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First Haircuts

The ChickieNob and I are going this afternoon to be shorn.  I am donating my hair yet again, even though when I reread over the experience, I don’t get a warm and happy feeling about losing my Sa.  I remember being sad last time and sort of regretful even though the donation made someone else happy and my hair was so much easier to manage than it is now.

Am I the only person who doesn’t feel like themselves for a few days after a massive haircut?

What is more remarkable is that this is the ChickieNob’s first haircut.  She will turn six this summer, but she has never had so much as a trim.  The tips of her hair have been with her since birth.

Her hair cascades all the way down her back–this is a trait that is uniquely ChickieNobbish and is often remarked on by strangers.  Her hair is long and curly, like a mini Achinoam Nini.  But it’s also a lice-case waiting to happen.  I tie up her hair every day because I live in such dire fear of finding tiny white beings living on her luscious strands.

But there is something bittersweet about losing the ends, taming the wildness.  The ChickieNob always reminds me of a wildflower since wildflowers can grow anywhere and thrive under any condition.  The ChickieNob is definitely a freethinking, creative spitfire.  She is clever, can hold her own in an argument, and gives out her love enormously and fiercely.  To quote Noa, she is the “queen of open fields” and some of that image is tied up in her wild, curly hair, especially when it is encrusted with sand after a day at the beach or flecked with paint from a particularly careless art session.

It’s a lot to put on a haircut, and I know the change is entirely emotionally-based.  I never think about the Wolvog’s haircuts like this, and maybe it’s because he has been cutting his hair since he was little whereas the ChickieNob is nearing on six without a haircut.

But think of all the moments that are still entwined in the hair on her head.  Those ends were with her in the NICU, and when she came home on a heart monitor.  It was with her when she learned how to sit up and reach and hold a toy and crawl and finally walk.  It was with her the first time she tasted food.  The first time she swam in a pool.  The ends of her hair were at my sister’s wedding.  Her first day of school.  The first time she tasted a Cadbury egg.  The day she started ballet.

Her brother still likes to mindlessly twirl her hair when he sits next to her.  It is something that invites touching, like the fur of a lion.  And it is just as soft as you think it will be before your fingers reach it.

I know that a lot of good can come from taming her hair.  That it will be just as lovely tomorrow.  But it’s a little bittersweet today.


1 N { 05.06.10 at 3:58 pm }

Bittersweet, indeed. And I do suspect that people (not just women) with long hair end up more sentimental about changing it, not just for the typical “oh it’s such a drastic change” reasons, but precisely because it’s been with them so long.

I, on the other hand, am both lazy, and have trouble getting attached to things (or I get attached to them too deeply) and so get my hair cut once a year, bringing it from below my shoulders to up above my ears. Once I grew it long enough to donate, and was ready to tear it out by the end (and probably did in a few places).

2 Kim { 05.06.10 at 4:02 pm }

I most definitely freak out for a day or two after a haircut. I generally hate it up until the 3rd day, when suddenly, I think it’s not so bad. I have learned to just talk myself through it and make it to that magical third day.

I think donating hair is FANTASTIC. I’ve done it twice (once where I shaved my head to do it!), and I will probably do it a third time when I decide to do the next big chop.

Her true little heart was also with her on all of those days, and she’ll carry that always. ♥

3 a { 05.06.10 at 4:09 pm }

I went to get my hair cut a couple weeks ago, and I came home to find that my husband had hacked 2-3 inches off our daughter’s hair. I hate when he does that – not that he does a terrible job (except that one time when he gave her very bad bangs and his sisters forbade him to ever cut our daughter’s hair again), but I don’t have any time to prepare myself.

Oh well, it’s just hair. It’ll grow back.

I find it amazing that Chickienob has never had a haircut! What a fun rite-of-passage thing to do with Mom…

4 S { 05.06.10 at 4:12 pm }

There has only been one time in my life when I have had a drastic enough haircut to compare to what you’re describing. I did feel odd for a few days; my head felt strangely light.

