The next day I arrived an hour before the presentation. In a mirrorless room I had my hair washed and dyed, and in a dream I was seated in front of 50 eager hairstylists there for the convention. As I smiled and remained as still as possible, I watched out of the corner of my eye the hair snippets starting to fall around my shoulders and onto the floor.

I didn’t start to panic until an hour later, the hair hadn’t stopped piling up on the ground. You know the feeling–when something doesn’t feel right, your usual head of heavy hair feels a bit too light, and you can’t do a thing because you’ve already entrusted yourself to someone else’s hands.
Finally, when it ended, I got a quick blow-dry and was led back into the main room for a “reveal.” There was a mirror to the side, and when the towel dropped I was eager to look because everyone sighed in wonder.

At least, that’s what I thought. Turning, I saw my new ‘do: A mullet, simply put. With jagged edges, bangs that hit my cheeks, and the worst part: a bleached stripe that started at the top of my head and headed straight back and down to the bottom of my hair–which ended at my shoulders.
As my father told me later that night, “there is no such thing as free.” I nodded as I cried through dying my hair back. I waited months for it to grow under the baseball cap permanently propped on my head, and vowed that if there is one thing that I would never, ever skimp on again, it would be getting my hair cut. So even if you feel like your frugality elsewhere gets canceled out by an expensive appointment at the salon, remember that it’s worth it, because while there are some things that money can buy, there is no amount of money that will make your hair grow back faster.