Ramble: My Favorite Hairstylist Paul Jean, Vegas, and What’s It All About?

My new haircut (and color!) thanks to Paul Jean

My new haircut (and color!) thanks to Paul Jean

Every few years, I toy with the idea of getting bangs. It usually happens when I’m in the middle of some big life-change, and immediately after cutting them, I realize that it was all a terrible, terrible idea. (Luckily, this time it’s not the case. Last week, I had my hair cut and my color fixed with my hair guru Paul Jean, and I am utterly obsessed with both the bangs and the shaggy cut. He’s hands-down the best hairstylist in LA. Do you need a new cut? Go. Go, go, go.)

I suppose you could technically describe my current mindset as a life-change, but it feels more like a mindset shift. I’m simply growing a bit older, y’all. Last week’s Sandy Hook shooting sent most people into a reflective funk; but since it happened on my mother’s death anniversary (is there a more elegant way to describe this?), I was already mentally crouched, mulling things over, wondering What’s It All About?

Kate Moss Vanity Fair cover

Kate Moss on the cover of Vanity Fair: the inspiration for Paul Jean’s cut

I can tell you what I think it’s not all about: losing hope. Terrible things happen, bad people are born, good people die–but life goes on. That’s the way of the world, and it’ll continue to be so long, long after you and I and everybody we love are gone. That mindset freaks and depresses some people out, but for me, it gives me comfort. In the end, the thing we all fear will happen anyway (spoiler alert: and in the end, you die!) which is incredibly freeing to me. It means all the stuff we worry about is just noise. It means the most important thing is loving, and being kind, and doing good, and trying, and having passion. The beauty is in the doing.

I came across a Robert Louis Stevenson quote last week that resonated with me: “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”

At Paul Jean’s salon with the Vanity Fair inspiration cover on my lap

The past few days, it’s all just been negative. Negative on Facebook, negative on Twitter, negative on TV, negative everywhere. I stopped reading Jezebel when I realized that their “F— You, XYZ” column was going to be a regular feature. (I mean, then again, Jezebel is always negative, sooo.) It makes sense that people would be down and depressed after a tragedy, but it’s also seemed to slide into anger with alarming speed–and while, yes, anger can be productive, it’s too often diversionary, addictive and unproductive. It becomes reflexive: scratching the anger itch feels good, damn it! Negativity begets negativity, and that’s not the kind of world I want to live in. Or, to be really airy-fairy and quote the Buddha, because apparently I am a fortune cookie today: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

One of my best friends has another friend–how dare she?!–and despite never having met me, years ago this friend-of-a-friend called me vapid. (I can only assume this is because she has seen my Facebook page, where I have an entire album devoted to my hair.) Of course, this assessment miffed me, but I understand why somebody might think I’m a shallow woo-girl. I’ve felt especially “woo” the past few days, because I don’t want to wallow. I want to get on with it. I want to affirm life.

Narcissistic hair selfie snap. Yes, I do just take endless photos of my hair. In a row.

So, I went to Vegas for a friend’s birthday party. (Thanks to Andrew Boas from High Roller Suites for getting 15 of us past the line at Marquee! Thanks also to Hyde for an incredible Friday night dance party!) I spent 6 days in Vegas in July for the The Daily video I posted yesterday, and it felt like an eternity. I said to myself, “I am never going to Vegas again.” Apparently, that lasted 5 months. While in Sin City, my friends and I ate, drank, danced, and bonded. We argued about gun control. We talked about my mother’s last moments. We played and we pontificated. We lost money. And by Sunday, we’d lost a little bit of the sadness that had seemed so unshakeable on Friday.

Life will break your heart: that’s one thing you can count on. But while you can’t control what gets thrown at you, you can certainly control how you react to it and deal with it. Maybe the fact that I try to smother bad things with happiness and haircuts does, indeed, make me vapid. But I like to think it makes me resilient. And if life is what you make of it, I think my way is a hell of a lot more enjoyable.

Very big hair immediately post-cut

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  1. Breeza

    Love the color and cut and bangs! Super cute. I appreciate your blog. When life gets hard and horrible events happen, it’s nice to be able to read about beauty, the Royals, etc. If that makes me “vapid” too, then so be it. Keep up the good work!

  2. Elle

    Love the look on you :)

    And in regards to the non-hair related stuff in the post, I’d like to say thanks for this. I lost my mom recently after a long battle with cancer, and I’ve read all of your posts on your mother and how you’ve dealt with it. They have helped me deal the best way I can. You are right when you say other stuff is “just noise”. I’ve learned that very quickly in the last few months after my mother’s passing, and you just have to enjoy what you have and be grateful for it. And if wearing my mom’s nice stuff and designer purses just to make myself feel better makes me vapid as well, then sign me up for the club. Thanks again and happy holidays.

  3. E.

    I’m definitely not wallowing either, but I feel bad for the families. It’s going to take them a long time to heal, if ever, long after the headlines go away. I feel like the public forgets the families a lot in tragedies like this.

    Really love your haircut, btw. Blunt bangs definitely suit you with your cute button nose! I feel like some noses just suit certain haircuts, if that makes sense. Lol.

  4. E.

    Paul Jean looks so approachable! I’ve been wanting to go to one of those fancy schmancy SoCal hairdressers, but I was worried I wouldn’t fit in since I’m not part of their usual wealthy clientele. I definitely want to go to his salon – he looks so nice!

    How deeply in my pocket would I have to reach for a Paul Jean haircut? Like, say, $200? Upwards? Oh boy, I’m scared…lol. Always willing to pay for quality, though. :)

  5. Hey Nadine! Thanks for writing this. If taking joy in the simple things in life like a good haircut, a beautiful lip gloss, a nice glass of wine or a romantic novel makes us vapid then sign me up as a lifetime member of the club. So many things in life are absolutely out of our control that we all need to find happiness when and where we can. Hope you’re having a good week and that your hair is bouncy and shiny!

  6. The waves are great! I’m planning to curl my hair anytime next year. Straight hair is starting to make me feel and look boring.

  7. Thank you all! I’m loving this haircut – it’s really fun. We will all be vapid-yet-happy together. ;)

    Elle, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I agree with you completely: life is tough enough. We need to embrace the good where and when we can.

    E., I believe that’s the exact price: $200 for cut. If I’m not mistaken, his protege Jessica is only $100 for cut and she’s also awesome. 310-278-5607

    Leah, hope you have a wonderful week full of smiles and good hair!

  8. Lydia

    Nadine your hair looks fantastic. I’ve let my bangs grow out this past year and I wasn’t sure if I liked them as they hang so straight and limp. You’ve now inspired me to go back to bangs. Oh,and you look so much hotter than Kate Moss. They need to put your face and your rocking hair on the cover of Vanity Fair.

  9. Aww, thank you so much, Lydia – that’s so sweet! I’d love to see a picture of your bangs once you get them cut again!