5 a { 05.06.10 at 4:14 pm }

Also, the thing I like about haircuts is that I don’t feel like myself for a few days. I get to be someone different for a little while – and I find that amusing. It’s like a vacation from myself…

6 Mrs. Farmer { 05.06.10 at 4:33 pm }

Such a Beautiful post!! I know how you feel about not quite feeling like yourself after you have a massive hair cut. I too have curly hair and I donated it to locks of love last fall.It turned out so short when it was cut I had to “try” and straighten it every day for a few months while it grew out. It had been 20 years since my hair had been that short. And I swear I was looking at a stranger every time I walked past a mirror or a shop window. That was the weirdest feeling. Wow! There are so many people who don’t understand how much our lives, selves, and identity are tied up in our hair. I totally understand how sad you feel. I can’t even imagine that first cut for a daughter. Thanks for sharing!!!

7 Linda { 05.06.10 at 4:34 pm }

Oh, I could never do that. My hair is staying long! As is Karl’s – I have final say on when he shaves all of his slowly balding hair off, & it’s not going to be any time soon. I pity our daughter if we have one – she’ll have to get herself emancipated if she ever wants a haircut! 🙂

If it makes you feel any better about ChickieNob’s hair, hair’s fall out after about four years of growth, so she won’t be losing her baby hair.

8 kwally { 05.06.10 at 4:49 pm }

I hope we get to see before and after shots!!! Good luck 🙂

9 Lori Lavender Luz { 05.06.10 at 5:02 pm }

I am bittersweet about it now, too. I was ready to rejoice with you about the milestone for ChickieNob, but once you told all that her hair has experienced, all the memories held in those silky shafts, I am sad, too.

And the image of the Wolvog twirling his twin’s hair is so poignant.

As for this: “Am I the only person who doesn’t feel like themselves for a few days after a massive haircut?” Yes. But I actually feel better often.


10 Heather { 05.06.10 at 5:12 pm }

J never had a haircut until she was 8, and she has that same thick, curly, somewhat unmanageable, fuzzy….hair. however, I KNOW a lice trick. And it’s worked for 11 years, so I know it’s true.

Spray with a mixture of detangler and baby oil each morning. Brush it through. (like go pretty light on the baby oil, or else she’ll be looking all greasy). Pull into ponytail. Lice cannot live in that hair because it’s greasy and has product in it. They only like clean hair.

trust me, I’m a nurse. 😉

11 Searching for Serenity { 05.06.10 at 5:14 pm }

You put into words what my heart has been trying to tell me for a while now. Although Nugget is only 10 months old, I’m already dreading his first haircut. His Papou (who has been cutting Nugget’s Daddy’s hair his entire life) can’t wait to get his hands on him. Every time the subject comes up “Nugget, you need a haircut!” I want to scream “Leave my little boy alone! Don’t touch his precious baby locks.”

You see, I was bald until I was 3 years old. I didn’t have enough hair to wear a ponytail until the 4th grade. So seeing him born with feathery angelic hair was such a pleasant surprise for me. I love feeling his soft head on my face and smelling it after a bath.

So I totally understand how bittersweet this must before you. Even though my experience is different. I’m not ready to let the sweet baby hairs he’s had since birth go.

Good luck!

12 Calliope { 05.06.10 at 5:35 pm }

Wow. What an amazing day today will be! When I was a little girl and would get a haircut with Mom I remember it making me feel sooooo special. W has so little hair right now and so reading about the memories that might be curled up and around your daughter’s hair was lovely. I hope you were able to save a little lock.

13 Kristin { 05.06.10 at 7:18 pm }

What a sweet and beautiful post. I didn’t cut Gabe’s hair until he was more than 2 yrs old and it was so very hard.

14 Megan { 05.06.10 at 8:08 pm }

I hope your haircut goes well and ChickieNob loves her new ‘do.

My daughter had hair in the NICU, too, but it all fell out in a round of male-pattern baldness that afflicted her around 5 months (2 months adjusted). 🙂

15 Rachel { 05.06.10 at 8:21 pm }

I used to feel the same as you about haircuts, even if it was just a trim. A couple days after my miscarriage my husband took off work to be home with me. I ventured outside the house for the first time after losing the baby and we went to the hair salon. For the first time in over a year I had my hair cut, taking it from the middle of my back to above my shoulders. I guess it was sort of like creating the new me on the outside to match the new me on the inside.

