1. You’ve been contemplating it for about a year. You’ve consulted your mother and best friend and searched for pictures of celebrities that kinda sorta vaguely “look like” you, only with better hair. You’re totally prepared, you want this. Until:
2. You look down at the salon floor and see spools and spools of hair around the base of your chair and subsequently panic.
3. You upload a teaser photo in which you “surreptitiously” snap a selfie — oversized hair clips, smock, and all — to amp your totally adoring Insta following up for the big reveal.
4. There’s immediate, soul-crushing regret. The kind of regret you have to hide because you know 95% of said emotions are due to the fact that we as human beings loathe change above all else, but still, you will soldier through and try to hide that quavering lip as your hairstylist asks what you think.
5. You come down with a case of Reflexive Touching of the New Hair, in which you really don’t want to mess up the blow out you’ll never recreate in the comfort of your own bathroom, but still, going from hair that extends past your bra line to somewhere north of your shoulders is a big change, and you’ll constantly make sure that, yep, you actually just paid someone to do that.
6. Have a sudden realization that any and all damage incurred by heat, split ends, boxed color, too-tight hair ties, and years of never-quite-washed-out sea salt spray is, for the most part, utterly removed from your head.
7. You take this step towards clean-slate hairdentity to a new level, and promptly book a coloring appointment.
8. *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie* *selfie*
8.5. Use the requisite haircut emoji as a spare-yet-effective caption.
9. You start walking down the street with a new bounce in your step, as if strangers can tell that you just had about a pound’s worth of dead keratin lobbed off from your cranium, and suddenly everything is so much lighter and freer and you are floating — nay, sashaying — nay, Sasha Fiercing all down that sidewalk.
10. You raid your local drugstore’s hair aisle, promptly promising yourself that you are going to be the kind of person to style your hair from here on out, so you load up on texturizer and hairspray and serums and polishes and a hair mask and plenty more goops and potions to keep your hair at its newly peak level.
11. (Plus about a trillion bobby pins for those days when you just can’t. even. but because you are smart, you know that the minute you remove one pin from your head, you’re never finding that sucker again, so it’s best to buy the economy-sized pack.)
12. [Wait patiently for someone to notice and mention the haircut]
14. Experience instant redemption when a friend texts you to tell you it looks FLAWLESS, because even though you did this for yourself and don’t need the external validation of other people, yeah, you’d still like somebody to tell you that you look damn fine every now and again.
15. Have an existential crisis when you shower for the first time, left suddenly grasping for the phantom limb of hair that once existed in days gone by. Realize it takes you about 20% of the time it usually did to wash your hair, thereby solidifying it as the best. idea. ever.
16. And yet another crisis when you make the first stubby ponytail, using up about 15 bobby pins to hold up the little wisps that don’t quite reach far enough from the bottom of your hairline.
17. Dive into a Pinterest k-hole for short hair ideas, only to see the most kick-ass of kick-ass braids, which you would have been able to flawlessly recreate a mere five days ago. Instantly regret everything, vow to let your hair grow out so that you too can have a Ice-Queen-Elsa ‘do to rule them all.
18. Still wait patiently for people to compliment it, and feel a little miffed when they don’t. They never loved you, the phonies. If they loved you, they’d say it looks great.
19. Take one more selfie for good measure. Just because you can, and yeah, this is actually an awesome new look.
20. Make a solemn vow that this is going to be the beginning of a new you, a classier you, a more polished, put together, pristine version of the person You Could Be. As such, you try to make a conscious effort to put together ensembles and outfits that reflect your new haircut, only to realize that such meticulous outfit curation is best left to full-time style bloggers and sticking to the neutrals already in your closet is about as good as it’s really going to get.