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Whenever one of my daughters (ages 11, 9 and 5), wants to cut their hair, I only let them cut a few inches at a time. Of course I would make an exception if one of them wanted to donate to an organization like Locks of Love but in general, I like them to take it slow. Really slow.

Because cutting hair (and especially cutting too much hair at one time) can be a highly traumatizing event. I know. Because I have had some epic haircut emotional breakdowns.

Like in elementary school, I looked like this…

Kelcey Pig tails

But then I decided I wanted to look more like Dorothy Hamill.


So I cut a hundred million inches off and ended up like this…

kelcey dorothy hamill

It wasn’t a great style for me. First, because I had pin straight hair so it didn’t stay feathered and secondly, because the haircut didn’t improve my skating at all. There were a lot of tears. Like gasping for air tears.

After letting my hair grow back a bit, I had a new plan. There was a girl at my school who had the most amazing feathered hair. I knew if my hair could look like hers, my life would be perfection.

(By the way, I found this girl on Facebook a few year back and told her she was my 5th grade hair goddess idol and she was like – who are you again? So I obviously had a huge impact on her life.)

Back to my feathering plan. I had the straightest of hair and desperately wanted to look like this…


Obviously, the solution was a PERM.

(FYI: a perm is never the solution.)

But it did make my hair finally feather.  I guess.

kelcey perm 1

Did you have trouble figuring out which photo was Farrah Fawcett and which one was me?!  And I really stuck with this style for awhile…

Kelcey perm 2

Wow. It’s hard for me to even look at that picture without wincing.

After going through some very awkward hair choices in my middle school years, you would think I would have laid low in the whole hair department from then on.

But no, I decided it was a good idea to get an asymmetrical haircut.  This is when it’s long on one side and short on the other and sort of diagonal in the back.

Yup. I really did it.

kelcey assymetrical

I remember going to school with my new haircut and heard a boy say to his friends, “Did she do that to her hair on purpose?!”

Uh oh.

But I wasn’t apologizing to anyone for my new, super cool hair.  Did Madonna apologize for her cutting edge boldness? (Yes, I’m now Madonna in this scenario.) But I did have regrets.

By the end of high school and college, I had pretty much decided to keep my hair long to avoid severe emotional turmoil and have never cut it super super short again.

kelcey and dad

By the way, that’s my dad on the right who obviously knows how to rock the curls (no perm needed).

So due to all my hair trauma over many years, I’m incredibly cautious when letting my daughters cut their hair.

Yes, hair grows back.

But it takes a very very very long time.

Anyone who’s had to grow out big 90’s bangs knows that.


This post is part of a blog hop. Find out what else “Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time” by visiting these other fabulous blogs. 

Midlife Mixtape

When Did I Get Like This?


Up Popped A Fox

The Flying Chalupa

Elizabeth McGuire

Two Cannoli

Genie in a Blog


Good Day Regular People

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

24 Responses to it always seemed like a good idea at the time

  • Megan says:

    Hysterical! I love all your beautiful photos, including the cool outfits. The little collar ribbon gave me laugh. Thanks for sharing these memories!

  • Honestmum says:

    Loved this trip down your hair-related memory lane. I’ve never not had long hair and like you love length-I did love your asymmetric look though btw. My youngest had his hair cut too short a few months back (I like him with the huge curl look) and my own Mum nearly cried. He looked totally different.

  • Alex says:

    LOVE the pictures! Did it take you forever to find them all? Or do you have them organized by hair phase? So, so good.

  • Melisa says:

    I’m cracking up because not only did I have a nearly identical hair experience (except the asymmetrical cut), but that picture could have been of MY dad, with the afro (except my dad’s was a perm).

    Perhaps we’re related.

  • Beki says:

    Awwww, you’re cute no matter what your hairstyle is!!! This took me back to 10th grade when my girlfriend’s brother was dating an “older” girl in beauty school. Late one night she convinced me I would look great w/ a new “Joan Jett” hairstyle. At one point while she was cutting my hair, one of my friends came in, did a full pivot turn out of the room, and never came back. It was BAD….When I entered the cafeteria on Monday, the ENTIRE room chanted, “Fair is Fair, Billy Jean!”…Humiliated. I still have nightmares about it, lol.

