My Biggest Fear

Friday, January 14, 2011
This is pretty trivial, I warn you.
I mean, it's not like I live in Iraq or North Korea where survival would be at the top of the biggest fear list.

Instead, I have a fear of looking homely. It's terribly vain of me, I know. But I am aware as a homeschooling mother that there is a little cliche existing in the modern world that homeschooling mothers look dowdy. I'm sorry to say it - because there are plenty of very stylish homeschooling mums out there, but still that little preconception exists.

And I do my best to fight it. You know - I shave my legs and I don't wear socks with sandals, and I wear makeup and jeans and paint my toenails, and I try to stay away from the shift dresses that make you look like you're expecting baby number 25.

But I do have long hair. I actually quite like my long hair. It is my one beauty.
It doesn't have too many greys in it yet, in spite of the fact that I'm turning 40 this year, I have not yet had to dye it. I don't think I'll be going bald anytime soon. The one thing that I did inherit from my Maori ancestors was plenty of lush, thick, unruly hair.

But I have a dilemma and I don't know what to do - so there's nothing like asking a bunch of your online girlfriends whom you've never met, to help you make a beauty decision.

Tomorrow I'm going to get it cut, and I don't know whether to get it layered or not.
At the moment it is all one length. It has taken me a couple of years to get it to grow half way down my back. As I said before I inherited good hair from the Maori's, but it's naturally curly and so takes forever to grow.

I've managed to get it this long, but I'm wondering if maybe it's starting to make me look like that cliched homeschooling mum. Is it time to style it up a bit?

But if I do get it layered, will it still look good in a ponytail?

I know that this question will cause you to think deep thoughts all day long, but I would value your opinion or tales of experiences with layered hair. I have 24 hours to make a decision. That is difficult for me.


Julze said...

ha! I "was" going to get my hair cut...a few weeks ago when daughter no.2 (almost 15) decided this ol' home-schooling mama need to get "with IT" ...I almost did it...but I still sit here with my hair half-way down my back...because I'm TOO AFRAID to get it cut!

You're not the only one :-)

As for what to do.???..sorry...I'm not probably much help. I DID look online at styles I liked and was going to tak a pic in to the hair-dressers to get their opinion. HTH!

fevi said...

Hi Rachel,
I am from Hungary. I am very far from you. But we have a lot of very similar things. Children, familiy, age. I try to practise the Englis language so I often try to read blogs in English. We are thinking about moving to another country, so it is vital for me to speak English well. Now,in answer to your question, I think, be brave. Your hair is must be beautiful, but haircut can be good for your hair. It is a good idea to change. Your hair grow again soon if you don't like it. Layered hair is always cool, if a good hairdresser cuts your hair. I hope, you will be brave, because it is worth it, and please get a photo taken of you!
Take care √Čva

Cottage Tails said...

I like long hair.

Mine is shortish & going shorter in a few weeks - as it will be the last haircut to get out dye jobs.

Then I am growing it long again - long grey hair.

Maybe you need Doc Martens too - no typical homeschooling mum wears them giggle gigle giggle.

Love Leanne

Clara said...

I had my hair layered years ago. But to go back before that, I had never had my hair cut (only trimmed very small amounts)... I went from having hair I could sit on, to hair that was layered and no longer than my bra strap (sorry - that was the only way I knew to describe the length!). I loved having it that length and I loved having it layered (been thinking about having it done again)... but the sad thing is that I've never been able to grow my hair long enough to sit on again! :( I love long hair and so does my husband...

As for pony tails, if you have it layered the way I did, there's no way I could have put it up in a pony tail when it was layered - too many short bits that wouldn't reach the pony tail and would look messy around my face...

And just so you know - you don't look at all like that stereotypical homeschool mom you talk about (from what I've seen on your blog), and your hair is beautiful. :)

Jackie said...

