* Before reading this post, you may want to visit the 7 Questions page. * After each question is some commentary. The questions can be used as a guide, as you think about whether or not to cut your curls. ... Below are further thoughts on the topic.
The impact of cutting
Whether it's ringlets, coils or waves, most of us ponder a style-altering cut at some point. Cutting off a few inches or more can have consequences and may require more commitment. Curl/wave patterns can change when cut, posing a styling challenge. In general, a well-executed cut offers added body and movement, creates a healthier look, and can simplify a hair care routine and deepen one's love for curls.
My latest cut (and how I reacted)
I cut my hair last month. For part of my adult life it was short, as in neck exposed - all sorts of punk rock hairdos, shaved and unshaved. For the past 10 or so years it's been very long – as in mid-back to tailbone length. In the past few years I added layers, still keeping the length. A month ago I cut it to my shoulders with fewer layers. I do not miss the length at all, love my cut and am hungry for my next shorter cut! I was simply bored with the same long look. Cutting it still felt like a risk, but I did the kind of research discussed on the 7 Questions page. The more diligent my research, the better my reaction to any cut – even a Hellish cut. My nightmare cuts were usually the result of my lacking research into the stylist, or the cut. That and failing to speak up when I didn't like what a stylist was doing. Those cuts made me resentful toward both the stylist and myself. That said, there's no sin in getting a spontaneous cut with little forethought as long the possible consequences are understood. And even if you the cut is horrifically shocking …
Good news: a bad hair cut is just a delayed happy ending
Hair almost always grows back. Most of us curlies have had some really disappointing outcomes. At first it may feel a little hollow, those words “it'll grow back”, but it's true! In the meantime, I've found that a little creativity helps soften the blow: hair bands, barrettes, braids, scarves, hats, new hair color, new collection of fun earrings, bolder makeup … or even a decision to get a shorter, sassier cut. Sometimes it's good to focus away from the hair for a moment and just let it be. If looked at philosophically, the unhappy cut could be an education about what doesn't work well, or an opportunity to cultivate some patience. Or maybe there's no lesson to learn. Maybe the stylist just turned out to do a crappy job that day, despite glowing online reviews. I recall a couple times when the cut itself looked spectacular but was just seven shades of wrong with my particular face and skull shape. I laugh about that now ;)