Beautician Intuition: Good Haircut, Bad Haircut

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Contributing Writer: Tammy Wilcox
Contributing Writer: Tammy Wilcox

There is an old beauty shop joke that goes something like this:

Question: What is the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut?

Answer: Two weeks.

The joke pokes fun at an undeniable truth about human nature – that we are adaptable.

I tell this joke often in the salon because sometimes people have a hard time with change, even when they ask for it. New looks are usually greeted in the mirror by fascinated wide eyes and delight, but the final moments of realization can also be laced with anxiety and awkwardness.

You see, the joke makes good use of an interesting point: a haircut doesn’t really change that much in two weeks – but the person wearing it does.

As the joke suggests, humans are flexible. When we are faced with something unfamiliar, even if it is challenging at first, we seem to naturally find ways to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Not only is a new haircut a challenge to handle in a practical sense, but it can be just plain hard to accept emotionally. A new hairdo can actually shake up your daily routine to the point of needing new tools, new products, and suddenly a renewed attitude of self-acceptance.

My beautician intuition tells me that it feels as if 2020 has given us all a brand new haircut that we did not ask for.

Uncharted territory can be intimidating. I don’t know about you, but my first trip to the grocery store in a face-covering felt as strange and unusual as a wild new hairstyle. I was not sure whether anyone would recognize me. I felt awkward. I wondered whether people could hear my voice clearly and understand me.

In our quest for safety, security and sanity, we find ourselves making it work. In new situations, sometimes the only choice is to accept the things that we do not have control over, to focus on our response, and to develop the skills we need to enhance our future.

When you look back on this year, and forward to the next, I hope you find peace in the simple truth that lies inside the old beauty shop joke.

Trust in our amazing ability as humans to adapt, to learn, and to see the difference between a good haircut and a bad one.