Fourscore and seven haircuts ago

I’ve been musing lately on how significant hair is to how a person looks, feels, and is perceived. I recently got a significant haircut, and it helped me realize that I often locate an event in time by my haircuts! For example, I’ll think to myself, what year did I start hanging out with my hometown guy friends? And I’ll remember how long my hair was at the time, and that we were already friends when I chopped off all my hair for Locks of Love, and I’ll locate myself in time around 7th or 8th grade. So, for nostalgia’s sake, I bring to you the timeline of my life, as measured in haircuts:

In the beginning, there was not much hair. It was whispy and very curly as it grew in, and I had a Shirley Temple-esque look to me in my early days.

Slide2In kindergarten, I sported a particularly adorable version of the mullet. I was very headstrong, however, and hated when my mother tried to brush it. So I chopped it all off right before second grade!

As time passed from third grade to fifth, I brushed my hair and basically forgot that it could be curly.

Slide4In sixth and seventh grade, my hair got longer and longer, but I still brushed it out and the result was awkward, bushy, and wavy.

Slide5In eight grade, I started to realize my hair could be curly. I entered a brief hay-day for my hair, where it was long and curly and luscious! But I was concerned about my hair and my appearance becoming too important to me, so I chopped it all off and donated it to Locks of Love. The next 3 years would bring various phases of growing it back out. I also had braces at the time, which didn’t help at all.

Slide6Finally in senior year, I was back to a good length for my hair. I continued to let it grow through freshman and most of sophomore year of college.

Slide7 In sophomore year, I wanted to switch it up. So I got some curly bangs. That summer, I went to Indonesia and long hair was FAR too hot there, so I lost some of the length. The bangs ended up being very annoying (curly bangs are definitely unpredictable), so I grew them out through junior and senior year.

Slide8I continued to grow my hair out the year after college, and started to do hippie-esque things like stop using shampoo with sulfates and start cutting my hair by myself. My hair got very healthy but would get SO TANGLED. Half my shower would be detangling it with conditioner, and I felt like I had to use a small fortune in conditioner. Nine days ago my husband and I were watching Big Fish. Jessica Lange’s hair was a lovely length in it, and Marcus said to me: “You should cut your hair!” So the next day, I did. With the wise consult of some friends and a good hairstylist, I knew I shouldn’t do bangs or any layers too short because it would just get huge. The result is a haircut that brushes my shoulders, stays weirdly calm, and makes me feel sophisticated!

And so, I have entered a new hair era by which I will measure time in the future 🙂 My coworker told me it “Changes your personality. Well, not your personality, but your vibe.” And I agree! I feel more energetic and stylish. I take less time in the shower and feel more cheerful. What do you think, sisters? What were your favorite hair eras in your life?

Much love,


P.S. Marcus commented on the picture with him in it, and said, “Esther, I didn’t know you were black once!” Oh boy…

2 thoughts on “Fourscore and seven haircuts ago

  1. Love it! Maybe we should do a series this week about hair! We all have had such ups and downs with it, and it’s a big part of Buckwalter girlhood :-).

  2. I also love it! So great to see you grow and change through the years, my beautiful baby sister. I can’t wait for my shortest layers to grow out a bit more–that short layer tends to get bushy. I have a complicated relationship with my hair, I feel like it’s taken me a long time to figure out what works best for it and I’m not quite there yet.

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