The Bad Hair Year and Your Opinion, Please

We interrupt this productive flurry of life changing and issues-driven posts for a frank and slightly more frivolous discussion on the topic of hair.

I’m a verbal processor, and my in real life friends ought not the bear the weight of my issues on their own. No, I’m gonna bring the whole internet in on this one.

It’s been a bad hair year for me, friends. It started with the expected but still un-welcome Postpartum Hair Loss. Then a two-month stint of me trying to go no-poo again (with the same discouraging results as last time.) Then, the most expensive hair cut I’ve ever gotten didn’t turn out to have quite the right amount of layers, which led to a sleep-deprived-induced moment of insanity in which–I still shudder to say it–I cut my own layers.


That hack job is still trying to grow out.

Then there were the lice. (I haven’t told you about our lice yet, have I? I promise to tell you all about it when I’ve recovered from the trauma. Maybe 5 years.) Then trying 3 different more natural shampoos to try to avoid sulfates, with more discouraging results. Then the infamous New Hair Growth after the aforementioned Postpartum Loss giving me a frizzy halo all around my hair line whenever I wear my hair up.

Suffice to say, this is the closest I’ve ever come to buzzing it all off.

I’m a firm believer in finding one’s personal style (be it clothes, hair, or a make up routine) so we don’t miss out on the joy God intended for us to find in embracing beauty. (Gosh, I wrote a book on that very idea, so I really ought to be practicing what I preach.)

2014-11-02 08.56.20

(A rare example good hair day, when I actually had time to turn on my curling iron.)

But good hair days have been few and far between this year. I have cried about, yelled at, and maligned my hair now for months. I have finally come to the very difficult realization that it’s time for a change.

Which terrifies me.

That’s where you come in. I need ya’ll to talk me through submitting myself to the scissors for a new look that works for the season I’m in and the current state of my hair. I’m hoping there’s at least a few of you out there who have similar hair, or similar requirements for a low-maintenance hair style and can encourage me that there is an option besides The Buzz.

The Facts

  • My hair is wavy (not curly, not frizzy, not straight).
  • It can hold a curl well (with heat, wet set, or even gel and a diffuser)–but I rarely have time to for that extra effort.
  • I have an unholy terror of my hair being too short to pull out of my face.
  • This fear is second only to going even shorter, finding I can’t stand it, and having to grow out a pixie, which I hear is Pure Purgatory.
  • I don’t really have the budget for a cut that needs to be maintained every 6 weeks.
  • I don’t have a straightener, and suspect I’d not find the time for that any more than my curling iron.

After much deliberation and scouring Pinterest for inspiration, I feel like a Lob might be the option for me—you know, that funny name for a Long Bob? My thought is this will give my hair some style, while also leaving the front ends long enough to pull back when I need to. I also feel that it would grow out nicely if I don’t feel like getting my hair cut again for 6 months. Plus, if I didn’t like it, there’s always room to go shorter, right?

Wavy Lob Hair Inspiration

(From my Pinterest board. I adore the main photo with the asymmetrical cut, but don’t know if I could actually pull it off. I think on me it would probably look like a mistake more days than not…) 

When I ran this latest idea by Mr. Holden, he asked me if I was going to have an identity crisis by doing something so moderate as getting a mid-length cut. “You’re usually so extreme.” He reminded me. I’m glad I have someone around to speak truth to me, even when it hurts. But he still needs some practice helping me verbally process. So, I’m turning to you.

What do you think? What would you do if long hair just wasn’t working for you anymore, but you were afraid of short hair? Am I being entirely too conservative with a Lob, or have you gotten one and loved it? What’s your favorite cut for wash and go, or almost-wash-and-go?

Any and all opinions, advice, inspiration, hair horror stories, or miracle cures for Postpartum Hair Crisis welcome. I believe in verbally processing the major decisions in life.

P.S. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that my books are all on sale till Cyber Monday–if you’ve been waiting for a sale to grab my latest cookbook, or maybe a copy of Embracing Beauty, now’s your chance! You’ll find a code for 20% off on the checkout page. Merry Christmas!!!

28 responses to “The Bad Hair Year and Your Opinion, Please”

  1. Mae Avatar

    I don’t have any recommendations for a haircut, but I just wanted to mention that you should look into Morrocco Method hair products. They have totally natural ingredients! My wavy/straight/curly hair combo is loving it, and I’m much happier with what I thought was a bad haircut — it lays so much better these days! MM is a bit of an investment upfront, because it really only works when you rotate all 5 shampoos. But I’m finding that it lasts a long time and it’s worlds better than the baking soda/vinegar no-poo that I tried for years.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Mae–I’ve heard of MM and it’s on my list to explore in the new year. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. Oopy Avatar

    Hi Trina! I have similar hair type as yours. I know you are super busy but have you heard of Curly Girl Method? It’s a book and a process to having healthy waves & curls. For me it’s just I use conditioner and no shampoo. And it’s good for you consitioner, none of that fake sulfates stuff.

