A Hairy Issue

Cutting my own hair

After attempting to cut my own hair for the first time today, I have a newfound appreciation for hairdressers.

I’m sure most of us, perhaps unless you’re a guy, are used to telling the hairdresser to cut at least an inch (2-3cm) below where we actually want them to, because we know that inevitably they always end up ‘cutting off more than we tell them to’. Today, I realised that there seems to be a good reason for that though.

When a hairdresser begins, they will usually start by wetting your hair and combing it out to make it flat so that all the strands can be the same length when it is cut. I’m not sure whether this makes a difference to making your hair less ‘slippery’, but it does allow them to gather all the strands of your hair, particularly if you have somewhat frizzy hair like me. However the effect of wetting your hair lessens the volume of it, which makes it seem longer.

When your hair dries again and regains its volume, it appears shorter than it did when it was cut, and therefore shorter than the requested length by up to an inch. This is the lesson I remembered today, when I cut my hair at eye-length and was puzzled afterwards when it looked to be eye-brow length after it had been washed and dried.

So it just comes to show it’s not the fault of the hairdresser at all. Or is it? They are simply following your instructions and cutting it at the length that you want it, but shouldn’t they know that hair would regain its volume after it has dried, making it shorter than what you requested? I wonder whose responsibility is it in this case? Should they be the ones to adjust or should you?

After all, if it’s still too long, they can always cut further. But once they cut your hair, there’s no undoing it.