands went Sayonara, my haircuts had to be wash-and-go, taking advantage of my natural texture.
But now that I had no texture, I thought, eh – what have I got to lose? I’ll cut half of it off and see what happens. I even posted a pre-cut cry for help and advice on Twitter, asking "Is too late for me to jump on the #undercut #halfshave #skrillex haircut #trend?" Only to receive one response – which was a thundering "hell no."
Tell me no – and I am more likely to advance, however. And so I did. I booked an appointment for two weeks out, and then changed it for a week out and then texted my stylist, threatening to lose my guts to cut if we did not get my rear in the chair in the next 24 hours. She obliged, eager to wield her scissors and razor in a way they don’t usually get a workout.
I went back and forth the night before, but went the "change is good" route. I emailed my stylist almost 25 photo references to be sure we were on the same page. I knew we would have to get a little creative, since two weeks before she had shaped my fringe into a "New Girl" curve. We’d be camouflaging and growing that out with this new ‘do, my "Girly Skrillex," as I like to call it.
I audibly cringed as she lopped off the left side of my locks and wildly stared into the mirror as she continued cutting in with her razor. I forced my poor stylist to talk me through every snip, which she graciously did, making sure I was comfortable.
I looked in the mirror post-snip and declared, "Now this is me." (At least for that particular "now.")
I believe in an energetic connection to our hair, so I felt this immediate lightness, shift in attitude and a literal "shedding" from my cut. Cutting my dreads off had the same effect. It’s as if every experience stored in the hair shaft was let go of with every swipe of my stylist’s blade. I feel like that side of my head has created an opening, a door to a new wave of creativity and inspiration ignited. Yes, all this from a little snip.
I have never been able to just leave my hair alone. I’m pretty sure it is a byproduct of having the Queen of Reinvention, Madonna, as my pop culture, music and style idol from the time I first laid eyes on her on MTV sometime in 1982. I was six and she made a big impression. She inspired a fearlessness to emulate her chameleon-like ability try on new looks and styles. I completely blame her for my inability to stick with a single hairstyle for a long period of time.
Do I ever regret any of my hair antics? For sure! But, then I move on and use the growing out process as an excuse to keep the cycle of reinvention in perpetual motion. For example, the polished chic-ness of a pixie cut elongates to a crop of short curls springing from my scalp as if in homage to '70s disco and this influences my entire style outlook. This stage grows out into the asymmetry of edging curly hair past the ears, which makes everything more angular and is reflected in my expression of sharper makeup, metal accessories and tailored clothing. From there the length hits the chin, in a timeless bob (so on-trend right now) making a cleaner, preppier statement. This morphing goes on and on …
With this cut, I had an almost instantaneous change in attitude and self-perception the moment that side was shorn. I felt immediately boisterous and outrageous with my side cut. I think I sometimes forget I am also covered in tattoos. This, combined with the edgy undercut probably makes more of a statement than I consciously intend to make. I’m just expressing and entertaining myself through my personal style with these outer changes.
The cut has also incited what may just be a perceived shift in how others view me. A visit to the mall to buy some ear accessories for my newly revealed left earlobe (hello, ear cuffs and ear pins!) proved a bit traumatic. I barely recognized myself in shop windows and display mirrors. It made me a little uncomfortable and I wondered who this person was staring back at me. I could feel the eyes of fellow shoppers, and theorized that perhaps they viewed me as more atypical/outside the norm with this rebellious ‘do.
Good thing my stylist is a genius and gave me tons of options with this cut. I can do a reverse comb over and hide the whole shorn side. It’s like a haircut hidden within a haircut. So, I’m actually still able to part my hair differently and camouflage my half-shave. It’s like a secret within my tresses -conservative by day and punk by night.
I cannot help but hear the rich voice of India Arie on her song "I Am Not My Hair" in which she declares after cutting off her ’97 dreadlocks that, "I am not my hair. I am not this skin. I am a soul that lives within." Ah, if only everyone thought this way! (I could also sub in "tattoos" for "hair" here, but that’s a whole other blog!)
She goes on in the bridge to ask, " Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person? Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend? Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity? I am just expressing my creativity…"
Lindsay Garric is a Milwaukee native who calls her favorite city home base for as long as her lifestyle will allow her. A hybrid of a makeup artist, esthetician, personal trainer and entrepreneur all rolled into a tattooed, dolled-up package, she has fantasies of being a big, bad rock star who lives in a house with a porch and a white picket fence, complete with small farm animals in a version of Milwaukee that has a tropical climate.
A mishmash of contradictions, colliding polar opposites and a dash of camp, her passion is for all pretty things and the products that go with it. From makeup to workouts, food to fashion, Lindsay has a polished finger on the pulse of beauty, fashion, fitness and nutrition trends and is super duper excited to share that and other randomness from her crazy, sexy, gypsy life with the readers of OnMilwaukee.com.