After sitting down in the chair, I looked up at myself in the mirror. I was excited and expectant of something new, something different. I was bored and searching for a simple way to reinvent my look. I eyed my hairstylist in the mirror, grinned, and said, “I’m up for an adventure. Do whatever you’d like.”
As she began cutting off LOTS of hair, I fantasized about the beautiful reveal. We’d both have tears in our eyes over this masterpiece that was my new hairstyle. “I love it!” I’d whisper, and we’d hug as mascara stained our cheeks.
That is not at all what happened. I hated it, you guys—I mean, really hated it. But, I knew my stylist had tried so hard and was excited. And I thought maybe I needed to give it a chance for a few days. Maybe I’d learn to like it.
Once I left, I polled lots of people, wondering if it was really as bad as I thought. Friends, co-workers, and well-intentioned family members all weighed in on my new do. For a few days, I kept looking at myself in the mirror, adding product and parting my hair differently. “Can I make this work?” I wondered.
And then I went to see a friend who took one look at me and blurted out, “Becca, what happened to your head?! I don’t like it. It’s not you.”
This dear friend said exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. What she basically said was: “I know you. And this is not you. You want to make this ridiculous look work to maybe not offend your hairstylist, or for who knows whatever noble reason you’re trying to concoct in your brain. But this looks bad. Go get it fixed.”
In a world of Minnesota nice, we’re constantly trying not to offend anyone. And in that, we’re choosing not to risk rocking the boat instead of being authentic.
What I wanted after my haircut was someone who wasn’t afraid to say what she knew I needed to hear. I wanted a friend who knew me so well she could speak the truth that my muddled mind couldn’t clarify itself. I needed someone I trusted to speak what I knew deep down, but couldn’t put words to on my own.
“What happened to your head” friends are the ones you invite over when you haven’t washed the dishes or showered. They’re the ones who actually answer their phones when you call. They drop things on your porch just because they were thinking about you. They show up for birthday parties, funerals, craft days, playdates and everything in between. They are the people you do life with. They get you and tell you who you are when you forget. Because, so often, we forget.
“What happened to your head” friends help shift your perspective and make you into the best version of yourself. They challenge you, laugh with you, cry with you and pray for you. And they do all those things a lot.
Sweet mamas, I believe we all need these kinds of friends. Friends who let us be ourselves in the good, the bad, the beautiful, the broken and the mess. Friends to remind you who you really are when you get the worst haircut of your life. Friend who will snatch up your kids and practically shove you out the door to get that head of yours fixed.
Not everyone could’ve gotten away with telling me what my friend did that day. But that was the relationship we had. We risked saying hard things to each other because, deep down, what we really wanted was for each other to be the best possible, most healthy version of ourselves. Speak the truth coated in tons and tons of love.
And also make sure to give them permission to let you know when it’s time to find a new hairstylist.