Pretty darling, why don’t you go & cut your hair?

I very much resent a specific trope of female characters in movies & television: after she experiences a terrible breakup, the woman lead cuts her hair, trims new bangs or dyes her hair, typically with disastrous results (see: The WB’s late-90s TV classic Felicity). My resentment of the post-breakup hairdo is why it’s never been my modus operandi. I first dyed my hair in the 5th grade, years before my first relationship, let alone messy breakup. The color I chose was red, and I was obsessed.

Born a blonde, by age five my locks had turned brown with blonde & red highlights. I dyed my hair a caramel-blonde in high-school, and went for a dark auburn for a few months in college. While my hair changed color, the silhouette remained long and curly. Growing up, I combed out my curls so much that when I finally stopped, someone asked if I’d paid for a perm.

Baby Chels, regretfully damaging my curls by brushing them out.

One of the easiest, and if you’re brave enough to DIY it, cheapest ways to change up your look when you’re in a style slump is to switch up your hairstyle. This is what I do now when I find my look needs a quick & easy refresh. The first time I cut off 12 inches of hair was a month into my first job out of college. My coworkers at Shop LC were unable to recognize me, and, for the first time in ages, I had short hair.

2012: after I chopped off 12 inches of the mane in Austin, TX.
I donated my hair to Locks of Love, a nonprofit that creates wigs for children who have experienced hair loss.

Over the next four years, I let my hair grow as long as I possibly could. While the long curls suited me, the look didn’t frame my face. My hair looked similar from the way I styled it during my teenaged years.

2016: wearing an Alice + Olivia dress that doubled as Sunday’s best
with a Halogen cardigan on a night out in Missoula, MT.

The day before I turned 27, I decided to take the biggest style leap I had in years: I got bangs.

4/20/16: Bangin’, thanks to Fabrik Salon in Missoula.

The fringe complimented my facial features, and to this day I have stuck with bangs. I even wear them au naturale from time to time, particularly when I wear my hair in a shorter cut.

2017: styled with curly bangs & my great-grandmother’s earrings.
This haircut was $16 at Great Clips.

With a fuller mane, I frequently opt for straight-combed baby bangs that appear to sprout right out from my crown. I find that the short, choppy bangs pull my look together.

Those sausage curls!

This past summer, I wondered what I would look like if I were to dip-dye my hair. I’d never dyed my hair on my own before, so I watched a few hairstyling fail videos from hairstylist Brad Mondo. After watching about a dozen videos on what not to do, I dove into dip-dyeing with stellar results.

I dip-dyed my hair hot pink in August:
I used Good Dye Young’s lightening kit to bleach my hair
& Manic Panic’s Cotton Candy Pink for the color.
In October, after the hot pink turned into a rose-gold,
I opted for Good Dye Young’s Blue Ruin.

While dip-dyeing my hair was fun while it lasted, I missed the ease of being able to quickly wash my hair & go in the morning. I grew tired of the high-maintenance routine that accompanies fringed, long hair. In February of this year, I decided to cut my hair to my shoulders once again.

I love how my hair curls with these short layers!
This style was cut at Bird’s Barbershop on
South Congress in Austin, TX.

For the most part, I wear my hairstyle in its natural state of pure curl. However, every once in a while, it’s fun to try something different. In curly hair speak, this means straightening my curls with a flat-iron.

Before using a flat-iron, you should always use a heat protectant product on your hair so you don’t damage it in the process. I prefer Keratase’s Fluidissime Anti Frizz Spray because it works great with or without heat for controlling curly cues & the frizzies.

Picture perfect for FLASHBACK, an ’80s throwback dance party benefiting Bliss Kid Yoga.
Bliss Kid Yoga is a non-profit that provides free & affordable yoga and mindfulness programs for children.

Have you ever drastically changed your hair to breathe new life into your look? Why or why not? Tell me all about your thoughts on hair in the comment section, pretty darlings.

Published by That Chelsea Girl

That Chelsea Girl, aka Chelsea Hands, lives, works, and plays deep in the heart of Texas. A 30-something that loves fashion, food, and music, when Chelsea isn't working, she can be found outside, hiking or swimming. In 2017, Chelsea founded Girls Who Hike ATX, an empowering collective for girls & women who hike public lands in and around Austin.

4 thoughts on “Pretty darling, why don’t you go & cut your hair?

  1. My hair was short, really short, my entire childhood as it was one more mean way my father controlled and abused me. So as an adult I always wanted long long hair. But it was harder than I thought to get rid of the demons who told me I was worth nothing and not pretty enough to have long hair. Cut to years of therapy later and I am now able to ‘own’ my own hair and style. What a relief! Thanks for sharing your hair journey with us.


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