  • Lea Faso says:

    When I had the Dorothy (/Mark?) Hamill haircut, someone asked my brother if I was his older brother. Ouch! In the early 90s, I tried to pull off the Demi Moore pixie from the movie “Ghost”, which was about 90% bangs. I’m still trying to grow out that bad decision. I love your Izod sweater and Trapper Keeper!

  • Leigh Ann says:

    My worst hair regrets were power bangs and then the awkward growing out of the power bangs. For some reason my solution was so clip them back in this weird less-power-bangy style, until my mom finally too me to a stylist who gave me a layered cut. And even though it looked amazing, change is hard in middle school, and someone still was all, “What did you do to you hair???”

  • Lance says:

    In high school (1984-1988), friends showed up at my house with mohawks. They tried to talk me into it and my response was “all of my scars will be internal”.

  • Arnebya says:

    I had to realize early on that I had to let my girls own their hair. My 15-year-old wanted to cut hers from a few inches past her shoulders to right above the shoulder. I said just do a bit for now, and — fine. Do it. It’s yours. She loves it and I’m glad I let go of my fear enough for her to feel some independence. (In high school, I tried the Janet Jackson fringed look from the Control video. My hair wasn’t quite the, um, same as hers.)

  • Oh my gosh! Loved this! You rocked the Dorothy Hamill MUCH better than I did. I got the asymetrical cut in 11th grade and it was one of my best times hair-wise and social-wise. The news about Prince yesterday has really taken me back to that era and its memories.

  • Ellen says:

    Oh my god, the Dorothy Hamill, the Izod sweater, the asymmetrical cut, I had those too. None as bad as my younger sister, however, who decided to give herself “wispy bangs” when she was in 6th grade, then decided it didn’t look good and cut them off. Entirely. That took FOREVER to grow back. You’re wise to keep the scissors out of your kids’ hands!

  • Liz says:

    I went down the exact same ponytail/Dorothy/feathered path, but when I got to the perm I ended up with hair just like your Dad’s…and unfortunately I did not rock it like he did!

  • Amy says:

    I had every single one of those haircuts. If my mother wrote one of these posts, I hope that she would write about how to her, it seemed a good idea at the time to take her 5 year old’s waist-length hair down to a Rosemary’s Baby pixie cut without informing me ahead of time that that was the plan.

  • I gotta be honest. I have an overwhelming urge to reach into the school picture of you with the yellow shetland sweater and just squinch squinch your side feathers with my hands. Those things had to be coated in hairspray, no?

    Fist bump for the asymmetrical bob. Yours looks better than mine did, if that tells you anything.

  • Kristin Shaw says:

    I love stories about hair. I have some similar episodes, except that my hair was realllllly long, and then realllly short, like yours, but mine got wavy. And i tried to have feathers and bangs and it was all over the place. I admired short, feathered hair like yours. Once, I tried to have bangs. BAD IDEA.

    Love your stories, Kelcey! Glad to be on this blog hop with you.

  • Judy P says:

    I think I had all these haircuts as well. My asymmetrical do was permed as well, so double bonus points? I’ve always had bangs though. I have a scar on my forehead that always caused people to ask what happened (I don’t know I always had the scar, not a good enough story). It has faded over the years but I’m too used to bangs now. Currently I’m letting the gray grow in. Luckily that gradient hair is in now (they call it ombre?). Great trip through memory lane!

  • Judy P says:

    Oh and I forgot to mention that my longest haircut ever was me taking my pixie cut friend to a salon and saying I want my hair cut as short as hers (mine was down to the bra strap). The lady would only cut a maybe 2 inches at a time. Then ask again. Cut, ask, cut, ask, cut, ask. I finally gave up and said good enough after about 6 inches, went home and let our other friend cut my hair. She only had a knife. It was the best short texturized cut ever!!!

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kelcey kintner