Just like many other people, it’s been a while since I had a haircut. My hair has gotten quite long, and my bangs have grown out.

I have mixed feelings about it – not because I haven’t gotten a haircut, but because long hair is a bit of a conundrum for me.

I like the idea of having long hair. I like the potential of updos and curls and flirty, feathery tresses. I also know that I look better with long hair than I do with short hair. I was a firsthand participant in the Dorothy Hamill Haircut Craze and have the mortifying pictures hidden away in family photo albums to prove it.

But, the reality of long hair is not the same as the idea. Glorious, Julia Roberts-type hair typically requires effort beyond my commitment level. I’ve also noticed that accumulated birthdays bring a bit of thinning hair, along with the greys – the greys (grrrr, let’s not talk about that).

No natural bounce exists for me; if I’m going to attempt luxurious curls, enjoy flowing waves and cascading glory, I’ve got to put in a lot of work, use lots of styling aids, and accept that the best I’ll get is a moderate amount of outcome. That’s not something I’m eager to do.

So, what’s happening currently is a hybrid of straight and long on some days, clipped up in a messy flip on other days. Sometimes, I attempt to blow-dry a style; with increasing frequency, the hair dryer stays in the cabinet, and it’s an air-dry day (assuming I chose to wash my hair that morning). If I know that I won’t be venturing out of the house, I might not even (shhhhhhh)…brush it at all.

I realize that, in the big picture, my hair woes are frivolous and self-centered. I have much to be grateful for; dealing with my hair is truly not that big of a deal.

I also know that the hair grass is typically greener on the other side. Friends with naturally curly hair have told me how much they’d like to have stick-straight locks; friends with fine, thin hair have told me that they wouldn’t mind dealing with the challenges of thick, heavy hair instead.

These are the things I remind myself each time I get frustrated by what I see in the mirror.

But I still get frustrated. I’m human, and it’s hot outside. Blow dryers, brushes, combs, and hair clips annoy me right now. My hair-styling patience is stretched like a rubber band, the kind that gets tangled and pulls the roots from your scalp.

However, I still believe in my hair’s potential. I’m still convinced that, for me, long is better than short. All it will take is the perfect combination of clips and potions, styling and brushing, to achieve Hair Nirvana.

So, if you happen to see me in person, and you think to yourself, oh honey, it’s a Bad Hair Day, just know that it’s ok to say it out loud, to my face. And then, perhaps, we can laugh at the ridiculousness together.

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