    Also if you look up the website it has tips that can be helpful. I like good all natural and prefer to shower at night. So I like to twist my hair and sleep with it in twists to help the volume & hold the waves.

    Everyone is different but I chopped my hair with my stylist I have had for over 10 years and didn’t love it. Now I sm growing it back :/

    1. Trina Avatar

      I love curly girl! I just wish I had a bit more curl myself–it hasn’t worked for me when I tried it.

  3. Marianne Avatar

    I hear ya, postpartum hair is a pain and after I had Olivia my hair went from great curls to waves and I went with a lob with sideswept bangs. The hair dresser wanted to give me full bangs but I knew I wouldn’t make the time to straighten or curl them. With sideswept bangs you have another dimention to your face but only when you want them. Most days I side part and pin my bangs behind my ear and gather the stragglers in a hair pin. And you can still pin up your hair. I think the lob would suit you and your hair habits perfectly. Maybe splurge on the hair styling product that tames the frizz and gives great body. Ive used coconut oil and olive oil but I don’t recommend them…one looks like a unshowering hobo. Love and good luck,Marianne

    1. Trina Avatar

      Thanks, Marianne! Oh, I can’t imagine losing your curls, yikes! But I wish I could see your lob–sounds adorable.

  4. Brenda Licak Avatar
    Brenda Licak

    I have seen your hair at many lengths & each one you have chosen has been very becoming!!! I do think the Lob would look lovely on you!!! I personally love a nice do, but admit that that is not really where I want to spend time daily, therefore I prefer messy cuts. I had two stylists that have curly/wavy hair with much experience under their belts. I am VERY specific with what I want & they are EXTREMELY conservative for me, which I so appreciate!! It has also built a trust, too. Maybe finding one who is very experienced with your hair type will allow you to decide fully!!! Another fantastic option to a cut that requires maintenance is bartering!!! The sky is the limit with the talents God has blessed you with!!! Seek God for all the above & watch Him amaze you!!! You are such an inspiration!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Brenda–you won’t believe what happened. Your comment inspired me to make this a matter of prayer, and God provided by giving me a hair dresser who was getting her shop remodeled. Jeremy and Mark are doing the work, and she says I have credit for years of hair cuts! It was like God was telling me, “See, you don’t even need to worry about hair, Trina.” Love you and miss you, Brenda!

  5. Jessica Avatar

    High five fellow verbal processor! I may not be helpful here because I’m going to vote pixie all the way. Yes, you do have to get it cut more regularly. Yes, you usually have to throw a little bit of product in to give it some texture. But you might not, with the waves. I’m approaching the 1 year mark of this shortest haircut yet and I love it so much I’m probably never going long again! (And I NEVER exaggerate! Never.) the only thing I regret about going short is not doing it sooner! Good luck with your decision!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Jessica, it’s testimonies like yours that have me strengthening my vow to try a pixie before I’m 40.

  6. mira Avatar

    1. 3rd down from the top (brunette) looks like it would be wash-n-wear.
    2. too many layers and it grows out funny if you’re only getting it cut every few months.
    3.I think my hair is exactly like yours, and my plan for when I’m all silver or white is definitely a lob, it loos great on oval faces.
    4.You might find it curls even more easily when shorter.
    5. the second one down on the right is also super cute.

    1. mira Avatar

      and 6. I am low poo (1/4 c. castile soap, 1/2 c. baking soda, and water to the top of a Dr. Bronner’s bottle) gal and love it. usually wash once a week. no poo did not work for me at all, even with a 2 month fair chance.

  7. Kirsty Avatar

    I am normally shockingly bad at posting comments at posts, however, hair identity crisis are the one thing guaranteed to get a response.

    My recommendation is to go for the lob. I LOVE longhair and 90% of the time keep it that way. However, in my experience, once you get that urge to go shorter it will just plague you until you cave (this is a repeating 2-3 year cycle for me). The other side tot hat argument is after a month or so I crave my long hair again. So the lob is the perfect solution, it gives you the change you want, allows you to try out a new style but is a relatively safe route if ultimately you decide you don’t like it.

    1. Trina Avatar

      You’re very helpful–I’m so glad you caved 😉

  8. Rachelle Rea Avatar

    Oh, but I do like your hair–it’s always seemed so sleek to me, but that’s the curly girl talking. 😉

    I think you should go for it. You’ve done your research, and we’re behind you if I’m reading these comments right. 🙂 You can do it, Trina!