16 Suzy { 05.06.10 at 9:08 pm }

That is so amazing for you to do that together. I did that with one of my nieces a few years ago and we are growing our hair back out again.

A major haircut is also like a new beginning. Refreshing and scary at the same time.

Hope to see lots of before and after pictures.

17 luna { 05.06.10 at 10:47 pm }

this is lovely and so bittersweet.

I hope you keep a nice long lock of it or two, for both of you.

18 FET Accompli { 05.06.10 at 11:19 pm }

This was such a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes. I loved the descriptions, what your daughter’s hair means to you and how it reflects part of her disposition.
Not having hair is definitely a weird feeling. For me it was one of the worst parts of going through the Big-C . Other parts were of course more nightmarishly dreadful, but not having hair plain old sucks.
Of course, I think your decision to donate your hair is awesome.

19 S.I.F. { 05.07.10 at 1:41 am }

I go through phases of wanting my hair short, and then being ticked at myself for cutting it. It’s a vicious cycle!

20 Half of a Duo, Raising a Duo { 05.07.10 at 6:26 am }

I remember well the first haircut. The duder got his cut first, at about 16 months. His hair grows like a weed. The dude’s hair grows very slowly and he was a baldy until his 1st bday. Now he is finally getting a full head of hair. He’s almost 26 mos so you know, that goes to show you… in the 8 haircuts the duder has had, the dude’s only had 2!

I kept the locks of hair from each boy’s first cut.

As for me, I had hair nearly down to my waist, because I had so little time to cut it. I recently cut it to my shoulders and I’m growing it back. I don’t like a short ponytail. I like a long one. I’ve never been a spa/mani pedi kinda girl. The ponytail is no maintenance.

Happy Friday to everyone!

21 loribeth { 05.07.10 at 8:17 am }

Awww. This was so sweet to read. Got any before & after shots you can share (from the back)? And yes, I hope you saved a lock. My mom has an envelope with hair from my first major toddler haircut, stuffed into my baby book.

I’m usually OK after a haircut (unless she trims it too short). But then, I go for a trim every 6 weeks or so. The last time I made a really dramatic change in length was when I was in university. My hair is very thick & heavy, & I had a shoulder length page style that I could pull back with barrettes or into a pony tail, etc., — but then I went to school in southern Ontario. The humidity was a shock to my system & I decided the hair had to go. I admired the pixie-style cut of one of my classmates & asked her where she had it done, & came home for break with dramatically shorter hair. It’s never been as long since then.

I had a friend in elementary school who had beautiful thick, long hair, almost down to her waist. When she got into high school, though, she cut it into a shag. I understood why, and the shag looked very cute on her, but I still felt sad that she cut it.

I’ve lost touch with her, but I understand she became a hairdresser (!).

22 PaleMother { 05.07.10 at 9:45 am }

Oh Mel. Your timing is … just wow. I read this post shortly after I called for two appointments this Saturday. One for me and one for Ten. (Almost ten and a half). She never had more than a trim (to tidy up ragged ends). TEN years of hair. Down to her butt.

I have a million and one things to do, but this afternoon, when she comes home, I will help her wash it and blow it out for the last time … so we can take some pictures. Hopefully I’ll be able to make time to blog about it.

I’ve always said that her hair is her choice. It’s clearly time. Going from little girl to tween, it’s so much less of an asset. If your hair isn’t flattering you, it’s gotta go (you know those women on makeover shows who have Crystal Gail hair and it’s just not doing anything for them?). She’s ready. But to my surprise, I think part of me will be a tiny bit sad — even though I know it’s a great move. (Can’t show that to her, in case she is nervous about the big change herself.)

Chickinob sounds amazing. I can so picture her.


23 Carrie { 05.07.10 at 2:55 pm }

Wow – 6 years?! I cut my oldest’s at 2 to help shape it, too many fly aways. I do envy all those little girls with long, curly hair like your daughter’s.

24 Kir { 05.10.10 at 10:15 am }

wow, that was sooo emotional. It was all said above me, but I do hope she likes her haircut and so do you. 🙂

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