Minimalist Musings On Doin’ Your Do … Or, Hairstyles Of The Poor And Satisfied
There’s no place in a simple, deliberate life for a complicated hairstyle. By simplifying your haircut, you can look good while still reflecting your simple, minimalist values.
If the passing bandwagon will slow for a moment, I’d like to jump on. I’ve been planning this post for a while, but now, because of recent posts elsewhere, I’m in danger of becoming a hanger-on.
Some of you are already talking about this issue.
For example, Kat at Kat Simplified posted Minimalist Hair on February 8 — about her recent switch from funky red to mousy brown in an effort to further simplify her already-quite-minimalist life. And not long after I read that, I saw that my friend Jo at Simplybeingmum had written about chopping off her long hair to make her life easier.
Then, the conversation on this topic touched even closer to home. New So Much More Life commenter Jenny from ex consumer wrote in a comment on my And Topper Makes Four post that she doesn’t miss eating out or “expensive hair cuts” so far, and it’s been nine months of tightening spending for her. In fact, I even briefly mentioned this topic in that post when I told you that one of four purchases for our home that I made last year was some $20 hair clippers.
First, it’s important to mention that men and women are often believed to think differently about this issue. But even mentioning that draws me very close to stereotyping.
Some women have clipper cuts and some men have carefully styled long hair. So while I’m willing to acknowledge that different people have different levels of concern for (or dare I say, fetishes about) their hair, that’s as far as I’ll go.
I’m willing to say this, though: A complicated hairstyle is a symptoms of a life out of control.
Someone with a complex style or cut may be self-conscious about appearance and hiding behind the hair. Or big hair could indicate that someone is trapped in a consumer mentality, insisting on paying a high price for a haircut because expensive cuts are better than cheap ones. Worst of all, overstyled hair could indicate a person who doesn’t analyze his or her life, looking for simpler, better, cheaper, nicer alternatives to what’s always been done.
Here are six more things I know are true about minimalist hairstyling.
1. Short clipper cuts are simple, but a shaved head isn’t.
I expect some disagreement about this. While a shaved head looks like a minimalist style, it takes too long to do well and requires maintenance to look good. Speaking from experience, I can tell you there’s nothing simple about shaving your head. Buzzing your hair with clippers and guard number 3 or 4, for example, looks great and continues to look good for weeks, so that’s my current choice.
2. It’s silly to pay for something you can do better yourself.
And that includes clipper cuts. In the past, I’ve frequently paid to have my hair cut with clipper guard number 3 or 4 — then realized when I got home that there were little pieces of hair sticking up that I had to trim myself. And I’ve never yet visited a barber or stylist who can trim a neckline straight. But after some practice, I can do it perfectly.
3. Dyes have no place in a simple life.
Even though I have more grey hair than most people my age — and it is rapidly increasing — I promised myself years ago that I would never use hair dye. Setting aside the mess of doing it yourself or the expense of having it done, coating my head with chemicals and then allowing them to slowly absorb seems an absurd idea if I want to live a long, healthy life.
4. Hair products deserves a minimalist approach too.
While I’d like to say that I don’t put anything on my hair other than my inexpensive natural store-brand shampoo and conditioner from Whole Foods Market, I do use a little styling gel, especially when I’m almost due for another trim, to turn my shaggy hair into something modern and messy. But surely hairsprays and styles that are set by a beautician are a thing best left in the last century.
5. You don’t have to look the same every day.
I trim my hair every five or six weeks. Today, it looks very short because I trimmed it a couple of days ago. The day before I trim it again it will be longer, require a bit more gel to maintain order/disorder and will look, perhaps, a bit better actually. But I don’t need to always look the same. In fact, most days it doesn’t matter how I look at all.
6. Attitude toward your hair plays a big role.
Here’s an admission: Since my high school didn’t allow long hair, I did my hair experimenting when I was in my 20s. I had hair past my shoulders for at least a couple of years. But it never looked good and always bothered me. Because I’m a simple guy at heart, I never did much other than comb it back or very rarely put it in a ponytail. A minimalist approach to a high-maintenance hairstyle simply doesn’t work.
And that’s what I know about minimalist hairstyles. What do you know?
While there’s more than one kind of hairstyle that can reflect your simple, minimalist values, choosing one that’s too complicated can make you look like a hypocrite.
And the wrong choice can also leave you looking like an inmate. Even the most radical minimalists don’t want that.