    I look forward to seeing pictures. 🙂

  9. Stephanie N Avatar
    Stephanie N

    I love your hair! It’s got great body!! But I totally get where you are at! I got fed up with postpartum frizzy head at the beginning of the summer, I was in the predicament where my hair if I took an hour to tousle and fix it looked pretty great, but with three three and under I barely had time to comb and this made for dreadlocks starting themselves almost every day… I too have wavy (not curly, not straight) hair and what I did was put my hair in a pony pretty centered on my head and cut it off just past the pony so I knew there was just enough to put it up when I needed to. I was terrified that it was going to be aweful, but as it turned out it actually had pretty perfect layers by doing it that way and I loved it, I want to do it again now that my hair has grown out some because it’s irritating me now!! I guess it’s kinda be a lob style, I just thought of it as short but not quite pixie

    1. Stephanie N Avatar
      Stephanie N

      I honk it cu my comment short 🙁

      I was saying… Any way you do it Trina it will be beautiful because you are a beautiful woman! I understand the apprehension though! You have to live with it!
      And on another note you should try Alaffia shampoo, it’s coconut derived with no sls (we went through no poo no sulfite struggles ourselves) it may or may not work but if you’re still looking for good poo, you never know! It worked for us…
      I can’t remember if that was it, but anyways good luck with the hair crisis!

      1. Trina Avatar

        Oh, thank you you for the recommendation! Do you get that online, or is it available in stores?

        1. Stephanie N Avatar
          Stephanie N

          I normally buy it at my Whole Foods here, however I’m sure you could purchase it online as well this is the one we get.

    2. Trina Avatar

      You are one brave lady! I’m sure it’s adorable, but my husband and friends have all restricted me from cutting my own hair again for a very long time lol

  10. MaryEllen@ImperfectHomemaker Avatar

    Have you ever had your hair shorter over the years? I found that the best way to find what really looked the best on me was to actually see it on…me. So even though I want long, gorgeous hair, when I face reality by looking at old pictures, I find that long hair looks awful and scraggly on me. So I cut my hair how it honestly looks best on me even though in my imagination I want it to look best another way. (I know that doesn’t help if you’ve never had your hair shorter and wouldn’t know.)

    1. Trina Avatar

      MaryEllen–this is just the ‘reality check’ words of truth I think I need right now. I romanticize long hair but I just don’t think it’s reality for me right now. I’ve had it short once, but it wasn’t a cut that lent itself to my natural body, requiring blow drying and styling each time. I think it’s tiem to just be a short hair girl for a while.

  11. Gretchen Louise Avatar

    This reminds me that I have some half-written posts about my hair identity crisis. 😉

    I feel your pain. After my third was born, I decided to grow my hair out. I loved the feeling of being beautiful and having long hair (somehow, short always equated with cute in my mind, long with beautiful). But it took me several years to realize it just wasn’t me. And I returned to my lob (apparently–I had no idea it was named that). There are days I wish I could twist it all up in an elegant bun (like today, when my son combed it all out, which does hideous things to my curls). But most of the time I like my short ‘do. And I actually trim it myself most of the time.

    I am pretty sure anything would be adorable on you. Long hair is very you, but I’d be curious to see the shorter look. 😉

    1. Trina Avatar

      Yup, this was news to me, too, when I was researching on pinterest–it’s called a Lob. And you totally rock it. 😉

  12. jessiquawittman Avatar

    I’m awful with styling (Which reminds me that I need to read your book again now that I can go through it step by step and take your advice) but I just have to mention that the main character in a novel I’m writing has a Lob! Her name is Abilene, and she’s a pretty cool chick. So I’m going to be tickled pink if a pretty cool chick that I know in real life (you!) gets a Lob. 🙂
    That’s my totally unhelpful two cents. haha! I hope you figure out what you really want and are able to pull it off. Thankfully, that’s the glorious thing about hair. It grows back!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Yup. I’m awful with styling, too. I blame spending my teen years without electricity, much less a curling iron.
      I love that your book character has a lob. That makes me feel cool. I mean, if I do get one. lol

  13. Natasha Metzler Avatar

    Well. My hair grows pretty fast, so I’ve done some pretty crazy things over the years.

    At 17 I went way short– like, ringlets all over my head. It was super cute. I am often tempted to do this again. However, my husband begs me not to, since while I looked cute– he LOVES the long.

    But then, at one point, when it was super, super long and had *ahem* SIX INCHES of split ends (it keeps growing right through the splits– and frizzes all over the place) I went and hacked it all off. (Talked to myself about it for about 3 months before hand and then closed my eyes at the hairdresser and told her to just cut it.)

    I think that was last year? Yes. Yes it was. Last year.

    And now, my hair is mid-length again. Growing fast. I should trim it… but I probably won’t.

    But, my advice? The Lob may be just what you’re looking for. Mine was that length… um, let’s see, in Aprilish? and it was a super easy length. I could do whatever I wanted with it, but it still only took a few minutes to do.

    I would probably go back to that length except, well, about my husband. Yeah. He’s still begging me to keep it growing out.

    Anyway. Vote #1 in: go for the Lob.

    1. Trina Avatar

      I think I’ve wanted “hair that grows fast” more than any other type of hair over the years. I feel such pressure whenever it’s time for a cut because I know it’ll be months (if not years) before I get a chance at another style. But I should probably just toss out my fear and try something new. It can’t be that bad, right?

      And your hair? Always adorable. I loved it long, I love it short. I love the color, and that you wear it down so much. It’s gorgeous. Thanks for chiming in and helping me process 😉

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