What's The Big Hairy Deal? - Colleen Brynn Travels

What’s The Big Hairy Deal?

Aug 1, 2015 by



Just under 5 years ago, I went from long curly locks and fringe to this in a matter of moments:




I had always wanted to try short hair before I finally went for the big chop, and I wanted to do it while I was young, since short hair seems to be the go-to cut for women of a certain age. Leave it to me to be contrary.

It is kind of weird to look at these pictures because despite having wanted short hair and having kept it for many months, I don’t think of myself as a short hair gal. That girl almost doesn’t look like me.

The original haircut was inspired by Carey Mulligan and this cute ‘do. Since my head/face is not the same shape as hers, my hair dresser had to modify the style a bit to suit me better. I ended up loving the cut and ended up rocking oversized bows the entire time my hair remained that length.





Surprisingly (or not), I found that short hair was much more work than long. I could no longer lazily throw my hair into a bun or a side braid if I was late running out the door to university. I had to ensure a clean head of hair (as it got greasy real quick!) and had to put a flat iron to it or it looked fluffy! This, along with my ability to get bored pretty easily meant that the short-short locks wouldn’t be around for long. I then went through four months of awkward mullet (that I pinned up with a bazillion bobby pins).

A note on greasy hair! Have you heard of the no-poo movement? It was at this state of short hair that I started seeing buzz of the trend online. The idea is to slowly reduce the number of times per week that one shampoos her hair. Some women have managed to ditch the ‘poo altogether. Growing out a pixie cut into a mullet into a bob was the best chance I had to try out the no shampoo thing, since my hair was gross to begin with.

I used to shampoo my hair every day(!). I can hardly believe it now as I write those words. Skipping a day of shampoo meant super horrible, greasy, dirty hair. But… after a little time, my body adapted to not needing to produce the extra oils that I was stripping away with the shampoo. I eventually increased the time between shampoos to what I do now: 5-7 days in between ‘poos. I will still wet my hair (after a work out or whatever), but the shampoos are for when my hair starts to string together like spaghetti.

I highly recommend you try this if you are an over-pooer! It is so so so much healthier for your hairs, my friends.

Once the weird mullet phase was over, it wasn’t long until I could add back a little curl and fun to my hair.




And, well, the bows didn’t go anywhere for a little while…








Once my hair was a little longer, I remember having a vision (in the mirror by the back door of my parents’ house). As I dashed out one day, I caught a glimpse of myself and my growing hair. A BOWL CUT!

I had a sort-of-bowl-cut when I was a little kid, and it dawned on me that I wanted one again. It was decided: this would be my in-between hair cut. Once the mullet was long enough, it was transformed into a bowl cut. I loved my bowl cut.







I was a little unlucky with the timing of my original big hair cut. In 2009, I completely lucked out when I found my dream hair dresser, a girl named Chantal who could read my mind. I would go see her and incomprehensibly describe with hand gestures the vision I had for my hair and she would say, “got it,” and the cut would be magical.

In 2010, when I went in for my pixie cut, she assured me she would be around for all the cuts to come. Unfortunately for me, Chantal’s life was calling, and she decided to leave the world of hair cuts for marriage and babies and living in the country. Of course(!) I’m very happy for her, but ever since then, I’ve struggled to find someone to cut my hair who would even listen to what I wanted; mind reading has been impossible to find!

So, I had a few bad cuts in between the pixie and the bowl and the subsequent growth, but eventually I got a bit more length, and left the quirky world of bowl cuts behind me and even felt a little glamorous and pretty, even in an ugly sweater on Christmas Eve.







But uh, hey. Don’t worry, this girl isn’t going anywhere:




After that, it was all about growing the hair. And that, once I set my mind to it, is easy.

In the span of a couple of years:








And, need I remind you…




It wasn’t long after the photo above that I decided to take a year off from school and volunteer/live in India for a few months. Let me just say that despite the heat, having long hair was great for India. I could throw it up in a lazy bun, tie it in a long braid like the Indians, and then while I was traveling, it felt great to let my hair hang long and free.