Layer it, lady.
I was years with very long hair, in denial about the dowd-factor, and looking back... I shudder.
Worse, on our current tight budget, I can't afford to have it cut, and it's going the same way all over again. I have coloured it though, as the grey was really taking over.
40 is a good time to do something different. I vote for layers!

Sandy Addison said...

I love layers but I think with your naturally curly hair it will totally bounce up so get that lovely layered look you will have to become best friends with your hair straightner. Now what I do think you should do is work with your beautiful curls and get a style that makes the most of them so on those bad hair days they just look great! Love Sam

Sandy Addison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandy Addison said...

I just deleted the previous post as it printed twice but it did not fully delete it that is why it says it has been deleted just in case your wondering

desertnutmeg said...

Okay, normally I would not state my opinion so strongly, I would leave that polite little out "Well, you have to do what is best for you..." But I am going to suspend that and throw my opinion out there.


1. You sound like you are making this decision from fear. Not good.
2. You'll be sorry.
3. I am going to be 49. I have grown my hair long again after regretting cutting it. It took years...again. It is thin and listless and I don't give a rip. I want long hair and I'm keeping it.

Back to number one. You are feeling like the world sees you as dowdy. I think it is a mistake to make a major change or decision when one is feeling lowly. These things should be done when you are feeling great about yourself.

What is really making you feel dowdy? And, not being sarcastic or snarky, really ask yourself if your really think cutting your hair off is going to solve the underlying self-esteem/self-image issue.

Just my two-cents worth. Good luck with whatever you decide!

Diane N. said...

Hi Rachel,

My suggestion is to ask your husband how he'd like your hair to look. I realize that some men may not feel comfortable with that kind of question. However, when I wanted to change my hair I asked him, and I've been delighted to know he liked the change--made me confident about trying it.

Thanks also for the description of "Rebecca." I'm going to the library to get it! Do you know anything of the BBC production in 1996?

Heather L. said...

That is my one big fear too!!!! Must be the background of homeschooling.....

Rachel said...

Hi Diane,
So nice to hear from you again.
I haven't heard about the 1996 production of Rebecca. Must look it up. I have seen the old black and white one though, which followed the book pretty closely. It is the sort of book my mother wouldn't let me read when I was a teenager, but I did enjoy it as an adult.

Cate said...

Layer it. I've got naturally curly hair, and if you do long layers, it won't feel like too drastic a thing to do, and will frame your face beautifully. It also works well when your hair is curly.

I've done everything possible with my hair over the years - what's the worst that can happen? You don't like it, so it grows back.

Be brave ;-)

Diane N. said...

Hi again Rachel,

I just finished watching the 1996 production of "Rebecca" -- very well done! It's not one for the kids though. The lead actress played Mr. Darcy's younger sister in that well-known adaptation of "Pride & Prejudice": Emilia Fox. I always liked her.

Kathy said...

Hi Rachel, saw your comment on my blog ... just take the photos and do a post at the end of each month ... it's not an official thing just a bit of fun. I've got a page set up on the top of my blog ... and you should be able to add your post using a linky fingers crossed that it works!
Love Kathy xxx

guen said...

What did you end up doing? I'm also going on 40 and have been debating cutting my hair for the last year. It reaches just a few inches below my bum, so really pretty long. It's taken me so long to make the decision because I love long hair, always have. I won't cut it for anyone. But I also have four kids as well as mind six others on alternate afternoons and am so busy and tired (also have a toddler who's not fond of sleeping nights) that the care of my hair is really too much these days. It takes a long period of time to comb out and I have to wear it braided most of the time because it tangles so badly these dazs, in spite of how well I care for it. So, I will cut it in the coming month. I've decided to cut it just below my shoulders, which is still long enough to do something with, but I can't decide whether to blunt cut or cut layers. If layers are done right, they're fantastic. If not, they're just awful! Also, I cut my whole family's hair whether it's a trim or a hairstyle, so the idea of shelling out a lot of Euro for a hair stylist makes me crazy... See? You're not the only one who preoccupies herself so much with her hair! ;-)

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