Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Cool cuts – what’s the most drastic thing you’ve ever done with your hair?

When I was 13, I shaved my head. I went to the barber and asked for a number seven. When I tell people this, the first thing they ask – without exception – is: “What did your mother think?” It’s …

Thu, Nov 1, 2012, 07:30

   

When I was 13, I shaved my head. I went to the barber and asked for a number seven. When I tell people this, the first thing they ask – without exception – is: “What did your mother think?” It’s interesting to me that this is the exact same reaction you would get if you told them you eloped and got married alone in Tahiti; or when you got your first tattoo, age 18, and showed it off to your friends down the local disco. In my case, my mother was delighted. It was, in fact, her idea – she’s always had short hair (she looks a bit like Judi Dench) and thinks it’s terribly handy. She wanted the same easy life for her daughter.

But having a pixie crop at age 60-something is vastly different to having a shaved head at age 13, especially if, at age 13, your hair is a raging afro and likely to grow back like a puffy little cloud of hair. Those were not my finest years but, you know what they say, what doesn’t kill you . . . In any case, it gives me a very smug story to tell when I’m trying to convince my more hirsute friends (I say that lovingly) to go for the chop. “Try something different,” I say. “It’ll grow back,” I say. “Mine did,” I say, skipping over the days I spent crying in the girls’ toilets and ignoring the name-calling.

I recently sent this series of three photographs of Emily Weiss to a friend whose hair I long to cut. “Look!” I wrote. “She went from long hair to short and she looks really cool!”

Looks one and two went down well. She liked the graded cut (although, between you and me, I doubt it’ll get a home trial) and thought she looked quite cool in picture two. But if the first cut is the deepest, the last is the most unpalatable.

This got a resounding no (although I love it). Have you ever gone from super-long to super-short? Or vice versa?