Now, here we are, summer of 2015. Five years after that big chop.

When I was in grade 12, I went through a similar process. I spent a couple of years growing my hair long, and then I cut off 10.5 inches to donate. In 2010, I did the same thing and donated my hair. Once again, my hair is “awfully long”, according to one of my co-workers.






Well, someone is about to get awfully lucky, with a wig made out of my tresses. On Monday, I’m going in for the big chop and Hair Donation Number Three. There’s always a weird flush of emotion when getting rid of that much hair, but it’s oddly cleansing. One thing I know is that it’s important to not get attached to my hair anymore than in a physical sense. Being open to vast changes like this keeps me young and open to possibility, in whatever form it may come.

And though unlikely, if I hate my hair once it’s lopped off? It will always grow back.


Have you ever cut all your hair off in one go? Did you donate it? Have you ever thought about hair donation?  Do you find long or short hair easier for travel?

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  1. I am always in debate about my hair (with myself of course). I love my hair long but after a while I hate it getting in my way and always have it up in a bun/ponytail or in a braid. I have donated my hair twice to the Cancer society. I recently (a few days ago) had my mom cut off about 8 inches of my hair. giving me a much shorter look than I have had for the past 5 years. I was going to donate it but my hair is dyed and the Cancer Society near where I live doesn’t accept dyed hair. My hair grows very fast so hopefully next time I can donate it.

    • Colleen

      Good for you! Too bad you couldn’t donate your hair this time around but it sounds like we are alike in that our hair grows quickly. We are ideal hair donors! 🙂

  2. You look gorgeous in any hair length!!! I must say though that I absolutely love the pics from India. You look like you’re in your element. XO

    • Colleen

      Oh thanks Andi! You’re not the first person to have said that about my photos in India. Must mean something!

  3. Courtsie

    Eeeee! Proud of you girl! Can’t wait to see the final result 🙂

    And see it in person in a few weeks! XO

  4. You look super adorbs with long & short hair, so I know that however much you choose to chop this time, you’ll look great!

    As you may remember from the blog, I have had a few traumatic hair cuts in my life that have brought me to tears, but by and large, I have had a “it’s just hair… it will grow back” attitude towards my tresses for most of my life. I have found for traveling that long hair is easier, not because I can ever do anything interesting with my hair when it’s long (my hair is SUPER thick and pretty much resists most efforts to style it), but because I don’t have to dry it or use styling products and can just tie it back in a ponytail if it’s getting in my way. I think I prefer having short hair because it’s more fun and I think it’s a closer reflection of who I am, but when you’re in foreign countries, it’s no fun trying to find a new hairdresser every time you move and worrying that they’re going to give you a wackadoo/unflattering haircut!

    • Colleen

      You’re right – it’s SO hard finding a good hair dresser on the road. Speaking of which, I had a FAB guy who cut my hair in Mexico. Found him completely by chance because he worked out of a salon by the mall where I was living, and he gave me super fun, fresh, flouncy Barbie hair.
      Long hair (and a simple style) is WAY easier for traveling. Pony tails = a must.

  5. Personally I love how it looks in the shot with the light pink bow (though I’m not into bows myself – ha!), but the straight look there is supper cute and flattering to your face shape. And I love the glamorous curly pin-up model look you had going for awhile! Totally suits you. i can’t wait to see what you do next! Someone will be very fortunate to get that gorgeous hair.

    • Colleen

      Oh thanks! Funny you should pick that photo as your fave – that’s the night I met my guy!
      I also really enjoyed that “pinup” look, as you say… although it’s quite a bit shorter than what I managed to keep this time around, so we’ll see what I can do with this ‘do! 😉

  6. I quite liked your hair short and all the variations of short. Pity your hairdresser moved, I know how vital having the right one is. Looking forward to seeing the next short hair-cut.

    • Colleen

      Thank you so much Jan! I’ve enjoyed so many hair cuts over the years, especially the short ones!

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