Everyday Eleanor: I Chopped Off My Long Hair (& I Love It).

Jackie pre- and post-chop. I love the instant gratification of before & after shots! 

Jackie pre- and post-chop. I love the instant gratification of before & after shots! 

I think most women have very strong emotional attachment to their hair. Short, long, dyed blue or a big curly mess– we believe our hair makes us beautiful. I’d even go as far as saying our hair often defines us. Changing hairstyles is often a terrifying, anxiety-filled experience. I even have one friend who admitted she cries every time she has her long, blonde hair trimmed. Yes, trimmed.

I have quite a few lady friends who have bid adieu to their long hair (sometimes not by choice). Jackie is one of the ladies who recently decided to go short. I originally met Jackie through work, but we’ve crossed paths many times in the years that have followed. Hey, we live in Minneapolis and that’s just how things work here. Last year, she chopped over a foot (!) of hair right off her head. It looked fab! Then a few weeks ago, she took another hair leap of faith– just look at the pics below and you’ll be like, “Wowza!” That took balls, Jackie… and it totally paid off. Here’s her Everyday Eleanor story.

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The first time I met you, you had enviable long brown locks. Way long. Last fall, you chopped it all off. Explain.

I wanted to go short. I have been short in the past, but it has been a long time. And I was feeling like I needed something new; needed to shed some old energy. I had recently gone through some changes in my life and felt like it was a transformative time.

I love your hair short. Did you like it immediately? How did you feel after? Any emotions that surprised you?

I actually shed about two tears when my stylist first cut off my long ponytail. Then felt immediate relief / excitement / anticipation. Afterward, I felt light and free. Definitely happy with the decision.

Jackie's stylist Laura holding the amputated pony tail.

Jackie’s stylist Laura holding the amputated pony tail.

What a babe.

What a babe.

I think a lot of women (myself included) have anxiety about chopping off their hair… Specifically when it comes to how their significant other (or potential partners) might feel about it. What did your husband have to say? Did you consult him prior?

My husband always encourages me to take (healthy) risks and be bold with my choices. I wanted to waffle and just cut some of my hair off, but he told me to go for it and commit to the decision. He is amazing (which is why I married him) and I also feel like no matter what I do, he loves me unconditionally. That helped to take the fear out of making changes.

Also – one thing that pushed me over the edge to go from long to very short was that my hair was long enough to donate. So really, why not? The salon sent my hair to Locks of Love.

Jackie and her [super-handy, furniture designer/builder] hubby, Christopher. 

Jackie and her [super-handy, furniture designer/builder] hubby, Christopher. 

As if you weren’t Eleanor-y enough, you recently bleached your pixie cut. I friggin love it & it fits you perfectly! What prompted that decision?

I was sitting in a meeting and my colleague, Chad Gillard, pointed out that I had gray hair coming in behind my ear. Now on top of my head is one thing, but behind the ear gave me a little jump. I figured if I am going to go blonde (which I have never done) now is the time!

I was still scared going into this even though I had gone through the long-to-short transition and made it out on the other side. I think you can see the fear in my eyes in the before-after of this one. I was afraid it would look terrible and had advised my friends to “just ignore it” if that was the case.

The change in energy is notable... though it might have had something to do with the awesome lipstick, too. 

The change in energy is notable… though it might have had something to do with the awesome lipstick, too. 

Has your dramatic hair makeover made you feel differently? 

Mostly it has just been fun. Change is energizing for me, and cutting and dyeing my hair has been a safe way to do that! Sometimes I feel like I am a spy or incognito, but most people recognize me, so I am not as spy-like as I think.

What has surprised you about dealing with your new ‘do? Is it more work than you expected? Do you gravitate toward different makeup or accessories? 

One surprise is that with both changes multiple people have said to me, “I feel like you always had short / blonde hair.” I wonder if that would be the case if I went for pink hair?

I am a medium-maintenance lady and thankfully I have not incurred a ton more daily maintenance. The short hair is easy to manage on a daily basis and probably looks better than the pulled-up long hair I used to rock because I didn’t want to style it. Short hair does require more frequent salon visits, so I’m glad Laura Leverty (my good friend and stylist) is nearby at The Chair Salon

The blonde may be a bit more to handle because it will also require regular dyeing, so I am just thankful that roots are in right now because if they weren’t I might be in trouble.

Last comment – on makeup – yes. I used to wear yellow eye shadow with my brown hair. Not so good with the blonde hair.

Smokin'!

Smokin’!

Think you’ll keep it?

For now yes – but I never know what the future holds!

Advice for someone considering a major hair change?

I say go for it! Honestly. If you want to try something what’s the worst that could happen? You won’t like it and then you can change again! It is so easy NOT to change. And then what? You will never know.

I truly believe that every moment of every day is an opportunity for exploration and adventure (as long as it is not the reckless kind…and sometimes even then), and that is the best course of action for happiness and freedom!

Oh and blondes do have more fun…as long as they believe they have more fun.

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I want to hear your Everyday Eleanor story. Email me at heyeleanorproject@gmail.com.

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Comments (2)

  • Pauge 3 years ago Reply

    Do you think Jackie would mind if I brought in these pictures, booked an appointment with Laura, and said, "Please do this to my head!" I’ve had a vision of blonde hair with my dark eyebrows for the past few weeks. I don’t know how a haircut could look better.

    molly mogren katt 3 years ago Reply

    I think she would be flattered! Do it (and let me know it goes 🙂

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