By Devon Butler
One of my favorite things to do is flip through old family photo albums with my sister. Strolls down memory lane are the best, except when you’re constantly stumbling upon pictures of you with the world’s worst haircut. These pictures are on just about every album page from 1992 (when I finally grew hair) until about…2012, when I began embracing the hair I was born with.
I’ve always had a fragile relationship with my fine hair which certainly wasn’t helped by the traumatic haircuts I had as a child.
“I had no idea what to do with your hair, it was so thin,” my mom said.
Not to throw my dear mother under the bus but I’m sure there were better things she could have done than give me a bowl cut. Yes, a ’90s boyband bowl cut. Yes I still have nightmares about it. Yes I was mistaken for a boy numerous times.
I tried to grow my hair long, and when that failed (as anyone with fine hair can understand) I sought extensions. I got weaves that destroyed my hair and tracks that poked through my fine strands. I slept in clip-ins and wore them to school everyday for months. Then I turned to dye: black, pink, red and bleach blonde until my hair was so damaged I was forced to cut it up to my ears. High school is tough enough, this made everyday that much more difficult. There were already so many other things I was self-conscious about.
Hot oil treatments were a life-saver, I didn’t dye my hair for years and slowly my hair became healthy again. I still experiment with clip-ins and love being able to change up my length, but I think it’s important to be okay with your hair in it’s natural state.
I’ve been good. I haven’t dyed my hair in years. Yet, once again I found myself trying to grow out my hair to a length that just isn’t possible.
“I haven’t had my hair cut in over a year,” I told Austin – hair colorist & stylist at Alibi NYC Salon. He almost dropped his scissors to the floor in shock.
“Oh girl, it’s time.”
Following my jawline with the precision of a surgeon, Austin studied me from every angle, looking to see where more should be sculpted. His concentration and skill is remarkable.
Alibi NYC salon sits atop a flight of stairs in an unassuming Soho walk-up. But once in, you’re greeted with warm smiles and impeccable service. A fresh mint and honey tea waited for me by the chair and I was constantly asked if I needed anything (more tea, magazines, wine?) No no, actually wait yes champagne. Served with a sprig of mint I felt like I was in the fanciest salon in Manhattan, but with the kindest people. There will be no pretension here.
Danielle Waterman (see her work here) a stylist at Alibi, draped me in a cape and played with my hair. I showed her a few Pinterest inspo pictures about what I wanted, much blonder but practical and not a lot of upkeep, you know…like balayage but like more…
Yes, I’m only eloquent in writing.
Despite my vague description, she mixed up magic, lightening my hair and toning it to perfection. The whole process (cut, colour, selfies) took close to 3 hours which left lots of time for conversation.
“Instead of coming in every month for a trim I like doing makeovers, changing your whole look, trying something new,” Danielle told me. This was exactly what I had come to Alibi NYC for. A new look.
All the “it-girls” have made headlines for getting lobs and bobs and it’s nice to see shorter hair being celebrated as glamorous. While I may not look like Bella or Selena, I walked out of Alibi feeling renewed. Nearly two weeks later I’m still riding the high, starring at myself in mirrors, taking more selfies than usual, and actually looking forward to styling my hair each morning.
Considering a change? Go for it!