My mom’s killer, low, pull-back hairdo from the 60’s has always inspired me to keep my hair long, even though I could not, would not do the work required of such piece of artistry. Even so, I always felt comforted, as in, unlike the longing after celeb hair, styles that belong on heads other than mine, I actually share the DNA of this one. Maybe there’s a chance I could rock it?

Probably not.

Through the years, I have moved between long hair, which I always wore in a bun/pony tail/knot and the 1920’s bob, inspired by Irene Castle, the dancer who 1st bobbed her hair.

Ms. Castle, 1917

Ms. Castle, 1917


But when I was bobbed,  I was never satisfied. I always thought I needed bangs to sweep over, or to grow the bangs for a more blunt look, or for it to be shorter for that really cropped fresh feeling or to grow it out into more a more relaxed version of the same general idea. Oy.

And then.

I remember it so well. My friend J and I were driving up to Frost Valley talking about hair. I said, “This is it. I am going to stick with this pony-tail/bun/long hair thing forever. I am done with the drama of haircuts. I am too old to try something new and then get caught up in the constant messing with the new hair thing, the just-a-little-more-off- the-sides-and-I-will-be-happy fantasy. I surrender to the impossibility of getting it just right, and accept this boring, not cool non-style for life. I am freeeeee!!!!”


Even after having my little pony-tail kensho, pretty much every time I sat in the chair to get my roots done, I would get struck with the what-ifs, images of various bobs and their accompanying lives of…polish? Swing? Style? What? appeared. But I stuck with freedom.

And then I saw this:




And this:



And before I knew it, I had Miss Maggie Gyllenhaal (random!) on the brain.

(PS: Does MG know she looks almost exactly like Irene Castle? Is this why she loves this cut? Fascinating….)

And then, I got my hair cut to look like hers. God, it’s crazy to say that “out loud,” but I did!

And guess what? It doesn’t look like hers.

Instead, I feel like a middle-aged Jewish social worker.

Sorry, Lady, but when I googled "middle-aged Jewish social worker" your face appeared!

Sorry, Lady, but when I googled “middle-aged Jewish social worker” your face appeared!

So then, the New York Times ran a piece on this, the “Karlie,” the new “hair of the moment.” And what do you know? I kind of like it!



I have a few weeks until I am due back in the chair for root-work, so I have some time to “think” on it.

(Is obsessing the same as thinking?)

And in the meantime, these five pounds are calling my name!