Dear Scott: I cut my hair short 15 years ago and I hated it. I have had long hair ever since then. I think I’d like to try it short again for a change. I’m stuck in a rut. I’m hoping that cutting my hair will shake things up a little. My long hair has always been my crown and glory. What if I don’t feel pretty without my long hair?

Answer: Remember when Mom said, “Pretty is as pretty does”? If you are pretty on the inside, cutting your hair will not make you unpretty. A truly pretty person could shave their head bald and they would still be pretty.

At first you may not feel like you look as good as you did with your long hair because it is new. But for the most part, when the cut is right, a positive reaction is immediate when in need of a change. What I hear is, “I never thought I could wear my hair short.”

Life is meant for change. It’s what we do as human beings. We try new things, or life can become dull. Our tastes change gradually over long periods of time. Without constant experimentation, something good may be passing you by that earlier in life you didn’t like.

Ten years ago I wouldn’t have eaten a strawberry if you paid me. I thought they were covered in rocks. The rocks are the seeds that cover the fruit. I liked the taste of the strawberry itself but couldn’t get over the boulders that covered them. Every time I tried to eat them I was disgusted. Now I love them. I tried them again about three years ago when a friend convinced me with this same logic. I don’t even notice the rocks anymore.

The same person has three cats. I have always been a confirmed dog person. Now I love cats, too. I have recently rescued two kittens from the animal shelter and taken one in that showed up crying at my door on Christmas day a few years ago. I still love dogs, so now I like both.

I walk my dog in my neighborhood every day. There was a woman in my neighborhood who, at least twice a week, would stop me to talk. She was a very nice woman so I never minded stopping to chat. We talked for so long my dog would get bored and fall asleep in the middle of the road.

She would complain about the condition of her hair and felt it the fault of her hairdresser. It was in bad shape, as she said.

She would tell me about how much better the color used to look, how bad her haircut is, and how she used to feel pretty and doesn’t anymore because of her hair.

This went on for years. An extremely attractive woman, her main worry, during all of our conversations, was that she wasn’t pretty anymore.

She moved about a month ago and left her cat outside all alone. I have been seeing it around and, after repeated attempts, finally gained its trust.

It was starving, alone and extremely affectionate. It led me to the side of my house where I found that she has given birth to four little kittens.

If this woman, who worries so much about being pretty, had cared enough to find a home for her cat, there wouldn’t be four kittens to find homes for now. Pretty people don’t do things like this. Mom always says, “Pretty is as pretty does.”

Go ahead and try the short cut again. Even if you don’t like it, you will have a new appreciation for your long hair when it grows back. You will also have a new experience to talk about with people.

Already, you have sparked a conversation that led to something off tract but very important, spaying and neutering pets.

You also have made it possible for me to ask for help from my readers in finding a home for a lovable cat, or maybe a little kitten.

Compassionate people are beautiful people on the inside. It’s the key to what ultimately makes a person appear pretty on the outside too.

Scott Terwilliger is an Aiken salon owner and Master stylist. Scott can be reached at for questions and comments.